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Will Rogers Park Use Menu Funds to Beef Up Its Divvy Network?

Howard Street
Biking on Howard Street in Rogers Park. Photo: Eric Rogers

Next year, Chicago will expand Divvy bike-share from 300 stations to 475 or possibly 550 stations, and Rogers Park residents are excited about the news that far north side neighborhoods will get at least 15 stations in 2014.

Melissa Manak is a member of the 49th Ward's bikes and transit committee for the participatory budgeting process, where residents get to choose how to spend the $1 million in menu money allocated to each ward. She told Streetsblog she wants even more bike-share stations:

Rogers Park is a neighborhood that has been car-oriented for many years and with increasing population, Divvy can become the easy and alternative mode of transportation. Our neighborhood has so many great businesses that haven’t been connected to each other. Divvy will allow us to explore our already awesome neighborhood. While our bike committee has not met yet, I have every intention to put Divvy stations on our ballot.

Manak riding a bike-share bike in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Melissa Manak.

Using menu funds to add more Divvy stations should be doable. Several wards have already used menu money to provide the local match the city needed to obtain federal funds for Divvy installation. The participatory budgeting committee would be charged $56,000 for one station or $53,000 per station if they request more than one.

Sean Wiedel, assistant commissioner at the Chicago Department of Transportation, said that the agency will "have a good idea of the service area expansion" in December.

CDOT will again use the station suggestion website developed by the software division of Streetsblog's parent organization, OpenPlans. The website is currently functional, but Wiedel said it will be "relaunched" next month with new data layers and be linked directly from the Divvy website.

Dozens of bike-share stations were suggested for the neighborhood last year when CDOT was soliciting suggestions. Those include 18 votes for a bike-share station at Howard Red Line train station, and a brand-new suggestion for Leone Park. Rogers Park stations will be important to create a usable network between Evanston, which has proposed eight stations, and Chicago's far north side neighborhoods.

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