BikePGH!

bike share is coming

This topic contains 64 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  paulheckbert 2 weeks.

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Ahlir

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Jun 9 2014 at 4:53pm #

Thoughtful article in the WaPo:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/06/09/is-bikeshare-good-or-bad-for-bike-shop-business/


salty

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Jun 9 2014 at 7:51pm #

Exactly. The true cost of private automobile transportation is (purposefully) obscured, while bike share, transit, etc. have nice budgets that make easy targets for criticism. It’s bullshit.

$10M probably won’t even pay for a mile of another shitty unnecessary highway in the middle of nowhere.


btotheen

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Jun 10 2014 at 8:35am #

I have been using bikeshare in DC this week, and it really does seem to be designed to get people to think “gee, riding a bike is fun, but it would be much less expensive and a pain in the ass if i just bought my own…”


KBrooks

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Jun 10 2014 at 12:19pm #

It can get people to think that way, sure. (That’s the hidden agenda of the All-Powerful Bike Lobby!)

But it can be a solid addition to public transportation, even if you already bike regularly. There are some situations in which using a bikeshare bike would be easier/more convenient than using your own — the last blocks of your trip after taking a bus, getting to a sporting event or to a music venue without worrying about locking up, when the roads are all salty (if you don’t have a beater).

I can’t wait to bring bikeless friends and family on Jail Trail/Southside/NShore tours of the city.


Ahlir

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Jun 10 2014 at 1:38pm #

I recently used the bike share in New York (well, Manhattan). It provides a lot of benefits (since you can find racks every few blocks).
1) It’s less hassle than the subway if you’re going only 1-2 stops.
2) It’s the easiest way to go cross-town.
3) Traffic jams are not a show-stopper: you just weave through the cars (well, in a safe and courteous manner).

To reiterate a previous comment: share bikes are not about biking around. You buy your own bike for that. They are a complement to other forms of public transportation and fill a specific need.

I don’t know how the Pittsburgh system will be set up, but the NYC is very clearly set up for short trips, up to 30 mins; anything over that and you start paying (I think) $4 per 30 mins. If you want to ride around, rent a bike from a shop.


edmonds59

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Jun 10 2014 at 5:21pm #

Last month I used a bike share in Ft Lauderdale Fla. Extended family had an overnight before heading home after a cruise. 12 of us piled in a cab to get to an area with some nice restaurants. After dinner I spied a share rack right outside the place, so spur of the moment I got bikes for my son and I and we took a lovely nighttime toodle back to the hotel, left the rest of them to the ratty cabs. It was the greatest freaking setup ever. Ft Lauderdale, lovely town.


paulheckbert

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Jul 7 2014 at 6:27pm #

Now they’re saying Pittsburgh Bike Share will start in Spring 2015.

http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-bike-share-program-launch-delayed-until-spring-2015

The initial plan required that the bid process for purchasing the bicycles be run through PennDOT, and specified “third generation” bike share technology, with the user interface on the bicycle parking stations.

“The fourth generation technology that’s coming out moves that intelligence onto the bike,” Yavorosky said. “There are a lot of advantages to that, but the biggest … is that it’s much cheaper.”

Because the winning bid for manufacture of the bicycles and docks employed the newer, fourth generation technology, Pittsburgh Bike Share could not accept the bid until the plan was revamped through PennDOT, which added a couple of months onto the process.


Benzo

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Jul 8 2014 at 9:14am #

Yes, Spring was mentioned by scott bricker and peduto at the press conference on the new bikeways.

I do think it will be good to have our new bikeways installed downtown prior to the start of the bike share. As well as having the strip district trail reopened. I also hope we get the east end bikelanes repainted on liberty and friendship as well.

I can see a nice loop for visitors wanting to head to the strip district from downtown by taking the penn ave bikeway, heding through the convention center to the strip district trail to the strip at 21st st, depositing the bike, grabbing a bite to eat or doing some shopping, and returning on penn bike lanes, crossing 11th and hopping back on the bikeway.


jonawebb

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Jul 14 2014 at 8:21am #

More on bike share: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6425068-74/bike-share-pittsburgh


RustyRed

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Aug 6 2014 at 6:53pm #

I got a chance to use San Fransisco’s BABS last week. So easy. So awesome. We really should have used it to see downtown instead of the quarter-hogging meters for the rental car.


Ahlir

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Aug 6 2014 at 10:28pm #

San Francisco (like DC, NYC, Philly) are not good places for cars. Public transit + cabs + your legs give you everything you need and are more convenient. And there’s bike-share for the rest. You get actively punished for driving (well, for parking to be precise), as well you should be.

If you need a car, rent it for just that day. Other than for goods deliveries and emergency services, why would anyone agree to cars in central urban areas?

[disclaimer: not a rant aimed at RR, just a general observation.]


WillB

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Aug 7 2014 at 8:22am #

I was just in DC and used the bike share there a few times to get to and from the Metro station in Alexandria. It’s really easy to use, and the smartphone app that shows all the docking stations and the number of available bikes/docks is awesome.


J Z

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Aug 10 2014 at 9:12pm #

Saw Mpls version of bike share today, a really sweet station, on the platform, next to a light rail station near the airport.

Cities can aspire to great things.


DoubleStraps

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Aug 11 2014 at 9:24am #

So… with bike shares, and particularly the Pittsburgh one… what do people do about helmets? I’m not sure I’m too excited about a bunch of inexperienced cyclists on the road with potentially-not-great bikes, while helmetless. I know I don’t get on my own bike without a helmet.

I guess dedicated bike lanes would obviate some of this concern!


jonawebb

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Aug 11 2014 at 9:35am #

@DS you’ve touched the edge of a very big controversy in biking, maybe the biggest, but the bottom line is that requiring helmets for bike share leads to very little use, while not requiring them leads to enough use that there’s a protective effect as motorists learn to expect to see bikes on the roads. When bike share has been introduced without requiring helmets there has been a reduction of injury, including head injury.
E.g,,

http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/06/16/from-london-to-d-c-bike-sharing-is-safer-than-riding-your-own-bike/

http://www.cyclelicio.us/2014/bike-share-head-injury-helmets-safety/

It should be noted that there were lots of headlines recently about head injury rising when bike share was introduced without requiring helmets. But if you actually looked at the statistics reported, they showed a dramatic reduction in overall injuries, and a smaller reduction in head injury. There was no rise in head injury, just a smaller reduction than overall injury (so the proportion of injuries that were head injuries rose).


WillB

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Aug 11 2014 at 11:42am #

When I used bike share in DC it felt a little weird to ride without a helmet, but the thing about bike share bikes is that they really do not go very fast, and they are quite conspicuous so people tend to give you a wide birth. If I had a membership and used it daily, I would probably bring my own helmet, but I’m not too worried about the issue generally. As experience has shown in bike share cities, the fears of novice riders getting killed have been unfounded.

Also, the bikes that I rode were very high quality. Pretty much bombproof, and rode nicely (if slowly). Only complaint is that I would have liked a mirror.


paulheckbert

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Aug 11 2014 at 11:52am #

Jon: that cyclelicio.us article is quite interesting. More:

“In North America, Seattle and Vancouver are at the epicenter of this helmet battle. Both cities have been trying to start bike share programs, but they haven’t been able to yet. And some cycling advocates and helmet critics say that their mandatory helmet laws exacerbate a widespread perception that bicycling is unsafe.
But North America isn’t the only continent with a helmet issue. Melbourne, Australia is often seen as an example of a city with an existing bike share system that has all the right stuff–a nice climate, flat topography, urban density–except for Australia’s mandatory helmet law.”

http://bikeshare.com/2013/04/debate-rages-over-mandatory-helmet-laws/

Seattle’s bike share program is set to launch in Sept. 2014. Vancouver’s system, delayed by several years, is expected to launch in 2015. They’ll use helmet vending machines.

I think the real solution is for those cities to repeal their mandatory-helmet laws.


Vannevar

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Aug 11 2014 at 12:09pm #

One of the DC cyclists who’s active on Twitter referred to “helmet homeopathy” while discussing this topic the other day. Great phrase.


edmonds59

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Aug 11 2014 at 12:10pm #

What jonawebb said.
It baffles me how Australia got a helmet law. I thought it was a lawless land of manly men and women.
Also, Doublestraps, don’t worry so much.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 11 2014 at 1:26pm #

My multi-modal transportation patterns sometimes has me using both a bicycle and motorcycle on the same day. Carrying one helmet while wearing the other, while on my travels, just isn’t going to happen, so I end up using the (much larger and heavier) motorcycle helmet for the bicycle travel. Would it protect my noggin better in the chance of a car-vs-bicycle mishap? Possibly. But I’m more likely to be busted up bodily just as much regardless of the type of helmet I have on.

Having said that, I never go anywhere without at least the bicycle helmet. But also having said that, I think a lot of having a helmet on at all is as much safety theater as it is actual safety.

The bigger problem is making the roads safer to ride on, and that has little to do with helmets. Solve the real problem. Don’t get hung up in controversies.

Having said that, I suspect that the controversy itself is a made-up weapon to help defeat implementing bike sharing, at least to defeat its effectiveness.

Just get on the bikes and ride!


buffalo buffalo

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Aug 11 2014 at 1:35pm #

I suspect that the controversy itself is a made-up weapon to help defeat implementing bike sharing, at least to defeat its effectiveness.

Just get on the bikes and ride!

yep. this is just concern trolling.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 11 2014 at 2:04pm #

“You can’t build that road! Cars might crash there!”

Tell me how well that argument would go over.


DoubleStraps

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Aug 12 2014 at 8:39am #

Thanks for the responses, folks! I should make clear that I was not “concern trolling” (which would be a reasonable assumption since this was my first post), just new to the forums and new-ish to Pittsburgh! I am an overly cautious cyclist, so that’s where my concern about helmets comes from.

I’ll add that I lived in Copenhagen for a few months in college, and if I recall correctly, almost everybody there biked without a helmet. They seem to be doing just fine.


buffalo buffalo

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Aug 15 2014 at 1:28pm #

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2014/06/19/why-do-bike-share-schemes-reduce-injuries-for-all-cyclists/

“Why do bike share schemes reduce injuries for all cyclists?”

New research suggests bike share schemes lead to a dramatic and rapid fall in injuries for all cyclists, not just bike share riders. Is it due to the “safety in numbers” effect or something else?


paulheckbert

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Oct 6 2014 at 11:18am #

Albany, NY and nearby cities had a one week free bikeshare experiment. “Each excursion was recorded on a solar-powered GPS unit so that a regional planning group … could learn who rode where and when”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/06/nyregion/facing-many-obstacles-bike-sharing-slowly-gains-traction-upstate.html

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