Queen City Bike, led by
, rallies for cycling in the city with regular initiatives like May’s Bike Month celebrations, classes and advocacy forums, a continually updated list of local Bike Friendly Destinations and even nighttime BRIGHT Rides
The most recent dazzled World Choir Games-goers with a parade of bikes decked out in multicolored lights. (More BRITE Rides are in the works. Stay tuned
Next up on QCB’s to-do list: a bike shelter/storage design competition created by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)
. The contest, which is free and open to the public, challenges entrants to choose a location in town that is ideal for bike storage and create an affordable, accessible concept that can house at least eight bicycles at one time.
For the average city-dweller, the need for increased bike storage might not seem pressing, but for passionate cyclists it could move Cincinnati in the direction of alt-transportation hubs like Portland and Chicago.
“Bicyclists [in Cincinnati] often feel like an afterthought when it comes to getting their parking needs met,” Ostendorf says. “Only after the parking lot has been paved do many designers think about maybe squeezing a bike rack into an unused corner (if anything).”
That means public bike racks are scarce.
“Most of the time bicyclists automatically go for the nearest parking meter or fencepost or whatever they can find (tree, gas meter),” Ostendorf says.
She adds that change is happening, albeit slowly. The city responded to at least one public bike storage request, installing a corral on Knowlton Avenue in Northside in front of the Mobo Bicycle Cooperative
Andreas Lange—the AIA representative who contacted QCB about the contest—says there has already been considerable buzz about the design competition.
Similar competitions in other cities “are often very complex or restricted to the initiated few,” Lange says. “We wanted this to be short and sweet and at a level that everyone could participate. It's an ideas competition, so everyone can share something.”
In addition to potential inclusion in future bike-sharing programs, Lange says designers shouldn’t limit their concepts to downtown and OTR. “We’d love to see some smart proposals for the ‘burbs,” he says.
Ostendorf and Lange both hope the competition—and initiatives like it—will help increase community dialog and support for investing in bicycling infrastructure.
“The more we make urban bicycling easier and more fun, the advantages of cycling will just keep increasing,” Ostendorf says.
Submissions for the design competition will be randomly sorted and reviewed by a small team of architects and cyclists. The winning submission—to be announced Aug, 6—will receive a bike storage system courtesy of the cycling gurus at Saris.
Deadline for submissions is 5 pm, Friday, July 27. All submissions should be sent to email@example.com.
By Hannah Purnell
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