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Julie Maxey-Allison | 10th Street

LimeBike at Jimmy Durante and Via de la Vallee.
Photo Julie Maxey-Allison.
Click to enlarge.

Bike riding is healthy exercise and is healthy for the environment, cutting back our carbon footprint and supporting the Climate Action Campaign. Bike lanes added to streets reduce traffic snarls, plus people opting to travel by bike open up parking spaces for cars. Currently, many thousands of bike riders pass through Del Mar monthly on pleasure rides or commutes to work.

There may be more. A plan to open up more bike riding possibilities through a bike share system is being studied by the north coastal cities of Oceanside, Leucadia, Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar. The cities have engaged in a dialogue and are participating in researching the intricacies of adopting a coordinated bike share policy. Encinitas is taking the lead and has started a search for a company/supplier to partner with in a year-long pilot plan. If successful, the cities will join in the program.

Nationally the program has been successful in some cities and not so in others. New York City’s City Bike system offers docks and is a success. Bike sharing has been in San Diego since 2014 with a company that supplied specific docks, or parking stations, where the bikes could be rented and returned. The bikes are rented via an app that is downloaded to a smartphone, a credit card is linked, allowing the the code on the bike to be scanned and the bike released, ready to ride. Bike share bikes are affordable with pricing starting as low as $1 per hour, and convenient because they can be picked up in one place and, when the rider is finished, parked in another. Due to a legality, other companies, at least one offering electric bikes, are now allowed to compete in the city. However, many companies have dockless arrangements where bikes can, when the rider is finished, be randomly parked and left to be picked up. The problem is, without docks or rack sites, these brightly colored bikes can and do become a nuisance when abandoned in creative places that can include the middle of the sidewalk or tossed into the bushes. And electric scooters are also in the mix. The city of Seattle introduced dockless, private bike-share programs some eight months ago and while it is viewed as being mostly successful, the city is contending with issue of randomly left bicycles. The Seattle’s neighbor, the City of Ballard is experimenting with adding painted bike parking spaces to reduce confusion.

Another problem not yet completely addressed is helmets. They do not come with the bikes. They are required for cyclists under 18 years old and a good idea for all riders. Hopefully, the Encinitas pilot program will puzzle out the right process of implementing a bike share program for all north coast cities.

LimeBike left for three days on
Carmel Valley Road and Via Cortina.
Photo Virginia Lawrence.
Click to enlarge.



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