After a weekend of festivities marking the opening of Millennium Park, Chicago’s newest downtown destination, Mayor Richard M. Daley today officially opened the new Millennium Park Bicycle Station located at 239 E. Randolph St.
“Today we continue building on the momentum of the park’s opening weekend by unveiling a unique amenity for bicycle enthusiasts,” Mayor Daley said. “The first of its kind in the Midwest and one of the biggest in the nation, the new Millennium Park Bicycle Station is yet another step toward our goal of making Chicago one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country.”
The Bike Station opened for service this past weekend as part of the Millennium Park grand opening. The station is located on levels 5 and 6 of the Millennium Park parking garage, at the northeast corner of the new park.
The 16,448-square-foot heated facility includes free indoor parking for 300 bikes, showers and lockers, bicycle rental and repair, and a café. The Chicago Police Lakefront Bicycle Patrol Unit is also stationed in the facility.
The $3.1 million bicycle station serves not only bike commuters and recreational bicyclists, but also runners and inline skaters. It is the nation’s first bicycle parking commuter station serving a major event venue (Millennium Park) and multi-model transit center (Metra’s Randolph Street station and the McCormick Place Busway connect to the Millennium Park garage).
Bicycle parking spaces are available free of charge. Cyclists can pay a small fee to use the locker rooms and showers with bike parking. Other amenities include bicycle rental, snack bar, an internet station and guided bike tours. Monthly and annual memberships are also available.
In keeping with the Bike Station’s environmentally friendly mission, the Bike Station features 120 solar panels that generate 6.5 percent of the electricity needed to run this facility.
Joining the Mayor for the ribbon-cutting of the new Bicycle Station were Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Miguel d’Escoto; Chicago Park District General Superintendent Timothy Mitchell; Rob Sadowsky, Executive Director of the Chicago Bike Federation; Montel Gayles, Executive Director of the Public Building Commission; Matt Tobias, Commander of Special Operations for the Chicago Police Department; and Ald. Burton Natarus (42nd).
“In addition to furthering bicycling education and advocacy, the City of Chicago has also continued to invest in infrastructure and facilities that make bicycling easier and more convenient,” d’Escoto said.
“The addition of this full service bicycle station is a wonderful complement to Millennium Park,” d’Escoto added. “The facility and its amenities encourage cyclists to bike downtown without compromising parking needs or comfort.”
Chicago has earned an international reputation for promoting and improving bicycling, and in 2001, Bicycling magazine named Chicago the best large city in North America for bicycling.
Funding for the project came from a federal grant program designated for projects to ease traffic congestion and improve air quality. The project cost was $3.1 million. All funds came from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program.
For more information about the Millennium Park Bicycle Station, call 1-888-BIKEWAY (245-3929) or visit chicagobikestation.com.