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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 15, 2011 2:00 PM. The previous post in this blog was The pedal hits the meddle. The next post in this blog is SoWhat immigration jail: the Fireman's last stand. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, August 15, 2011

It's just stupid enough

It's failed here in Portlandia, and it's failing elsewhere, but bike sharing is coming back to our town. Because City Hall just can't waste enough time and money on things that look cool but don't make any financial sense.

Nurse Amanda, who's up for re-election, is voting no on blowing $2 million more on this harebrained idea. But you can bet the other four bobbleheads on the City Council will be voting for it. And given that this is a Portland transportation deal, don't be surprised if the public bidding process is rigged or circumvented.

Alta Planning and Saint Mia Birk are hovering around this one, so get ready to sing "Kumbaya."

Bike sharing is going to wind up costing the city's taxpayers many millions of dollars, year after year. Its business model is laughable. It's a black hole economically. Kind of like streetcars. Which makes it so perfect to the Sam Rands.

Comments (26)

"After years of studying and planning, Portland appears to be on the verge of starting a bike-sharing program like those that have seen wild success in other U.S. cities and across Europe."

I am underwhelmed by the O's lack of objectivity. How did this make it past an editor? Oh, right, they laid them all off.

Ummm...yeah. A little bit of advice: before jumping onto this, ask the folks in Denver and Minneapolis how well this has worked for their cities, and make sure that these individuals aren't hipsters. The creative class contingent will masturbate like caged apes about how great this was in Mimmeapolis, but amazingly they never really use the facilities, and those poor schlubs who have generally tell drastically different stories than what the boosters want you to hear. (We have our own hipster contingent pushing for this in Dallas, which is even more insane, but it's not like they're going to put their own money down on making it happen.)

They have no money. They don't need money. They have my money.

There you go, Jack. I become more and more amazed at the number of Portland projects where you have to ask "If this is GUARANTEED to make money, the way Sam Rand want to make us believe, then why isn't someone outside the city government making it happen and collecting the profits for themselves?"

What was it, something like 10 years ago with all those silly yellow "share" bikes? I seem to remember they all disappeared in a month or so.

It was 17 years ago.

Meth head bait.

Cycling in the rain sucks.

Mia Birk is a Friend of City Hall. The relationship between Alta "Planning" and City Hall is about as good as a consultant can get without getting arrested. Alta Planning exists almost entirely because of it.

"The creative class contingent will masturbate like caged apes"

Triffid, that's got my vote for Uncomfortably Vivid Comment of the Day.

This is just Stupid.

If they could find something that was both Stupid AND Weird then we would really be onto something.

ml, those bikes are still around. I'm sure that if you spend enough time at the bottom of the Willamette, you'll find almost all of them. (I remember the hype was seeping outside of Portland when I moved to SW 16th in 1996, and I actually saw a couple of them when I first moved in. Both were chained to posts, wheels bent or missing, slowly rusting until someone decided they were worth the effort to cut the locks and take to the scrapyard.)

They all need someplace new to land when the Sam gig is up and they have friends over in transportation. Sam figures running a bike rental program would be better than recycling compost and he could likely take half his staff with him. The third council vote on any of these 11th hour projects should be subject to an immediate recall.

sigh . . . and to think a few million here and there could actually fix a few potholes . . .

For 2 million dollars I can have landed, here in Portland, from china, roughly 20-30 THOUSAND functional, decent bicycles (with money left over for me).

I can man the program with volunteers, and for that money even if I lose 1000 bikes a year I can keep the program up and running for 20 years minimum. "Living wage" factories, too. Well by Chinese standards anyways.

There's somewhere I can bid on this project right? Oh, yeah, I forgot.

Sam, I know your or an assistant reads this sumbitch, call Jack hes got my email, I got the hookup bikes. Probably a taste in for you, too.

Mia Birk's book is actually a pretty good read. I recommend reading it. But it appears she is adept at self-promotion.

I woke up this Monday morning wondering what and how many new cockamamie ideas will come from City Hall this week. Every week we seem to have a new one, like last weeks garbage fiasco. I didn't have to wait even a day for another City Hall Circus.

I went to two weekend gatherings and that was the major discussion...."Did you hear about City Hall...."

It is amazing they want to pour money down that drain again, and again... the population must have turned over just enough...

The Yellow Bike project of the '90s was conceived and operated by the Community Cycling Center, not the city. The taxpayers never lost a dime on it.

Except city staff time wasted -- and probably a lot of it.

The new one is already at $2 million and counting.

Costly to the public? Nope. Pretend like you can sell advertising space on each bike for $900.00 a pop.

And after the deal has been sold to the populous, care not that sponsors won’t actually show to put up the dough.

The bikes are Yupee and Yupette commuting tools, primarily used to bypass a train or bus transfer or to save walking time (in our neck of the woods the first half hour of bike use is free) at the end of a commute so they can sleep their pretty little heads in a bit longer each morning.

No you cannot set up your Lego Bike Kiosk until you have put away your Tinkertoy Wifi network that is still cluttering up the living room.

The city council of Portland are all caged masturbating apes.

If the folks posting into this thread who are Portland residents are concerned and engaged about this proposed waste of money for "bike sharing" it might be a very good idea to E mail, before 4:00 PM today, Tuesday, 16 August, the Portland City Commissioners who have not yet taken a public position on this.

Those seem to be Nick Fish(; Dan Saltzman ( and, surprisingly Randy Leonard (

Fritz is already on record as opposed. And we all know where the Mayor is.

'And we all know where the Mayor is.'

Dare I say masturbating like a caged ape?

I support bike sharing; it seems like a great way for more people to get use out of our good inner-city bike infrastructure.

Maybe the tourists will use them, IF it's not raining.


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