Ask Zimo: Can commuters use Boise Greenbelt during night hours?

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comApril 17, 2014 

0417 out askzimo

Fix a flat or tighten a screw or bolt at the bicycle air and repair stations located along the Boise Greenbelt.

PETE ZIMOWSKY

Q: Thanks for the great story about bike commuting in the April 10 Idaho Outdoors bike guide.

One question I still have: For those of us who work odd hours, are we allowed to bike on the Greenbelt at night if we are using the Greenbelt for commuting purposes, and if we are being safety-minded?

I've heard conflicting information over the years.

Also, I heard Boise Parks and Recreation recently put an air and repair station or two along the Greenbelt. Where are those exactly?

HOLLY, Boise

A: This has long been confusing.

The Boise Greenbelt is open for commuting by bicycle and on foot 24/7, according to Boise Parks & Recreation. The stipulation to the law that closes the Greenbelt to other users from sunset to sunrise is that you have to keep moving.

So, if you're commuting, and you stop or sit to take in the view after sunset, you are in violation of the law and can get busted. It only stands to reason that if you are commuting on the dark pathway, you'll want to keep moving. It's a safety factor.

Bike lights and other reflective gear are really important on the Greenbelt at night. And slow down. Don't over ride your head light. Some cyclists use a headlamp plus a blinking headlight on their handlebars to see and to be seen.

I almost got into a collision in the dark on an early morning commute. A cyclist, riding without lights, didn't yield coming in on a side path. We barely missed each other, and I almost went down.

About your second question: the bicycle air and repair stations are really cool.

I checked out the one located on the north side of the river just west of Broadway Avenue, which is sponsored by Whole Foods.

The other one is at the Greenbelt and Eckert Road and sponsored by Ada County Parks and Harris Ranch.

Besides an air pump outfitted for both Presta and Schrader valves, the bike stations have an assortment of tools for making minor repairs. The top of the air station also serves as a bike rack to make repairs easier.

Yup, the air and repair stations are really cool and a great addition to the Greenbelt. I'm sure more will be showing up in the future.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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