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Lloyd District ponders bike-sharing system

Posted by on August 13th, 2010 at 9:29 am

City of Portland bike sharing demonstration-22

Bike-sharing bikes from Montreal’s Bixi.
(Photo © J. Maus)

As public bike-sharing systems continue to be launched in cities around the country (including a novel new system being developed in New York City), the City of Portland still sits on the sidelines. But that hasn’t stopped the Lloyd District Transportation Management Association from exploring a system of their own.

The Lloyd District TMA is a non-profit, public/private partnership funded through a combination of Metro and federal grants along with membership from nearby businesses. Their mission is to promote a “balanced transportation system” in the heavily commercialized area bounded by the Willamette River, I-84, NE 15th and NE Broadway.

Lloyd TMA staffer Heather McCarey says several businesses — including the DoubleTree Hotel (who recently added bike racks to one of their parking garages), and the Oregon Convention Center — contacted them with interest in a bike-sharing system or more bike rental options for the Lloyd District at the end of July.

In response, the TMA launched an online survey to gauge the interest of Lloyd District employees. The survey only reached about 150 employees, but of those, 85.5 percent felt a a bike-sharing system would add “some value” or “significant value” to the Lloyd District. 46 percent said their employees would use such a system more than once or twice a week. Over 61 percent of the businesses said their companies might be willing to help fund such a system.

McCarey says the survey was just an exploratory exercise and acknowledges they are nowhere near making any decisions. “I think all parties involve acknowledge that any future bike share program is still a ways off due to the enormous up-front infrastructure costs and the high bike ownership rates in Portland.”

While bike-sharing might be a ways off, a new bike rental shop could be in the Lloyd District’s future. McCarey says they’ve scheduled a meeting for next week to discuss next steps, “Which might include finding space in the Lloyd District near the OCC [Oregon Convention Centero] for a bike rental shop.”

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6 Comments
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    skodt August 13, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve been working on and off at a new rack store in Minneapolis, and last weekend I had a chance to bring my wife along. We used the Nice Ride bikes to get around for a few days.

    The bike share program here is awesome, and it works for several reasons:

    -it is relatively flat here (compared to Portland), the bikes have 3-speed internal geared hubs

    -the bike stations (where you can pickup or return bikes) are EVERYWHERE in the city center–you are rarely further than 3 to 5 blocks from one, meaning you can park close to your destination

    -its cheap…$5 for a one day pass, and you only pay if the bike is ‘checked-out’ for longer than 30 minutes…most rides take 30 minutes or less unless you are tooling around town

    For this to succeed in Portland, I’d recommend more gearing (for our steeper/longer hills), an investment in LOTS of stations, and we must keep it cheap. We spent $10 for one day; taking cabs or the bus would have cost many times more

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    suburban August 13, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    The Lloyd TMA website shows that 1. A most casual rider could cross this area in 6-8 minutes. 2.There are quite a lot of places to lock up your bicycle 3. The main impediment to cycling in the area is a huge multi block retail building right in the middle of it.
    In my survey, 88.8 percent of people surveyed said that they could just ride a bike to work it they wanted, or just keep a $50 bike at work that coworkers could ride over to Chipotle for lunch runs. 44 percent said they thought biking in the rain was “icky”, and 15 percent of business owners consider bicycle infrastructure to represent the corrupting values of the U.N.

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    Shopper August 14, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Suburban (#2) – where do you find a functional bike for $50 these days?

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    suburban August 14, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Yard sales.($100 if using craigslist.com) Don’t STP your Huffy, but for the price of one new Schwalbe you can get around what was once the Holladay Park Neighborhood quite well for many years. No non-profits, grant writing, chic matching step-through frames, stakeholder surveys, outreach plans, Microsoft powerpoint presentations, ribbon cutting ceremonies or press releases to “green” publications required.
    Lloyd TMA may always need to make decisions by committee, but this should not eclipse judgement of what are real transportation issues.

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    Red Five August 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    these would vandalized, damaged, stolen, or whatever in a week in that part of town. Good luck.

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    SteveG August 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    The programs in MPLS and London (and soon, DC) are all Bixi Bikeshare bikes and stations. Alta Bikeshare (based here in Portland) manages them. The bikes are expensive, but relatively tamper-proof. The concern about hills in Portland is real; however, the system could be limited to Downtown, Lloyd, and the Central East Side out to about 12th. And maybe they could put banks of bikes out along the MAX line, which visitors could use to get to and from various industrial parks. The “station bikes” would require a somewhat different model (e.g. round trips only), but it seems doable to me.

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