People cross the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge, which connects Minto Brown Island Park to Riverfront Park (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
Salem’s largest park will soon have a station for cyclists to repair their bikes on the fly.
A bike repair station with attached tools like a pump, wrench and screwdriver will be installed in Minto Brown Island Park this summer, near the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge, which connects the park to Riverfront Park.
The project is thanks to a request from Salem’s downtown neighborhood association, the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (often called CANDO).
The association pursued the project because of the increase in traffic the park has seen due to recent improvements, and heightened interest during the pandemic.
“The Peter Courtney bridge has opened up areas of that park that really were not practically accessible for a lot of people,” said Michael Livingston, the CANDO chair.
He said locating a station near the bridge in Minto makes sense given the large number of cyclists.
“That’s an area where a lot of people, maybe even first-time riders, go out there to use those safe paths to bike on and it would be helpful to have a fix-it station there,” Livingston said.
CANDO applied for a $3,800 grant from the city to pay for the station and its installation.
It’s one of a handful of projects funded this year through the Salem Parks Improvement Fund, which was created in 2006 to give neighborhoods more of a say in their local parks.
The fund “provides an opportunity for Salem neighborhood associations to partner with the city to make improvements and provide unique amenities that increase the charm and character of their neighborhood parks for their users,” said Trevor Smith, city parks spokesman, in an email.
CANDO leaders originally wanted to put a repair station in Marion Square Park, Livingston said, but city discouraged them from doing so because of the homeless camp in the park at the time.
Livingston said in the future he hopes to work with city leaders on improvements to that park.
“It seems to me that Marion Square Park could be a key part of the development of that whole area,” he said, referring to the downtown area that formerly housed the old Union Gospel Mission and is now being re-developed by the city. “That would be a great project for us to help with that vision.”
Neighborhood associations can apply for one grant per funding cycle, typically the city’s fiscal year.
Other projects funded this year include adding information kiosks in Secor and Firecrest parks, four picnic tables at Morningside Park, improvements to walking trails in Hillview Park, a disc golf practice area and trail improvements in Brush College Park, and trail system improvements and picnic tables in Fisher Park.
Those projects will cost the city a total of $51,000, Smith said. The city council budgeted $60,000 for neighborhood-requested park improvements this year through the fund.
The bike repair station will be installed this summer when it arrives, Smith said. The city doesn’t yet have an expected date from the manufacturer.
There’s an existing bike repair station near the splash pad at Riverfront Park. Livingston said the addition of a second station will provide better coverage for some of the city’s most-used parks.
“It’s important for neighborhood associations to take advantage of the program. They have a say and what their parks look like,” he said.
Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.
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