Metro Metal Works: Bike Racks as a Means of Opportunity
Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries installing a bike rack at the Ohio City Firehouse
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You may have noticed an abundance of new bike racks popping up throughout downtown Cleveland and many of the surrounding communities. Some cities, such as Lakewood, are operating on their own initiatives to create more safe bike parking for cyclists. Businesses within the city limits of Cleveland, however, have a great opportunity to provide bike parking while benefiting our community as a whole.
This is being done through the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry and Metro Metal Works, who have paired together on a mission to improve our city for cyclists as well as provide valuable skills for individuals who are residents of homeless shelters. With the goal of "community re-entry", Metro Metal Works has been training these individuals in metalworking, specifically creating a slew of inverted U-racks, a popular design for bike racks in the city. The racks are safe for one bike on each side, or multiple bikes locked together on each side, and can be installed directly on a sidewalk, due to the small circumference necessary for safe pedestrian travel. The racks are painted black and have the Metro Metal Works sticker on the top, so are easily identifiable among the many other racks installed throughout the city.
Bike racks have been proven to improve traffic in business who make the small investment. A cyclists is much more likely to enter a store if they have an easy time locking their bike directly in front of it, and feel that their bike will be safe on that rack. And although it may not seem as if the cycling community is one to focus on due to its small size, it is surely growing, and growing fast. In addition to that, the investment required is a small one, the racks cost $200, and Luther Metropolitan Ministry will install them for you for $50 each. The process is quick and easy, and the benefits will only grow from there.
To contact Metro Metal Works through the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, visit www.lutheranmetro.org and click on the link for "Housing and Shelter".
photo cred: Erika Durham