THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Thanks to some innovation from Eco-Superior, events in Thunder Bay can now be more bike-friendly thanks to EcoSuperior’s new Bike Valet Parking service. The high capacity bike parking is a portable facility that provides an easy place for event attendees to park their bikes while enjoying events. The Bike Valet parking lot will make its debut at Ribfest this weekend, sponsored by Petrie’s Cycle and Sport. In addition to sponsoring the cost of the bike parking set-up and rental, Petries will be offering a mini-repair station for cyclists to make adjustments or add air to a leaky tire.
“Inadequate secure bike parking is one of the barriers faced by cyclists in this city,” stated Raphael Shay, Program Coordinator at EcoSuperior Environmental Programs. “Parking for both vehicles and bicycles is especially an issue at big events. We’re hoping more people will consider riding their bikes if they know they will be safe and secure in a supervised parking area,” adds Shay.
The Bike Valet Parking is made up of a set of portable racks that are easily assembled for a total capacity of 105 bikes. The service works much the same way a coat check works. People drop off their bikes with the Valet and then get a ticket. The Valets supervise the bikes during the event and when a cyclist is ready to leave, they simply present their ticket to the Valet to get their bike back.
EcoSuperior hopes demand will justify adding capacity in the near future. “These services already exist in many American cities as well as Canadian cities like Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver. The Ottawa RedBlacks football games have a bike valet service capable of accommodating over 1,000 bikes,” says Shay.
The racks are being made here in Thunder Bay as well, keeping the shop local thinking going.
The new service was made possible in Thunder Bay thanks to a grant from the TBay Tel For Good competition. There are over 100 outdoor events in Thunder Bay every year and many could benefit from Bike Valet Parking. Information on rental rates for the service is available at www.ecosuperior.org