Bike safety aims to promote active transportation
The City of Durango added six new bike racks to Durango High School last week as part of a $4,189 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Ten more bike racks have been designated for parks and 12 more will be distributed to the Rotary Club of Durango Daybreak for its bike rack program. The Rotary Club responded to a survey and found concerns about the insufficient number of bike racks in the city.
“The goal of the project was to achieve quick wins in all communities to make communities more active and healthier,” said Devin King, multimodal administrator at Durango.
Durango School District 9-R Safety Director Kathy Morris contacted the city to inquire about the school’s six bike racks as part of the Safe Routes to School program. The program encourages safe and healthy options for student transportation, such as walking or cycling to school, and also provides infrastructure improvements such as widening sidewalks.
“We encourage our students to ride, walk or take public transportation to school,” Morris said. “This is one of our wellness rooms for students and staff.”
According to statistics from the Colorado Department of Transportation, only 18.6 percent of students use walking, biking, or other forms of active transportation to and from school.
The plan is to try to replace old bike racks around town and in schools because they are outdated. The city wants to replace double-sided bike racks with inverted-U bike racks, which King says have become the standard bike rack for efficiency.
“You’ll notice that like a lot of older racks (double-sided racks), it can be quite difficult to get bikes in there,” King said. “You want two points of contact. They usually only go into this front wheel and then maybe a bit of the frame from the inverted U you can connect two points to get the rear tire and main frame.
King said the city had a tight deadline for mounting the racks. They were received just two weeks earlier and the grant called for them to be installed by September 29.
Morris said the bikes are a perfect fit for school given the number of students commuting to school.
“You can see bikes tied to all kinds of fences and trees,” she said. “So that gives them the opportunity to have them in a secure area with high visibility.”
The Rotary Club offered to install the bike racks if companies wanted to buy them, King said.