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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coming soon to Portland

A bike rental program. It comes with a catch: The local government will have to get into bed with some advertising weasels.

Comments (13)

Because the advertising revenue model worked so well for Wi-Fi, it would be a shame if we didn't try it with bicycles.

Yellow Bike, anyone?

Why not locate the rental bike racks within the new bike boxes. That way motorists will be able to choose a "better" form of transportation. The $40 membership for the chance to be charged $200 when the bike is stolen is a little too risky for my tastes. You have to love the District of Columbia college senior who stated "I’d probably use it more in the summer than winter,” “But for $40? That’s cheaper than gas.”

My husband and I went to Paris last fall, and the Velib program is a rousing success there. I saw Parisians on the rented bikes all over the place, and the people we talked to just raved about the ease and convenience of the bikes. Paris for me is all about the walking, so we didn't rent bikes -- but it seems like a great idea, frankly, and I was wondering when US cities would be getting something like this.

This ain't Paris. Let's see how quickly the City Fathers can make some bad choices and make this not work.

The program will not provide helmets but does encourage their use.

Let the brain injuries (and civil suits) begin.

In Washington, SmartBike subscribers who keep bicycles longer than the three-hour maximum will receive demerits and could eventually lose renting privileges.

Is it just me or does a 3-hour limit seem a little short?

$40.00 bucks to ride in the wet...Brillient!

Brillent Morans!

Is it just me or does a 3-hour limit seem a little short?

Not when you take into account that these are one-way rentals, not round trip. There's no point in hanging on to to the rental at your destination when you can be assured that the rack you dropped the bike off at, will still have bikes available when you need to return. And face it, three hours on a bike is more than enough time to reach anywhere there are racks in Paris.

And to assure there are indeed bikes available, they regularly shuttle them around as needed - I saw this with my own eyes.

But space racks too far apart, or don't maintain this balance, then yes, the system won't work.

Hmm. Government types should be able to mate successfully with advertising weasel types. I think they're the same species.


The irrational exhuberance for bikes as an impacting mode of transportation has grown to the level of a religious cult.

In reality the bike is a bike and used by far too few people for the mode to mean anything of any significance in the transportation arena.

All the yammering about choice, alternatives and sustainabily won't change a thing. It will only serve to perpetuate the cult.

Catering to the whims of a tiny, vocal minority is easier than actually doing the right thing for the busy, uninvolved majority. It's what passes for "leadership" around here, don't you know?

locally, i think the worst thing that happened to bicycling is its appropropriation as a hipsterism.

so it becomes faddish, rather than part of the social fabric; a genuinely meaningful, widely-used option.

and those locals who swoon over Amsterdam bicycling popularity forget this. there, it's a multi-generational, practical mode for a (mostly) flat city--*not* a faddish, cliche-ridden pop culture earnestness requiring riding naked, in costume, or welding three bikes together and donning a clown nose to appear "cool".

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