First of six bike-repair stands ready to help in downtown Urbana
URBANA — With tethered screwdrivers and wrenches dangling, a new fixture in downtown Urbana is obviously not your typical garage workshop.
Maybe the bicycle air pump gives it away.
A bright blue stand near the north end of the Main Street parking garage in downtown Urbana is the first of six bicycle repair stations that will be popping up throughout Champaign-Urbana soon.
The project is a joint venture among the cities of Champaign and Urbana, the University of Illinois and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. Officials hope the new stands will be a convenient option for bicyclists who need to make an adjustment.
Urbana city planner Rebecca Bird said people approach city officials all the time to ask where they can fix their bike.
"Having only the few bike shops that we do in town means that there are a lot of people who are far away from getting air in their tire or an adjustment to their chain," Bird said.
The first stand is already in use in downtown Urbana, and five more are expected to be installed soon:
— The Hill Street parking deck in downtown Champaign.
— Illinois Terminal.
— Parking Lot J at Green and Sixth streets, next to Legends.
— Just south of Altgeld Hall, near the UI Quad.
— Near 608 E. Pennsylvania Ave., C, by the Natural Resources Building on campus.
Champaign city planner T.J. Blakeman said he hopes the stands in city locations will be installed by today. He said each stand costs about $1,200, a reduced price after the city of Champaign approached the others to make it a joint project between the four agencies.
They have all the necessary tools attached, he said: allen wrenches, regular wrenches, screwdrivers and an air pump, among others. The station itself is a stand that holds the bike while the rider works on it.