Parking it with a chain and kickstand

Daily Pilot

The Costa Mesa Green Task Force, business and community members on Wednesday celebrated the installation of a bike rack outside a 17th Street restaurant.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the first of many bike racks the task force is hoping to install throughout the city.

"It's going to make it easier for people to come here and have a safe place to lock their bikes," said Joe Bard, co-owner of Banzai Bowls, the restaurant adjacent to the new bike rack.

The rack not only will make it easier for those who ride their bikes to find a space to park them, but it encourages more people to get out of their cars and enjoy a bike ride, said City Commissioner Jim Fitzpatrick, a member of the task force.

"We want this to inspire action," he said.

The goal is to get business owners that see the benefits of having bike racks behind the idea of installing more of them in town.

Bard said he was able to persuade the owner of the shopping center to pay for the rack's installation after showing him the damage done to the building when bikes were propped against the wall.

Two Wheels One Planet, a bike store that held a bike to work event on Saturday, provided the rack at a reasonable price, Fitzpatrick said.

The next step for the task force is to work with the city on providing safe routes for bicyclists.

Evan Little, who founded the task force to encourage bikeability, walkability and skateability, said bike routes follow the busiest and most dangerous streets in Costa Mesa. Working to provide safer routes is likely to encourage more people to ride. The city is working on creating bike-route maps and plans to distribute them to schools and the community.

Ed Fawcett, president and chief executive officer of the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce, attended the event. He said the bike rack will attract bike riders to businesses, and it's a pathway toward beautifying the city and making 17th Street more pedestrian-friendly.

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