VIDEO: Herbold one of two ‘no’ votes as City Council passes bike-share buyout

(WSB photo from Friday: TV crew examining Pronto station outside City Hall downtown)

3:38 PM MONDAY: With some changes, the much-discussed Pronto bike-share buyout has just won Seattle City Council approval, 7-2, with West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold voting “no” (along with at-large Councilmember Tim Burgess). Herbold said, among other things, that she didn’t think it was wise for the city to buy equipment they wouldn’t likely want to keep. Among the amendments that passed was one by West Seattle-residing at-large Councilmember Lorena González, as noted and tweeted by Seattle Times reporter Daniel Beekman:

So far, there is no definite plan to expand the bike-sharing program to the peninsula. We’ll add the summary and meeting video later when they’re available.

ADDED TUESDAY: Here’s the meeting video, as published on the Seattle Channel website today:

91 Replies to "VIDEO: Herbold one of two 'no' votes as City Council passes bike-share buyout"

  • Sandy Adams March 14, 2016 (3:58 pm)

    I applaud Councilmember Herbold for trying to be fiscally responsible.  I see no reason to bail this program out–much better as a private endeavor like in many other cities.  At least she tried!

  • B March 14, 2016 (4:05 pm)

    What a disgusting outcome. We have homeless in the streets, food banks closing due to lack of funds, yet we can find a million and a half to buy out a BIKE SHARE program? Heck, just focus on transportation – how many more buses/routes could we have for 1.5 mil?

    Good for our rep, shame on the city council. 

    • Brian March 14, 2016 (4:29 pm)


    • sam-c March 14, 2016 (4:31 pm)

      I agree- thank you CM Herbold and CM Burgess. And thanks for nothing everyone else.

      +1 for spending elsewhere

      (signed, someone that really wished we had sidewalks……)

    • Rick Sanchez March 14, 2016 (4:54 pm)

      New coaches run about $500k, so the answer is all of 3 new buses. Glad to see the council didn’t fall victim to the reactionary type of thinking on display in the bulk of these comments!

      • breezy March 14, 2016 (5:01 pm)

        Yes. Three new buses. That is far better than several hundred bikes that nobody uses.

        • duwamesque March 14, 2016 (5:15 pm)

          Bike share is an investment in the future. It will take time but people will use this program more and more as traffic and transit deteriorate further. $1 million is couch cushion change to the City. I will be voting against Herbold in the next election given her pro-private sector instincts.

          • FromHP March 14, 2016 (5:41 pm)

            And I will be voting FOR her!  $1 million isn’t couch change, and it is debatable that the Pronto bike share program will be viable even with expansion.  People aren’t necessarily reactionary and anti-progress just because they are against this particular program.

          • lookingforlogic March 15, 2016 (9:31 pm)

            Perhaps you would like to invest/bailout this venture?  I agree that it would be pleasant/logical for this to result in our future city of Seattle…………..but it requires a grassroots effort not a guaranteed bureaucratic mud trudging slow boat to insolvency and resentment.  Just sayin “thanx lisa and tim” for comprehending that citizens expect at least a close(within 25%) to break even point on these matters.  In the private sector we have to make a profit and the public sector with guarantees for vanity projects is cause for resentment when our future is leveraged out so far our grandchildren will view us with incredulity at best.

  • Tamsen Spengler March 14, 2016 (4:11 pm)

    Thank yo. u CM Herbold and CM Burgess for your “No” vote

  • newnative March 14, 2016 (4:14 pm)

    Irresponsible spending.  

  • Goway March 14, 2016 (4:20 pm)

    Glad to see the city has taken care of all of the other items requiring funding.

  • Fiwa Jcbbb March 14, 2016 (4:28 pm)

    Bike sharing is a concept that might work well in flat cities without record rainfall. Here I see the Pronto station near work on Dexter in SLU almost never used, yet it took out three street parking spots used by working people who can’t afford the mostly empty garages in the buildings we work in. Bravo to Lisa, wish we hadn’t gone to districts so I could vote against Mike O’Brien, can’t wait to vote against Mayor Murray. The people for whom bicycles represent a viable transportation solution are already using them, they simply don’t work for most.

  • Fiz March 14, 2016 (4:32 pm)

    Hills?  Anyone on the Council notice we have hills?

    • Rick March 15, 2016 (7:58 am)

      That’s why we’ve created the van driver industry so we don’t have to peddle our fat butts uphill in the rain.  WinWin.  Except for almost all of us.

  • cj March 14, 2016 (4:43 pm)

    Its not even safe.  What are we thinking?

  • wetone March 14, 2016 (5:03 pm)

    Glad to see Herbold and Burgess showing common sense with a program that so very very few use or benefit and having such high cost to operate. Knew more than likely City Council would pass the bike share program no matter what cost and issues involved. If council didn’t pass they would be admitting program was ill-fated from start, as it is and many others lately. Plain old irresponsible spending of Seattleite’s tax dollars…… going for their pet projects and no accountability. No one to blame but the tax payers as they are the ones enabling the government to do. People need to quit complaining and get off your butts, research issues and start voting as this kind of foolish spending has got to stop. It is spending as this that keep driving up the costs to live in Seattle for all, a little here a little there. It adds up quickly and there are more new levy’s coming soon………

  • breezy March 14, 2016 (5:04 pm)

    Thank you, Lisa, for your no vote. I wish the other council members had a bit of common sense.


  • STB March 14, 2016 (5:19 pm)

    CJ, well, they aren’t thinking.  Breezy, you just catching on to that lack of common sense theme here? 

    And what council member(s) had the tie to Pronto – what buddy did they help bail out with our money, someone got help and of course, it wasn’t the tax payers.

  • DawgtiredWS March 14, 2016 (5:25 pm)

    Thank you Councilmember Lisa Herbold for your no vote and your amendment to the resolution to fund the Pronto program. I  did watch the full council meeting on the Seattle Channel today and I really think you represented the majority of people in Seattle. I also believe the Scott Kubly of SDOT should be prosecuted for undermining the city council in the past and basically, embezzling tax payers money to fund Pronto.

    Lisa, I am proud that you are representing our community.

  • old timer March 14, 2016 (5:30 pm)

    Thank you Lisa.  There is so much more needed in this city, and funds are so freely spent on frivolities.

    Now, all we can do is to wait for the inevitable  requests for additional funding this bicycle folly will be demanding.

  • Born on Alki 59 March 14, 2016 (5:45 pm)

    Thanks for trying Lisa. We need to vote the rest of these fools out of office…pronto.

  • Eric1 March 14, 2016 (5:57 pm)

    Council Member Herbold,

    I realize everybody has  their reasons for voting yes or no.  I would vote no because I can see no way “out” of this mess.  I saw no plan to get sufficient number of members to even come close to breaking even in the near future.  If it actually had usage and lost money, that would be one thing, but paying riders are few and far between.  Your reasons may differ but at least it wasn’t the normal 9-0 council vote that would occur without district elections.


    I move that since Pinto is generally semi-static by nature,  the city council should re-designate it “Interactive Art” so we can save 1% off of another city project (sorry artists, I had to do it).

  • KT March 14, 2016 (6:10 pm)

    Have to call the Washington State Patrol for an accident in the city caused by someone driving drunk because Seattle PD can’t/won’t respond but we can afford this.

  • onion March 14, 2016 (6:13 pm)

    Another strong affirmation of Lisa’s vote in this matter. With limited funds and too many needs for those funds, she cast a sound, disciplined vote rather than a kneejerk “progressive” vote. 

  • Mark47n March 14, 2016 (6:26 pm)

    As a cyclist  I can say without a doubt that riding in the downtown area is scary and the hills are…difficult at best. If you aren’t a regular rider with your own bike, hopping on a HEAVY Pronto bike and pedaling around the downtown area would be a miserable experience.

    This bike share program would work very well in flatter areas (I grew up in Denver) but here not so much,

    • Sue March 14, 2016 (10:21 pm)

      I was thinking the same thing. I’m physically unable to use the bikes, but if the situation was different and I could, the thought of getting on an unfamiliar bike and using it in the dense downtown core with all the traffic and hills would be frightening and not something I would do. And if I have the skill and nerve to deal with that, then I probably already own my own bike, so wouldn’t need the bike share.

    • datamuse March 15, 2016 (10:28 am)

      I used the bikeshare in Madison, WI during a conference trip there. It was great. But Madison has a far less dense downtown core, is basically flat, and has better recreational cycling infrastructure than Seattle.


      I love the idea of bike share. I’m not sure it works here.

  • Joe March 14, 2016 (6:32 pm)

    I hear kubly experience with bike share administration in another city got him this job. Seems like a conflict of interest to leave a company then work for a city heading a dept that oversees a bike share inwhich user fees go to the company Kubly used to work for.

    Another failure, Mayor Murray.

  • Seattlite March 14, 2016 (6:45 pm)

    Mr. Ed and his city clowncil are beyond pathetic.  1.4M for a failed bike venture.  Seattle and King County voters take heed of the lack of leadership in Seattle and King County the next time you vote.

  • Concerned March 14, 2016 (6:45 pm)

    What a terrible waste of public funds……

  • JayDee March 14, 2016 (6:46 pm)

    Before investing in bike sharing, first make it less lethal to use them. Make Seattle bike friendly or stop saying we are such. Ride from West Seattle to 6th and Union, and tell me how friendly you thought it was.  Congrats to Ms. Herbold for voting for commonsense. Which is not common. I am a member of Cascade Bike Club but Seattle has a long way to go to be bike friendly. Wasting $1.4 MM for this boondoggle is dumb.

  • Frank March 14, 2016 (6:52 pm)

    Thank you for trying Lisa. Just when I find myself thinking: “Certainly the Council has the common sense not to pass that” I have to remind myself the majority are, quite simply, void of any sense at all. Like a 13 yr old with a credit card…

  • Paul March 14, 2016 (6:53 pm)

    Thank you so much Council member Herbold for voting no. This bike sharing program is a waste of taxpayer dollars at a time when we have far more pressing needs. I’m proud of our new Council representative for being so fiscally responsible! 

  • flimflam March 14, 2016 (6:54 pm)

    the city has no problem whatsoever in spending every last dime they can squeeze out of taxpayers and home/property owners in particular. I can’t imagine how they think we will be able to sustain all these crazy ideas they keep insisting on.


    voting “NO” on just about any and all upcoming levies/appeals for even more of my money. schools, homeless, etc etc etc – there has to be a point where enough is enough. 

  • thee March 14, 2016 (7:36 pm)

    I was walking down 36th Ave. today and saw the developers who are putting up the 25 unit/no parking flophouse near Dakota St. standing around outside the soon-to-be-torn down triplex. They were laughing and taking pics of some graffiti scrawled on the wall. I walked by and noted the tag. It said, “this is how one a-hole can @#$% an entire neighborhood.” How true. 

    Lisa totally whiffed/ignored 36th Ave, but this was a good, though obvious, vote. BTW, anyone seen any Pronto bikes in West Seattle? Oh… wait…



  • TheKing March 14, 2016 (7:39 pm)

    Think about who you want spending tax dollars the next time you vote. This current group is content with road diets, letting the roads fall apart, taking away parking, spending like drunken sailors while raising your taxes. It’s really amazing how much money has been wasted in such a short time while making the city worse. 

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man March 14, 2016 (7:53 pm)

    Breezy nailed it. Three buses have WAY more value than an unused, “not-for-profit” bike system that can’t even stay afloat on its own merits. At least our new representative made her voice against this latest bit of lunacy. Sure, saving the bikes “feels good.” But a million dollars later you can bet we’ll be in the same exact place: no ridership. Seattle is not a bike friendly place! Hills. Rain. Darkness. Some things you can’t simply wish away! Or, fix with spending. Lunacy. 

  • canton March 14, 2016 (8:05 pm)

    Problem is, the coffers are way too rich. This city has no concept of a budget whatsoever. As long as the taxpayers are ripe, and willing to fruit, they WILL be picked.

  • Iggy March 14, 2016 (8:12 pm)

    THANK YOU so much Lisa Herbold.  I’m proud you represent common sense and us in West Seattle!!!!   My opinion is that people who can afford their own bikes will buy them.  People who can’t afford bikes could be given bikes for way, way less money than Pronto is costing.    Those who can afford bikes and are choosing Pronto instead are basically sponging off the taxpayers.      I think our taxpayer money should be spent where it can do the greatest good —  more buses, cleaner streets, more police, fixing potholes.  Shame on you City Council. 

  • 935 March 14, 2016 (8:24 pm)

    It is amazing to me, the idiocy of The Seattle Voter. You all are the ones to vote these “spendthrifts” into office…Final vote, 7-2…AMAZING the idiocy of The  Seattle Voter exists even to the level of the city council. I guess they represent their constituency very well!! BUT, are you really surprised? REALLY?? As soon as the deal was proffered, I knew it would pass.

    Please tell me the mouths agape are somehow representative of remore in casting their ballots and that The Seattle Voter is in the process of awakening from a spenders wet dream, and that we may be seeing the dawn of some fiscal responsibility. Shown BOTH in elected leadership, as well as in levies and other tax increasing scams.

  • Celeste17 March 14, 2016 (8:56 pm)

    I emailed the council m r myers and expressed y displeasure over this vote and thanked the two who voted no.

  • JTB March 14, 2016 (9:14 pm)

    Chuckling as  I hope the people who were wailing about Lisa Herbold being some sort of socialist during the elections are able to appreciate her proposal for a public-private partnership for the Pronto program.  Hopefully an indication of more resourceful thinking to address the many challenges  we face.

  • Rick March 14, 2016 (9:26 pm)

    More money for Mr. Ed and his blank funboy checkbook.  And NO…don’t even.

  • Jim March 14, 2016 (9:38 pm)

    For those Council Members voting yes, you should have to take a bike and helmet and use it as your main transportation until this program becomes green and the city is making money.

  • diverlaura March 14, 2016 (9:41 pm)

    To make this bike program even theoretically feasible in our neck of woods the bikes needed to be e-bikes.  A little extra help would have gone a long way with a big heavy clunky bike, hills or no.   When looking at ‘last mile’ in urban mobility the key is to make the light urban devices as absolutely usable as humanly possible because it doesn’t seem to be in our general nature to get out of our cars.   We’d prefer to sit in traffic for hours, idling, belching out hydrocarbons,  as opposed to say pulling into a park-n-ride (I don’t know exactly where but there has to be a space or two somewhere within a mile of the heart of down town), where the “ride”  COULD have been a bunch of pronto e-bikes.   Of course that would further justify the need for a network of safe, lighted bike paths similar to some European cities.   Hmm..  infrastructure infrastructure… the age old argument that you need infrastructure in place to make all these new fangled ideas functions ;) 

    • datamuse March 15, 2016 (10:30 am)

      Totally agree, Diverlaura. I’ve seen e-bikes used extensively in other countries, notably China (where far more people rely on bicycle transportation than in the U.S.). I think cycling in this country is still seen as primarily recreational rather than transport, and this might be why e-bikes just haven’t caught on.

  • Shawn March 14, 2016 (9:59 pm)

    Let’s vote alol those members out who voted for this debacle…

    tax money for a failed business…is it any wonder tax payers have no faith in government…

  • Ex-Westwood Resident March 14, 2016 (10:20 pm)

    Only in “socialist” Seattle could a private business venture completely FAIL and then be picked up and be funded by the clowncil with tax payer money.

    If  this was actually a money maker, or even a break even venture, don’t you think the original investors would keep this going?

    10 to 1 says that next year the clowncil will be asking for another million or so to keep this going.

  • Barb March 14, 2016 (10:26 pm)

    Totally agree!! We do not need to be buying these bikes or this program.

  • Scott Haugh March 14, 2016 (10:34 pm)

    This reminds me of the part in Casablanca where Claude Raines is “shocked, shocked I tell you, to hear that gambling is going on the premises” and is given his winnings prior to closing Rick’s Café. Face facts Seattle voters: YOU voted these idiots in to the City Council, YOU have to live with the consequences.  “What? The bike program nobody researched or wanted (much like the stadiums and the tunnel) isn’t working? But gee, we thought we were SO progressive making bikes available to folks. Maybe those pesky hills and constantly wet, slippery pavement under non-lighted streets  filled with cars will take care of themselves. Aren’t we forward looking?”  Now this colossal goat f#*k is costing a million plus to disappear? Geez people, Stevie Wonder could see this one coming. The above contributors are correct: as long as you let them, the City Idiots will bleed you dry for programs we don’t need, for people who don’t use them, and in place of money better spent to address REAL issues facing our town. Apparently, you are comfortable letting them do what they think is in your best interest. Until something changes, nothing changes. You all seem to be comfortable with things as they are. If not, DO SOMETHING! Vote these idiots out and at least be open minded to someone  with a sense of fiscal responsibility like the two folks with common sense here did.

  • Azimuth March 14, 2016 (10:49 pm)

     If that money absolutely had to be spent bicycling, it would have been much more useful towards trails or improvements. Otherwise, there are at least 1.4 million other better uses around here. Sheesh.

  • dsa March 14, 2016 (10:50 pm)

    String them end to end around the jungle, million dollar fence problem solved.  Homeless wouldn’t want those clunkers either.  Thanks Lisa, you’ve got your head screwed on right.

  • Josh March 14, 2016 (10:56 pm)

    The Pronto bikes will be for sale on eBay in a few years for pennies on the dollar, remember the “self cleaning” toilets?

    • Rick March 15, 2016 (8:05 am)

      I actually bid on one of those. Was going to make it a monument in my front yard but the city wouldn’t let me.

  • Rick Sanchez March 14, 2016 (11:17 pm)

    Gotta say, this is one of the more poorly informed comment threads in a while.  Bike sharing systems all over the world are popular and successful.  The pronto system was compromised from day 1 by political considerations, and the poor results it achieved do not reflect on the viability of the concept.  Cities just as hilly as Seattle and with arguably worse weather (Boston, Montreal) have very good ridership and expanding systems.  Hopefully city ownership will spark a rethink of the pricing model and station locations in order to get things on the right track here.  Sad to see Lisa disingenuously propose killing it under the guise of an unworkable ownership model.

  • JanS March 15, 2016 (1:18 am)

    Rick Sanchez….do you use it? I’m 69 and disabled…not of any use to me. But you seem to be for it, therefore my question for you. Be honest. And tell how much you use it, too. Thanks

    • Rick Sanchez March 15, 2016 (9:22 am)


      Nope!  I’ve used just about every bike share in North America, but I’m not a regular pronto user.  Bike share is one of those goods that exhibits a strong network effect: every node added to the network makes it exponentially more useful.  Pronto, unlike other, successful, systems has never had enough nodes to be useful.  Mostly due to political constraints and the lack of leverage a non profit has in siting stations (see, e.g. pronto losing its most useful downtown station due to the geniuses who put a war memorial on a busy street and expect it to be tranquil).

      With city ownership and additional cash, they can get better and more stations, and assuming they put their pricing more in line with industry norms, it’ll take off here too.  

      • Neighbor March 15, 2016 (5:39 pm)

        If bike share is so great where are all the local millionaire businesspeople and why aren’t they, along with Transportation Choices Coalition (Shefali Ranganathan pushed it with her people-centric transportation goals) and Cascade Bike Club, taking on the risks? Why do taxpayers have to fund the experiment? There should be private money pursuing this if it’s such a given success. You seem to disregard the facts regarding ridership (not to mention that projections for ridership provided by Brock Howell at Cascade Bikes were outrageously optimistic), geography, and the cost-benefit of other community needs.

        • Rick Sanchez March 15, 2016 (5:57 pm)

          Relax the advertising requirements and you might have private investment, most systems rely in large part on advertising revenue from the stations.  In Seattle, currently, that’s illegal.  As such, it’s going to have to be a publicly funded enterprise.  In my opinion, that’s still justified.  It provides a mobility option that is otherwise lacking and extends the reach of mass transit if well planned.  It hasn’t been well planned to date, hopefully the city can turn things around!

          • Neighbor March 15, 2016 (10:05 pm)

            So your opinion is not based on viability, realistic ridership numbers, etc. but a warm and fuzzy feeling or belief that this mode of low use transportation deserves a chance despite the risk to taxpayers that it’s essentially a handout to the bike mafia coalition led by Transportation Choices and Cascade Bike Club. And when this $1.4m is gone, taxpayers will be on the hook for around $4-5m a year indefinitely due to this vote. Thank you Lisa for recognizing a boondoggle for what it is, and voting against it. I hope you continue to represent taxpayers best interest. Hopefully voters see this waste of dollars and realize that the upcoming votes for more handouts with zero accountability are not worthy. One failure after another for this administration, and it’s time voters put a stop to it. I do wonder what JoeS, MickeyMichaelTJ, Kimmy and West Seattle Transportation Coalition board members have to say about this program, as it will inform my future respect, or lack thereof for their efforts.

  • Jeanie March 15, 2016 (1:33 am)

    I’m emailing Lisa right now to thank her!

  • AceMotel March 15, 2016 (2:03 am)

    Thank you, Lisa Herbold!   Pronto/Motivate/Kubly et al is not the answer to Seattle’s transportation woes, and it’s not a fiscally sound public expenditure.  We are lucky to have the most sensible council member.

  • AceMotel March 15, 2016 (2:22 am)

    and are we taking bets on how many members of the “low-income communities” will be hopping on Pronto bikes to do their grocery shopping?  Bike sharing systems “all over the world” do not use Pronto’s fee schedule (prohibitive) or Pronto’s bicycles (heavy, bulky). European cities, where bike-sharing is successful, have fully-developed SAFE bicycle infrastructure, regardless of “political considerations.”  Seattle is one of the most politically viable environments for bicycle initiatives (witness this vote). 

  • Jort March 15, 2016 (4:37 am)

    Because I am certain Lisa and/or her staff is reading these comments, I’d like to say that I disagree with her vote and am glad bike share will be given a second chance, hopefully with better city management of the program. 

    Many of the comments here center around, “I don’t use it, so it’s a waste of money.” A functioning, smart bike share system is just another part of a comprehensive alternative transportation network for a thriving city. 

    Lisa, I disagree with your vote but hope we can continue moving forward.

  • BrianD March 15, 2016 (6:08 am)

    Thank you Lisa!  I didn’t vote for you, but will next time if you keep up this display of common sense! Keep it up!

  • West Seattle Hipster March 15, 2016 (7:11 am)

    Good for you Lisa Herbold, and it’s great so see so many encouraging comments on this article.  Common sense seems to be making a comeback.

  • anonyme March 15, 2016 (7:33 am)

    I appreciate Lisa’s common sense vote.  Seattle is not Paris, or Rome, or Amsterdam, where cycling has always been part of the mass commuter system.  This is the same council (save Lisa and one other) that hurried to sign a contract with Comcast to eliminate the possibility of citizen-friendly municipal broadband.  I’d like to see the whole lot of them tossed out on their fat asses.  Not only are they not working for us, they are actively working against us.

    • chemist March 15, 2016 (8:24 am)

      The franchise agreement doesn’t automatically prevent a muni broadband, but the council are happy to let that rest (while they will have a public hearing at 5:30 tonight on vacating a street for Hansen’s SoDo arena).

  • CanDo March 15, 2016 (8:15 am)

    Great idea… purchase a failing business so the City can expand it into a much larger failing business, at the taxpayers’ expense.  How much crazier can this City Council get?  I guess we will find out in days to come.   Thank you Lisa H for your “no” vote.   At least you tried, but common sense doesn’t much prevail in City administration circles these days.

  • Scott March 15, 2016 (8:37 am)

    @All – The thing now is we cannot vote out those counsel members that voted yes as we have districts. At best you have the ability to vote out only two: 1: Your district and 2: At large.  You can at lease be happy that our counsel member finally vote right on something.

    • WSB March 15, 2016 (8:54 am)

      There are two at-large City Councilmembers. So each Seattle voter will vote on three: their district, and the two citywides (currently Tim Burgess, who has said he will not run for re-election, and Lorena González). The at-large seats will be on the ballot again in 2017; districts, in 2019 – – TR

      • Scott March 15, 2016 (9:21 am)

        Thanks looks like I was off by one. 

  • Rick March 15, 2016 (8:43 am)

    Socialism works! Just ask Margaret.

  • Peter March 15, 2016 (8:47 am)

    Frankly, I’d like to say I’m surprised the City Council voted to continue funding this boondoggle while we have so many other unmet needs, given the amount of vocal opposition presented.  Unfortunately, I’m not.  Either they think they know better than we who foot the bills, or they don’t care.  I won’t even touch the possible conflict of interest aspect.  Kudos to Lisa for at least trying to apply logic to a spending situation.   

  • Mrs.T March 15, 2016 (9:00 am)

    I’m with Lisa on this one. I do believe in the bike share program in general, but if it is going to work here we need to (safety) first make vast improvements in safe routes for biking and find a way to resolve the hills issue. As an occasional biker, I certainly do not feel safe riding anywhere but the sidewalks, or less traveled side roads. And, I’d way rather walk up a steep hill than suffer the indignity of trying to lug one of those heavy bikes up. 

  • Mark schletty March 15, 2016 (9:29 am)

    Thank you, Lisa,  for your very rational No vote on Pronto. Now continue  your good voting with a  No vote on the SODO arena street vacation and you will convince me that my vote for you was a good choice.

    • Scott March 15, 2016 (1:41 pm)

      Your wrong on the vote no part for the SODO street vacation.  A vote yes would mean jobs and a jump in the economy and taxes. All good for the City of Seattle and the people that call in home.  

  • Dzag March 15, 2016 (9:58 am)

    Thanks Lisa and Tim for voting responsibly! You are on a council and work with a mayor that could use some lessons in fiscal responsibility 

  • Duwamesque March 15, 2016 (11:17 am)

    It always amazes me how the comments section of this blog look like the off-handed remarks made at a Donald Trump rally.

    I realize the futility of this, but… let’s at least get a few facts straight.

    1. Seattle does in fact have a decent bicycle infrastructure. You can ride from West Seattle to downtown to Ballard to the UW all the way to Bellevue around the lake almost entirely on dedicated bike paths with very little grade. I realize this may not work for everyone’s route. I use a combination of cycling and bus riding to get to harder to access hilltops. It is totally doable and you don’t have to be in great shape either. Unfortunately the car has made us into a nation of privileged, diabetic couch-potatoes so the thought of using human power to get anywhere is verboten.

    2. SDOT has a total appropriation of $400 million for 2016, similar to years previous. $1 million is 0.25% of that budget. I guarantee you if you nickel and dimed the City’s transportation budget you would find far more waste and pointless spending on a far grander scale than a measly million bucks. The point of investing in this now is to provide transportation alternatives for the future. Pilot programs take time to get off the ground. If we can make Pronto more affordable and more accessible and continue to expand bike infrastructure, people will rely on this more and more as a true transportation option. Yes the bikes are clunky and expensive. So let’s improve this so we don’t have to start over from scratch in 10 years. Seattle’s history is full of these myopic false-starts. This is coinstar change that is an investment in the future.

    I feel truly and genuinely sorry for the folks who tear their hair out about public funding for bicycles and homeless shelters. I do not and will never understand you. Fortunately these attitudes are giving way to forward-thinking solutions rather than reactionary rhetoric and AM radio white rage.

    • West Seattle Hipster March 15, 2016 (4:03 pm)

      Lots of generalizations about the comments made her, not many proven facts.  If Pronto was poorly run as a private enterprise, I doubt the city “leadership” will do much better.



      Thoughts from a proud, lifelong Democrat who likes to spend money efficiently. 

  • Paul Mason March 15, 2016 (12:08 pm)

    This program is a luxury item to the new wealthy. Icing for a cake not yet built.

    It’s not an adequate response to transit necessities, nor a realistic model for commuting. It ignores the realities of our geography, weather and current infrastructure.

    It has already been shown to have little to NO demand amongst it’s target audience, and no amount of city money will change that. 

    Thank you, Lisa Herbold for a sensible vote.

  • Dealmaker! March 15, 2016 (12:38 pm)

    And if you like this corrupt insider deal on the bike share…I have a bridge to sell you…..WAIT, you already fell for that one!

  • BJG March 15, 2016 (1:32 pm)

    I recall our Canadian friends vacationing in Cuba years ago complained that some awful Russian-made, clunky, heavy bicycles were all they had to ride. These sound familiar? Don’t know if theirs were pea-green. I vote to send ours to the Cubans “pronto”as a good-will gesture and call it an “investment” that might even result in increased  ridership. Otherwise the whole enterprise seems like a dead loss.

  • Junction guy March 15, 2016 (3:27 pm)

    Maybe bike share systems do work with proper infrastructure. So then we must be putting the cart before the horse right? 

  • Grandma March 15, 2016 (5:01 pm)

    Does anyone remember the old expression:  When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.  This is a program that citizens have demonstrated we do not want, do not need, and cannot afford. Goodbye Mayor Murray and my district representative.  

  • Paul Mason March 15, 2016 (6:31 pm)

    The role of city government is to build the infrastructure, not run the businesses; especially one, that by all measures, seems to be a loser.
    The entire budget we currently have to improve bike lanes is approximately $5 million.
    The City may spend approx. $8 million ($1.4 bailout, $5 million expansion, $1.8 million maintenance) by 2018 on Pronto.
    What if instead of acquiring Pronto, it spent $5 million more on bike lanes/road improvements, and made a bike sharing program actually viable.
    That would be a much more traditional role for City government, and essential to the success of any program.

  • Rusty March 15, 2016 (7:58 pm)

    What amazes me is that at the same time the city has cut funding for 3 local food banks in the last year, we now value spending millions (and I do mean millions, as it will cost $1million+ each year to maintain this loser of a business) on bikes.

    What’s that Rick Sanchez & Duwamesque? Let them eat bikes? Must be nice to have your priorities so straightened out….

    Thank you Lisa for your common-sense vote!

  • captainDave March 15, 2016 (8:38 pm)

    Such a disappointment to see the City Council wonder into the stormy waters of statist tyranny.   This is not Russia, China or some other despotic communist regime where government owns everything.  Cities in America don’t go into businesses that can easily be accomplished by private entrepreneurs.  It’s anti-competitive and un-American. What next?  Will the council vote to acquire failing restaurants and coffee shops?  Please let the free market decide what’s good for us and STOP social engineering our lives with our own  tax dollars!

    Thank you Council Members Herbold and Burgess for having the common sense, courage and especially the respect for your constituency to vote against the Pronto acquisition! 

  • Paul Mason March 16, 2016 (7:21 am)

    I’m guessing, had we been unlucky enough to have ended up with Shannon Braddock, that vote would have been 8-1….

  • wetone March 17, 2016 (11:24 am)

      Right now there are 90 comments on this Pronto bike program. A quick look over shows all but a small handful mostly from same people, are saying this was a very bad choice of spending  tax dollars. If this is any indication of how rest of Seattle’s population feels on this subject, what’s that tell you ?  Tells me Mayor Murray and his crew have little concern on how 90% of Seattle’s population feel about his spending habits.  Only way to show how you feel is vote…….

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