Aspen’s $20,000 bike lockers gain no traction with commuters | AspenTimes.com

Aspen’s $20,000 bike lockers gain no traction with commuters

The rollout of the city of Aspen's bike lockers at Buttermilk has been a bust so far this season.

The city's Parks and Open Space department spent close to $20,000 for 20 bike lockers that were installed in the Buttermilk parking lot in July.

Not one of them has been rented.

"The Parking Department got 10 calls of interest and no one popped for them," Brian Long, the city's trails field supervisor, said Wednesday.

The lockers are being offered for a $25 rental fee for the rest of the season, which is through Nov. 15. That has been the rate since the rollout earlier this summer.

"I didn't have gigantic expectations that a ton would be booked at the second half of 2018, but I thought some," Long said.

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The lockers were purchased with the idea that they would be useful to commuters who take the bus or drive upvalley to switch to bikes for the last few miles into town.

"I would think they would be very attractive to Snowmass Village commuters," Long said.

City officials were hoping people would take advantage of the lockers during the Castle Creek Bridge construction, which began in April and is scheduled to end Oct. 31.

"The whole idea came about in a brainstorming meeting during this project," Long said, "but now they are permanent and an amenity in and of themselves."

The lockers, which will be put in storage for the winter in mid-November, are meant to complement the city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which in part aims to expand bicycling opportunities in Aspen, officials said in July.

Available through the city's Parking Department, the lockers will be available again next year. The rental cost for an individual locker for the full season, from April to November, is $40.

Bike lockers are popular in other cities, although most are metropolitan areas. Long said his colleague, Lynn Rumbaugh in the city's Transportation Department, used to work in the Seattle area, where there was a significant waitlist for bike lockers.

In Denver, the RTD has them available along its routes for $30 per locker for a six-month lease and a one-time $20 padlock fee.

Long said he and his colleagues will rethink how to get the message out next year that bike lockers are available to the public.

The outreach this year was a news release and a post on the city's Facebook page.

"We definitely want people to use them," Long said. "I have high hopes in 2019 that people take advantage of them."

csackariason@aspentimes.com