Feb 2, 2024 - News

Minneapolis exploring secure bike parking program

A glass-paneled shelter building on a public sidewalk with a sign on the side reading: 'Oonee, This is a Free & Secure Bike Parking Station That Anyone Can Use'

A modular bicycle parking shelter in New Jersey. Misha Friedman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As early as this fall, Minneapolis city officials plan to bring bike lockers — or something like them — to more than a dozen locations across the city as part of a pilot program.

Why it matters: Giving people a secure place to lock up their wheels is one key to convincing them to take more trips by bike.

Zoom in: This is especially true for users of e-bikes, city officials said. The electric-powered devices have grown in popularity, but owners may not feel safe locking up their expensive investment outside.

Details: City mobility planner Russ Brooks said Thursday that he's aiming to set up 15 or 20 parking locations throughout the program's three-year pilot phase.

  • Private companies would provide and maintain the sites. The costs of running them would be covered by advertising or "nominal" fees to users, Brooks added.

How it works: It depends on which provider the city chooses. Some companies offer fully enclosed lockers or pods, similar to those Metro Transit offers at some stations.

  • Other storage options are big enough for people to stand inside. Still others aren't enclosed at all and resemble a heavy-duty rack from a bike-sharing program.
  • Some companies offer charging stations.

The bottom line: Minneapolis wants to convert car users to make the majority of their trips by either public transit, walking, or bike by 2030. This pilot is a small part of that effort, Brooks said.

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