Don't forget to 'tip' the valet

Pilot program hopes to get people out of their cars and onto their bikes in Huntington Beach.

July 08, 2010

Huntington Beach is looking to alleviate traffic downtown during the peak season and reduce air pollution by making it easy for residents to park their bikes.

The Surf City Bike Valet Program will give everyone the opportunity to valet a bicycle for free while enjoying the downtown on the weekends. The pilot program is expected to debut July 16 and be open every weekend and on Tuesdays for Surf City Nights.

Director of Economic Development Stanley Smalewitz said the service will make biking downtown easy and convenient — and hopefully encourage more people to ditch their cars for two wheels.


"It just makes sense during the summer season to try it out," he said, adding, "If it turns out to be a success ... then we'll try to make it a regular thing."

The program is one of the city's green strategies, said Nova Punongbayan, assistant project manager. The program will use two parking spaces at Fifth Street and Walnut Avenue and will be able to accommodate more than 100 bikes.

The valet service is funded by the Air Quality Management District, which dedicates money to address air pollution.

The city is contracting with the same valet service that services Duke's restaurant for a "nominal fee," but the exact amount is still being negotiated, Punongbayan said.

On Surf City Nights, the program will be run by the Boys & Girls Club for donations to the organization.

The program is expected to be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, but as a pilot program, the times are subject to change, Punongbayan said.

For more information, call (714) 536-5582.

--Britney Barnes

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