Cycles for Change
, a nonprofit bike shop, celebrated its expansion along University Avenue in St. Paul.
The shop, which has been around since 2001, strives to increase bike access for low-income and underserved populations in the surrounding neighborhoods, according to its website.
It has grown a lot over the past few years, and it needed more space to accommodate that, according to development and outreach director Jason Tanzman.
To carry that out, recently the shop, which was formerly known as the Sibley Bike Depot, received a $30,000 grant from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative
As a part of the project, the shop added 600 square feet to its existing 3,000 square feet, he says.
Through the project, the administrative area and workshop (where customers can work on their bikes), got more space, he says. The retail section moved to the storefront area while the walls got a fresh coat of paint and the floors were refinished.
The shop has also been able to get improved signage for better street-level visibility, which is especially important considering the challenges of Central Corridor
light rail transit line construction, he says.
Prior to the expansion, the bike shop was a bit out of the way in the building, he says.
Besides the phsyical changes, the place was able to increase its retail hours.
All in all, the changes “enhance our ability to be a community organization and promote biking as a way to get around in combination with public transit," he says.
Despite the momentum around biking right now, it can still be cost-prohibitive, especially for minorities and low-income people. “We need a level of intentionality about it so it’s not an upper-middle-class white thing, and that we’re able to expand the circle of who has access,” he says.
Source: Jason Tanzman, development and outreach director, Cycles for Change
Writer: Anna Pratt