In recent years, many organizations in the Tampa Bay Area have increased the availability of bicycle parking facilities for employees, students, and customers. These organizations want to encourage bicycle commuting as a measure that bolsters the health and productivity of communities.
In Pinellas County, St. Petersburg recently obtained 325 bicycle racks to be distributed throughout businesses and other locations in the city, thanks to a grant from the Center for Disease Control to encourage healthy transportation. The city also opened a secure bicycle parking room downtown for city employees to use.
Downtown Tampa is brimming with well over 200 bike racks, says Karen Kress, Director of Transportation and Planning at Tampa Downtown Partnership. “The private sector has done a few creative ones too,” says Kress. “Amalie Arena, PowerHouse Gym, Ulele, and Skypoint residential condos. Also, some of the commercial buildings have secure indoor racks.”
University of South Florida recently added bike lockers to its bicycle parking facilities, which include over 1,600 loops, both covered and uncovered. The lockers and 350 of the loop racks were provided by the New North Transportation Alliance with a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. Tampa General Hospital (TGH) has three centrally located parking areas that are both covered to protect bicycles from the elements and monitored for theft prevention. TGH also boasts a bicycle cage in its employee parking garage to accommodate approximately fifty known regular bike commuters each week, says Meghan Lane, Team Leader at TGH Health and Wellness Center. “TGH strives to accommodate our bicycle enthusiasts and ensure that their bikes are safely stored so they can keep riding happily.”