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Santa Monica to open nation's largest bicycle parking station

November 17, 2011 | 12:36 pm

Bicyclists

The largest bicycle parking facility in the United States will open Friday morning in downtown Santa Monica, dwarfing similar stations in cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is a 5,300-square-foot facility with 360 bicycle parking spaces, a space to rent bikes, lockers, bathrooms and showers for cyclists to rinse off after a ride.

“It’s a very big deal, especially when we’re really trying to get people on bicycles more often,” said Meghan Cahill of the Washington-based League of American Bicyclists.

Cahill said there were similar stations like the McDonald’s Cycle Center in Chicago -- which offers 300 spaces -- and a station in Washington that has more than 100 spots, but none that compared to Santa Monica.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the agency provided $1.5 of the $2 million it cost to build the center.

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-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: Bicyclists cruise the streets during recent CicLAvia event. Credit: Christina House / For The Times

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