Area bikeshare study seeks community feedback

Public meetings set for Nov. 8

An organization is seeking public input on the feasibility of a program in Lake Charles and Sulphur where residents could rent bicycles that are docked at different locations.

Residents can give feedback on the Bayou Bikeshare Plan at www.bayoubikeshare.com/community-input. They can place markers for potential bike-share stations using an interactive map, leave comments on the location and take a survey.

The effort was organized by Bantam Strategy Group, a Baton Rouge-based organization hired by the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana to determine if a bike-share program would work for Lake Charles, Sulphur and McNeese State University.

Two public meetings are also scheduled Nov. 8. The first is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at McNeese’s Holbrook Student Union; the second is 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Civic Center Jean Lafitte Room.

Lori Marinovich, Lake Charles assistant planning director, said tourists could use a bike-share program to view different areas of the city, like the downtown historic district. McNeese students could use bike-share stations to get around campus easier.

Because the city’s transit system is a fixed-based route, she said bike-shares may help residents who are dropped off one mile or more from work.

“A bike-share can help those gaps in transportation access,” Marinovich said.

Marinovich said public feedback is important because each city’s bike-share program is customized to fit its needs.

“We want to know what our community wants to see and how it would be connected,” she said.

Lindsey West, Bantam Strategy Group president and CEO, said in a news release that the input from the website and meetings will be used to come up with a final bike-share plan for the region.

The Bayou Bikeshare Plan is a partnership between the city of Lake Charles, city of Sulphur, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Juliet Hardtner Fund of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana.

For more, visit the Bayou Bikeshare Facebook page.


Online: bayoubikeshare.com””Bike Share graphic