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The Dockless Bike Controversy

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 12:44
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I do not know if any of you have the dockless bikes such as Lime Bikes, ObO Bikes, Orange Bikes in your area. They have inundated various areas with hundreds if not thousands of these app driven dockless bikes. The concept is great. Pull out your phone, hit the app, find the closest bike and hop on for anywhere from $1.00 to $7.00 an hour. Just leave the bike when you done and voila, a little exercise, no parking problems, no traffic problems. What a wonderful idea for downtown cities, taking a bike cruise, running to the store, not hassling with traffic and parking, no worries about bikes getting ripped off.  Love, Love the concept. Hate, Hate the the vandalism dockless bikes have inspired.

The first reports came in that the bikes were all over the place. Some were in dangerous placs while others were behind garages, under cars, strewn in the middle of the streets, in firepits, in the ocean, middle of parking lots, in peoples yards, in their trash cans,  What it brought to mind is the amount of inconsiderate, rude and disrespectful people. I hate knowing how awful people can be.

Bikes strewn all over the boardwalk pose a safety risk.

It is a mess out there and confusing for both residents and riders. Can you ride on the street? the sidewalk? bike lanes? the boardwalk? What speed can they go? The Board Walk has a 8 mile an hour limit, yet these scooters are made to go faster. Helmets yes or no? 2 people, yes or no? Is the Board Walk a Sidewalk?  How many people can ride? I have seen 3 people on a Scooter? Is that legal? Technically speaking, one cannot ride a motorized vehicle on the boardwalk, yet Segway Rentals has been operating for a few years

Cities are scrambling to put laws in place, Coronado started impounding bikes when blocking streets or traffic. People are taking them into their houses and apartments.

Parents are letting kids ride without helmets (illegal) In San Diego, kids have to wear helmets until 18 years. There are no helmets provided and very little warning on the bikes. In California you have to wear a helmet on any motorized vehicle

People are speeding, Riders are hitting riders, where a person hit her head and had to go to the hospital.  (see video)

The worst is the vandalism. Whether or not you like the bikes, destroying property is not the appropriate way to deal with the issue. I have found bikes in the ocean and have found bikes used as a fire pit.

This Lime Scooter was dug up. It had been used in an illegal fire pit .

It first started with cutting the brake lines… SERIOUSLY.. that is just like someone cutting the brake line in your car. In fact our forum, numerous people are warning riders to watch for cut break lines. In one study 12% — were diagnosed with “major defects,” like damaged brakes or missing lights, which pose safety hazards. (US Streets Blog) 

In another act of vandalism or theft, people are taking them into their apartments. In the same study 12% of the bikes were parked in private spaces that might make them inaccessible to the public.

Bikes have been sawed in half and are missing seats.

Bikes have been pushed off cliffs in Ocean Beach and in La Jolla.

Parts have been stripped.

The latest is putting Dog Poo on the seat…. are we 3 years old?

Another couple were out riding and someone sawed 3/4 of the seat and he went down in traffic.

Now because the homeless are using them and our outbreak of Hepatitis.. people are worried.

In Paris, France:  bike sharing company has pulled out of Paris after 60% of the fleet has been stolen, vandalized, or “privatized” (apparently the practice of renting the bike on a permanent basis, thereby removing it from the cosharing space) and 6400 repair calls were required in the first months of the service. (Treehugger)

San Diego is not the only city with this problem: Dallas has become ground zero for a nascent national bike-share war, as five startups armed with hundreds of millions of venture capital dollars have blanketed the city with at least 18,000 bikes. That makes it the country’s largest bike share fleet, with 50% more than New York City’s popular Citi Bike program. And unlike New York’s program, where users must use racks to retrieve and return rented bikes.. (Wall Street Journal)

Then the Hipocrosy: Dockless Bikes Encroach on San Diego Homeless, in which a law was enacted to move stuff from streets that do not belong there and yet.. there is little or no ticketing for left bikes.

It is so sad that once again a few people ruin it for the majority. More laws (more taxpayer money) in place, more signage, more policeman taking time away from other crimes, more people hurt… meaning more lawsuits

Dockless Bikes Companies

Image Tech Crunch

  • Bird (black and white scooters)  (Santa Monica) Has been sued and had to pay Santa Monica $300,000 in fines. They are not allowed to ride on Sidewalks. Black Scooters) Bird has around 50o+ Scooters in San Diego. $1.00 to unlock and 15 cents every 10 minutes.
  • LimeBike (bright green and yellow bikes) (San Mateo, California) electric bikes option, currently available only in San Diego. Lime Green bikes with about 2000 bikes in San Diego. $1.00 per 30 minutes. LimeBike boasts that in two months there have been 40,000 trips covering about 13,000 miles. Eriksson also said the company has reported around 7,000 active users. (March, 2018, Los Angeles Daily News)  LimeBike has raised an additional $70 million from previously announced  $50 million Series B round. This brings LimeBike’s total funding to $132 million. (Tech Crunch)
  • Ofo (yellow and black bikes) (Beijing)  $1.00 Per Hour but they were free in March of 2018.
  • Mobike (silver and orange bikes) $1 for every 30 minutes.
  • Spin (orange and black bikes) $1 for every 30 minutes.
  • Discover San Diego (which has docks) formerly Deco Bike


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