We released our Q2 2019 Bike Share Report today, which shows that people took nearly 900,000 trips on Lime & Jump bikes in the first half of 2019.
We’re excited that so many people are embracing bike share as a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around. We also need to address the problem of improperly parked bikes which are left blocking sidewalks and creating barriers for people with disabilities.
We want the bike share program to be successful, & to do that we must have a program that makes it easier for all groups of people to travel safely.
To address the problem of bikes creating obstacles for residents with disabilities, we’re building 1,500 more bike parking spaces by the end of the year, improving education about correct bike parking, and holding bike share companies accountable for where their bikes are parked.
Here’s the right way to park a shared bike: read a blog post & watch a video.
We’re over halfway to building 1,500 new bike parking spaces this year.
At the start of 2019, there were parking spaces for about 10,000 bikes in Seattle and we announced a plan to build 1,500 more spaces by the end of the year. We’re over halfway to this goal and have built parking for over 830 bikes as of August 16.
We’ve built over two-thirds of these bike parking spaces in the street, mostly in areas near crosswalks with “No Parking Within 30 Feet” signs. This takes advantage of space that isn’t currently being used and helps keep the sidewalk clear so everyone can get around. It also enhances safety by preventing cars from parking illegally in a way that blocks other drivers view of oncoming traffic and people crossing the street.
We need everyone to their part to park bikes the right way.
We’re optimistic that most people want to do the right thing but might not realize the right way to park a shared bike or the harm that they can cause by parking bikes carelessly.
To help get the word out, we teamed up with Disability Rights Washington and with Rooted in Rights to create a video showing how real people are affected when bikes are left blocking the sidewalk.
At our suggestion, Jump and Lime emailed the video to every bike share customer in Seattle. So far, the video has been watched by over 50,000 people.
We’re holding bike share companies accountable.
While we’re confident that getting the word out and building more bike parking will help, we also need bike share companies to do their part as well.
One way that we’re keeping companies accountable is by conducting neighborhood audits to measure how bikes are parked. This Spring, we found that 2% of bikes were parked in a way that violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and that 17% of bikes were parked in ways which could block access for people with disabilities under a stricter and more comprehensive standard we adopted earlier this year. This is based on audits conducted between April through June.
In order to keep bike share companies in compliance with their permit requirements, we recently notified Lime & Jump that we’re reducing the maximum number of permitted bikes to about 4,500 each (about 2000 less than originally allowed).
Neither company had deployed the maximum number of bikes, so they won’t need to remove bikes from city streets but this does limit how much they can expand their fleets until they take steps to reduce the number of improperly parked bikes. Our goal is to keep sidewalks clear and accessible for everyone and to encourage bike share companies to take stronger action to address this problem.
Since we notified Lime & Jump, both companies have committed to taking new steps to improve bike parking.
Lime has launched a team of people who will help educate customers and move problem bikes to keep sidewalks clear. Jump is taking steps to encourage customers to lock their bike to a rack at the end of a ride. We’re excited and optimistic that both companies are trying innovative strategies to address the problem, and will continue to keep a close eye on the results.
If we see positive progress then we’ll consider restoring the maximum fleet size. This will allow us to grow a robust bike share program which makes it easier for people of all abilities to get around Seattle.
Thank you to everyone who has been doing your part. We need the bike share program to work for everyone.
Many aspects of the bike share program have been successful and are benefiting a lot of people, and we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to work collaboratively with the bike share companies to address parking challenges. We know that most people in Seattle really want to do the right thing, and are thankful for everyone who is already doing their part by parking bikes considerately so that everyone can have an easier time getting around Seattle.