Bicycle racks debut all over Park City | ParkRecord.com

Bicycle racks debut all over Park City

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Park City bicyclists need not look for the nearest chain-link fence to lock their bikes to anymore.

The should instead search for the green-colored bicycle racks that City Hall is installing in 30 places in Park City, part of the local government’s efforts to promote bicycling as an alternate to driving. The city recently bought the bike racks. They are shaped like bicycles.

Matt Twombly, a Park City official who is assigned to pedestrian and bicycling issues, says the installations were scheduled to be finished soon. The crews were assigned to place them in spots including:

The skateboard park at City Park

The Park City Library and Education Center

The softball diamond at City Park

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The China Bridge garage

A walkway connecting Main Street and Swede Alley on the 400 block of Main Street

The Racquet Club

"People will be more apt to ride their bike if there is somewhere to put their bike" that is secure, Twombly says.

Many of the locations did not have bicycle racks. Those that did had styles that did not work as well as the new ones, he says.

He says it is "almost a necessity" to lock a bicycle to a rack if the rider is going indoors after riding the bike to the building. Each of the racks can hold four bicycles.

Twombly says City Hall’s pedestrian committee and the Share the Road group that promotes bicycling previously discussed installing new bicycle racks. He says the older types of racks are not as safe since only a front or rear tire could be secured.

"We needed not only more bike racks but a better bike (rack)," Twombly says.

The installations come as City Hall and activists promote Park City as a place friendly to pedestrians, bicyclists and others not driving cars. The local government plans to invest $15 million from a voter-authorized bond in upgrades like pedestrian-bicyclist tunnels.

The city, though, bought the racks with money already set aside for trails work, Twombly says, adding he expects City Hall to order additional racks later in 2008.

"There’s definitely a need and a desire of citizens to have them," he says.

The racks were installed at about the same time as someone lost an expensive mountain bike to thieves. The Park City Police Department says someone stole a $6,000 bike manufactured by Trek. It was reported missing from a vendor area in Prospector during a mountain-biking conference.

Meanwhile, the Police Department indicates someone stole two mountain bikes from racks at the Racquet Club on June 26. The thefts were reported at 4:48 p.m. and 5:01 p.m. The police say the two bikes were not locked.

Still, Carolyn Frankenburg, who promotes bicycling with the activist group Share the Road, is pleased with the installations, saying places to secure bicycles are needed as the Park City area continues growing.

"I wouldn’t go anywhere and leave my bike unlocked. It’s getting too big. There are just too many people. It’s not the small town we once had," says Frankenburg, who also served on a City Hall committee that suggested how the $15 million from the bond should be spent.

Frankenburg says the racks continue the local efforts to ease traffic by making Park City simpler to navigate for those not driving cars. She says they should be seen as complements to wider work City Hall is undertaking, such as improvements to sidewalks and other pedestrian-bicyclist routes.

"That’s what people want. They want to get out of their cars," she says.

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