Tacoma businesses and bicyclists are expected to be among the winners in a U.S. Department of Transportation grant of $70,000 and matching funds from the City of Tacoma and Pierce Transit. Neighborhood councils also contributed to the project.

Public Works crews are using the money to install bike racks in business districts, parks, community centers and other public areas. The project, which is expected to be completed by the end of this month, was approved by the City Council three years ago. Its objective is to encourage alternate modes of travel.

The racks will be installed near businesses and public areas with access to bus routes. Pierce Transit estimates 270 people a day now mix bus and bike travel.

“The bike racks are small and subtle,” says Steve Brown, vice president of the Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club, “but they make a big difference. It’s nice to know that if you take your bike on the bus to work and want to use it afterwards, you will have a place to park it whether you are going to the downtown library or eating dinner in Old Town.”

He says bike racks are a great way to facilitate what he refers to as mixed-up centers—places where people do business.

The City has allocated $175,000 over six years for various other improvements that serve the needs of bicyclists. This year, improvements will include bike-lane markings on segments of Alder, Stevens and Vassault streets, Union and Jackson avenues and Narrows Drive.