Expect morning traffic jams on the Animas River on Aug. 25 as Durango’s first ever “Float to Work Day” encourages river runners to commute down the waterway to their place of work.
According to the city of Durango’s multi-modal coordinator Jennifer Hill, this year’s Float to Work Day was inspired by Boulder’s similar “Tube to Work Day,” which happens every year in July.
This year, Boulder’s event celebrated its 10th anniversary, notching more than 1,000 commuters-turned-tubers, the event’s largest turnout, according to The Daily Camera.
“We literally tubed to work,” Boulder resident Kirsti Freeland told The Daily Camera.
Now, it appears it’s Durango’s turn to get in on the whitewater-to-work fun.
On Aug. 25, the city is encouraging all kayakers, rafters, paddle boarders and other river users to commute to work on the water from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
The city is asking river runners to use the 29th Street put-in at Memorial Park and exit the river at the Ninth Street take-out at Schneider Park. Breakfast stations with snacks, coffee and tea will be set up at each park.
In a news release, the city of Durango says it will closely monitor the river to make sure it is safe to float, while highly encouraging the use of personal floatation devices (life jackets) and helmets.
Hill said the city of Durango does not recommend people use inner tubes if the river is above 500 cubic feet per second. As of Tuesday morning, the Animas River was running at 796 cfs.
Hill said the event is part of the city’s initiative to encourage multi-modal transportation, such as walking, cycling and public transit, and to get single-occupancy vehicles off the road.
Organizers will hand out free ride tokens for Durango Transit for all who participate, and a free shuttle will take people from Schneider Park back to Memorial Park.