Support gathering for Grayslake bike sharing plan
A plan to introduce a bicycle sharing program in Grayslake similar to Chicago's Divvy bikes will be submitted next week to the Regional Transit Authority to be considered for funding.
The plan calls for bike sharing stations to be installed at five locations around Grayslake to encourage residents, commuters and College of Lake County students to ditch their cars and borrow a bike, according to Daniel Buranosky, a CLC student sustainability intern.
"We're envisioning this as a phase one," Buranosky said. "Ideally, we'll set this up in more villages after we find out what this one does. Our goal is to be all over Lake County."
Buranosky and David Husemoller, sustainability manager at CLC, developed the plan and have met with stakeholders the last year to gather support.
Husemoller said when they submit a plan it will have the village of Grayslake, the park district, the Lake County Department of Transportation, the Lake County Forest Preserve District and CLC as sponsors or co-sponsors.
"This is the kind of project that you want partners on," Husemoller said. "Besides, it meets all these goals of the college, it meets countywide goals, it meets village goals."
Buranosky and Husemoller have been in contact with a company called Zagster, which manages bike sharing programs elsewhere. Unlike Divvy bikes, which are supposed to be ridden from one station to another, the bikes Zagster provides don't have to be returned to a dock. Husemoller said the company has trackers on the bikes so they can be picked up and relocated.
"I don't think this would work on our own; Zagster won't want to just install one dock on campus," Husemoller said. "But if we have the forest preserve and the village and park district, that's different."
They don't know exactly where they would install the initial five bike stations, but Buranosky said they would likely want one at CLC, another at the Washington Street Metra station, one in the village's downtown and another near the beginning of a forest preserve trail. Each station will have five bikes.
Husemoller said they will be able to use the data they gather in the first years of bike sharing to justify expanding it elsewhere in the county.
One group that might especially benefit from the bike sharing plan is the 140 or so international CLC students, who Husemoller said often don't have cars to get around.
Husemoller said Buranosky first mentioned his desire to make bicycling more available throughout the county when they first met during his interview last September. Buranosky has been doing most of the work writing the grant.
The plan will be submitted to the RTA by Aug. 31. They are seeking $150,000 over three years, which Husemoller said will mostly fund the program.
Those who are interested in writing letters of support for the plan can write Husemoller at email@example.com.