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North County's First 'Bike Corral' Comes to Carlsbad

A bike corral is a series of bike racks placed together, usually in a parking space.

When a new Board & Brew sandwich shop opened in the Tower 37 shopping center near the beach, the property owner looked at the City of Carlsbad’s new emphasis on bicycling in the Village and decided to use one parking space for a custom bike corral.

The new corral, the first in North County, has created a new hot spot in the downtown Carlsbad Village for bicyclists.

Carlsbad Deputy Transportation Director Bryan Jones said Tower 37 is a great example of a business taking advantage of the steady stream of bicyclists riding past its front door and realizing that biking means business. 

“Businesses can accommodate 14 bikes in a bike corral where a car might have one to four people in it,” Jones said. “Bike corrals are a great investment that businesses can make to improve access for all their customers.” 

The Board & Brew is a new tenant of Tower 37, which consists of a remodel of the 7-Eleven complex at the southeast corner of Oak Avenue and Carlsbad Boulevard. Besides the new sandwich shop, which opened about two months ago, Tower 37 expects to host a Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt shop beginning this summer. As property owner Jeff Rasak of Sterling Development was developing the project, the City of Carlsbad and its downtown consultant, Urban Place, launched a “Bike the Village” custom bike rack pilot program, which included the city installing 20 bicycle racks in and around the Village. This focus on bicycling gave Rasak's architectural designer, Robert Richardson of Karnak Planning & Design, the idea to install a bike corral in one of Tower 37's parking spaces. 

Carlsbad Boulevard is part of the historic Coast Highway, which has become one of the most popular bicycling routes in San Diego County, so thousands of bicyclists ride past Tower 37 every day.

 “It’s a big bicycling community,” said Rasak. “The more bike-friendly the Village becomes, the more planners can look at reducing parking requirements in the Village,” he said. The response has been fantastic, said Craig Applegate, one of the Board & Brew Village franchise’s co-owners. “It just got installed two weeks ago, and prior to that we had bikes just stacked all over the place,” Applegate said. “It’s really aesthetic, too, with the Tower 37 logo with the lifeguard tower. It’s a very nice addition to the center.” Applegate said that he has seen as many as 20 to 30 bicycles clustered at the new corral, as bicyclists pull up at Board & Brew during a break or at the end of their coastal ride. “That can be 20 or 30 less cars driving around the Village,” he said.

The City of Carlsbad contributed a $44,800 Storefront Improvement Grant to the Tower 37 project. The program is designed to help Village property owners and businesses improve their storefronts and enhance the experience of visitors patronizing the Village. Owners match the city amount dollar for dollar. However, in Tower 37's case, the owner invested much more than the required match amount of the grant to make the center even more attractive. “We’re very bullish on the Village and happy to see renewed interest in the Village,” said Rasak, whose firm also owns two other downtown properties, the Pizza Port building on Carlsbad Village Drive and the Starbucks building on Carlsbad Boulevard. More bicycle racks will be arriving downtown in the near future, as the city and Urban Place Consulting have landed a $33,000 grant from the San Diego Association of Governments to place 100 new custom bicycle racks and six bike corrals throughout northwestern Carlsbad.

–City of Carlsbad

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