Foto Friday: Bike Share Locations in San Diego

According to Deco Bike, San Diego’s bike-share stations will be installed beginning in October and will be ready for use at the end of October. The bike share program has been plagued with repeated delays for months. So it’s good to know that the program will be ready for use by October 30th, 2014.


San Diego Bike Share Map via Deco Bike.
San Diego Bike Share Map via Deco Bike.

Everyone from the former Mayor Sanders, first responsible for initiating the idea, to current elected representatives at City Hall, have proudly extolled the fact that the bike share’s implementation will be of no cost to San Diego’s taxpayers. That sentiment is reflected in the locations for the first rollout of our bike-share program – the stations will be located in some of the city’s high tourist areas such as the beaches and downtown. And that is excellent because giving tourists an experience outside a car is much more valuable than simply duplicating an experience they can get in their own hometowns or in many other cities.

But bike-share should also go beyond a tourist amenity. Bike-share should also serve the residents of the city. Bikes can be both a supplement to the city’s existing transit services and be a stand-alone service for basic and short distance transportation needs.

Last week at the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference, Philadelphia’s Mayor, Michael Nutter, proudly announced that his city’s bike share program would be first in the country to address issues around equity as the bikes wouldn’t require use of a credit card.  This approach by Philadelphia could very well be the key to addressing both the inherent imbalance of power and resources that exist in most large cities due to historical and funding neglect.

In San Diego, many of the current low income neighborhoods are (in part) low income due to the historical displacement of residents and destruction of property made inevitable by the building of freeways through their neighborhoods. These neighborhoods that could most benefit from bike share to augment their trips are being left out of the first phase of bike share’s rollout.

To date, our city officials seem to have been content to let Decobike take the lead on implementing bike share. But in order to ensure the program’s success, modelling Philadelphia’s leadership in aggressively pursuing grants would go a long way to ensure the program’s success and meeting both residential and tourists’ needs for mobility. Let’s hope that equity needs are addressed when Deco begins their second phase for bike-share program’s rollout.