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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

In Morristown, A Town-Organized Bike Sharing Program

Amy Kolb Noyes
These bikes at the Oxbow Park in Morrisville are just waiting to be borrowed. Town Planning Director Todd Thomas says the bikes are available for locals and tourists alike to use for free.

Bikes have been popping up throughout the village of Morrisville in the past week - in front of the Morristown Town Offices, at the library and down by the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. They're there for the taking, as long as you fill out a waiver at the town office and return your ride within 72 hours.

It's not like any bike share program you'll find in a big city, but members of the Morristown Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee say it's just right for their town.

Town Planning Director Todd Thomas says the bikes are available for locals and tourists alike to use for free. And he says the process it pretty simple.

"You come into my office. You sign a waiver. Once you give me the waiver, I give you the combination to the bikes," Thomas explained.

Morristown Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee member John Duffy is the volunteer responsible for getting the bikes road worthy. He says many of them would have otherwise been tossed.

"Well a lot of these bicycles are people discarding used bicycles as they upgrade," said Duffy. "They're not the most fantastic bikes. But every now and then, somebody leaves us a great bicycle. Generally they just need a little bit of work - maybe some tires and a tube, get the brakes working and oil on the chain."

Committee member Dave Polow, who calls himself a non-motorized enthusiast, says he's confident there will be enough bikes to go around for locals and tourists alike, and more bicycles are being brought into the program every week. And while they may not be the latest lightweight equipment, he says they provide solid transportation and good exercise.

"Back in the day, when I was growing up, all of our bikes were heavy and we dealt with it," Polow noted. He added, "I don't have a problem with older, heavier bikes. They work too."

The bike share program currently has about 20 bikes in circulation, from no-pedal training bikes to full size adult models. There are also double joggers and bike trailers available to loan parents of young children.

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