Reading City Council vote moves velodrome project forward

$20M indoor cycling arena set for Albright land

READING, Pa. - Reading City Council unanimously voted Monday night to allow an opened bed of Richmond Street, between Moss and North 10th streets, to be used for an indoor cycling arena project.

Managing Director Glenn Steckman said the opened bed is not currently being used for anything.

In April, Albright College and the World Cycling League announced plans to build a $20 million indoor cycling track on a seven-acre site that is owned by the college behind the Wawa convenience store on Rockland Street.

The 2,500-seat cycling arena will be the first of its kind on the East Coast and only the second in the entire country. Officials have forecasted that the venue will generate more than $30 million per year in spending from 50,000 out-of-town visitors and will create more than 160 direct and indirect jobs.

Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz said she doesn't think that people realize the economic impact of this project.

"I'm really excited about what this is going to bring to the city. I will say that we're going to need to become duly mindful of what it's like to be a bike-friendly community," Goodman-Hinnershitz said.

Council members also praised organizers of the inaugural Reading Radsport Festival, held for both professional and amateur cyclists this past weekend.

The 2.2 mile race began on Duryea Drive and ended near the William Penn Memorial Tower on Skyline Drive atop Mount Penn.

"It was a really nice turnout. It was a nice thing for Reading. The Reading Rec Commission did a wonderful job preparing it and getting a lot of people to attend," Councilman Brian Twyman said. "I think it's the kind of representation that I would like to continue to see that Reading can provide."

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Reading Recreation Commission and other local organizations.

In other business, Second Deputy Fire Chief Thomas J. Rehr was sworn in.

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