Cincinnati will join the ranks of Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Washington D.C. and Miami, Florida as another city to utilize Bike and Roll, a nationally recognized bicycle rental and tour company, as the operator of the Bike, Mobility and Visitor’s Center for the Central Riverfront Park. The center is scheduled to open in Fall of 2011, along with the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Stage and Event Lawn, despite recent city budget cutbacks to the Parks Board.
“The Phase I features currently under construction are being built with a blend of previously procured federal, state, local and private funds,” said Willie Carden, Director of Cincinnati Parks. “So this construction work will proceed as we endeavor to open and maintain the park. In the meantime, Common Area Maintainence charges from The Banks development, the Schmidlapp Event Lawn rentals, and rent from the Moerlein Lager House and the Bike Center will begin to generate significant revenues for the operation of the park – attracting thousands of visitors for recreation, socialization and relaxation to the region’s new front door.”
In a true example of public-private funding and ownership, Bike and Park (the Cincinnati branch of the company) will exclusively staff, maintain, and operate the Visitor’s Center and bike rental facilities – including lockers, showers, and toilet rooms – in the park. They will pay all rent and operating costs, and will fully furnish the center.
The Bike and Mobility Center will offer a full range of options for both visitors and Cincinnati residents to enjoy. A wide variety of bikes will be available for rent, as well as strollers, tagalongs, trailers and kids’ safety equipment.
Bike repair services will be available at the center, a relief to bikers in the Basin who have been longing for a bike shop or a place to fill their tires that is in the 45202 zip code. There will also be bike storage facilities for commuters coming in from the Ohio River Bike Trail who want to ride to work. The Visitor’s Center shop will carry bike-related retail items, as well as pre packaged snacks and drinks for purchase.
“The Bike Center will provide more health and recreational opportunities to downtown commuters and visitors than ever before,” said Carden. “Bike and Park is committed to providing outstanding service and equipment to enhance the Cincinnati Riverfront Park experience for all—just as they have done in the dynamic communities in which they currently operate.”
Bike and Roll has built up a vast network of sight-seeing tours for its other locations – visitors can ride around at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, or Navy Pier in Chicago. Having an experienced, nationally recognized company create new routes, maps and biking experiences will help to shape Cincinnati’s cycle culture for the better, making riding a bike in Cincinnati safer and more mainstream.
picture: Bike and Mobility Center at Central Riverfront Park, provided