Not signed in (Sign In)
    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
    • CommentTime5 days ago
    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