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Longmont's New Wheels: City Employee's Bike Share Program
FROM LIVE WELL LONGMONT:
Fed up with spiking prices at the petrol pump? Want to ditch the car, reduce your carbon footprint, and add more fresh air and exercise into your day, too? You’re not alone. The City of Longmont feels your pain, and has launched a Bike Share Program for City employees. The small pilot program allows city employees the opportunity to check out bikes to ride between campuses, or for short errands, such as at lunchtime.
There are significant benefits to commuting by bike, especially when it comes to running short errands; it’s no wonder these environmentally friendly programs are sweeping the country. Cyclists who take advantage of bike-share systems can save money, offset emissions, and burn calories, all in one. What’s more, such a combination can’t help but reap rewards in the form of less stress, a little added exercise, and greater happiness, too.
Made possible by the City of Longmont Wellness Program, a fleet of 13 B-Cycle bikes are now stationed at several City facilities, available for employees to borrow during regular working hours. Each bike is equipped with a basket, a bell, a lock, front and rear lights, and an adjustable seat. Adjustable helmets are also provided…and required. Longmont’s choice to take measures to ensure bicycle safety is commendable, and perhaps trendsetting, too. According to a recent study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, only a tiny minority of bike-share bicyclists in the cities of Boston and Washington wear helmets. The study’s author, emergency room doctor Christopher Fischer, concluded that as bike share programs become more popular, efforts to increase helmet usage among riders will surely increase.
Routine maintenance will be performed on the bikes, so all you need is a pre-ride check, and you’ll be ready to go. "We're very excited about our employee bike share program, and the way it encourages healthy living and a clean environment, which the City supports," says Erin Fosdick, a Senior Planner with the Economic Development Department and part of an informal committee of City employees who undertook the effort of building and launching the program. Fosdick says there is interest in exploring the potential of a larger bike share program in Longmont for the future. So far, the outlook is promising. "During our first month, we've already logged about 250 miles!" Fosdick shares.