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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fort Collins' Mayor Hutchinson Defends Bike Library

In a copyrighted story in the Loveland Reporter-Herald Dec. 30, 2008 Anthony Bowe wrote about Tom Coburn, Republican Sentator from Oklahoma who listed the Fort Collins Bike Library as one of the most wasteful federal projects in 2008. Mayor Hutchinson is quoted as saying:

“I was surprised that he would pick out something like that, . . . . I don’t think it’s a waste. It’s in the DNA in a lot of people in Fort Collins. This is a very modest amount of money, and it really adds to the quality of the bicycle environment in Fort Collins.”

You tell 'em, Mayor.

Indeed, the City spent nothing on the Bike Library, the Downtown Development Authority provided $15,000 in matching funds and free rent on the Bike Library Kiosk in Old Town Square and local businesses provided $17,000 of in-kind donations to operate it. The feds, through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program povided $132,000 over two years.

Estimates vary but with 70% of Library users from out of town, authorities believe that the program has brought the community several hundred thousand dollars of publicity and tourism dollars in its first year of operation.

The Library is operated primarily by volunteers through the Fort Collins Bike Co-op and Bike Fort Collins and though winter hours have been cut back significantly, the library will expand operations in the spring of 2009 with a fleet of about 220 bicycles.

Visit the Bike Library web site by clicking here.

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