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Posted on Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

'Bike cage' inside downtown Ann Arbor parking garage will provide new option for bicycle commuters

By Ryan J. Stanton


The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority is planning to spend $30,000 to design, fabricate and install a so-called "bike cage" accommodating about 45 to 50 bicycles inside the Maynard parking garage.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The option of commuting by bicycle to downtown Ann Arbor is about to get a little more attractive with a new secured bicycle storage area on its way to the Maynard parking garage.

The Downtown Development Authority is planning to spend $30,000 to design, fabricate and install a so-called "bike cage" accommodating about 45 to 50 bicycles.

Downtown employees who already have go!passes will be able to bicycle to work and rent spaces in the new storage facility for a yet-to-be-determined price.


Two bicycles locked to a bike hoop in downtown Ann Arbor. Pretty soon bicycle commuters will have the option of using a new locked and secured "bike cage" inside the Maynard parking garage.

Ryan J. Stanton |

DDA officials hope to replicate the concept in other downtown parking garages to greatly expand the amount of covered and protected downtown bicycle parking spaces.

"It's clearly needed in the area," said DDA Treasurer Roger Hewitt. "So I think this is an excellent use of our funds and a good pilot project."

The DDA in the past has funded a wide variety of bicycle-related projects, including the installation of about 1,000 bicycle hoops downtown.

But officials say the demand for covered bicycle parking is growing and already has exceeded the amount of bike lockers and covered bike hoops in the State/Liberty Street area.

The new bike cage — a fenced-in unit that operates with a locking system — is expected to take the place of two automobile parking spaces inside the Maynard garage.

Nancy Shore, manager of the local getDowntown program, is planning to integrate the new option into the getDowntown menu of services.

"For many downtown employees, their bicycle is their primary means of transportation by choice — they invest in a quality bicycle and they want to keep it in good shape," she said.

The getDowntown program is expected to work with the DDA to establish an appropriate rental amount. Funds will be directed back to the DDA as partial reimbursement for the lost automobile parking revenues, while getDowntown will get a cut to manage the bike cage.

DDA board member John Mouat said Barracuda Networks, a high-tech company in the process of moving to Maynard Street from Depot Street, could lease half the spaces.

"At this point, what we're hearing is that Barracuda alone has up to 25 people who are interested in this thing, so that's pretty good," he said.

DDA officials say they've provided about a half-dozen bike lockers in the State Street area, as well as bike hoops within the Maynard garage, but demand for covered spaces far exceeds supply.

For those commuting regularly by bicycle, DDA officials say, the future Maynard bike cage will offer them a guaranteed parking space that is secured from the elements.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Sandra Samons

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Does this mean that Ann Arbor will be inventing the concept of a bike cage? Otherwise, why all the money to design one? Why not use an existing design that is being used successfully elsewhere and save taxpayers a chunk of money? I think the concept is good, but I don't see why it has to cost $30,000. Beyond ridiculous.

Ron Granger

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

Clearly you have expertise to contribute on bicycle cage engineering and development. I am certain the city would love to receive your detailed proposal on a more cost-effective solution.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

The DDA is asking if there are any features you'd like to see


Tue, Oct 9, 2012 : 2:05 a.m.

The motorcycle parking that was eliminated by the new parking garage under the library lot.


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 3:55 p.m.

Making "bike cages" a Let Me Google That for You link is really unprofessional. Typically, that website is used to insult someone who is asking a question they should just google (it's not a nice thing to do then, either). But putting that kind of link in an article is just unprofessional. Either make it a link to a page that actually explains what a bike cage is, or remove the link.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

I just found this page, so I changed the link to this:

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

I assure you it wasn't meant as an insult. Hopefully it's helpful in bringing up a wide range of pages on bike cages. I didn't find one that jumped out at me as the be-all end-all bike cage page, so I thought the Google results would be more helpful.

Dog Guy

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

I was disappointed to read that the "bike cage" is only for their bicycles.


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

I've seen these cages in Europe, particularly at transit or train stops. They seem to be well-used and can be made to be colorful and attractive.


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

How about a "FREE BIKE" that will make my commute easier! (a Mountain Bike please) Please look at the picture of the two bikes locked up on the street with this story. Ann Arbor is the "ART CITY" but those bikes sure make the street look ugly to me. Where are the "artists" who whine about ugly buildings now? Lets ban bike parking on the streets to save our beautiful city streets!

Phillip Farber

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

Any excuse to bash bicycles. Those bikes parked at the hoops mean fewer cars taking up "your" parking space.

Richard Carter

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

And ban any cars (which are far more prevalant and larger) which "we" (by some definition of "we") find to be ugly?


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 12:02 p.m.

They are planning to RENT the spaces, so presumably the cost will be recouped. It does make sense to start where there is a known market (Barracuda).


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

Sure, the city ALWAYS recoups all the costs related to public transportation. It's what AATA is known for.


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 11:25 a.m.

And so convenient to Barracuda. What a coincidence.

Ron Granger

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

Brad, have you noticed that they build parking garages downtown because - wait for it - that is where the businesses, people, and demand are?


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 11:21 a.m.

At $600 per space the DDA lives up to its reputation of spending like a sailor on leave...Ann Arbor ranks # 1 in many areas including beauracrats who love to spend our tax money everywhere but where it counts...

Phillip Farber

Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Huh? $600/bike space vs. $50,000/car space and you're complaining? Oh, right, bikes don't "count."


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

I'm in no way a fan of the DDA, you are referring to the cost to construct the bike cage. Assume that the cost will be recovered from rental and GoPass revenues.