Photo by STEVE LEWIS/HeraldSean McLain grabs his bike from the new bike rack in front of Carver Brewing Co. after getting off work at the restaurant Tuesday afternoon. The rack was installed by the city of Durango and takes up a single parking space. "I think it's fantastic," he said. The number of bikes on the sidewalk "was kind of a cluster, and this offers a lot more space," he said.
"I just love it," said Aaron Seitz, one of five partners in Carver's. "Cars that park here generally have one person. We can get 14 bikes in the same space. "People will say, 'It takes up a parking space,'" Seitz said. "But, really, we gained 13 parking spots."
Mike Hurst, another Carver's partner, recalled the literal stacks of bicycles - 15 wide maybe - that occasionally clutter the sidewalk and pose a liability if they fell against the front window of the establishment. "I hatched the idea and talked to Amber Blake, the city's multi-modal coordinator, about a bike rack months ago," Hurst said. "If we take a progressive approach and accommodate more bicycles, there will be more space for vehicles."
The city will hold a ribbon- cutting at 5 p.m. Friday, Blake said. Mayor Michael Rendon will do the honors. The public is invited, she said. The bike parking project was a joint effort between Carver's and the city, Blake said. Each put up half of the $2,500 cost. A parking space produces $1,500 a year in revenue, Blake said. Because the 14-space rack is scheduled to come out before the snow flies, the city will be out about $1,000 in revenue. The rack will be installed again in the spring.
"This was a pilot project, but there could be other such projects," Blake said. "The city could devise a bicycle-parking guide or a business with heavy bike traffic could propose something similar to Carver's." The city will never force such an agreement on a business, Blake said.