VIRGINIA BEACH — With the installation of some special bike racks, getting around the ViBe Creative District is becoming even easier than it already was.
Six of the new bike racks – which literally are “ViBe” bike racks – have been targeted for completion this fall.
The project grew out of conversations concerning the ViBe Connectivity Plan and is intended to improve access to the area.
“From the city’s perspective, the goal is to make the ViBe Creative District, and Virginia Beach Resort Area as a whole for that matter, more bicycle friendly,” said Emily Archer, senior planner/urban designer with the city’s Strategic Growth Office. “That includes creating more bike lanes and paths as well as more bicycle parking areas.”
Archer said the city’s Planning and Cultural Affairs departments worked with the ViBe District to come up with a couple options for an artistic take on the city’s standard inverted “U” bike rack, looking at designs that could be implemented, replicated, and maintained easily by the city.
ViBe membership then voted on their preferred design, choosing one that is a metal rendering of the ViBe logo.
Kate Pittman, executive director of the ViBe Creative District, said the bike racks are themselves works of art that were made for the ViBe District and placed on city property to welcome people into the arts district.
“Given our proximity to Virginia Beach Middle, Oceanfront and the Virginia Beach Convention Center, as well as numerous nearby residential neighborhoods, the ViBe bike racks are in integral tool in welcoming visitors to the arts district,” Pittman said. “It’s our goal to make it convenient for people of all ages to safely store their bikes while they walk around to explore the art and creative businesses.”
The first phase, currently underway, will bring six public bike racks stations to areas leading into the arts district.
Next year additional bike rack locations will be added in conjunction with the 19th and 18th Street streetscape improvement projects.
Archer said with the coming 18th Street improvement project in the ViBe District, Cypress Avenue will have bike lanes and 18th Street will have a wider sidewalk on one side. Bike lanes are also being planned for future installation along 17th Street (Virginia Beach Boulevard) in the ViBe District.
“The new bike racks are a preemptive effort at providing more public bicycle amenities now, before major streetscape projects are completed,” Archer said.