PEI

Cost-sharing program will get more bike racks to Charlottetown businesses at a discount

The city of Charlottetown is planning to encourage cycling with a new program that asks businesses to add a bike rack to their establishment with financial help from the city.

Businesses will pay half the cost for a bike rack from the city

'There is a need for more bike racks in the city,' says Jessica Brown, Charlottetown's sustainability officer. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The city of Charlottetown is hoping to encourage cycling with a new program that asks businesses to add a bike rack to their establishment, with financial help from the city.

A problem with the lack of bike racks in Charlottetown was identified in 2018 during the city's Let's Talk Cycling events, said Jessica Brown, sustainability officer for the city.

She said as someone who works in Charlottetown, she walks around often and has noticed bikes attached to various objects such as parking meters and fence posts. 

"There is a need for more bike racks," Brown said. So the city has developed a cost-sharing program to offer businesses a chance to add a rack at half the price.

"We've identified a good bike rack design that's solid and kind of universal for all different bikes," Brown said.

She said most of the racks will accommodate four bikes.

Bulk-buying bike racks

"The city will basically do a bulk-buy to get a good price on them, and then the business will pay for half of the bike rack," she said.

Brown said a bulk order is a minimum of 10 and the city has a budget of $5,000 for the project.

Each bike rack costs about $400, so businesses would be expected to pay about $200 to add a rack to their business, Brown said.

Brown shows off the Charlottetown bike map that launched in July. (Laura Chapin/CBC)

Brown said the program allows the city to add cycling infrastructure and "meet people halfway," by helping businesses purchase bike racks at a discount.

"We have had a couple [businesses] reach out," Brown said.

She said she is happy about that because the program hasn't even launched yet, though it is in its final stages.

"It's great to see the business community in general being engaged and kind of wanting to see patron cycling and accommodate their patrons that, you know, travel by bike," Brown said.

No solid timeline

Brown said the city expects to announce all the details of the project by the end of the month and to start accepting applications, but she said any interested businesses that want to reach out with questions can contact the city.

Brown said she isn't sure when the city may see additional bike racks go up — that will depend on how long it takes for them to be fabricated.

"We are looking at local fabricators," she said, adding people might see some of the new bike racks this fall.

More P.E.I. News

With files from Jessica Doria-Brown

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