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LETTERS / Where’d All the Bike Racks Go?

Dear Editor,

Imagine driving to a restaurant only to find that there’s no parking lot.  What would you do?  I’ve recently encountered an unexpected problem in Boone: in front of almost every store I go to there’s no easy place to lock my bicycle. I’ve never had this problem in the small college town of Chapel Hill, where I’m a rising senior, nor in San Francisco, where I interned earlier this summer.   If San Francisco (the 2nd most densely-populated city in the U.S.) can squeeze bike racks onto their crowded streets, Boone can certainly find space for them as well.    

After living in these bike friendly cities, I’ve seen what Boone has the potential to become: a place where families can bike safely through downtown and be able to lock their bikes outside a restaurant for a bite to eat; where people would prefer to commute to work on their bicycles because it’s the healthier, cheaper, and more enjoyable option; and where students whiz by the carpool line as they bike to school in the morning.  There’s no better, easier, and more fun way to decrease our carbon footprint than for everyone who lives in town to hop on the saddle of a bike.  
I’m encouraged to see accommodations for bikers such as the large bike rack in front of the high school and the bike lanes that run along the stretch of Highway 421.  But more of these accommodations must be made.  Just like we can’t drive anywhere if there isn’t a parking lot there, we can’t bike anywhere unless there’s a rack on which to lock our bikes.  A standard ‘U’ bike rack costs $80.  Restaurants and stores, please allow cyclists to support your business by providing a simple bike rack for us and show your support for this alternative form of transportation.  How hard could it be?
 Will Barbour