Cambridge Installs Self Help Tool Stations

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 22

This is awesome…

Cambridge Transportation Program Manager Cara Seiderman said the city has installed the bicycle repair stations in Harvard Square and outside the main library in the past two weeks. Another center was installed at Fresh Pond late last year.

“It’s a way of supporting and making it easier for people to bike,” Seiderman said.

The stands provide tire gauges and pumps, Allen wrenches and a few other tools that enable cyclists to make minor repairs, such as adjusting seats or handlebars.

Each station cost the city about $1,000 and Seiderman said the city got the idea from MIT which has already installed repair stations around its campus.

The installation of the repair stations comes as the city has seen a growing number of people riding bikes through Cambridge. A study conducted by the city estimates that the number of people bicycling in Cambridge more than doubled between 2002 and 2008, based on a study of the number of cyclists counted traveling through 17 different intersections. Seiderman said the number has continued to rise since 2008.(via)

For almost free (as far as these sort of things go) you can now stop by two locations in Cambridge and pump up your tires, fix a flat, and several other easy repairs. Thanks Cambridge, Boston you paying attention?

I think this is a great idea, and hope to see a couple of these near some popular bike parking spots all over town.


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Posted in advocacy, fun, infrastructure | 20 Comments »


20 Responses to “Cambridge Installs Self Help Tool Stations”

  1. By Iyen on Mar 22, 2011 | Reply

    Wow. This is really, really awesome. Is there any map which shows the precise location? I’m definitely gonna be using the Harvard Square one to keep my tires pumped up.

  2. By matt on Mar 22, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve used the one at Sloan for some time – glad to see these are getting around!

  3. By jowbike on Mar 22, 2011 | Reply

    great idea. are we on our way to a rent-a-bike system like in Amsterdam and Paris?

  4. By Patrick on Mar 22, 2011 | Reply

    There’s a similar setup in the Children’s Hospital bike parking area in the garage, though not public–you need a Children’s ID to get in.

  5. By JJJ on Mar 22, 2011 | Reply

    I noticed stations like this all around europe.

    Jowbike. Yes. Sort of. It was supposed to start LAST april, but someone in the city screwed up.

  6. By Caleb Goodhouse on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    Do they give you patches or spare tubes? It doesn’t look like it from the picture. If not what’s the point of having a pump?

  7. By bike nerd on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    Caleb- Tubes lose a little air over time. If you keep ‘em pumped up to the recommended pressure you’ll keep from getting pinch flats. So that’s why the pump…

    Aaaaaand…you can always grab a spare tube or patch kit at your LBS.

  8. By Lance Armstrong on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    This is about the worst use of taxpayer money I’ve seen. Any self respecting cyclist would already have the capability to do all of that on his or her own. What a waste.

  9. By Vance Legstrong on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    Right, “Lance.” Because you’ve never been caught without a pump or your tools. Quit being a snobbish ass.

  10. By Boston Biker on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    get off your tall bike “lance” this is basically 0 tax payer dollars, do you realize how little money 2,000 dollars is in the grand scheme of things? This is a great and cheap way to make an innovative and potentially useful station to encourage more cycling. If only a couple people switch from cars to bikes because of this the savings alone in health care costs and road wear and tear will make this a great investment.

  11. By Lance Armstrong on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    You just proved my point exactly, no cyclist should be without his or her pump and tools. Even if you didn’t have the correct tools, what good will these service stations do for you? Unless the city builds them every square mile you’ll be stranded unless your bike breaks down in just the right spot. And IF they build them every square mile that would be at an unacceptable cost at 1k a pop. How about instead of spending 1000 dollars per station the city spend money educating the public on how to repair their own bikes? Or better yet, basic bike safety?

    0 tax payer dollars? are you kidding me? they are 1000 dollars each!! and to have any impact you’ll need them everywhere, its such a waste of money. Its called a mini pump, and a mini tool and both are easily less than $100.

  12. By Lyzard on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    I want to see a picture of it being used.
    Do you hang your bike on it while you wrench on your bike?

  13. By Fenway on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    These stations allow people do basic maintenance on their bikes without having to invest in tools. If this makes it practical for HUNDREDS of people to ride and maintain bikes that otherwise wouldn’t, it’s worth the public investment. It’s also worth noting that these stations tend to last a very long time. Reducing the number of cars on the road, reduces road wear, and behold the stations are paid for in the savings to necessary road repairs.

  14. By Lance Who? on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    Hey “Lance”,

    I live in a city of about 80K that has installed five good bike trails. You can travel across town on these bike trails which is wonderful for all us cyclist. I ride a fixed gear (I’ve ridden mountain and road bikes as well, I really just enjoy that jump on the bike-and-go little maintenance aspect) and always see people with brakes that are gaping wide open, seats that are almost touching the top tube, and handle bars that are just missed aligned. The point of all this is, well I guess I’m a snob too, because I will inform people of their errors (mainly because I want to see more people on bikes and enjoying them the proper way). These stations would also be wonderful for all the people on the box store bicycles.

    BTW Lance here is a link to the Florida Cost per mile

    ftp://ftp.dot.state.fl.us/LTS/CO/Estimates/CPM/summary.pdf

    Cycling is cheaper than an automobile in town any day of the week. I don’t know why you wouldn’t endorse it, but then again you really aren’t Lance Armstrong.

  15. By Vintage Rider on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    Can’t believe how cheap it is, definitely hope Boston pics up on it and puts a few on that side of the Charles.
    I’m glad to see tax dollars going into something the entire city benefits from, whether you bike or not.

    It shows that not only is the city conscious of it’s biking community but supports it as well, which gives us and the more timid prospective riders the confidence to bike more.
    I don’t always ride w/ my tools and almost never with a pump because none of the travel pumps i’ve had (3 in the past) really do anything or useful or fit the presta valve.

  16. By William on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    What would really rock my world would be if it had a stand with a seat tube clamp. Those suckers are expensive.

  17. By Caleb on Mar 24, 2011 | Reply

    Bike Nerd
    What’s with the judgement man? I don’t get too many pinch flats, mostly my punctures are from all the glass and shit washed into the roads this time of year. I say give me a patch and tube vending machine and we’ll be set.

  18. By Andy Hunter on Apr 5, 2011 | Reply

    This looks great. When folk here in Edinburgh buy cheap bikes, I’d say their next priority should be lights and not tools or a pump. It would be fantastic, therefore, to have these work stations available.

  19. By Marty on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Anything cities do to help bicyclists is amazing and wonderful. I commuted by bike across the City of Newton when I was in college…forty years ago on an old English Built Grand Prix. No helmets and an old backpack. Seeing this move forward with bikes is very soul soothing.

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