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Metro’s First Bike Corral Now Open in East Nashville

8/9/2012

Initiative by Public Works, MDHA continues effort to create more bike-friendly communities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The first-ever bicycle-only parking corral in Metro is set to open later today in the Five Points area of East Nashville.

Located in one corner of an existing public parking area near the intersection of Woodland and 11th Streets, the bike corral provides room to park up to 10 bicycles. The facility was made possible through a partnership between Metro Public Works and the Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority (MDHA), which owns the parking lot. It represents the latest initiative by city officials to encourage more residents to choose biking as a healthier, alternative form of transportation.

“Nashville’s first bike corral is another important step in becoming a more bikeable city,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “A bike corral gives cyclists a safe place to park and encourages bicycling as an alternative form of transportation. This corral is located in a thriving retail and residential area, and it will add to the quality of life of our residents.”

Bike parking racks – many with a public art component – are provided throughout the city, including along Church Street, on the Historic Metro Courthouse Public Square and most recently as part of the Hillsboro Village Streetscape Improvement Project. Dedicated bike parking areas are safer than sidewalk or on-street bike parking because they help protect cyclists from moving vehicles and provide more room for bike maneuverability.

Bike corrals also free up sidewalks and roadways from parked bikes, which are often attached to parking meters, street light poles or trees. That helps make a safer environment for pedestrians and drivers.

The East Nashville bike corral is located near overhead lighting, which will enhance safety and security at night. If successful, more bike corrals could be added at other locations in the city.

Bike-friendly communities promote healthy living and help reduce traffic congestion, and several initiatives to transform Nashville into a more bikeable city have already been launched:

  • Nashville GreenBikes Bike Share Program encourages alternative means of transportation and physical activity. Currently 65 green bikes are available in nine locations.
  • Nashville B-cycle, a new bike share program featuring a fee-based, automated kiosk system announced last week, expands on the existing GreenBikes program.
  • Green Bike Symbols: Nashville has successfully implemented FHWA-approved experimental green bike symbols on three, heavily-trafficked corridors including Davidson Street, Charlotte Avenue, and Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. These bike symbols increase motorist awareness and visibility of bicyclists.
  • A new educational campaign called Moving in Harmony aims to increase safety for all users of the road. The advertising and marketing campaign addresses ways for motorists to drive safely on Nashville streets when sharing space with pedestrians and cyclists. More information is available at www.nashvitality.org/movinginharmony
  • “The Groove” easy-riding bicycle map was developed as a user friendly means to negotiate bicycle connectivity between bike-friendly neighborhoods for less experienced cyclists. The map can be used to highlight Safe Routes to Schools in neighborhoods around the city.
  • Metro Parks published a new “Greenways, Bikeways, Bike Routes and Hiking Trails” map in March 2012. All mapping includes destinations of interest where healthy activities can take place.
  • Metro Arts Commission Arts Bike Rack program started in 2010 with 10 art bike racks, all custom-designed and built by artists to fit within the unique character of the area in which they’re placed. Phase 2 of the arts bike racks launched in spring 2012 with a call for artists for 30 additional racks scheduled for implementation this Winter.
  • Bike valet/Bike parking is provided by Walk/Bike Nashville at special events in the downtown area.
  • The newly launched iBike card is a discount card that rewards cyclists at local businesses and is sponsored by The Nashville Bike Alliance.

Nashville currently has about 100 miles of bikeways, and another 20 bikeway projects in various stages of development planned.