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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 8, 2011 3:01 PM. The previous post in this blog was Another thumb down on Starbucks jobs pitch. The next post in this blog is Thursday's 'dog is full of woe. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cha-ching! $2 million in taxes for Portland bike sharing

So ludicrous. Such a waste. But Mayor Creepy's determined.

And the O's resident transportation wunderkind just takes the press release and posts it on the internet:

Urban planners increasingly see bike sharing as the mark of a world-class city. Thousands of commuters a day already use rapidly expanding networks in Washington, D.C., Miami, Minneapolis and 12 other U.S. cities. Meanwhile, a new British study shows bicycle sharing provides a wide range of health benefits to urban residents.

Uh huh. Sure, Joe.

In a year, half the bikes will be gone. And then it will be time for another $2 million of public money. Here in Portland, we have the concept of "too stupid to fail." Lather, rinse, repeat until the municipal bankruptcy.

Comments (28)

This thing is doomed to fail. And the bikes are clunkers. No one will "commute" on these.

They're not for commuting -- they're for riding around in downtown traffic. Until one of the street punks down there grabs it from you. Then it goes on your credit card before eventually winding up in the river.

Geez, even Brooklyn has given up on those stupid bike kiosks as being an outrageous waste of money. However, apparently the Mayor's interested in his legacy: having multitudes of fortysomething hipsters moving back in with Mom and Dad in the heartland, yammering endlessly about how incredibly cool Portland was. "Our mayor was even on Portlandia!"

My mark of global city is a city where global businesses want to locate. Sadly that's not Portland.

It's almost as though nobody remembers the great Yellow Bikes experiment from a couple of decades ago. That sure didn't last long.

I think it was a lot more recent than a couple of decades ago.

It didn't work out so well for Paris...

I'm a big supporter of more bike infrastructure - I actually they regularly approach, and many times achieve, cost effectiveness when you take numerous benefits into account. This plan, however, seems like a big loser. Socializing personal property is way different than public infrastructure. I think if you were a touristy locale like DC or Miami, it might have some limited justification. But not P-town.

Are they talking about bike sharing as a transportation option for "poor folks?"
That doesn't seem realistic to me. It might be a fun way to get from work to Pizzicato for lunch but it doesn't sound like a real transportation option.

Yellow bikes.

Sam has a hit list of projects. You, more than anyone else, denied him a second term, so he's got to fit it all in to his final year.

Doesn't spending this money somehow violate the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The 'Portland is like a world class city' idea was hilarious until it became really sad.

Unless the hills are flattened, and trikes are made available for us old folks with no balance left and bad knees to boot, this is a loosing proposition.
Portland is NOT a "world class" city. It is a second rate, broke disaster. A small town trying to be something it never was and never will be! If the Sam Rand twins had bothered to look around on their numerous junkets to Germany and Brazil and China, or if either one had half a brain, they should have figured this out by now.
Go by yellow bike?

Ever tried to ride a bike after working the swing shift on a February night at around 11 p.m in the rain on an icy street?

Give it a try Mr. Mayor. I have seen more than one worker do just that because the transit system in this city is designed for the downtown worker and does nothing for the low income people on the outskirts.

O! I forgot the Democrats in this city care about the poor, the disenfranchised, those lees fortunate than ourselves. Pardon me!

Time to start a pool to guess which will auger in first, the City of Portland or TriMet. My guess is TriMet, given their benefits package and penchant for massive financial stupidity.

I wonder how much liability the City will incur when some Zoobomber idiot wipes out a little old lady on a sidewalk in downtown Portland. But hey, at least the money they pay her estate will be colored green...

Maybe the folks out in the Cully neighborhood (or anywhere else out East, you know, the suburbs like Lents) should file a complaint with the Office of Equity?

Now if they were to put little gas motors on those bikes, a seat warmer, and maybe a small beer cooler on the rear....

If the 74 stations cost 10K apiece, the 740 bikes will run 1700 apiece. And that's just the $2 million. Another $2 million from investors? Maybe that guy from New Jersey (Corzine) could "find" some funds.

Deborah Kafoury is right - low income residents are being priced out of the city, and what they need are not bikes in the downtown core area.

And really - Hillsdale will be a test area? For about a five block radius?

I'm a regular bike commuter and I think the bike sharing thing is ridiculous. I'd have to guess that 90% of people who want to bike in Portland already have a bike and find it more convenient to use their own rather than to grab one while they're downtown. I just don't get what untapped market this serves... I guess we'll see.

BTW I'd bet you're wrong about half the bikes getting stolen Jack, the credit card thing should do a pretty good job of preventing theft. I'll be back in a year to see if you eat crow.

I was in San Antonio for a week last year and had a bike share rack across from my hotel. Even in a warm weather, tourist type locale I did not see one of those bikes move in the week I was there. This will be a complete waste.

They rely on the public forgetting about these projects once they are complete and the propaganda pictures are taken. No one ever gets called out about the failures in a pointed, public way. It would be nice to have a non-partisan organization dedicated to reminding the public of who made these ridiculous statements and how much the failures have wasted in tax money. I'd pitch in what I could.

In DC commuters are using the heavily subsidized bikeshares to cut down a ten or 15 minute walk tacked on to the end of a metro commute to an under 5-minute bike ride -- so much for the supposed health benefits.

With a lot of repair work it looks like it'll take about two years to lose half the bikes. But that rate of loss may pick up over the winter as the bikes are exposed to harsh elements plus the effects of salt and spray and as the bikes age. Not to worry, of course, within a few years we'll be able to go by streetcar.

the credit card thing should do a pretty good job of preventing theft

You're right. There's no way to fake a credit card number. And no one will steal an unattended bike in Portland. And no one will notice an unattended rack of rental bikes and start vandalizing or tampering with them. And no one who wrecks a rental bike will resist paying for it. It's all going to be great. Have you heard? WES is working!

I seem to remember these around the Portland State area in the late 90's. Where'd they all go?

Hey Newleaf we don't do salt in Oregon.

Good way for the Occupiers to get around downtown. They don't have to ask for permission, pay for services or fix things when they break. Perfect! Don't forget a supply of burley bike trailers for the tents.

Sam's got it all covered: Or an access card. RT @theta444 curious re yr assertion on bikeshare access for low income ppl. Won't it require a credit card?

I am a bike commuter and I spent a week in DC this summer and used the rental bikes for the hell of it. They were great. Well maintained, well located in the downtown core and easy to use. Here are my observations: The poster above who talked about people tacking them onto the end of a commute is correct. For example, I saw people coming out of Metro stops including Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom, strapping on helmets and taking off. I also saw people using them to commute home from areas like Foggy Bottom to areas like Logan Circle. So far so good. Unfortunately I also saw something scary: Brain dead tourists w/o helmets renting them and riding them around the Mall, etc. as though they were on a ride at Disneyland. Completely oblivious to the dangers of urban riding and demonstrating no respect for common sense or the law. I wonder how many have ended up under buses already. And here in PDX, we have streetcar tracks...God help the idiots. As a regular reader of the blog, I never ceased to amazed by the utterly brutish stupidity of the commenters on bike transportation issues. But this time haters, I think you have the better of the argument. Bicycles in the urban environment are vehicles and tools that must be operated with extreme care. Rental bicycles, on the other hand, seem to be treated as toys. We are light years removed from the yellow bike program with this proposal and comparisons of the two are just an easy route to knee jerk negativity. But wait until some drunken jerk from out of town rides his rental under a MAX train and I SWEAR TO GOD, you can say anything you want about these bikes and will not here a peep out of me.

You're right. There's no way to fake a credit card number. And no one will steal an unattended bike in Portland. And no one will notice an unattended rack of rental bikes and start vandalizing or tampering with them. And no one who wrecks a rental bike will resist paying for it. It's all going to be great. Have you heard? WES is working!

Ok Jack, would you like to put your money where your mouth is? What happens if less than 50% of bike share bikes have been stolen? I'd be happy with a story admitting you were wrong, feel free to be creative if that doesn't work for you.


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