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The Oregonian editorial board weighs in on bike sharing

Posted by on March 28th, 2012 at 8:40 am

Bike share ride with Oregon team-1
Bike share is a runaway success
in Washington D.C.

We knew this was coming.

With bike share finally moving forward in Portland, we could count on The Oregonian to do their best undermine it before it even hits the street. Why? Because it’s about bikes, it’s new — and most importantly — because it is something championed by Mayor Sam Adams.

Before sharing some snippets of The O piece, let’s do a reality check: Bike share is becoming like bus service in cities across America. It’s a reliable, affordable, popular, easily-accessible system that opens up bicycling to new audiences in new places. Even before trying a modern system out for myself in Washington D.C. last week, I was generally positive about bike share. After trying it out, I’m convinced. It’s a game-changer and the early wrinkles have been ironed out. Sure, D.C. is not Portland, but we will have a right-sized system and I’m confident the people who put ours together will be the best and brightest in the field.

But forget all that. The Oregonian’s editorial board thinks it’s a risky investment rife with uncertainty and something that only left-wing European cities are willing to try.

In predictable form, their editorial focuses squarely on Sam Adams. Here’s their lede:

Portland Mayor Sam Adams wants his city to have a bike-sharing program well underway by the time he leaves office. As he said about such programs in a promotional video released by his staff, “I like them. They’re cool.”

He’s right, of course. What’s not to like about bike kiosks sprinkled liberally throughout the urban core? What could be cooler than Portland joining the ranks of cities such as Montreal or Paris with well-known bike-sharing programs?

But the coolness of bike sharing has never been in question. The uncertainties surrounding this initiative are the same ones pedaling alongside many Adams-related initiatives: how to pay for it and how to make it work in real life, not just in promotional material.

And then they sprinkle in some doomsday rhetoric full of unsubstantiated claims with no basis in reality:

The potential potholes are numerous, as other cities have learned. One risk is cost overruns: Depending on the structure of the contract, a city can end up backfilling the budgets of private vendors to cover extra costs related to rampant vandalism, unexpected logistical problems or insufficient advertising revenue.

Theft has also posed a challenge for many bike-sharing programs. Even rental kiosks with so-called third-generation technology, allowing vendors to track bikes electronically, can struggle with chronic losses. The systems for check-in and check-out are improving fast, but not yet enough to mitigate the risk.

Theft and vandalism? Really? If you ask people who actually run today’s best systems — like Streetsblog did in their 2010 post titled, Theft and Vandalism Just Not a Problem For American Bike-Sharing — they’ll say neither are much of a problem. I follow this stuff pretty closely and I don’t recall a single headline about theft or vandalism in recent years.

Then they bring up “the helmet question”:

Trickiest of all could be the helmet question: Portland doesn’t require adult bicyclists to wear helmets, yet the city streets can be mortally dangerous for bicyclists sharing the road with buses, delivery trucks and frazzled car commuters. What to do about helmets is a debate that rolls safety, logistics, liability and bike politics into one.

While I appreciate The Oregonian’s concern for bike safety (even though it feels paternalistic when they write about it), they don’t mention that PBOT addresses the issue in their Request for Proposals. In it, PBOT asks all potential vendors to consider helmet dispensing machines at the rental kiosks and one line in the RFP reads, “Describe your plan to provide helmets for bike sharing users.”

In conclusion, The Oregonian says, “Cool ideas and “free” federal money get you a long way in Portland, but people need more proof that a bike-sharing program would provide a true public benefit — without anyone getting taken for a ride.”

PBOT has studied bike share extensively for several years. We have some of the best expertise in the country right here in our own backyard. I’m not saying we (the media, the citizens) should just give PBOT a free pass and trust them to do everything right; but at this point, the only remaining thing Portland can do to prove whether or not bike share will work is to move forward as planned and get the system on the ground.

Whether you like the paper or not, what The Oregonian says matters. Politicians read it, candidates read it, other media outlets read it, and a large number of your fellow citizens read it. That’s why it will be important to watch their coverage closely as bike share develops. Stay tuned.

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Comments
  • NF March 28, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I wish the Oregonian would provide footnotes or links to the statements they pass as facts. Readers are getting more savvy, and we want to be able to fact check on our own.

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  • RSS March 28, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I cancelled my subscription to this paper over a month ago due to their editorial positions regarding cycling, transit and the environment in general and they’re still delivering it to my front door. And they’re going to lecture others about how to run a service, or the potential pitfalls?

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    • Tom M March 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Preaching to the choir!

      For my wife & I it was the lack of delivered product after prepaying for it and then being billed twice in addition.

      The O simply can’t deliver quality of customer service.

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  • Kiel Johnson March 28, 2012 at 9:06 am

    What is with the Oregonians obsession with potholes? Maybe if they smoked some more pot there would be fewer holes in their stories.

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  • Bjorn March 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

    The O editorial board railed against the eastside esplanade when it was being proposed. They eventually admitted that it wasn’t the worst thing the city had ever done 7 years later…

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  • Indy March 28, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Newspaper Editorials (and their boards) merely serve as protection for their revenue sources and to protect shareholder value. If it preserves their revenue (advertising from car dealers, a fairly large chunk of their revenue) then they will almost certainly support it. Secondary goals would be their readership. People will still buy a paper if they read an editorial that they heartily disagree with. I don’t think I’d be that far off to say that younger Portlanders and Oregonians are both not buying the newspaper AND they are biking more than the generation previous.

    So yeah I take this editorial as an amusing grain of salt. The Oregonian sees this as questionable up until they might see a revenue source from it, THEN it will be on board.

    As for the poster above still getting deliveries, I suggest you call their office up and bring up specific littering ordinances, as well as file an official request through the Better Business Bureau. Make sure you document all communication with snail-mail paperwork. Big business responds to official mail + BBB like you wouldn’t believe.

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    • Tom M March 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Except that the Oregonian is bleeding money. It is quickly becoming irrelevant. What’s left are the long time die hard paper readers. And honestly they’re dwindling due to age. How bad is it? Obituaries that used to be free are now a pay to print only item. I think it might just be a matter of time.

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  • Drew March 28, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Why on earth does the O think the helmets are designed to protect one from busses, trucks, and “frazzled” commuters in cars?

    Are they introducing a new excuse that could be used after a collision? Why say “I didn’t see him” when you can use “I was frazzled”.

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  • El Biciclero March 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I love opinion-piece diction:

    “sprinkled liberally” (without a care in the world)
    “rampant vandalism” (share bikes will be broken-down rolling ghettos)
    “chronic losses” (Kiosks will start to look like ghost towns!)
    “frazzled car commuters” (poor old frazzled drivers, they can’t help it!)

    And why is “the helmet question” tricky? If you want to wear one, bring it with you, otherwise you don’t need one because they are not mandatory. More important is to make sure everyone who might rent a bike (especially out-of-towners) knows where they may and may not ride on sidewalks. To me, the trickiest question of all is “the navigation question”: how do I get from here to there without having to share a lane with 35mph traffic or ride inches away from rail tracks?

    “…people need more proof that a bike-sharing program would provide a true public benefit — without anyone getting taken for a ride.”

    …two words: “street” “car”. Come one, really? Is that how we decide when to start projects in Portland? Just as soon as people have “proof” that “true public benefit” will result?

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  • Jeff Mack March 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I think the editorial meant to say:
    “What could be cooler than Portland joining the ranks of cities such as Chattanooga or Des Moines with well-known bike-sharing programs?”

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  • WheelTalk March 28, 2012 at 9:49 am

    It is strange to me that no one talks about Denver’s B-Cycle program that has been in place for a couple of years when making comparison to what Portland’s system could look like. Denver and Portland are similar in size (both in population and land area) with similar big city urban versus suburban/rural public policy values that are in conflict. Denver’s program has been extremely successful and has expanded outside of the central city neighborhoods as a result of this success.

    http://denver.bcycle.com/

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    • davemess March 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Denver and Portland are surprisingly similar in population numbers but the make up of the cities is a bit different, with Denver being much more spread out and somewhat less housing dense near the downtown core. That said, I would think bike sharing would work even better here in Portland with a more compact city area.

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    • Machu Picchu April 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      Good reference, WheelTalk. Coincidental that there is much public concern in Colorado Springs (60 miles south of Denver) that City officials are travelling to Portland on the public dime to study our game. The Colorado Springs Gazette ran an editorial (today?) comparing their city with Portland by population, income, cost of living, then crime rates.

      http://www.gazette.com/articles/portland-136073-springs-colorado.html

      A bad argument, given that Portland proper has a similar population to Colorado Springs, while the Denver Metro vs. Portland Metro is a much better comparison. Not to mention that the Springs (like much of Colorado) has a great climate and some great facilities for biking, but is otherwise a high-speed, no-holds-barred carfest.

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  • Joe Rowe March 28, 2012 at 9:57 am

    The Editorial board is biased against bikes and very biased in favor of the CRC freeway expansion for Vancouver Sprawl. The board cares less about CRC cost over-runs with ODOT projects.

    Yes, Cancel Subscription and give reasons
    Yes, Tell all local businesses to stop advertising in the Oregonian.
    Yes, Contact the Oregonian

    http://biz.oregonian.com/feedback/

    or

    http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2008/04/letters_to_the_editor_policy.html

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  • Granpa March 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

    My pop and his daddy before him did just fine with out bike sharing, and so will I.

    Now you kids get off my lawn.

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    • was carless March 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Grandpa, you live in an assisted living facility. You don’t have a lawn. Us (the kids) are waiting for you to die so we can inherit all of your crap.

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  • Andrew Holtz March 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I saw the editorial when it appeared about 10 days, but this post reminded me to comment to the paper. Here’s what I just posted under the online version:

    “So the questions are how to pay for it and make it work?

    Gas taxes and other fees paid directly by drivers cover only a bit more than a third of the city’s transportation budget, the rest of the money comes from taxpayers regardless of how much they drive. (see http://www.portlandonline.com/omf/index.cfm?c=57785&a=383750) Car crashes are the leading cause of death of Americans under age 35. Hours spent sitting in a car are tightly correlated with obesity. Cost overruns on road projects pummel budgets (see Morrison Bridge deck & Hwy 20 as recent examples, the latter is more than $100 million over budget so far). Oil imports warp our economy and politics.

    I hope the Oregonian will let us know when it figures out how to pay (fairly) for our current reliance on cars and make it work (so it doesn’t undermine the health of people and the economy).”

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    • meh March 29, 2012 at 7:45 am

      I’m sorry but where did you get your numbers on the leading cause of death being car accidents for those under age 35?

      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db64.pdf

      This document indicates that the leading cause of death for those aged 1-24 (sorry break down isn’t age 35) at 38% is “accidents”, not “car crashes”, just accidents, that includes falling down stairs, slipping in the bath tub, falling off the swing set etc etc etc.

      We demand clarity from the O, we should live up to the same standard.

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  • gumby March 28, 2012 at 10:16 am

    After following the Rupert Murdoch scandal, I’ve seen how much a newspaper can influence public opinion for good and bad. Without another news source to counter their arguments, Portland residents, who are already sceptical of Mayor Adams and city government, tned to regurgitate the opinions that are fed to them.

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  • Michael N March 28, 2012 at 10:22 am

    http://www.thewashcycle.com/2012/03/55-of-cabi-trips-would-have-been-non-active-without-bikesharing.html – this blog post has highlights from some new information about the DC Capital Bikeshare program, based on reports that Arlington Country (Virginia) has released. The DC bikeshare program encompasses both the District of Columbia and Arlington.
    http://www.bikearlington.com/tasks/sites/bike/assets/File/BikeshareTDP_System_Eval.pdf is the report.
    http://www.bikearlington.com/tasks/sites/bike/assets/File/BikeshareTDP_Presentation.pdf are PPT slides that are more easily digested than the report.

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  • Eric March 28, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I do have a question relating to theft of the bike share bicycles. Are users supposed to bring their own locks or are they provided? I’m obviously not up to speed on the logistics, but once a bike is checked out you can take it anywhere for any amount of time, correct? If I live in St. John’s and want to take a bike share bike to the Clinton Theater am I supposed to find a kiosk by the theater to return it to, or am I supposed to bring a lock and lock it outside the theater? Thanks for helping an uneducated citizen.

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    • Andrew Seger March 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

      You would find a bikeshare kiosk or station or whatever you want to call it by the clinton theater and park it there. Generally the first half hour is free and it gets really expensive pretty quickly if you keep it over an hour, at least in the bikeshare systems I’ve used. No need to bother with a lock, you’ll want to return it to the station as quickly as possible.

      Sadly right now it looks like there wont be bikes in either Clinton or St. Johns at first, but hopefully the overwhelming demand gets them there asap.

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      • Eric March 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm

        Thanks for the info…the St. John’s and Clinton areas were only for hypothetical situation.

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    • davemess March 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      I’ve seen European bikeshares that have locks provided with each bike. And their prices were not bad for longer terms, I remember it was only maybe * euros for 24 hours in Milan, or so. Problem was, almost EVERY kiosk we saw was empty. Those things were popular!

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      • davemess March 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

        sorry, 8 euros or so, but I might be off.

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  • Spiffy March 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I had the good fortune to tell off an Oregonian subscription solicitor that came to the door… I let them know that I hate their paper due to their demonizing bicycles and turning motorists against them… they looked a little surprised…

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    • Lazlo March 28, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Nice of you to take it out on the person just trying to do a job, likely earning minimum wage. I’m sure the editors will take notice.

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      • are March 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm

        part of the fellow’s job is (or ought to be) to collect this kind of feedback. i did not read spiffy saying he was unkind to the solicitor, simply that he told the guy his reasons for saying no. when you have a customer service issue with the bank or the dry cleaner, do you usually shout at the person with whom you are registering the concern?

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        • Rain Panther March 29, 2012 at 10:07 am

          synonyms for “tell off”: berate, censure, chide, give piece of one’s mind, give tongue-lashing, lecture, rail, rake over the coals, rebuke, reproach, reprove, revile, scold, take to task, tick off, upbraid, vituperate

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  • BURR March 28, 2012 at 11:49 am

    let’s hope that the rest of their editorial board has heart attacks while banging prostitutes, too.

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    • Chris I March 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      Low blow, but I forgive you for it. The rhetoric they spew out is going to lead to a cyclist being injured or killed at some point in the future, if it hasn’t already.

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      • Joe Rowe March 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

        Correction: The board almost got away with covering up the story of their board member who was providing student aid in exchange for sex.

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        • dwainedibbly March 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

          “Student”? From what the Williamette Week reported it sounds more like she is a pro. “Student” is just to make it sound nicer. (None of that would matter except for the Oregonian’s editorial history, which now seems incredibly hypocritical.) Sorry to get off-track…

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  • spare_wheel March 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    i am quite luke warm to bike share but this editorial makes me want to support it.

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  • anon1q2w3e4r5t March 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I’m curious why my post wasn’t posted/deleted?

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  • Ben Guernsey March 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    “It would have been far better for Portland to direct that $2 million in flexible funding toward long-identified needs, such as safer bike and pedestrian routes, rather than new wants.” –O

    Oh, so NOW they want us to use our funds on bike and pedestrian facilities. But I thought they were upset that the city had budgeted 900k to bike paths and not towards repaving up our streets. Make up your mind.

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  • 9watts March 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    FIFY, O:
    “free” federal money get you a long way in Portland, but people need more proof that THE CRC would provide a true public benefit — without anyone getting taken for a ride.”

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  • John Lascurettes March 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    The bet part about this editorial (online at least) is that it’s barely being taken notice of, except mostly by aware and cognizant cyclists. There’s one crank and one troll in the 10 (at the moment) comments.

    I guess they weren’t able to froth up the vitriol this time.

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  • david March 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Just FYI, there is a new car rental company comming to PDX. For2go, no this isnt spam. I understand they are going to charge 35.00 hour to rent their cars along with membership fee. That’s a lot for a one hour slot, and takes up more room parked and driving than a rental bicycle. Also you are supposed to be able to just “leave” the car wherever when you are done with it. I wonder how business will feel about that.

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    • are March 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      especially when a flash mob leaves the entire fleet in one place

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    • fiets503 March 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      not true. go to their website for the details Car2go dot com

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  • Stripes March 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Who even *reads* the Oregonian anymore?? I am in my early thirties, and I don’t know a single friend or co-worker my age that reads it.

    Perhaps if they printed stories that were less aimed soley at the somewhat right-wing retirees of the Tigard-Massive, they might actually have a future readership. As it stands, nobody I know currently reads it, or has plans to ever pick it up, and read it.

    The Portland Tribune does a much, much better job of reporting on transportation-related news. And bonus. It’s free!!

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  • mh March 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I still don’t understand the intended market. Tourists, is all I can imagine. My brother came down from Seattle for a weekend last summer and we loaned him one of our backup bikes for the downtown Sunday Parkways. Maybe he’d have rented one of these. Real “bike tourists” won’t. I can imagine leaving my bike safe and dry in the garage at work and riding one of these downtown, but then I wouldn’t be able to ride directly home. And do these have racks that my Ortleib would fit? Not likely.

    I’d love to see them be a success, but please tell me who you expect to see riding them. (And how those renters are going to know to keep off the downtown sidewalks.)

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    • El Biciclero March 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      I could see commuters using share bikes for the “last mile” of their trip to work. Those that come in from outlying areas (I think of Beaverton, where there are two bike-’n’-ride locations with bike parking cages), could ride to transit, park the bike–to avoid the dirty looks and hassles of dragging a bike onto a MAX car at rush hour–take a bus/train into town, rent a bike and finish the trip. Same could apply to anyone who had business downtown: take a train in and then rent a bike for running around to stops the train doesn’t make.

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    • Pat March 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      I have seen these bike-shares used in Paris (20,000 bikes) and Dublin – about 500 bikes) they are used primarily by residents there, not tourists. They are used for innumerable short trips/errands. They are heavy (industrial strength) bikes primarily intended for trips of less than 3 miles. They connect transit stops, business districts, and favorite cultural destinations. The vendor assures that there is an even distribution of bikes so the don’t get ‘top heavy’ in some areas. The user is relieved of needing to use a car for a short trip or worry about locking up their own bike somewhere once they get to a museum or store, but a bike is there for when you return. check out http://www.capitalbikeshare.com/

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    • Jeremy Cohen March 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      I ride my bike from home to work, but my co-workers all take public transit. When they need to run an errand at lunch, or make a quick mid-day trip they have to plan around transit schedules–if they could hop a bike-share bike, they would be off to the farmers market, the library, pioneer place…plus, it would greatly expand their lunch choices. Also, there is one person I work in the same building with who pays for monthly parking–he despises having to pay for parking elsewhere if he goes out during the day, plus he always loses his “good” parking spot. I could go on, but I think the point is made. In fact, I am eager for more people to give riding downtown a try so they will become more aware drivers!

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    • wsbob March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      “I still don’t understand the intended market. …” mh

      Good question is, ‘Who is the anticipated market?’. Responding to your comment, El Biciclero thinks it might be commuters. Jeremy Cohen thinks it might be people using the bikes during lunch breaks.

      Short 30-60 minute, kiosk equipped point to point trips seem to be the use that bike share systems are intended for. That’s people getting on the bike at a kiosk, zipping over to their destination to do whatever it is they need to be doing, somehow keeping the bike with them if a kiosk is not available at the destination, then riding back to the original departure point to return the bike to its original kiosk, within a period of time that allows the expense of using the bike share bike to fall within their budget.

      In Portland, what are some examples of typical trips a bike share bike may be useful for? PSU to Old Town, NW 23rd or The Pearl District? Downtown to the Convention Center just across the Willamette? All these points across the city are served by bus or streetcar. PSU to Old Town or The Pearl is about a 15-20 minute walk. Average time, a bike could cut the time by maybe half.

      The Wikipedia article for ‘Bicycle Sharing System’ has some info about the performance of the system used in Paris France that started up in 2007. Some good and bad. Good news: “…(daily use averages between 50,000 to 150,000 trips) …”. Paris of course, is a very big tourist town, but who exactly are making those thousands of daily trips? If there are some decent surveys indicating who they may be, that would be worth taking a look at.

      Bad news: “…a staggering 80 percent of the original 20,600 bicycles have been destroyed or stolen.[40]…”. 40, is for a footnote for a 2009 NYTimes article.

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  • Joe March 29, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Does what the O write matters? that’s pretty questionable despite Jonathan’s assertion that it does.. I say we just start ignoring it. Wouldn’t be hard since the only time I hear about it is on here. Every conversation i have in the real word about something the O writes is a joke. Their reputation can’t be any worse in my opinion. No one I know takes it seriously.

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  • S March 29, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Jonathan, I hope you will consider writing a guest editorial that sets the record straight…and/or that we all write Letters to the Editor to that effect.

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  • dwainedibbly March 29, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Last week I pinned a bike share station right in front of the Oregonian’s building on SW Broadway (on the PDX Bike Share site), mostly to be a smart alec, but partly as guerrilla marketing. Let them try it. Maybe a few of them will start to get it.

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  • Andyc March 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    But if I don’t read the Oregonian, how am I going to find out what mis-haps have befallen Ziggy?

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  • kittens March 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Though I admit a lot of people still read the O, I think we can fairly assume the’ve made up their minds on the issue of bikes, Sam Adams, etc. Similar to Fox News, no minds will change. The echo chamber effect… in paper form.

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  • Bostonian March 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Despite months of doomsday reporting leading up to its launch, our nay-saying newspapers here in Boston have since all had to bite their tongues about bike share which arrived late last summer. In the first three months of bike share in Boston (a small to medium sized city which tends to be very unfriendly to cyclists), there were 140,000 trips by bike share. This went well beyond even the optimist’s expectations. One warm weekend in September saw more than 10,000 rides. What’s more, there were no major accidents, no deaths, no stolen bicycles, and the repair service kept up well with the demand. An MIT start-up is piloting a helmet rental kiosk this spring alongside the bike share stations. Now all the articles in the Herald and Globe are about expansion to surrounding towns. It has been a huge success.

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    • wsbob March 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Wikipedia’s ‘Bicycle Sharing System’ article offers some information about Boston’s experience with bike sharing. The article doesn’t have any particular info that would give a strong reason to suggest bike sharing would be a success in Portland. There isn’t much information explaining who is riding the bikes in Boston.

      At any rate, with a bike sharing system, how is ‘success’ gauged? Most reports seem to consider certain numbers of trips made, such as 100,000, to be an indicator. How many of those trips are paying trips beyond the initial 30 min free time? Does Boston’s system operate in the black? Wiki says Boston’s system was “…funded in part by a $3 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration …”.

      Bike sharing might be a good idea for Portland, but it might help people see whether or not that was so, if more information was available as to who is expected might be riding these bikes, and what routes supported by point to point kiosks the system will start out with. Will bike share in Portland help relieve the city’s traffic congestion problems? Will bike share in Portland significantly offer an improvement in the ability people in Portland have to get around town? There hasn’t been enough good, specific information reported to the public to answer those questions.

      Boston’s system closes down in the winter…something like late November to mid-March.

      All Boston bike share users apparently are obliged to wear helmets.

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      • Machu Picchu April 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm

        Public Transit rarely “operates in the black”. Why would that be a requirement for success in a bikeshare program? It’s about little, people-powered trips versus big motor vehicles hogging the roads and the parking.

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        • wsbob April 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

          “Public Transit rarely “operates in the black”. Why would that be a requirement for success in a bike share program? …” Machu Picchu

          Maybe you’re suggesting that operating in the black should be requirement for bike share. I’m not suggesting it should operate in the black, but instead, am asking whether or not it would.

          If the system did pay for itself, as I seem to recall the wiki article said either Boston or Denver’s system is or is close to doing, that would be a selling point for bike share here in Portland instead of it being another expensive part of travel infrastructure the public would be obliged to shoulder the burden of paying for.

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  • jim March 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Will bike rentals be free in fareless square?

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  • Steve Brown April 2, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Sorry I am late to the party. I was in Paris last week. My wife and I rode bikes on their system almost every day. We have been using the system for three years. It works well for locals and visitors. Hard to imagine a city of any size without them.

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