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Amid national news last week that federal funding for bike trails is in danger of coming to a screeching halt, Indianapolis announced progress in the other direction. The Indy Bike Hub YMCA, including the city’s first commuter facility for bikers, is on track to open in August.
The center, a new YMCA location, will occupy the east wing of City Market, currently undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. Located across Alabama Street from the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, the space will include a YMCA gym, opening early September, and secure bike storage and a bike shop offering accessories, service, and repairs, operated by Bicycle Garage Indy. The bike hub is expected to open next month, ahead of the YMCA, with capacity for 148 bikes. Commuters will be able to use the YMCA’s showers and lockers before heading to the office. By the end of the year, the Y expects to have lockers with ventilation that will allow clothes inside to dry faster.
“It’s pretty progressive. There aren’t a great deal of these bicycle parking or commuter hubs in the country. Maybe a dozen or fewer of this magnitude,” says Nancy Tibbett, executive director of Bicycle Indiana.
The bike hub is part of Mayor Ballard’s push to transform Indy into a bicycle-friendly city. The Department of Public Works employs a full-time bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, who has organized a Bicycle Advisory Committee with representatives from local and state biking groups. Earlier this year, Indiana Living Green magazine reported that the DPW is putting about $800,000 into the bike hub at City Market.
A YMCA membership will be required to use the Indy Bike Hub. Other than a full membership, options will include a bike-and-shower membership for $39 per month and a day pass for $8 that includes access to the YMCA and bike storage. To sign up, contact the YMCA at the Athenaeum (401 E. Michigan St., 685-9705).
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