Jacksonville plans multiple bike racks

JACKSONVILLE — Instead of one prominent bike "corral," the town will get four bike racks spread around its historic core under a plan approved by the City Council.

Planning Commissioner Nathan Broom had secured a $3,500 (amount corrected from earlier version) grant from Cycle Oregon to construct the corral in a no-parking zone at the corner of California and Oregon streets in front of Bella Union.

While the Historic and Architectural Review Commission approved a design and the original location, in further discussions with staff, business owners and residents, Broom found a community preference for dispersed bike parking. Cycle Oregon has supported the community preference.

"I was excited about the corral because it would be so visual and as a statement," said Broom. "As far as function, we will have more bike racks, installation will be cheaper ... and we'll be directly close to more businesses."

Jacksonville metal artist Cheryl Garcia will construct the racks, which will resemble old-fashioned posts with horseshoes welded at the top, through which cyclists can loop their securing chains. The racks will be coated so rust won't stain sidewalks.

One tentative rack location will be on the sidewalk in front of Bella Union — unless city officials determine there is insufficient space. As a backup, Broom has proposed a rack outside the Masonic Lodge across the street.

Another rack will be in the city right-of-way part on the sidewalk between the post office and the Chamber of Commerce building on Oregon Street. A third will be placed on a sidewalk bump east of Redmen's Hall at California and Third streets.

The fourth rack will be placed in an open area by the Brunner Building at Oregon and Main streets. The site is scheduled in 2014 to become a plaza under an ODOT grant. The rack could be placed temporarily and reinstalled after plaza work is complete, said Broom.

Garcia expects to have the racks finished by the end of July. City Public Works crews will then install them.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.

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