As the Medical Mart and Horseshoe Casino continue to rise from the city's center, it's fair to say downtown is on a roll. But what will it take to get Clevelanders rolling themselves? The answer may be a third new project: the Bike Rack, a bicycle commuting station that at press time was set to open in late July. Located in the Gateway North Parking Garage at the corner of East Fourth and High streets, the Bike Rack caters to bicycle commuters by offering showers and secure parking. It also offers repairs during the day and sells basics such as tubes, tires and pumps. It also rents bikes so visitors can explore downtown on two wheels.
The Basics: There's parking for 50 bikes inside and 10 more free spots outside. Passes cost $25 per month, plus a $25 annual fee. One-day access to the facility is $5 with towel service and locker rental extra. It's open from 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on summer weekends.
The Arrangement: The city will likely sell the parking garage to Rock Gaming, the new casino's owner. Rock Gaming will then lease the Bike Rack to the city for $1 per year, and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance will operate it. The DCA hopes to make the Rack profitable and turn operations over to a private entity.
The Inspiration: "These kinds of places are all over Europe, but in the states the one we've modeled ourselves after is Chicago. It's like 10 times the size of ours, but it's the same concept," says John Sirignano, a self-described cycling enthusiast who will manage the Rack. "Seattle, Portland and Minneapolis all have winters as bad as ours if not worse, and their bike stations get used year-round," he adds, expressing optimism in Clevelanders' hardiness.