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Bike racks installed for cycling summit

Springfield will host a significant event on May 31, with hundreds of people taking part.

That’s the day the Miami Valley Cycling Summit rolls into the Hollenbeck-Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center and the Courtyard by Marriott.

As part of the event and the effort to make the area more attractive to bicyclists, bike racks are being installed in downtown Springfield.

The Center City Association began its Bicycle Rack Art Project last year by soliciting designs from artists, students and other interested people.

Center City Acting Executive Director Elaine Morris Roberts says “we want to create a bicycle-friendly community.”

She points out there are many reasons for the effort, including a desire to make the downtown a safe and convenient place, welcoming bicycle riders and increasing traffic to spur business.

While the project was hampered somewhat by the winter weather, Roberts says it is now “doing well.”

A dozen U-shaped racks are being installed, and artistic designs “to reflect Springfield” are being finalized for more that will be installed around downtown Springfield over the summer.

The Center City Association purchased the U-shaped racks, and sponsors are also being solicited to cover the costs of the other racks.

Acknowledging there is not a large number of bike racks now, Roberts says, “There are so many great things in downtown, and we want to to add to that.”

Louis Agresta, transportation planner at the Springfield-Clark County Transportation Coordinating Committee, says the Cycling Summit was “one of the catalysts for the project.”

He indicates 275 people have pre-registered and 350 to 400 are expected to participate, some of them riding in on bikes from nearby communities.

The racks will be placed at locations around downtown Springfield, such as the Heritage Center, 117 S. Fountain Ave., the Esplanade, City Hall, 76 E. High St. and City Hall Plaza, Commerce Pointe/Tuttle Building at 101 E. Main St., the retail area along Fountain Ave. between Main and Columbia, the Brinkman Center, 101 S. Limestone St., Hollenbeck-Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Limestone St., the Public Safety Building at 130 N. Fountain Ave., Clark County Administration Building, 50 E. Columbia St. and the National Road Commons, 200 W. Main St.

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