Community Insider Summer 2018 - Page 34

A BUMPY ROAD FOR DOCKLESS BIKES By Emily Whittemore D ockless bikes and scooters are causing quite a stir among residents in San Diego and throughout the county. Meant to solve the “last-mile” problem that many users of public transit face, the bikes and scooters provided by various ride-share programs are conveniently located near popular transit lines throughout the city. According to San Diego Downtown News, “the bikes contribute to the city’s Climate Action Plan, which lists a 6 percent ridership goal by 2020.” The data collected from the GPS tracking systems on the bikes will be used to inform City planners where bikes are being used and where future bike lanes may be needed. In an informational bulletin created by The San Diego Downtown Partnership, five key benefits to dockless bike share are listed: 1. Reduced Carbon Footprint: Each person who uses a bike or electric scooter eliminates a car from the road, saving fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 2. Efficiency: Rather than one vehicle per user, a single shared vehicle can be used by tens or hundreds of riders, reducing the cost to the end user, and the waste associations with the productions of bikes. 3. Inclusivity: Creating an inexpensive, shared system increases access to bicycle equipment for underserved residents and improves adoption of this mode of transportation across the economic spectrum. 34 | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER SUMMER 2018 4. Reduced Road Congestion: By taking cars off the road, shared vehicles reduce traffic congestion and demand for vehicular parking in the most traffic-congested communities. 5. Ease of Access: By improving mobility, shares vehicles allow consumers to more easily access shops, restaurants, and places of business, increasing patronage of local businesses. While bike-sharing programs aim to lessen traffic congestion and emissions, some have dubbed what they perceive as “bike pollution” when bikes are left out on the street and not stored uniformly in a bike rack. Residents