Bike to the Books
New Orleans has always been a good place to ride a bike, and not just because there isn’t a hill in sight. But, recently, biking in New Orleans has become safer thanks in part to the City’s bicycle network of more than 120 miles of shared-use pathways, protected bike lanes, and traditional bikeways. In addition to the increased bikeways, the City has begun the installation of 485 new bike racks throughout New Orleans. As bicycle ridership continues to grow, the Library is actively developing ways to support bike culture through its own initiatives and through a growing partnership with Bike Easy, a local bicycle education and advocacy organization.
Bike Lock Check Out
Library staff regularly noticed people having to leave their bikes unlocked outside when they would visit the Library; and, with bikes serving as so many people’s primary method of transportation, the staff knew something needed to be done.
All 15 Library locations have bike locks for daily check out. The bike locks are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are only to be used on Library bike racks.
Bike Easy Workshops
The Library will continue to offer trainings with Bike Easy on bicycle safety and rules as well as how to properly maintain bikes, including how to repair flat tires and maximize comfort while riding.
Fix It Stations
Bike Easy has installed two Fix-It Stations at the Main Library, Martin Luther King Library, Norman Mayer Library, and Nora Navra Library. Fix-It Stations are free 24-hour public access repair stations located outside of libraries. The stations have a stand and complete set of tools to allow for tightening seats, adjusting brakes, or changing a flat tire. The stations also have a durable air pump with a gauge to ensure tires are properly inflated.
Blue Bikes Hubs
Adding to the bike landscape is the bike share program Blue Bikes. The program, which is a partnership between the City of New Orleans and Social Bicycles and is sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, launched last year and offers a convenient way to bike around the city. The Alvar Library, Nora Navra Library, and Main Library all have Blue Bike hubs near their locations. The Main Library is consistently one of the top 10 most used hubs in the Blue Bike system with around 800 trips beginning or ending there monthly.