City of Albuquerque plans to expand bicycle program
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – This is a project that has been a long time coming. An installation that is simply too beautiful to be kept in one place.
Construction of a new municipal bicycle safety education center has begun. “It’s just going to give a lot of people much easier access to the services that we provide,” said David Flores, assistant director of parks and recreation.
There is already a city bike shop on the West Side called Esperanza Bicycle Safety Education Center. They accept bicycle donations and volunteers refurbish old bicycles. “Our goal is to try to encourage more people to be healthier. Use the facilities we have. The hundreds of kilometers of trails and bike paths that we have,” said Flores.
The Esperanza Center has helped over 25,000 people fix bikes through their open bike clinic sessions. Riders can bring their bikes for free, and workers will help diagnose what’s wrong with their bikes, give them the tools they need, and teach them how to fix them.
“Our goal is to make people more comfortable with their bikes and to make them more independent. If something breaks while they’re riding, they know how to put it back together so they can get home,” said Hugh Hulse, director of the Esperanza Bicycle Safety Education Center.
The center hosts pop-up bike clinics in city parks for the community. They also run classes where over 3,000 people have won a free bike. Now they want it to be an option for more in the city. “Obviously there’s a population that would be eager to use something like this,” Flores said.
The city’s new bicycle store named Mckinley Bicycle Safety and Education Center will be located in northeast Albuquerque in the same building as a Boys and Girls Club. Parks and Recreation hopes it will be finished by next summer, just in time for children to get involved when they are out of school. “It’s going to be a great new facility that we’re excited to open,” Flores said.