The city of Durango added six brand-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 took a survey and found concerns about insufficient bike racks around town.
“The purpose of the project was for quick wins throughout communities to make communities more active and healthy,” said Devin King, multimodal administrator with Durango.
Durango School District 9-R Security Director Kathy Morris reached out to the city to inquire about the six bike racks for the school as part the Safe Routes to School Program. The program encourages safe, healthy options for student transportation, such as walking or biking to school, and also provides infrastructure improvements like widening sidewalks.
“We encourage our students to ride, walk or take public transportation to school,” Morris said. “That’s one of our wellness pieces for students and staff.”
According to statistics from Colorado Department of Transportation, only 18.6% of students engage in walking, biking or other forms of active transportation to and from school.
The plan is to try to replace older bike racks in the city and at schools because they are out of date. The city wants to replace the double-sided bicycle racks with inverted U racks, which King says has become the standard bike rack for efficiency.
“You’ll notice that like a lot of the older racks (double-sided racks), it can actually be pretty hard to get bikes on it,” King said. “You want two points of contact. They’re usually getting in just that front wheel and then maybe a bit of the frame versus the inverted U you can connect two points to get the back tire and the main frame.”
King said the city was on a tight deadline for the racks to be mounted. They were received just two weeks earlier and the grant called for their installation by Sept. 29.
Morris said the bikes are a perfect fit for the school given the number of students who ride to school.
“You can see bicycles locked to all kinds of fences and trees,” she said. “So this gives them an opportunity to have them in a secured area that’s high-visibility.”
The Rotary Club offered to install the bike racks if businesses wanted to purchase them, King said.