Published: Feb 02, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Jan 31, 2011 07:08 PM
Randolph Lawrence of Chalice Street has an idea for the old bus transfer station near West Village: a "bicycle shelter."
"A hallmark for alternative transportation," he wrote in a recent e-mail to City Council members. "A beautiful hub for alternative transportation."
"I wanted to ask now only for your awareness of my goal," he wrote, while hinting at more to come: "It's prudent to take matters under advisement, before offering any kind of public support."
The old transfer station went out of use when the Durham Station opened on Pettigrew Street in 2009. The city is offering it - a 0.8 acre site with a 1,500-square foot building - for lease with a maximum five-year term.
In the letter, Lawrence identified himself as a representative of Bikestation, a Long Beach, Calif., company that operates facilities for bicycle riders offering such services as secure parking, bike rentals, equipment sales, a locker room and bike maintenance. Bikestation is a subsidiary of Mobis Transportation Alternatives, a "multimodal transportation" consulting firm.
Lawrence said he would ask for time to pitch the idea further at the council's Feb. 24 work session. In the meantime, his letter was passed along to bicycle-pedestrian manager Dale McKeel, who advised Lawrence to contact the city's real-estate office. In a follow-up e-mail to Shelia Huggins of the real-estate office, Lawrence wrote that he "had in mind a flagship facility under the City of Durham's aegis" rather than a business deal; but he also said that Mobis Transportation "has confirmed interest in the site."
Describing his idea, Lawrence wrote: "A bike station with safe facilities for serious sportspeople and vocational bikers too, for tourists to see the town on wheels, for professionals to facilitate daily commutes, for shoppers, families, students. It could provide safe storage for personal bikes, as well as bike rentals, Bike Sharing, space for scooters and cycles as well. It could bring neighbors in our community together.
"Wouldn't a ribbon-cutting be lovely on 'Marry Durham Day'?" [March 19.]