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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beautify Fort Thomas... with Bike Racks?


It can be done.


Fit Philosophie, N. Ft. Thomas Ave.
Jennifer Lynn, owner and proprietor of Fit Philosophie on North Ft. Thomas Ave., looks around Fort Thomas and sees a lot of things she likes. Local businesses (like hers) taking hold, residents getting up, out, and walking through town on summer evenings, kids staying active by taking advantage of the numerous city parks.

But she also looks around Fort Thomas and sees something missing. A dedicated cyclist, Lynn looks at Fort Thomas and sees a city without any real bike infrastructure to speak of. 

And she wants to change that.

As someone whose profession makes her an advocate for health initiatives by default, Lynn has lots of ideas about making Fort Thomas a more health-conscious community. But, for now, she’s starting small: she would like to see bike racks installed at strategic points throughout the city.

But not just any bike racks. Bike racks that serve both a functional and aesthetic purpose. Taking her cue from an initiative launched by ArtWorks Cincinnati’s Queen City Art Racks, Lynn would like to begin by commissioning an artist to design a bike rack that would also act as an art installation and add to Fort Thomas’s beauty. 

Art Rack outside Coffee Emporium in Over-the-Rhine (via ArtWorksCincinnati.org)

Lynn would like the first art rack to go in front of her fitness studio, and then envisions other local businesses following suit in order to provide bike rack stations at other popular spots around town. 

“This will be a great starting point for future, larger-scale health initiatives in Fort Thomas,” Lynn explained. More accessible bike racks throughout town, she continued, would also foster community building and encourage bike culture in the city, two things for which Lynn has seen a recent increase in demand.

Lynn has chosen to embark upon this project independent of ArtWorks involvement, and is currently recruiting local artists to design the first of Fort Thomas’s art racks. She hopes to see the first rack installed by Spring 2014. 

The biggest challenge Lynn has met so far, she says, is establishing a place for this project in the city’s already busy development and planning schedules. Along with seeking (and needing) city involvement with installing bike racks on city streets or sidewalks, Lynn is also currently exploring funding options.

“All in all,” Lynn summarized, “I really want to get this going!  Building bike culture like this would not only increase the appeal of Fort Thomas to health-minded people, but it would also help encourage us all to get out and stay active.”

If you are interested in getting involved in Jennifer Lynn’s Fort Thomas bike rack project, she asks that you not hesitate to contact her by email here.

3 comments:

  1. Go Jennifer Lynn! Great to see that you are trying to do this! Bike racks would be wonderful.

    Best of luck!

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  2. Agreed! I have been thinking about starting a group of bicyclists together to push Fort Thomas to be more bike friendly and eventually think about installing bike lanes. Even bike racks would be a very welcome change. Great idea!

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  3. Christopher DeinleinJuly 19, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    I would love to aid in any sort of bicycle advocacy effort. I must say, though, that I find Fort Thomas to be surprisingly bicycle-friendly in terms of how drivers treat cyclists for the most part. I am rarely honked at, given the bird, or "brushed" by passing cars within the city limits. I'm sure there are still a group of citizens who feel that roadways are meant solely for automobiles, but every community has their own share of mis-informed. I think Jennifer's idea of strategically placed bike racks would be a great idea and making our city even more bike-friendly in terms of providing a cycling destination would be a great way to help develop business.

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