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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 12-11-13, 05:07 PM   #1
Roody
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London bike share faces some challenges

A short article about problems in London--including availability of bikes, danger, and cost to the city and to individual users:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/com...e-crisis/7844/
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Old 12-11-13, 10:02 PM   #2
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I strongly agree with this statement from the last paragraph:

"Creating a system isn’t enough. If you want to change a city's transit habits, you need an extensive, safe cycle network to encourage people to keep using it once the novelty has worn off."

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Old 12-12-13, 12:03 AM   #3
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A short article about problems in London--including availability of bikes, danger, and cost to the city and to individual users:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/com...e-crisis/7844/
I know this sounds like I told you so. But I have to mention it. Not that I ever thought the London system would fail if you remember when someone posted the pictures of the blue bike lanes I suggested they didn't seem all that safe to me and it looked like in some places cars, vans and buses were pulling into the lanes and almost pushing the cyclists you said it was simply the angle of the picture. But I will commend you for finding more research on that subject. Now I can hope they find a solution to what looks like bad design.
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Old 12-12-13, 03:01 AM   #4
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I know this sounds like I told you so. But I have to mention it. Not that I ever thought the London system would fail if you remember when someone posted the pictures of the blue bike lanes I suggested they didn't seem all that safe to me and it looked like in some places cars, vans and buses were pulling into the lanes and almost pushing the cyclists you said it was simply the angle of the picture. But I will commend you for finding more research on that subject. Now I can hope they find a solution to what looks like bad design.
I don't know what, if anything, caused the increase in cyclist deaths in London. Evidently the blue painted bike lanes are not preventing all accidents, as one might wish. But the article doesn't contain information if the lanes are directly contributing to the fatal crashes. It sounds like the mayor was blaming the cyclists: "...there may be some sense in Mayor Boris Johnson’s demand that cyclists pay better attention to the law...."

Here's the most recent analysis I could find, from the BBC. In a quick reading, I get that the accident rate is up some in the last year, but no cause is given:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-25306281
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Old 12-12-13, 01:30 PM   #5
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London's cyclists are not to blame for London's low cycling modal share, it's the politicians who should take the blame .
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Old 12-13-13, 10:52 AM   #6
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Having dealt somewwhat with bike sharing programs through our local co-op... I'm not surprised that it would have some hiccups.

Bike sharing can be a great answer to the thorning "last mile" issue, but it's certainly not a slam dunk. If you have an already financially crippled transit system, bike sharing isn't going to breath enough air into it...

Over time, I suspect we'll see many of these systems fail (particularly in the US where the phenomenon seems less connected to transit... and where transit funding is often seen as icing for the cake). However, I'm willing to bet some cities will have thriving bike share programs.
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Old 12-13-13, 12:05 PM   #7
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Having dealt somewwhat with bike sharing programs through our local co-op... I'm not surprised that it would have some hiccups.

Bike sharing can be a great answer to the thorning "last mile" issue, but it's certainly not a slam dunk. If you have an already financially crippled transit system, bike sharing isn't going to breath enough air into it...

Over time, I suspect we'll see many of these systems fail (particularly in the US where the phenomenon seems less connected to transit... and where transit funding is often seen as icing for the cake). However, I'm willing to bet some cities will have thriving bike share programs.
I recently spent two hours on a street corner counting bicycles for a study being done by our local university. In that time, I counted 977 bikes, and about 25% were from the bike-share system.
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Old 12-13-13, 09:55 PM   #8
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I recently spent two hours on a street corner counting bicycles for a study being done by our local university. In that time, I counted 977 bikes, and about 25% were from the bike-share system.
That's great. Perhaps bike-share is a phenomenon like public transit. Doesn't always make money, but where would a city be without it?
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Old 12-13-13, 10:12 PM   #9
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That's great. Perhaps bike-share is a phenomenon like public transit. Doesn't always make money, but where would a city be without it?
Personally I never understood renting a bike with a one size fits all mentality. But that may just be me and my obsession with proper bike fit. It seems interesting but I am not sure they will ever really be self supporting. If the big guys in bike share are having big problems it makes you wonder. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/com...d-beyond/7122/

Don't have the answer and have yet to wish we had such a system because I find the bikes to be less than attractive. Once again just me.
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Old 12-13-13, 10:20 PM   #10
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That's great. Perhaps bike-share is a phenomenon like public transit. Doesn't always make money, but where would a city be without it?
I've read that our system loses money, but I'm not losing any sleep over that. It was never meant to be a money maker, and I'm convinced that in the long run it saves the city a bundle if factors like reduced wear and tear on the roads, improved public health and cleaner air are taken into account.

Back to the situation in London: They might want to consider lowering the prices they charge for those Boris bikes and doing a better job of promoting cycling in general and making it safer. They could be facing legal action and hefty fines for their dirty air and their alleged "massaging" of air quality data:

http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-Ne...oid-Fines.html

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Old 12-14-13, 09:05 AM   #11
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Personally I never understood renting a bike with a one size fits all mentality. It seems interesting but I am not sure they will ever really be self supporting.
I believe there is no mode of transportation that is fully self supporting. Perhaps the cow paths in days of yore.
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Old 12-14-13, 12:17 PM   #12
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I believe there is no mode of transportation that is fully self supporting. Perhaps the cow paths in days of yore.
True, but some are less than others. And if the method has a private sector element like the bike share does if it never makes a profit the program will fail. At least it will fail for the people that own the business. As the links posted clearly indicate.
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Old 12-14-13, 02:54 PM   #13
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True, but some are less than others. And if the method has a private sector element like the bike share does if it never makes a profit the program will fail. At least it will fail for the people that own the business. As the links posted clearly indicate.
As a business model, most recent bike share programs are like most magazines, newspapers, and web sites. Businesses put money into them for the advertising and marketing value. If you think Barclays or Citibank are giving free money to cyclists, or risking assets on such a shaky venture, you are very mistaken. As long as people in affluent cities see their brightly colored logos on bikes and kiosks, these multinational banks will continue to fund the projects out of their advertising budgets.
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Old 12-14-13, 09:03 PM   #14
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As a business model, most recent bike share programs are like most magazines, newspapers, and web sites. Businesses put money into them for the advertising and marketing value. If you think Barclays or Citibank are giving free money to cyclists, or risking assets on such a shaky venture, you are very mistaken. As long as people in affluent cities see their brightly colored logos on bikes and kiosks, these multinational banks will continue to fund the projects out of their advertising budgets.

I am not the one that posted the articles about Barclays Bank pulling out of London's bike share program remember? And I wasn't the reporter questioning the solvency of bike share in Canada. If you read the link I posted.
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Old 12-14-13, 11:32 PM   #15
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I am not the one that posted the articles about Barclays Bank pulling out of London's bike share program remember? And I wasn't the reporter questioning the solvency of bike share in Canada. If you read the link I posted.
You're right about Barclays. I misremembered it as Barclays was considering pulling out. Thanks for pointing out my error.
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Old 12-15-13, 12:02 AM   #16
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You're right about Barclays. I misremembered it as Barclays was considering pulling out. Thanks for pointing out my error.
Happens in the heat of the moment. No harm no foul.
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