The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus has one of the largest cycling populations in the area (roughly 6,500 bicycles, per day!). When school is in session you can visit to any available bike rack, and confirm this, while you search desperately for a place to shove you bike. Despite that fact, the U doesn’t exactly have a stellar record when it comes to their treatment of cyclists.
Back in October 2010 the U of M’s Police force was out in full booting and ticketing cyclists for “improper parking”. According to a Minnesota Daily article;
“If a bicycle is locked to an improper object, then the University of Minnesota Police Department or Security Monitor Program can impound that bicycle, attach a warning tag to it or place a U-Lock “boots” on it. In order to have the U-Lock removed, you have to pay a fine, determined by the district attorney.
The fine, by the way, can be up to $115, which to be honest, is more than a lot of students bikes are worth. The article goes on to suggest that there is an easy solution to this improper parking problem…. provide more parking.
Well, it appears that the U of MN has headed this call, and raised the cyclists one (sorry if that poker reference was used improperly, we aren’t gamblers). Today Fiance & Commerce is reporting that the U of MN is planning a bicycle center in the Oak Street Parking Ramp. What are they thinking of including?;
“The U’s center, scheduled to open this spring, will be similar to a facility that opened in May 2008 at the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis and will include lockers and showers, a bike maintenance shop, a bike parts and accessories store, meeting areas, space for bike rentals and secure parking for 252 bicycles.”
Few details outside of this have been announced, like who will get the bike shop contract, but it’s going to cost you $84 a year to store and park a bicycle there, which is a steal considering car parking spots will run you $97 a month. The work is supposed to be completed by May 24th of this year and will cost approximately $1.9 million.
With the planned Central Corridor light rail coming right past this place, the range of options for commuters in the city are going to skyrocket. We imagine that the 252 parking spaces are going to go very quickly.
We are so enthusiastic about this project, that we’re almost speechless. This is going to be amazing. We will keep you updated.