Trading Spaces: Chico to add more parking for bicycles


CHICO, Calif. - Bike-riding is a popular activity in Chico, especially in downtown where some prefer peddling over driving.

Now the city of Chico is planning some parking changes to accommodate more bicycles.

Chico State student Alex Ryll likes to ride his bike from campus to the popular Naked Lounge on Second Street. He said it can be difficult to find bike parking near the more popular bars and stores.

"Certain places, I mean the Naked Lounge and Duffy's," said Ryll. "And Duffy's has a dedicated spot for it." Soon the Naked Lounge will also get a dedicated spot for bike parking. A spot currently used for car parking will be transformed into parking solely for 12 bicycles. Bob Greenlaw is the senior civil engineer who designed the parking spot. It will consist of two steel bike racks each accommodating six bikes.

Some business owners like it, including Mike Peavy of Chico Cyclesport. Instead of one customer per parking spot, there could be as many as 12.

"People primarily try to come down on their bicycles and if we give them more parking obviously it's going to be better," said Peavy.

Bicyclist Alex Ryll adds it could be better for those who worry that their bikes will be stolen. "People lock to light posts and to the parking meters," said Ryll. "It will definitely keep the traffic much easier to manage." Not everyone is on board. Retail consultant Mike Trolinder said the parking space is worth at least $126,000 in business revenue. The project will cost the city a one-time cost of about $1,300. Add to that $900 to $1,200 per year in lost revenue from the parking meter. The city said more of these bike parking spots could be popping up downtown, depending on the need.

The city council still must give the final approval.

The new bike parking spot on Second Street could be ready for use in early March.

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