Idea of the Day: So where should a downtown Phoenix biking center go?

fujiton_ebike[Source: State’s first biking center finishes first week, Dianna M. Náñez, Arizona Republic] — Note operative phrase in the following article: “Romero and Perez have already scoped out locations for expanding.   ‘To start with… one in downtown Phoenix… and at the end of the line in Mesa… would be perfect,’ Perez said.” Any ideas?  If so, send Joe and John an e-mail.

On Wednesday, Karleen Dirmantas left her central Phoenix home at 6:45 a.m. and rode her bicycle 15 miles to the state’s first full-service biking center, in Tempe.  She showered, changed into her work uniform and arrived at work by 8 a.m.  The center, which opened Monday, has made it possible for Dirmantas to stop driving her car to work, save money on gasoline and help preserve the environment.  Other bicyclists say their benefits include saving money on parking at Arizona State University and enjoying easier access to light rail.

The Bicycle Cellar, owned by two Valley bicycle enthusiasts, is near ASU in downtown Tempe.  After hearing that the center would offer paid members secured indoor-bike parking, lockers, showers and other services, Dirmantas signed up for a one-year membership.  The facility is at Tempe’s Transportation Center, a hub for light-rail, Valley Metro and Tempe commuter Orbit buses.

The Bicycle Cellar has conveniences for people who ride public transportation to work in Tempe or for ASU faculty members or students who want a safe place to park their bikes overnight.  Storage lockers are available, as are tools for minor bike repairs and air for tires.  During the day, help is available to work on more complicated repairs.

Mariam Cohen, who teaches at ASU, will use the center to avoid commuting by car from Paradise Valley to ASU.  “This is wonderful for everyone.  Even an old lady on a bike like me.  I can leave my bike here at night… know it’s safe… (and) pick it up when I get off the light rail,” she said Wednesday, hopping onto her vine-green Schwinn and off to class.  Students also appreciate saving on the hundreds of dollars it costs to park at ASU.

Dawn Stapley, an ASU junior, was at the shop early Monday and became the cellar’s first member.  “Parking is so expensive at ASU,” she said.  “I work at Priest (Drive) and Washington (Street) so I’m leaving my car at work, taking the light rail… picking my bike up and riding it to class next to (ASU) Gammage.”  Bicycle Cellar co-owner and bike-riding enthusiast John Romero said his facility is moving the Valley closer to having full-fledged urban amenities.  “Phoenix is maturing as a metropolis,” he said.  “We’re finally bringing to the table what other cities have had for years.”

The shop’s diverse clientele and rush of customers wanting to secure one of the shop’s 300 memberships has Romero and co-owner Joseph Perez thinking about launching similar bike stores at busy spots along the rail line.  “We’re up to 20 members-that’s just in four days,” he said.  Romero and Perez have already scoped out locations for expanding.  “To start with… one in downtown Phoenix… and at the end of the line in Mesa… would be perfect,” Perez said.  [Note: Read the full article at State’s first biking center finishes first week.]

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Posted on August 30, 2009, in Transportation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The only place that would really make sense for a biking center in Downtown Phoenix would be the Central Station. Currently Phoenix’s Central station is an embarrassing joke. At the very least Phoenix needs something like what Tempe has but preferably something better (i.e. a tower with a terminal on the bottom floors).

    In the meantime until something like that happens a good spot might be renting some space in CityScape when it opens. Or perhaps looking for space near the Central/Roosevelt LRT station. Current just to the S.E. of that station is an empty-pinkish warehouse and small parking lot, perhaps that could be converted into a bike station and shop.

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