Cycle: Maricopa County Tables Plans for Downtown Bicycle Cellar

Plans to place a Bicycle Cellar bike station in the long vacant ground floor of the historic Security Building now appear to be all but dead despite gaining initial approval from the Maricopa County Facilities Resource Panel back in January.

"Unfortunately, the Bike Cellar project has in fact been cancelled," said Jonce Walker, Maricopa County Sustainability Manager and shepherd of the project for the county.

The project was not included in the 2012-13 fiscal year tentative budget, which was approved by the county Board of Supervisors on May 21. The final budget is scheduled to be adopted on June 18.

Funding for the project was to be found through federal transportation and sustainability grants applied for by Maricopa County in conjunction with the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). The station would then be managed and operated by Bicycle Cellar, similar to the relationship Cellar has with the City of Tempe for its location in the Tempe Transportation Center, with the county receiving rent back from Bicycle Cellar.

However, according to Maricopa County Communications Director Cari Gerchick the project never advanced beyond the conceptual level so technically there was not a project to be cancelled.

"The bike station business plan never was formally fleshed out and the project didn't get past the idea phase," said Gerchick. "Any proposal would need substantive evaluation and a sound business plan including how much money MAG would provide in order to be considered for review by the board."

The owners of Bicycle Cellar declined to comment.

The Bicycle Cellar station would have occupied a portion of the street-front space in the Security Building on the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Van Buren, across from the Van Buren Transit Center.

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