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UI adds two new bicycle-repair stations

BY REBECCA MORIN | APRIL 16, 2013 5:00 AM

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Local cyclists will no longer have to leave the University of Iowa campus or lug around several tools in order to repair their bicycles.

The UI Department of Parking and Transportation added two new bicycle-repair stations last month.

Each station cost approximately $1,000. Both stations contain a variety of tools, including wrenches, screwdrivers, and tire pumps. UI Parking and Transportation officials tapped into their own funds to purchase the stations and decided to install them after the university received an honorable mention as a Bicycle Friendly University from the League of American Bicyclists.

Officials added the stations for a variety of reasons, said Michelle Ribble, the commuter-program manager for Parking and Transportation. They planned the development of the stations for about a year.

“About a year and half ago, the department had been contacted, and the campus started toying around with the idea,” she said. “We went through campus planning and started weighing and evaluating the need for the stations.”

The first station was installed on March 21 outside the Becker Communication Studies Building. The second station was installed around a week later, on March 29, in parking ramp 4 at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

“We tried to get a station on each side of the East Side and the West Side of campus so people have an equal opportunity,” Ribble said.

Cyclists expressed their gratitude for UI officials in providing them with a way to stay safe conveniently.

“It is really convenient and placed where a lot of people park their bikes,” said Mark Pooley, the president of the Bicycle Advocacy Committee at the UI.

George McCrory, the communications specialist in the UI Sustainability Office, said the repair stations fall in line with the university’s support for encouraging alternative transportation.

“One of the things that we encourage in the 2020 goals is to reduce carbon impact of transportation,” he said. “That is why we encourage bicycle activities and things that support riders.”

Katherine Valde, the newly elected UI Student Government president who is developing a bike-check program, believes the repair stations support biking as a transportation option on campus.

“The bike-check program is new and in the early stages of development after the election, and so we plan to seek out natural partnerships in order to develop the program to be most useful for students,” she said. “I think if these stations prove to be successful that it would be great to have more.”

Parking and Transportation officials hope to add more stations in the future.

“We just wanted to start with two stations to see if people use them and if it’s what they need to fix their bike,” Ribble said.

Pooley said cyclists are enthusiastic about the university’s support, especially in light of the university’s honorable mention as a Bicycle Friendly University from the League of American Bicyclists.

“I think the stations demonstrates a commitment from the university to help different modes of transportation,” he said. “The UI is receptive to the different ideas and listens to what cyclists have to say.”


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