Scout Nicholas Cohen (doing this project to become an Eagle Scout) led the Boy Scouts of Troop 35 in Darien to install the new racks. Others involved in the project were volunteers, the Darien Public Works Department and Darien Police, together with the Norwalk Transit District (which received a grant that pays for nearly all of the cost).
The racks are shaped to make it much easier for a bike owner to lock the vehicle twice, using different kinds of locks, said Darien Police Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, a detective in the department.
Bicycle thieves tend to carry only one tool with them when they venture to steal, Johnson said. By having both a "U"-shaped bar lock and a chain lock, a bicycle is made harder to steal, and Darien police hope that will frustrate more thieves.
Thieves can still steal bikes with two locks, Johnson said, but police hope the more difficulties they face, the fewer bikes will be stolen.
It may also encourage more commuters to take their bikes to work, he said. Darien police think fewer people are riding bikes to the train stations because of thefts.
The number of reported thefts of bicycles at the train stations has been decreasing in recent years, Johnson said.
Here are the number of reported bicycle thefts from the two stations, year by year:
- 2010: 18 thefts
- 2011: 13
- 2012: 9
- 2013: 6, so far (the latest reported theft occurred on Oct. 11)
Johnson recommends that commuters who leave bicycles at the station not only use two different kinds of locks, but that they also record the serial number of the bicycle (something that should be done for all kinds of expensive equipment that could be stolen, like televisions, stereos).
A visit to the bicycles at Darien Railroad Station on Monday showed that bicycle riders (either all of them or nearly all of them at the station) are still using one lock per bike, although the new racks do seem to make it much easier to use two.
Darien town government pays about 5 percent of the cost of the new racks, according to a Police Department news release.
"Congratulations to a job well done, Nicholas, and thank you and the Boy Scouts from Troop 35 for their intelligent and hard work!" Bert von Stuelpnagel wrote in a letter to Darien Patch. "An outstanding Eagle Project among hundreds of others completed by the scouts of Troop 35 and 53 over the last hundred years, all benefitting the Town of Darien."