GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - A group dedicated to making Green Bay more bicycle friendly is opening up a Community Bicycle Shop. Local 5's Kris Schuller reports those behind it say the city is ready to embrace the new concept.
Outside of a small garage on Green Bay's Westside - advocates for increasing bicycle use in the city gather to celebrate the realization of dream.
“It's an awesome project, very cool, very urban, very millennial, it's where the city is going,” said Mayor Jim Schmitt.
Friday morning the Green Bay Bicycle Collective unveiled plans to open a Community Bicycle Shop in this city-owned garage. Offering services like refurbished bikes, teaching people how to repair bikes, even creating an earn-a-bike program.
“This is a wonderful idea, wonderful for our kids, for us and especially for the community,” said Sonja Rivera, a neighbor who lives near the shop.
“Children can come in who don't have a bike, learn safety, learn bike maintenance, pride of ownership and they can earn a bike,” said Heather Gentry, the group’s president.
It's an idea that Gentry says has been in the works for six years. Another step in the group’s efforts to remove barriers to bike ownership, while building up the bicycle culture - steadily growing in Green Bay.
“In the last three years I've seen it almost double,” said Jason Lesage, a volunteer mechanic. “I've lived in Madison and Minneapolis and I just see it going in that direction.”
“As Green Bay moves forward, becomes more bike friendly and walkable, more people are in need of bikes who can't necessarily afford them,” Gentry said.
Green Bay's police chief says the Community Bike Shop will also create a safer neighborhood.
“I can't imagine kids in this bike shop getting into any trouble while they're here working on bikes with pals or fixing bikes out in the neighborhoods,” said Chief Smith.
Hours of operation will be limited this year as the group works towards renovating the building. Starting next spring, it should be open a couple days each week.
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