To help reach the gold rating, the town officially opened three new bike repair stations located at Town Commons, Libba Cotten Bikeway and Wilson Park on Saturday. The Fixit bike repair stations include several wrenches, screwdrivers and a pump, so bikers can easily make adjustments and repairs to bikes.
“It’s nice when I go on bike rides around town — if I don’t have all my stuff ready on my bike, I can just stop by and fill up my wheels and make any adjustments,” Carrboro resident Grey Hubbard said.
The grand opening on Saturday featured police-escorted bike rides for elected officials and community members and demonstrations on how to use the Fixit stations.
Tamara Sanders, manager of The Clean Machine, gave one of the demonstrations.
“Ultimately, it’s pretty clearly demonstrated that towns that are more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly have a happier population,” she said.
Carrboro Board of Aldermen member Damon Seils said local cycling club Triangle Velo donated money for the town to install one of the stations. Seils said the town also put in money and worked alongside the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition in getting the stations installed.
Triangle Velo member Eric Schoch said the club has been looking for causes to donate funds raised from club races throughout the year, especially ones that support healthy lifestyles and physical activity.
“Our cycling club, Triangle Velo, donated some money to the town of Carrboro to install one of these bike repair stations over at Wilson Park,” Schoch said. “The town not just matched, but decided to purchase some additional stations on their own as well as install some of the covers over the stations.”
Molly De Marco, a member of the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition Board and public health professor at UNC, attended the grand opening on Saturday to support Carrboro’s strides in facilitating healthier lifestyles.
“I’m just really interested in people being able to get around without driving,” she said.
But Carrboro’s increase in bicycle-friendliness looks to go beyond the social and health-related benefits.
“In Carrboro, we try to promote alternative forms of transportation as a means for offsetting or combating climate change and for health reasons — facilitating bike infrastructure is a major component of that effort,” said Carrboro Board of Aldermen member Sammy Slade.
Slade said to see Fixit stations finally implemented was exciting because they support efforts to decrease fossil fuels and also help increase community interaction.
“If we’re on a bike or walking, we’re more likely to engage with each other and talk to each other as opposed to being in our little metal bubbles,” he said.