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    Our Readers Write: La Jollans share their views on local issues
    June 6th, 2018
    In defense of dockless bikes in La Jolla

    In a community often gridlocked by traffic and where parking is a competitive sport, shouldn't alternate forms of transportation be something to celebrate? Dockless vehicles are a relatively pollution-free component to alleviating at least some of our traffic woes and one that is not being underwritten by the taxpayer.

    Are there issues with them crowding sidewalks and being vandalized? Yes. But those incidents can be minimized with education and dialogue. Outright bans and knee-jerk reactions will not make this problem go away.

    Frankly, what concerns me is people who lack the common sense needed to park (or move) a bike out of the way or who feel entitled to damage property not belonging to them. Let's work with these companies to help solve their problems and some of our own.

    Charles Stephens
    La Jolla News Nuggets:
    Corey Levitan June 7th, 2018
    Village to tout its wellness ways Saturday June 9

    Global Wellness Day will be celebrated in La Jolla, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 9. It starts with a preview of the new Spa La V at La Valencia Hotel and a 10 a.m. free yoga class on the Garden Terrace (El Jardin) overlooking the pool.

    Afterward, 18 different wellness-oriented businesses around The Village will have free presentations and special offers — from an organic mattress store to Sky Yoga, to Cryotherapy, to a travel agency that is specializing in wellness travel. There will also be IV infusions and a vein clinic.

    The day ends at La Jolla Sports Club with a raffle and an open house. A Wellness Walking Map of La Jolla will be available and merchants will have Pink Paddles for selfies that say “I Say Yes!” to Wellness.

    This might be a good chance for Bike Share companies to tout the wellness benefits of riding a bike. Rather than driving for short/intermediate trips around the village, go by bike. If you must drive into La Jolla, park your vehicle and use the bike share to navigate around the village. (Better yet, take the MTS bus.) You'll see so much more, enjoying the friendly ambiance, gorgeous architecture, charming gardens, beautiful views, world class stores and restaurants, all at a leisurely pace.

    Light exercise, fresh air, sunshine, ease of use and lack of parking hassles make biking a terrific wellness tool. Wellness for not just the individual but for the Global Wellness of the community at large. Reductions in traffic, noise, parking hassles, pollution and aggravation lead to wellness both physically, mentally and spiritually. Engaging with other people on a human level; smiling, chatting and sharing the community space leads to well being at many levels of analysis.

    Take some Bike Share selfies that say “I Say Yes!” to Bike Share Wellness.
    • CommentAuthorfrank
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2018 edited
    Sigurd:How come not a single media outlet ever manages to cover the positives of the shared bike options? The positives are so powerful, so numerous, so wide-reaching and radical -- yet we allow ourselves to get bogged down in the NIMBY-reactionary-status quo agenda of helmets, age limits, and other unimportant stuff!

    We seriously need to flip-flop the narrative - please post a positive article about two-wheeled shared options! These alternative and progressive transportation options need and deserve our support.
    Unfortunately the NIMBY crying is what sells papers or in the case of the internet and televisions- ads, likes, and clicks.

    The NIMBYs also have the ear of the City Council and usually have their hands in all the local political organizations. Useless Zapf played the political game well and probably got votes from people who didn’t plan on voting for her thanks to her little Boardwalk ban stunt.

    Here’s something heartwarming:
    It’s pretty incredible to launch one of those apps and be able to find a bicycle or scooter within a few hundred feet though. And often in places like Pacific Beach or Ocean Beach that option is faster than walking, waiting for a cab, or driving a personal vehicle. It’s certainly faster than MTS.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2018 edited
    Bikeshare could increase light rail transit ridership
    Coupling bikeshare with public transit could be an important component when trying to increase light rail transit (LRT) ridership, according to a new study.
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2018
    bikingbill:Yes, better they should use their automobiles.

    Seriously? More helmet nonsense.

    Note: I have yet to see a Bird scooter exceed 12mph. Maybe it's possible, but I have yet to observe it.

    12mph is entirely too fast for a vehicle that's routinely ridden on sidewalks. Why not limit them to 7-8mph? Still faster than walking, which is apparently what these stupid scooters are supposed to replace.

    The ones going 12 are on the paths. The ones on the sidewalk, at least what I have observed, are running at slow speeds.
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2018 edited
    A bike could do 24mph or more on the boardwalk or sidewalk -- but most don't: We rely on common sense by all road users (and ultimately, enforcement) to adhere to speed limits and other rules and regulations, and to keep others safe. Why treat scooters differently? (A car called Dodge Demon can do 170mph {in fact, the manufacturer brags about it in its commercials], which clearly is inappropriate anywhere - yet, I see nobody suggesting capping car speeds at 75 or 65mph).

    On a related note, I rode the boardwalk and beach area streets yesterday and was encouraged to see a huge number of people on shared bikes, whether motorized or not. There is clearly a huge market for them, and they provide a quick and easy alternative to car transportation. I would like to see statistics on how dockless two-wheel transportation impacts on automobile use and parking demand - that's something news-hungry journalists can make a good story about instead of spewing out an endless stream of negative and sensationalist spin: I bet the numbers are substantial.
    • CommentAuthorfrank
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2018 edited
    On a related note, I rode the boardwalk and beach area streets yesterday and was encouraged to see a huge number of people on shared bikes, whether motorized or not. There is clearly a huge market for them, and they provide a quick and easy alternative to car transportation. I would like to see statistics on how dockless two-wheel transportation impacts on automobile use and parking demand - that's something news-hungry journalists can make a good story about instead of spewing out an endless stream of negative and sensationalist spin: I bet the numbers are substantial.

    That’s what I try to keep telling people- that these bikes and scooter are replacing car trips especially for those who would drive a distance that’s just too long to walk in a reasonable amount of time.
    Seems the users are getting better about not leaving them in places they aren’t supposed to either.
    I still see plenty of people riding the scooters on the sidewalks without helmets (gasp!) but few are riding dangerously or hitting other people like the NIMBYs allege. Unfortunately the scooter users probably believe they belong on the sidewalk thanks to the common narrative that roads are for “cars” only.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2018
    • CommentAuthorfrank
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2018 edited
    Shady John:

    That DMV website misses a lot of the parts of the CVC that govern scooter use.
    But then again so do the cops:!topic/caboforum/d6m0me8ng78
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2018
    The backlash

    I wonder if this practice of directly stifling transportation options by capping the number of vehicles, requiring insurance, paying into an "endowment" to compensate for "damages to city property", and ultimately, the arbitrary threat of withdrawal of operating permits if the City feels that rules are not followed well enough by the operator, also should be applied to Budget, Avis, Hertz, Alamo, Thrifty, et al? In San Diego, at least, it seems that the City is falling over itself supporting the rental car businesses (while endlessly procrastinating building a rail link to the airport).
    Bird Rock news:
    Corey Levitan June 13th, 2018
    Bird rocks Bird Rock

    Fresh from his company’s victorious City Council vote against banning scooters on the Pacific Beach boardwalk last month, Tim Harder, Southern California and Arizona rep for Bird, announced updates to his company’s tech in response to complaints from community groups. For instance, the new models have odometers, so riders can see how fast they’re going and not violate laws such as 8 mph speed limit on the Pacific Beach boardwalk. (That boardwalk, he added, was initially designated by Caltrans as a Type 2 bike lane.)

    Also, Harder said that any scooter not being used at least three times a day is taken out of rotation in that neighborhood. And, acknowledging the fact that no one — especially not a tourist — walks around with helmets, Harder said his company exploring the possibility of a free helmet “that might come out of the floorboard.” Finally, Harder said Bird is releasing an animated tutorial, sometime in the next couple of weeks, that will show exactly what renters are supposed to do.
    Resident Don Schmidt wasn’t having any of it. “I am so appalled,” he said during the Q&A. “Our right-of-ways are being encroached upon, 6 percent of our population is disabled and somebody’s going to be killed because someone’s going to be coming down. I feel so bad for the young parents who are just trying to walk their kids in a stroller. I’ve been almost hit twice in PB. It’s appalling and I’m not shooting the messenger. I’m very mad at the mayor. People from out of town, they don’t care because they’re here to party.”

    Harder apologized but stood some ground as well, telling Schmidt and the group: “There is legislation pending at the state level that would change the law so that motorized scooters would be considered under the rules for electric bicycles, because we don’t believe that we should be considered a Vespa, which is the regulation we’re currently under, so you have to wear a helmet. “You’re all adults and I think you should be able to decide if you want to wear a helmet or not.”

    It went back and forth like that for 10 more minutes.
    • CommentAuthorfrank
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2018
    Speedometers will be nice. Although “for science” I grabbed a Bird last night and recorded my ride on Strava. I couldn’t get the thing to go 15 mph unless I was going down hill. Typical cruising speed on the flats was closer to 8 or 9 mph. Almost all the media reports say these things can go 15 under motor power so maybe I got a bad scooter? The battery was at 91 percent too. I weigh 170 so maybe somebody lighter can go faster.

    Rotation is good too. Hopefully the bike share companies will do this too.

    Helmets- they should lobby go change the law. Make it match the helmet law for normal bicycles and make them required only for those under 18. If people under 18 are using the scooters that’s a violation of the terms of service anyways. Unless we’re still licensing 16 and 17 year olds for full driving licenses.

    Animated tutorials are cool. When I “locked” the Bird yesterday the app asked me to take a photo of where I left it. This is probably what’s behind the reason why i don’t see that many actually blocking sidewalks anymore.

    Schmidt is a typical NIMBY. Impervious to facts and ignorant of basic civics. He thinks he can intelligently use phrases like “right of way” but doesn’t understand what that actually means. He doesn’t understand the roads and public rights of way are for people, not for cars only. If he’s so concerned about people getting killed he should pull his head out of the sand and look at the elephant in the room which is the motor vehicles. NIMBYs like hi musically make up or exagerare these stories. I live in PB and not a single helmetless scooter rider has “almost killed me” They are annoying and take me by surprise quite often but they aren’t nearly the hazard the NIMBYs think they are. The mayor isn’t a dictator, he can’t just create a new law or overnight with a magic wand get something changed.This is why logical people need to really speak up and talk over the NIMBYs.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2018
    New transit app simplifies city trips with real-time bikeshare info
    Coord’s new Router app offers informed options to navigate the mess of urban mobility options
    Dockless scooters get laissez-faire treatment...
    Joshua Emerson Smith June 18, 2018
    Since app-based rental scooters and bikes started popping up on sidewalks across California earlier this year, elected officials both excited and wary of the new technology have scrambled to regulate the industry.

    Cities from San Francisco to Los Angeles have now taken steps to reign in these multimillion-dollar startups, such as Lime and Bird, preparing to impose fees, safety requirement and caps on the number of vehicles allowed within their borders. However, San Diego is not one of those cities. In fact, it’s one of the only major metropolitan regions in California barraged by the scooter craze that has yet to purse some kind of rules for the industry.
    Local advocates pushing for alternatives to car travel have found themselves in a nuanced situation, wanting to protect pedestrian safety while not imposing rules that could slow down adoption.

    “I’m not saying that there can’t be any regulation or fees on this industry, but they would need to be thought through, and so far I haven’t heard of any city adopting a thorough policy, especially when it come to the limits on vehicles,” said Colin Parent, executive director of Circulate San Diego, an organization which promotes safety and walkability.
    There is much more in this story; too much to copy here. Follow link to read it all.
    San Diego to Explore Dockless Vehicle Permit, Fee Program
    Debbie L. Sklar June 20, 2018
    A San Diego City Council committee Wednesday agreed to create a working group to explore the creation of a permit and fee system for companies providing dockless bikes and scooters. During a presentation to the council’s Budget and Governmental Efficiency Committee, Khan outlined several potential payment options to fund dockless vehicle infrastructure, user education and enforcement mechanisms.
    Dockless infrastructure in other regions has also proved effective, Khan said. Some cities stripe off dockless parking areas, or install vehicle corrals on sidewalks and unused parking spots. A dockless vehicle study conducted in Seattle showed that 70 percent of bikes were parked correctly after corrals were installed. “This is usually a creative solution to solving the clutter issue we see with different bike providers,” Khan said. The Seattle study also found that 75 percent of dockless bikers used the vehicles to access transit. Khan said vehicle operators could share data with the city to identify high-use areas in need of infrastructure.
    Councilwoman Georgette Gomez, a dockless scooter user, said improved infrastructure should precede regulations and fees. “If you don’t have the infrastructure, then people are still utilizing (a dockless vehicle) but they’re utilizing it in a way that makes them safe — and perhaps sidewalks are those spaces. Is it right? No. But we need to deliver that infrastructure,” she said.
    Local Ofo General Manager Paul Vidal, who attended Wednesday’s meeting, said his company is receptive to community concerns. “There is a learning curve. All of us have gone through it, but we take it seriously,” he said. “If it’s picking up bikes and putting them in better places, or making them safer overall — we’ll do whatever we can.”

    –City News Service
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2018 edited
    A freewheeling guide to two-wheeling in San Diego

    What to know about bike sharing
    San Diego introduced its bike-share program in 2014 with the arrival of Discover Bike. But the city attorney’s office elevated bike-sharing when it approved “dockless” bikes, unlocked using a smartphone app.

    The first bikes to appear were yellow and green units offered by LimeBike, which appeared on sidewalks, lawns, street corners and at bus and trolley stops throughout the city.

    Within a few weeks, yellow bikes and orange bikes from Chinese companies Ofo and Mobike materialized.

    The promise of inexpensive, easily available bike transportation throughout the city was exciting. But as with other disruptive technologies introduced in the last few years, there have been teething pains.

    The community’s reaction was mixed. Some business owners complained that the bikes block access for customers; some homeowners grumbled about their ubiquity. Other residents and many tourists applauded the new availability.

    “Change is hard for people,” said Judi Tentor, executive director of Bike SD, a nonprofit cycling organization. “People say those bikes are everywhere, but there’s a blindness to the fact that there are also cars everywhere.

    “They see two or three bikes and I see 30 cars with all of their attendant problems.”

    Lessons in bike-sharing
    My first experience with bike-share did not start off on the right foot.

    The bike I aimed for, using the Ofo app, was parked at a corner in a residential section of Hillcrest. When I got to the bike, a sketchy looking young man had turned the bike upside-down and was actively dismantling the chain, presumably to unlock and steal it.

    Another bike I tried to access had been vandalized: Its brake cables had been cut.

    When I finally unlocked a bike sitting outside a Trader Joe’s, the ease of the system kicked in. In half a minute, I was on my way to Balboa Park, ideal turf for leisurely cycling.

    Outside the park’s Fleet Science Center, I encountered a family of four that had three Ofo bikes corralled and were looking for a fourth.

    “I think it’s fantastic,” said Julie Corbett, visiting from Scotland with her husband and two teenagers. “We don’t have anything like this in Edinburgh.”

    Her husband, Alan, said: “It’s promoting public health and community engagement and helps reduce diabetes. I can see people really latching on to this.”

    Having tried bikes from all four bike-share companies over the last few weeks, I’ve learned a few things:

    •Bikes from the three dockless companies — LimeBike, Ofo and Mobike — are small-framed, three-speed, with a basket and a bell. They are not suited for climbing hills.

    All unlock using a smartphone and QR code under the seat. Brakes and gears worked with varying degrees of reliability, based on maintenance.

    Prices vary, after incentives and discounts are factored in, but average $1 for every 30 to 60 minutes of ride time.

    •The key advantage of LimeBike is that seats can be raised higher. I’d recommend LimeBike for anyone taller than 5 feet 10 inches. (Ofo is working on raising the seats, a representative said.

    •An advantage of Mobikes is that the basket in front is linked to the frame, not the wheel, so the basket stays in line, making it easier to steer. I’d recommend Mobike when carrying more than a few pounds,

    •LimeBike also offers electric, or eBikes, although they are few in number and cost more: $1 to unlock plus 15 cents a minute of use — $10 for the first hour. But they’re a great option for flattening out some of the city’s steeper hills.

    •The bikes from Discover have a higher seat position but are more expensive — $5 for 30 minutes, $7 for an hour, or $12 for two hours.

    You don’t need an app to rent a Discover Bike, just a credit or debit card to unlock the bikes. If you’re hoping for a point-to-point trip be sure to check the company’s map for return locations. Stations are plentiful in downtown and Little Italy, and there’s good representation in Hillcrest and North Park.

    But there are few locations in Old Town, beach areas and none in Coronado, La Jolla or Mission Valley.
    Scooter crash with serious injuries revives calls for boardwalk ban
    David Garrick June 26, 2018
    A man whose daughter and ex-wife suffered serious injuries in a scooter crash over the weekend lobbied San Diego City Council members on Tuesday to revive a scooter boardwalk ban they rejected last month. "The beach boardwalk is not an appropriate place for such high-speed, non-regulated motorized scooters," said Dan Dewitt, predicting that more serious injuries will happen unless the city cracks down.

    Council members on May 22 rejected a proposed ban on using motorized scooters anywhere on the boardwalks in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Bay and La Jolla. The council vote was 6-3. Supporters of a ban said they had safety concerns about the speedy scooters fitting with the boardwalk’s already chaotic mix of activity. Opponents said it was premature to ban the scooters, which began operating in February, until city officials have more data about their usage and safety.
    Dewitt’s daughter and ex-wife lost control of their rented scooter on Saturday while trying to weave through pedestrians on the Mission Beach boardwalk near Santa Barbara Place, just north of the community’s iconic roller coaster. His daughter, 11, suffered a ruptured spleen, abdominal bleeding and a head injury, Dewitt said. Her mother fractured her skull in multiple places, he said. "I've been a firefighter for 17 years and these injuries are worse than most automobile accidents that I've responded to," said Dewitt, who lives in Arizona and rushed to San Diego after the crash involving his family.
    Councilman Mark Kersey, who cast one of the three votes in favor of the ban last month, said the incident involving Dewitt’s family is exactly what the ban was aiming to avoid. "If this does continue, there will be a public outcry and this council will be forced to take action," said Kersey, urging scooter companies Bird and LimeBike to aggressively step up safety efforts immediately.

    Councilwoman Barbara Bry, who is spearheading city legislation focused on scooters and dockless bikes, said the emergency ban on scooters can’t wait for the city to sort out a more comprehensive regulatory framework for these new vehicles. "I think we need to bring back to the council as soon as possible the attempt to have an emergency ban, or we are going to hear many more sad stories of tourists and residents injured this summer," Bry said.

    State law bans motorized scooters from sidewalks but doesn't address boardwalks.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018 edited
    Old Knotty Buoy:Scooter crash with serious injuries revives calls for boardwalk ban
    David Garrick June 26, 2018

    Hope the individuals involved heal quickly and completely.

    And a ban on the boardwalk would prevent this?

    Seems if one had trouble mastering a scooter on the boardwalk, they would have the same problem no matter where they rode the scooter.

    Maybe what is really needed is expanding our existing pedestrian infrastructure or developing additional infrastructure that supports something between pedestrians and 4000lb death barges?
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018 edited
    ^^ This!

    Sounds like solo accidents, since there is no mention of pedestrians involved (or maybe the two riders crashed into each other). So this could have happened anywhere, not only on the boardwalk but it happening there serves the reactionary and NIMBY forces' goal of restricting, and ultimately killing off, nascent alternative modes of transportation.

    Accidents like this one will happen over and over again, and they will be used as propaganda tools that are lapped up by the press (and especially so by Doug Manchester's personal propaganda tool, the U-T). Including on otherwise progressive fora such as

    Meanwhile, auto accidents kill 100 people every day on American roads without so much as a footnote in the popular press.

    Motorized scooter riders on the boardwalk in Mission Beach. Photo by Thomas Melville

    SDPD looks to enforce helmet law for motorized scooters in Pacific Beach

    Dave Schwab June 26, 2018
    A crackdown to enforce motorized scooter safety, especially in Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, will continue this summer to curb offenses by people riding without a helmet, on sidewalks, or intoxicated. This recent announcement by police follows in the wake of last month’s City Council vote opposing an emergency ordinance prohibiting motorized scooters on coastal boardwalks.

    District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf, District 1 Councilmember Barbara Bry, and District 5 Councilmember Mark Kersey joined to support a scooter boardwalk ban. Council members Chris Ward, Myrtle Cole, Scott Sherman, Chris Cate, David Alvarez and Georgette Gomez all opposed the proposal, arguing they weren’t convinced of its necessity, or that they felt the issue hadn’t yet been properly vetted. Sherman said the problem was more about irresponsible riders than about vehicles being ridden.
    The apps of some dockless companies, like Bird, note riders are required to wear helmets, have a driver's license, be 18 or older, and obey all other local traffic rules. According to a City of San Diego alternative vehicle information brochure, electric bicycles must follow the same rules of the road as non-motorized bicycles. Electric bikes have been divided into three categories: Class 1, pedal-assisted only maximum 20 mph; Class 2, throttle-assisted only, maximum 20 mph; and Class 3, pedal-assisted only, speedometer required, maximum 28 mph.
    Riders of electric bicycles are not required to have driver’s licenses, but are required to wear safety helmets, including their passengers. If ridden during darkness, bikes must have lights. Their operation is restricted to streets with speed limits of 35 mph or lower. Such bikes are legally allowed to go up to 15 mph. An intoxicated rider on an electrically motorized vehicle can be cited for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2018 edited
    How It Works - Bird
    I like Bird scooters and I cannot lie...
    Bry talks dockless vehicles with Budget & Government Efficiency Committee
    Ashley Mackin-Solomon June 27, 2018
    With the goal of creating dockless-bike and electric-scooter regulations, City Council President Pro Tem and Budget & Government Efficiency Committee Chair Barbara Bry took the first step and hosted a committee discussion June 20 at City Hall. The committee is comprised of Bry and Council colleagues Chris Ward, Chris Cate and Georgette Gomez.

    At the meting, they: 1) heard a report about the benefits and challenges of vehicle-sharing; 2) learned what other cities in similar situations are doing; 3) discussed local issues; and 4) reviewed the regulations that could be implemented on behalf of public safety.

    The outcome of the first meeting on the subject was to establish a working group that meets in conformance with the Brown Act to discuss possible fees, regulations and changes in City infrastructure to address dockless bikes and electric scooters, and to present a draft ordinance on the situation in the fall.
    Bry’s policy advisory, Rayman Khan, was tasked with researching possible regulations and presented his findings. “The purpose is to figure out a way that we, as a community and a City, can optimize the vehicle-sharing in San Diego by maximizing the benefits the vehicles provide and cutting down on some of the negative externalities,” he said. Khan’s research found one approach many cities have used is to implement dockless vehicle permits, which would allow the City to collect appropriate fees that could be used for infrastructure or enforcement.

    Additional policies could also be put in place, he said, to help the City achieve what has been identified as its key objectives: to manage public space, foster equity and accessibility, improve planning and enforcement, and protect users. San Diego could also establish data reporting standards to address planning and enforcement that would “allow the City to understand where trips are being originated and where people are moving throughout the City to understand where infrastructure as needed,” Khan said.
    Gomez said above fees and regulations, improved infrastructure is her top priority. But Bry noted part of the reason to impose fees is to pay for infrastructure improvements.
    What remains to be seen is whether the City’s preexisting agreement with Discover Bike (formerly DecoBike), which has docking stations throughout the City, precludes the Council from forming regulations to impose on other bike companies.
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2018

    Shawn Strande, deputy director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, takes the bus to UC San Diego then uses a Spin bike to travel across campus in about five minutes.

    UC San Diego and Spin Showcase Strong Bikeshare Pilot Program Results
    Pilot is part of a university-wide initiative to become carbon-neutral by 2025
    June 26, 2018
    The University of California San Diego and Spin, the dockless personal mobility company, are announcing the results of a bikeshare partnership pilot program which was created to provide more than 36,000 students, faculty and staff with an affordable, equitable and eco-friendly way to get around campus. The pilot, which launched in December 2017, is part of a university-wide initiative to become carbon-neutral by 2025.

    “Our goal in partnering with Spin was to create a more bike-friendly campus that contributes to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, while increasing the quality of life for our campus community,” said Gary C. Matthews, UC San Diego vice chancellor for Resource Management and Planning. “We have been thrilled with the tremendous response to the bikeshare program to date and look forward to expanding it further.

    Since the partnership pilot launched at UC San Diego, the campus community has taken more than 75,000 rides for more than 12,800 miles, equivalent to roughly 14,100 pounds of CO2 saved had these trips been instead taken by car. Bike usage has been tracked to determine high-demand and preferred parking areas to identify which parts of campus benefit most from the service. Usage data is also being used to modernize bike parking design to accommodate personally owned and shared bikes.

    As one of our early university partners, UC San Diego has been an amazing model to the broader community and universities across the U.S. that dockless mobility services can have a place on campuses and can be done well and responsibly,” said Matt Sink, head of campus operations at Spin. “We’re excited to continue this partnership and encourage even more people to get on bikes in the 2018-19 school year.

    The bikes are meant for use on the UC San Diego campus by students, faculty and staff. If a bike is taken off campus, users are asked to return it to campus in a timely manner the same day. Spin retrieves all locked bicycles that are ridden off campus between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. seven days a week.

    Spin bikes and e-bikes will be available to students throughout the summer semester and into the 2018-19 school year. Learn more about the partnership and how to use Spin here.

    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2018 edited
    Bike Share Can Save Our Cities—If We Let It
    The problem isn’t dockless bikes. It's dockless cars.
    ‘Dockless’ Bike Craze Leaves Some San Diego Neighborhoods Behind
    Andrew Bowen July 4, 2018
    As the boom in "dockless" bike and scooter sharing in San Diego subsides, the handful of companies behind the disruptive technology are starting to refine where their vehicles can be used. And while skeptical residents and businesses may welcome the companies' self-imposed limitations, others see the shift as cause for concern.

    Mobike recently implemented a "core operating area" that covers parts of downtown, Hillcrest, North Park and the Midway District. Users who leave the orange bikes outside that zone can be charged a "bike relocation fee" of $5. The company has also banned parking in Balboa Park, warning riders that violations could affect their future usage of Mobike.
    None of the dockless companies in San Diego has gone quite as far as Mobike, however. Rival bike-sharing company ofo has also implemented a limited service area, though it covers virtually all San Diego neighborhoods. Bird does not warn users of any service area limits within San Diego, but the company does not appear to routinely place its electric scooters in neighborhoods east of the SR-15 freeway. A company spokesman said via email that the scooters are placed in areas with the highest demand.
    Users of Lime, which offers bikes and electric scooters, may have noticed recent notifications in the app saying their neighborhood is an "unserviced area." Company spokesman Gene Kim said the notifications were an error that engineers were working to correct, and that currently no San Diego neighborhoods are excluded from its service. Spin has always operated exclusively on the UC San Diego campus. All the companies allow users to rent their vehicles via a smartphone app.

    Unlike Coronado, which has banned storing shared bikes and scooters on the public right-of-way, San Diego allows their use throughout the city as long as they are ridden safely and legally and are not parked blocking sidewalks or curb ramps.
    Beryl Forman, marketing and mobility coordinator for the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association, has been among the new technology's greatest cheerleaders. The business group has organized group rides on the dockless bikes, and has an ofo bike displayed prominently in its office window. But Forman said companies cutting off service to certain neighborhoods would be a disappointment, particularly if the excluded areas were low-income.

    "I overall thought that the business model of dockless bikes was that it doesn't have boundaries, and should be able to perform for everybody," she said. "So setting boundaries is a real setback." She added that low-income residents are less likely to own cars, and could benefit from a more affordable transportation option. "Excluding a neighborhood that is reliant on these alternative forms of transportation is absolutely an equity concern," Forman said.
    Maya Rosas, director of policy for the nonprofit Circulate San Diego, said city officials should work to ensure the technology is accessible to everyone.

    "This is why the city of San Diego needs to implement smart regulations that encourage the use of dockless transportation," Rosas said. "And that means not banning bikes in certain areas, and also making sure that the bikes and scooters are available in all neighborhoods."

    Decobikes. San Diego ranks first in bike rental facilities per capita.

    San Diego third best recreation city
    But among worst in cost of movies
    Don Bauder July 4, 2018
    San Diego is the third best recreation city among the top 100, according to a study by WalletHub, which regularly reports on cities and metro areas.

    San Diego came out first in bike rental facilities per capita and 9th in parkland as a percentage of city area. It was also 20th in park playground per capita, 16th in music venues per capita, 31st in percent of population with walkable park access, and 27th in parks per capita.

    However, San Diego was tied for 95th for highest movie costs. The other city at 95 was Chula Vista, which overall came in 89th out of the 100 cities.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJul 6th 2018
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJul 10th 2018
    Chicago, too pathetic for Bike Share?

    Of all the major problems the City of Chicago faces, I would not think accommodating dockless bike share would be one of them:
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2018 edited
    San Diego Scooters And Bikes Set To Break 1,000,000 Ride Record

    WHOAA! WOOT WOOT! HOLD THE PRESSES! ZOWIE! One MILLION rides!?!? This is GREAT, BIG news! One million car engines NOT started. One million LESS cars pulling out of the driveway. One million LESS cars requiring parking at their destination. One million LESS cars stopped at traffic lights. One million LESS cars traveling on our streets. America's FINEST bike share city, San Diego, your are AWESOME!!!

    SAN DIEGO, CA July 10th, 2018 | All large number of rental bikes and scooters are parked near the Convention Center along 5th Ave. on Tuesday, possibly for the upcoming Comic-Con Convention in San Diego, California. Eduardo Contreras / San Diego Union-Tribune

    San Diego Comic-Con: You can only leave dockless bikes, scooters at these four places

    Luis Gomez July 13, 2018
    San Diego Comic-Con visitors who want to rent a dockless bicycle or e-scooter will not have free rein at the popular pop culture extravaganza next week. People will be allowed to park such rentals in only four designated areas in and around the convention center. Officials with the Port of San Diego and the Convention Center announced the new rules for the suddenly ubiquitous dockless rentals on Thursday, one week before one of San Diego’s largest events of the year, which draws more than 130,000 attendees to the downtown Gaslamp District. In general, dockless bikes must not obstruct vehicle or pedestrian ways when parked.

    Here are the four designated areas for dockless bike and e-scooter rentals:
    • On the grassy corner of First Avenue and Harbor Drive
    • On the grassy corner of Fifth Avenue and Harbor Drive
    • Area adjacent to the pedestrian bridge stairs next to Petco Park
    • Area adjacent to the public walkway in Embarcadero Marina Park North (behind Seaport Village) in the grass area.

    Enforcement will consist of people being asked and — if needed, told — to remove their rentals from other parts of Downtown, the Port of San Diego said in a statement. The dockless bike company Mobike will program its app so that it automatically tells users where to park their bicycle after use, said Port of San Diego spokesman Victor Banuelos.

    Here's where you can park your dockless bike or e-scooter during Comic-Con. Courtesy: Port of San Diego

    The city of San Diego and the San Diego Police Department have no dedicated resources or special plans to deal with any concentration of dockless bicycles or e-scooters during San Diego Comic-Con, officials have said. San Diego police officers will be at the event and it will be up to them to enforce violations of dockless bicycles and e-scooters on site, an official said. The officers’ priority will be on the safety of the attendees.

    California law requires bicycle riders under 18 to wear a helmet. San Diego and the dockless bicycle companies encourage all riders to wear a helmet at all times, but they don’t provide one. E-scooter riders must wear a helmet at all times. Bird offers free helmets, which users can request through the mobile app. Electric bicycles and scooters are not allowed on sidewalks. Non-electric bicycles are OK to use on sidewalks in most cities except Escondido, El Cajon, Carlsbad, Vista and National City where sidewalk cycling has been outlawed. Users are limited to one rider per bicycle or scooter.

    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2018
    Welcome, Comic-Con!!!

    Dockless bikes, scooters are all over San Diego. Here's how they work.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2018
    San Diego's no-helmet scooter documents under wraps
    City refuses records request, cites attorney-client privilege
    Matt Potter July 20, 2018
    "There is a bill that passed out of the Assembly awaiting hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee that regulates 'stand-up electric scooters,' as a separate vehicle class than motorized scooters," says a June 20 email from mayor Kevin Faulconer's government affairs public policy manager Adrian Granda to Udrys and other mayoral staff members, including government relations director Patrick Bouteller.

    High points of the bill at the time of the message, per the email, included allowing scooters "on sidewalks when a bike path is not available." The legislation would also permit the two-wheeled conveyances "to be used by non-minors without a helmet," according to Granda's missive. "A city could restrict them in areas if they choose to do so."

    Responded Udrys, Faulconer's deputy chief of staff for Innovation & Policy: "I like this bill."
    Granda's email notes that Assembly Democrat Todd Gloria of San Diego is "a co-author on the bill and their office expects it to pass. Let me know if you have any questions, but good to know this is out there as the Council discusses potential regulations."
    The legislation, known as AB 2989, has been a high-stakes moving target, heavily lobbied by scooter industry giant Bird as well as opponents, including the cities of San Francisco and Santa Monica, as it has morphed its way through the legislature. "We fiercely advocated to maintain vital safety linchpins that would have been stripped in AB 2989's original form, including the driver's license requirement and prohibition on sidewalk riding," Constance Farrell, public information officer for the City Manager of Santa Monica, said in a July 16 CNET story about the months-long struggle over the bill.

    The most recently amended version of the legislation posted online would bar scooter speeds "in excess of 35 miles per hour unless the motorized scooter is operated within a Class II or Class IV bikeway," and require helmets for those only under the age of 18, which to critics remains a worrisome provision of the bill. "If you hit a pothole on a bicycle with a big wheel, you could have a problem. You hit a pothole on this little thing, you're going to go down," forensic kinesiologist James Kent told CNET. "If I fall over sideways and I can't break that fall and don't have a helmet on, I can potentially kill myself."

    In April, San Francisco supervisor Aaron Peskin blasted AB 2989, telling TechCrunch, “It is disturbing that the same companies and investors who have pledged to work with the City to respect California public safety and public realm laws are spending lobbying dollars in Sacramento to repeal them."

    According to her most recent disclosure filing dated April 24, San Diego influence peddler Clarissa Reyes Falcon of Falcon Strategies got $10,000 from Bird during the first quarter of the year, lobbying councilmembers Chris Ward, David Alvarez, and Georgette Gomez, and Faulconer staffer Elyse Lowe along with five other city employees regarding the company's agenda.

    Businesses ask the City for more transparency ahead of scooter pilot
    Kate Cagle August 21,2018
    A week after local scooter-share companies shut down their devices to protest a potential shut out of an upcoming pilot program, 180 businesses have signed on to a letter asking the city to extend the timeline for selecting the winners of the open bid process. The City is quickly trying to launch a pilot program in September, where up to four companies will be selected to run dockless bike or scooter operations here.

    A selection committee recently recommended Lyft and Jump (which is owned by Uber) to participate in the program over the two start-ups already running in the city. More than a dozen start-ups applied to participate in the 18-month pilot. Bird and Lime’s temporary permits expire before the pilot begins.

    “We are hopeful that Santa Monica will choose to continue partnering with a proven company that continues to provide Santa Monica riders with best-in-class technology,” a Lime spokesperson said in response to questions about the letter. “We are writing on behalf of Santa Monica businesses to advocate for an extension of the timeline for pilot program applications to be properly evaluated and to ask for more transparency in the evaluation process,” the letter said.

    Several of the listed businesses have already partnered with Lime, which launched in Santa Monica earlier this summer, to allow onsite scooter parking, trip credits for customers and a digital flag within the Lime app’s mapping system. The start-up promised to tap into its “LimeHub” network to distribute free helmets to first-time riders in its application to participate in the pilot.

    The letter said Lime, in particular, has “clearly learned how to improve their service in Santa Monica.”

    Businesses can also partner with locally based Bird Scooters to serve as a docking point for electric scooters.

    News and community briefs for Pacific Beach and Mission Beach
    August 9, 2018
    Bird to address Pacific Beach planners Aug. 22, 2018

    A representative from one of the dockless vehicle companies in town, Bird, will give a brief presentation and answer questions at the next monthly meeting of Pacific Beach Planning Group on Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room at Pacific Beach Taylor Branch Library, 4275 Cass St.
    The PB Library, closed for summer roof repairs, recently re-opened in full.
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2018

    Danny Simon holds a new Razor electric scooter on Broadway at 4th Avenue. Photo by Chris Jennewein

    Scooter Pioneer Razor Enters San Diego Shared Mobility Market
    Chris Jennewein August 23, 2018
    Los Angeles-based Razor, which originated the modern scooter almost two decades ago, has entered the San Diego market for shared urban transportation. Distinctive red and black Razor Share electric scooters began appearing downtown on Monday, and officials say there are now several hundred in the city. San Diego is the company’s second market after Long Beach.

    We really love San Diego as a market,” said Chief Operating Officer Danny Simon, who was in San Diego Thursday to officially introduce the scooters. “The city has really embraced shared mobility.” “Our specially designed shared e-scooters create a better shared ride,” said Simon.

    With shared scooters and bicycles drawing some local criticism, Simon also pledged to be sensitive to concerns, noting that Razor has a local team that will collect the scooters, inspect them and charge them every night. “It’s very important to us that we’re being good community partners,” he said.

    Using the scooters requires downloading an app from Apple AppStore or Google Play. The company is offering three free rides to encourage San Diegans to test the scooters. Razor Share
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2018
    Welcome, Razor! Good to see you in San Diego.
    State Bill Would Make Helmets Optional For Adult Scooter Riders
    Andrew Bowen August 24, 2018
    A bill passed by the state Senate on Thursday would allow adults to ride motorized scooters without a helmet, offering a potential boost to the growing technology celebrated by environmental and mobility advocates. Current law permits people 18 and older to ride helmetless on bicycles — but doing the same on an electric scooter can carry fines of around $200. Some advocates say while helmets can save lives in the event of a crash, mandating their use does more to discourage people from riding than it does promote safety.
    Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, a co-author of the bill, said electric scooters have the potential to reduce car dependence and help San Diego reach its goals of addressing climate change. "I think it's extremely important when talking about how we're going to get people out of their cars, particularly for short-term trips that are usually less than a couple of miles — this seems to be a solution not only that works, but that the people like and are embracing and is affordable," he said. Gloria added that building more protected lanes for bicyclists and scooter riders would go a long way toward making streets safer for everyone on the road.
    The bill was sponsored by scooter sharing company Bird, which said in a statement that the intent of the bill was to provide cyclists and scooter riders "more consistent ridership rules so that people can more easily embrace sustainable shared mobility options."

    "Bird strongly encourages all riders to wear helmets and ride safely," said David Estrada, the company's chief legal officer. "This is why we provide helmet instructions on our vehicles and in-app — and why Bird has given away more than 40,000 free helmets to riders so far this year."
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2018 edited
    State Bill Would Make Helmets Optional For Adult Scooter Riders

    AB 2989 still needs to clear a final vote in the Assembly, then the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, to become law
    ...this is fantastic news!

    A San Diego State student rides an electric scooter past the campus police station near 55th Street and Remington Road, Aug. 27, 2018.
    Image by Matt Hoffman ~ KPBS

    Electric Scooters Are Spreading To San Diego College Campuses
    Matt Hoffman August 27, 2018
    This year, students at San Diego college campuses have a new way to get around. On the first day of classes at San Diego State University, a number of students were seen riding around on electric scooters.

    "We’re just now starting to see them surface on campus," said San Diego State University Police Lt. Matt Conlon. Conlon said technically the scooters are only allowed on roadways and bike paths and riders must wear a helmet. "As of yet we haven’t had an issue with that," Conlon said. "We haven’t put together a proactive enforcement detail on that."

    Campus police say it is focusing on an informational approach before taking enforcement actions. "Ride within your ability, stay responsible because you are responsible for your own actions and any damage or injury you may cause," Conlon said.

    Is that the crumbling Mission Beach boardwalk wall I see @1:02?

    Bird electric scooters being delivered on Pacific Highway in downtown San Diego.
    Photo by Chris Jennewein

    Dockless Scooter Service Unveils Software to Help City Manage Scooter Use
    Chris Jennewein September 19, 2018
    Representatives of the rapidly growing Bird dockless scooter service joined local lawmakers Tuesday in unveiling technology to allow the city to manage use of the popular electric scooters. “Bird and dockless sharing technologies like it represent the future of transportation and are giving San Diegans a viable alternative to cars to get around our city,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria, who represents the San Diego area. “After engaging in conversations with my constituents, I believe we can do more right now at the local level to not only incorporate and keep pace with this technology, but ensure we preserve public safety at the highest level,” he added.

    Gloria said Bird, which is based in Los Angeles, introduced its “GovTech” platform in response to community concerns raised to Gloria and City Councilmember Chris Ward, who represents downtown San Diego. The new platform includes:
    • Geo-fencing to allowing the city to create virtual perimeters and enforce “no ride” and “no parking” zones
    • Reporting of unsafe riding and poor parking via the Bird app
    • Information about local rules and safe riding via the app

    Technology made this transportation option possible, and technology can, and must, make the system safer,” said Ward, who represents the downtown area.
    Electric Scooter Company Uses Technology To Go After Dangerous Riders
    Matt Hoffman September 19, 2018
    You see them speeding around sidewalks, but electric scooters are not supposed to be there. Riders are supposed to wear helmets too, but most people in San Diego do not. To go after unsafe riders, scooter company Bird is partnering with the city of San Diego to share data about riding habits. Bird said people can also start reporting dangerous riders using their app. "Flag riders who violate our safe riding policies," said Bird's Government Relations Manager Lys Mendez. "Allow us to remind those riders to follow all of the rules of the road. And will allow us to take any further actions necessary against repeat offenders including removing them from the platform."

    San Diego Councilmember Chris Ward, who represents downtown where a large number of scooters are, said technology is key to making the scooters safer for everyone. "We’re trying to work with the companies," Ward said. "So if we had an area like say the boardwalk where the maximum speed for bikes is 8 mph. When a scooter enters that area, and it’s already being tracked by GPS can the scooter maximum speed lower to 8 m? That would be a great outcome and this is where technology can provide solutions."

    Ward also mentioned the idea of technology that can sense when someone rides somewhere they are not supposed to. "Can we make sure that if you’re going down a sidewalk and you’re going bump bump bump because you hit everything on the sidewalk — that the scooter knows you’re on a sidewalk and really compels you get off the sidewalk," Ward said.

    Aside from technology, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is looking at other ways to address scooters. A spokesman said the mayor’s office is working with the city attorney and council members to come up with rules that further promote safety and rider responsibility.

    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2018
    Two Bird riders just came up my street chatting - overheard: "This would be so much safer if it weren't for cars - why don't they ban them instead".
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeSep 21st 2018
    Sigurd:Two Bird riders just came up my street chatting - overheard: "This would be so much safer if it weren't for cars - why don't they ban them instead".

    • CommentTimeSep 22nd 2018
    Seen on the boardwalk today — “Wheels” — is this yet another e-share option for San DIego?

    Idk what to call it - “Micro e-MC” maybe?


    People ride motorized scooters in Mission Beach. (Photo by Thomas Melville)

    Mission Beach Town Council listens to residents' concerns about short-term rentals, e-scooters
    Dave Schwab September 19, 2018
    Electric scooters:
    Concerning motorized scooters, MBTC secretary Matt Gardner reported progress is being made in a dialogue between the City, and beach areas, on how to properly regulate them. Noting scooters “have been unleashed on this city with no controls,” Gardner pointed out, “There are no problems with people using them correctly. The problem is, the other 98 percent of people using them, are not using them correctly.

    A couple of Mission Beach residents testified they’ve almost been run over by scooters arguing, “They’re going way too fast and are almost impossible to control.” One audience member decried that there is a state bill in process that would eliminate the requirement for adult scooter riders to wear helmets. A petition was passed out at the MBTC meeting requesting the City to, “Declare a moratorium on ride sharing motor scooters until such time as a pilot program is established that ensures education, compliance and enforcement of scooters.

    Meme posted by Pacific Beach charger

    Bird lowers bounty price to $3
    Will enough chargers boycott?
    Mike Madriaga September 24, 2018
    On September 19, some San Diego-based Bird chargers were surprised to open up their work app to a bunch of $3 Bird symbols. Adam, who catches about ten Bird motorized scooters a night by Pacific Beach, said he received the “bad news” via email.

    “Why are birds only worth $3 now?” he asked Bird’s support.

    He said their response was: “Happy to explain more. The prices will still be varying, but the minimum will just be lower. This should give you a broader variety of Birds to capture. Also, be sure to keep charging and releasing by 7 am to get even more power supplies and increase your charging capacity!”

    I spoke with Adam via direct message on September 21. “The 40 percent cut was insulting,” he said. “Chargers make the business run and without them Birds would sit powerless.”
    More in the story....

    David's lo-pro bike. "I keep it close to me so it can’t get stolen.

    The fate of Ofo bikes in San Diego
    Still serving in one form or another
    Mike Madriaga, Sept. 25, 2018
    On September 21, between 12 noon and 2 pm, I noticed over 75 yellow Ofo bikes around town; about half were still being used. “It’s a score,” Joey G. said, “if you find them unlocked, you’re lucky.

    I saw Joey on the corner of Broadway and Park Boulevard; while we spoke, security guards were asking him and his buddy to move along with their belongings — including Joey’s recently found Ofo bike. “The whole bike is salvageable except for that locking mechanism (mounted on top of the rear wheel),” he said. “It’s a 26-inch and the parts work great with beach cruisers. You can even take this whole seat off and put it on another bike.
    More in the story...