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A Roslindale Village Main Street and Street Ops Collaboration

Street Ops, a collective of urban planners, designers and urbanists, and Roslindale Village Main Street have teamed up to bring a custom bicycle parking corral to Roslindale Village. The public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting celebration outside Fornax Bread Company on Monday, June 6th at 6:00 pm that will open the corral up to public use and celebrate the completion of a year’s worth of efforts and advocacy. Following the ribbon cutting guests are welcome to meet for an informal gathering and drinks at Sophia’s Grotto, 22R Birch Street in Roslindale Village.

The idea of building a custom corral for Roslindale Village was hatched almost a year and a half ago. RVMS brought together neighborhood stakeholders who had been advocating for a corral with Street Ops, who was scouting locations to do a corral demonstration project.  Residents and business owners of the Village, with the support of City Councilor Tim McCarthy, participated in working groups, site walks, and public meetings to discuss the lack of bike parking and evaluate opportunities for siting a corral.

The bike corral is funded by a grant from the Boston Society of Architects Foundation, and elements of the corral and ribbon-cutting ceremony have been paid for by the Steve Gag Fund, set up by RVMS for bike-related efforts in the neighborhood.

“The businesses in our neighborhood are eager for more customers -- especially visitors from outside of Roslindale. More people are biking to our community to shop and go out to eat. If we continue to build our district around the needs of car drivers, we ignore a growing population that is eager to spend money in our local businesses. This bike corral will allow multiple bikes to safely stay in a spot that cars weren't even allowed to park in -- what a win,” shares Executive Director Christina DiLisio. 

In January 2015, Street Ops, at the suggestion of then-Director of Boston Bikes Nicole Freeman, reached out to RVMS to see if they’d be interested in working together to find a site for a bike corral. The groups went on a site walk and decided on the stretch of road adjacent to the existing parklet outside Fornax Bread Company. From there, Street Ops and RVMS continued to work with Councilor McCarthy’s office as well as the new Active Transportation Director for the City of Boston, Stefanie Seskin, Program Manager for Boston Bikes, Najah Shakir, and the Director of Planning for the Boston Transportation Department, Vineet Gupta.

In order to maximize the benefit of its grant award, Street Ops decided to pursue a design that would be simple for other bike enthusiasts to replicate. They chose to use metal pipe from the hardware store as the structure and found wooden pallets to adorn the facade and create unique flower boxes. In the end they will produce a set of instructions for others who wish to replicate this corral. After months of refining the design, gathering materials, and construction Street Ops and RVMS are looking forward to making the corral available to the public.

“This project is about showing—not telling—how bikes are good for local businesses, our health, and our community,” states StreeOps Founding Director Allen Penniman.

In addition to the ribbon cutting celebration the corral will be formally dedicated to the tireless champion of bicycling Mr. George Ulrich. Ulrich was a resident of Roslindale and the co-founder of Boston Cyclists Union and Rozzie Bikes. He passed away in February from cancer.