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Dori: Libraries waste $9K on bike stations

The King County Library System is adding stations such as this one at nine of its branches. (King County Library System)

Bicycles have been a point of frustration for KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson, and the King County Library System put that frustration into high gear Wednesday.

The King County Library System has installed bike-repair stations at nine of its branches. The stations are small, but offer cyclists access to an air pump and a selection of tools.

Related: WSDOT will pay bicycle pedestrian coordinator up to $89K a year

For Dori, it’s an extension of “insanity” that has hit close to home for him.

“A few months ago, management came to us and said, ‘You’re going to lose your office and we are going to move you up into the newsroom,'” Dori said.

“They said, ‘We’re putting a bike shop in there,'” he said. “I started laughing because I knew management was goofing on me. Even though I’m an avid cyclist, I’m not a huge fan of the zealots around here that have taken over the streets. I thought they were joking. They weren’t. They put a bike rack in our old office. There is usually one bicycle in there. We lost our office so we could appease one bicycling co-worker.”

The ire over the loss of his office only heightened when Dori heard that the King County Library System would be installing the nine bike-repair stations.

“I will tell you this is insanity!” Dori said. “When did the libraries become bike-repair joints? When was this needed or necessary, or a good expenditure of tax dollars? How is that consistent with what a library’s mission should be? That’s what we are going to do now, so we can justify expanding tax dollars for things like libraries?”

The bike repair stations at the nine library locations come with a price tag of $1,026 each. That will be paid for with taxpayer funds, according to The Seattle Times.

The stations don’t take up much space &#8212 two poles jutting out of the ground; one with a pump and another with an array of tools hanging on cables.

The stations will be at branches in Renton, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Bothell, Kenmore, Newcastle, Federal Way, Burien and Issaqauah.

Library spokesperson Marsha Iverson told The Seattle Times that the stations are meant to serve a broader community, especially at the Bothell and Kenmore branches near the oft-pedaled Burke-Gilman Trail.

“If you want to repair your bicycle, get ye to the King County Library because they found another way to scam people out of their tax money,” Dori said.

“And check out a book while you’re there, too,” show producer Jake Skorkeim added.

Dori argues that a library’s purpose has nothing to do with bikes and the bike-repair stations are a waste of tax money.

Dori Monson: I’m serious about this. I’m an avid bicyclist. My wife and I went for a ride a couple of months ago, and one of my gear-shift cables snapped. We were on the Burke-Gilman trail. So I pulled out my phone and found the nearest bike shop. I went to that bike shop, and they couldn’t have been nicer…they have an air pump outside of their shop so any cyclist going by and pump for free…we don’t need the libraries doing this sort of thing.

Jake Skorheim Go back to when you were on that great ride with your wife. Your bike breaks down. Instead you could have gone to the nearest King County Library…now it will give you an excuse to go to the library.

DM: Why don’t they just add a few books on bike repair that people can check out so they can fix their bikes at home. I know it’s a revolutionary concept for a library – how about they add a few books?

JK: What will be next?

DM: It will be feeding people. We will feed people at the libraries. We will somehow stop the rise of the oceans at the libraries. And probably puppy giveaways…I would endorse that.

GOOD NEWS (if you like wasting tax dollars): King County Libraries soon to have bike repair stations! http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/bike-repair-stations-coming-to-9-king-county-libraries/

Posted by Dori Monson on KIRO Radio on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

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