Appleton installs bike corral downtown

A bike corral is seen along College Ave. in Appleton, May 13, 2014. (WLUK/Chad Doran)

APPLETON - Appleton is rolling along with its long-term plan of becoming more bicycle-friendly.

The city opened a bike corral downtown Tuesday morning.

City leaders say it will draw more people downtown.

And it may mean you will see more bicyclists riding on College Ave.

"If you know there is a spot here that has parking for up to 10 bikes, and it's convenient to coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses, it's a great attraction for people to come downtown," said Rob Gusky with the Fox Cities Cycling Association.

And that's exactly why Mayor Tim Hanna says it's good for downtown.

"It's a minimal investment by the city to create something bigger and that is a place where, it doesn't matter how you get here, come on down here," said Hanna.

The city is testing the idea in a six-month pilot project. The bike corral was installed in place of a metered parking stall in front of Harmony Café at College and Durkee.

The $1,700 bike corral was paid for through private donations and with help from organizations like Appleton Downtown, Inc. and Goodwill.

"If nobody was willing to step up and pay for it that might tell you something, but within about 10 days we were able to raise the funds," said Gusky.

But not everyone is happy with the placement. Alderman Peter Stueck isn't against the bike corral idea, but he is against having the bike corral on College Ave.

"It's a safety concern and more of a prime parking spot compared to something around on the side street. We're losing the income from that spot, so yeah I would have preferred to see it somewhere else," said Stueck.

It's one of the issues the city will look at during the pilot project meant to address a shortcoming in the downtown.

"One of the things we have lacked for so long in the downtown is a place for people to park their bikes," said Hanna.