West Seattle Transportation Coalition hears what’s next for the bike-share program, Fauntleroy Boulevard $, more

(Two LimeBikes, photographed at Seacrest this week)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

You’ve seen them. Maybe you’ve even taken rides on them. Seattle’s bike-share bicycles were one big topic at this month’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, which also included discussions of the money that’s not being spent (yet) on the on-hold Fauntleroy Boulevard project, and light-rail planning.

First, the bike-share briefing, with SDOT’s program manager Joel Miller, who started with some backstory, going back to the scrapped docked-bike program Pronto: “One of the big lessons learned from Pronto is that you don’t launch a bike-share system in Seattle in October.” So the new dockless bike-share program launched in July and is still in a pilot period, with three companies: LimeBike (green), Spin (orange), and oFo (yellow). You can take the bicycles door to door, or, for example, “door to transit.”

They started with 500 bikes and now have about 10,000 bikes on the street, according to Miller.

So why did they choose the type of program they did? It’s never been done quite this way, so they decided to “see what happens.” If you just have one vendor, you “lose the competitive marketplace that ideally gives users the best choice … and allows for innovation,” Miller said. He says the program is “at effectively no cost to the city.”

They collected data for six months, through the end of the year, working with a data vendor at the UW, and they’re awaiting the final report on that initial six-month period. The companies are in an evaluation period through this July, and then decisions will be made on what the program will look like moving forward.

Regarding outreach/feedback, Miller said, “We’re definitely concerned about the impacts of bikeshare on the disabled community in Seattle.” He said they had a “great public meeting a couple of weeks ago.” They’re also concerned about “equity-based outreach,” being sure everyone is served. Toward that end, “we’re speaking with a lot of community-based groups … to get a feeling for how (the program) can do more for these communities.” And they’re working with Department of Neighborhoods community liaisons. Plus, they’re creating a general survey, after wrapping up a “statistically valid survey” with a vendor, along with reaching out to various groups “like this one.”

Though technical difficulties kept his slide deck from being shown, Miller went through some results –

*468,000 trips in first six months (~2,500/day)

*In 30 months, Pronto had 278,000

*City center, UW are the hotspots of use, followed by Ship Canal, Burke-Gilman Trail – in West Seattle, Alki is the hotspot.

Asked about various other metrics, he said the pilot period included 3 trips per day per 1,000 people, which is about half the rate of, say, New York, which has a fixed-station bike-share program. As for users’ ages, according to the surveying they’ve done so far, about 5 percent of those 55+ had tried the bikeshares, while half of those 18-34 had, Miller said.

The negative impacts of the bikeshare program is the much-discussed problem of improperly parked bikes, Miller acknowledged – for disabled people, vision-impaired people. The permit has specific regulations about where they are to be parked – the space between the walking path of a sidewalk and the curb aka the “furniture zone.” Some areas of the city have a lot of room in those spaces. They’re not supposed to go on corners, not supposed to block a sidewalk, not supposed to be in front of buildings. They’re also not supposed to stay in any one place for more than 7 days.

If these rules are violated, “we’re asking people to contact the companies directly” – and they’re supposed to respond within two hours during the business day, 10 hours during the off-hours. “That’s not consistently happening,” he said. (The contact info for each company is on the SDOT program page.) So they’re working on figuring out how to make sure the companies get people to park better.

WSTC chair Michael Taylor-Judd wondered how the city is gauging whether the current 10,000-bike level is the right amount for the city. Miller says no one has really done the work yet to figure out the ideal fleet size. Part of the challenge is counting the bikes that get stolen, damaged, vandalized.

What about helmets? They’re still working on that “difficult question” with the companies, Miller said. The UW is doing a study “that will look at every bicycle-related incident at Harborview and (follow up with) people to see if they were wearing a helmet and if they were on a bike-share bike.”

Do they have stats for people injured by tripping over the bikes, etc.? Only some anecdotal info, Miller said.

Back to parking – he said they’re experimenting with designated parking spots, starting in Ballard.

WSTC board member Sam Cleary suggested there should be a user-rating system, as there is with car-ride-share systems such as Uber.

Another question: Were the three companies the only ones that asked to be part of the pilot program? Miller said some others have expressed interest, but have been asked to “hold off until we have something ongoing.”

How is the availability of 10,000 shareable bikes around the city affecting the bike-shop business? asked Marty Westerman of the WSTC board. Miller says he doesn’t have an answer but overall, the availability seems to increase biking in general.

Before wrapping up, he also said they’re “pretty happy” so far with the e-bikes launched by at least one provider. Any more questions, Miller says you’re welcome to contact him – joel.miller@seattle.gov

OTHER SDOT UPDATES, INCLUDING THE FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD $: Bill LaBorde, also from SDOT, was up second. He was asked first about the recent Seattle Times report about the streetcar project possibly costing more to operate than the city had estimated, but didn’t have much information about that.

Next – what about the Fauntleroy Boulevard project, recently put on hold while the Sound Transit West Seattle light rail “preferred alternative” is developed – what will be done with the money? asked Taylor-Judd.

LaBorde said that hadn’t been decided yet: “What we told Councilmember Herbold (and the mayor) is that we’re not reallocating levy dollars out of West Seattle … we still need a little more time to do some work … a couple months at the most … to figure out what sort of suite of options … Are there some elements of Fauntleroy Boulevard that we could move forward with,, regardless of what Sound Transit decides to do? There are potentially elements – pedestrian improvements, curb ramps, maybe some bigger elements than that could be completed, worth doing now … and then the other thing is … what are sort of the best options for reallocating the rest of those dollars in the near term? Some of the obvious ones that have been bounced around – paving needs such as 35th SW, Delridge corridor RapidRide H (beyond the current planned design), the roundabout is another … those are the three big projects, sort of obvious places to reallocate dollars.” He later noted that even if the current “representative alignment” on Fauntleroy is what ST goes with, they still will “have to reconstruct pretty much all of the right of way” because of city standards.

Who’s involved in making the decision on spending the Fauntleroy Boulevard funds? “A few different (entities)” including Councilmember Herbold, the Levy to Move Seattle Oversight Committee, and in May they’ll take some “thoughts and options” to council – the ultimate decisionmakers are the mayor and SDOT director (Goran Sparrman is currently acting director after Scott Kubly’s departure), but with a lot of other input.

Other miscellaneous topics that surfaced:

WSTC board member Mark Jacobs brought up pedestrians using what he viewed as the “bicycle lanes” on the Alki Trail. (Though the SDOT delegation didn’t bring this up, we were told by SDOT quite some time ago that the reason the markings on those lanes haven’t been refreshed is that they are no longer considered to be separate bicycle and pedestrian lanes.)

What about the Avalon paving project – will that be shelved because of possible conflicts with light rail, like Fauntleroy Boulevard? The project area is not expected to be affected by light rail, LaBorde said.

Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections stressed the importance of focusing improvements on the densest part of West Seattle, The Junction.


The two West Seattle community reps on the committee Deb Barker and Brian King were both in attendance. Barker summarized where things stand – including comments from three open houses and the “online open house.” She mentioned the “amazing” layering of sticky-note comments at the February 13th Wets Seattle open house (WSB photo below) – “we definitely had more comments than” the other two, which she also attended.

(WSB photo, Sound Transit’s West Seattle open house on February 13)

She mentioned the summary of “early scoping” comments that was part of this presentation at last week’s SAG meeting.

“There’s a lot of stuff that they have to look at,” she summarized. And she reminded everyone that it’s “going fast.” The next step, again, is neighborhood forums – she wondered if WSTC might want to bring the West Seattle neighborhood forum into its next meeting, as ST is “looking at several different options.” Taylor-Judd wondered if the agency really would be open to co-sponsorship/partnership. He also noted that a lot of what was brought up at the WSTC workshop last year has turned up in the ST summary – aside from parking. He also said that Delridge (where he lives) is “very interested” in hosting a Neighborhood Forum.

Some discussion ensued about Metro routes’ future once light rail launches. Taylor-Judd noted that so far, it’s been suggested that Metro would stop all but two bus routes at the bridge. WSTC board member Chas Redmond said he thinks there should be consideration of converting West Seattle buses into Water Taxi-shuttle-size buses. He also suggested to the stakeholder group members that if ST is not going to talk about certain ideas that are raised – such as parking garages – they should explain why: “You guys need to make them even more honest than they are.” Westerman also wondered how flexible Sound Transit is going to be, and Barker and King said that’s not entirely clear, though he thought “there’s some design flexibility.”

Next Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting is April 17th. The public is welcome, though there’s no spoken-comment period at these meetings.

ALSO AT THE MEETING: Taylor-Judd mentioned the upcoming May 19th Forum on Transportaiton Alternatives (here’s our coverage of last year’s version), 1:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon). A strong lineup of speakers is booked.

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition meets at 6:30 pm fourth Thursdays at Neighborhood House High Point.

83 Replies to "West Seattle Transportation Coalition hears what's next for the bike-share program, Fauntleroy Boulevard $, more"

  • Wseattleite March 26, 2018 (1:11 am)

    If seattle wants to be a biking city, get rid of the helmet law like every other real biking city in the world.  

    • pip March 26, 2018 (7:10 am)

      Helmet rule is a King County health law which covers Seattle, Bellevue etc.


    • chemist March 26, 2018 (9:20 am)

      How does ridding themselves of a safety device fit with Vision Zero?

    • JVP March 26, 2018 (10:06 am)

      Also get rid of the hills while they’re at it.  That’s how we become a mass-cycling city.

      Sincerely, an avid cyclist

    • TreeHouse March 26, 2018 (5:29 pm)

      Have you tried the new electric assist lime bikes?! They make cycling up the hills super easy! I was able to ride from downtown up to Capitol Hill without breaking a sweat. 

      10,000 bikes in nothing compared to the amount of cars littering neighborhoods and downtown. 

      Plus 50% of all young people in Seattle have reportedly ridden a bike share?! That’s HUGE. 

      We are lucky to have this program! And it costs the taxpayer $0! WIN-WIN-WIN!  

      • Mike March 27, 2018 (6:56 am)

        We are lucky to have this program! And it costs the taxpayer $0! WIN-WIN-WIN!  ”  Wow… you really don’t know, do you?  Tax payers have handed these companies millions in breaks to bring their business model here, we’re also paying for the paint for the new parking spots for private company bikes, we’re paying for the construction removal of existing infrastructure for the private company bikes, we’re losing much needed sidewalk space for pedestrians, other cyclists and blocking handicap peoples for the benefit of private bike share companies.  This costs us, the tax payers of Seattle, MILLIONS.  This is far from $0, it’s fraud and we need to push to end it.  As a citizen, you are asked to ‘call the bike companies’ when you see one obstructing anything.  The city has passed the responsibility onto all citizens and visitors to clean up after these private bike share companies.  They will then send out a person to move the bike within 2 hours, which is a LIE as they didn’t do it when I called for over 24 hours.  They are crap.

        • Jon Wright March 27, 2018 (11:19 am)

          Would be interested to see the details of how you arrived at that MILLIONS figure.

        • TreeHouse March 27, 2018 (4:33 pm)

          Hi Mike – Please provide support for the fake millions of dollars these PRIVATE bike share companies have cost us taxpayers?

          Oh wait, you can’t provide any because that support is nonexistent. 

          • WS Guy March 27, 2018 (7:17 pm)

            Well 10,000 bikes at 10 st ft of space each is about 2.5 acres of public land.  At about $8M per acre, we have given them about $20M just in street space.   Add to that the cost of labor for people who walk around them or move them out of their way, or call the company to complain.

          • TreeHouse March 27, 2018 (8:36 pm)

            Hi WSGuy – After checking the exchange rate, it appears that 20,000,000 imaginary dollars still equals zero actual dollars.

        • alkistu March 28, 2018 (12:55 pm)

          Hi Mike, I wanted to say the citizen who promote bicycle use throughout the city also spend just as much time promoting pedestrian use by advocating and engaging in infrastructure design.  I would call the overall goal and outcome is for a happier and healthier community. We could use a lot more of both of those.  

  • Community Member March 26, 2018 (7:07 am)

    Near the bottom:  “Some discussion ensued about Metro routes’ future once light rail launches. Taylor-Judd noted that so far, it’s been suggested that Metro would stop all but two bus routes at the bridge. “

    Is this a real thing? Admiral, Fauntleroy, Morgan Jct, Westwood, White Center – almost everyone who currently rides a bus to get off the peninsula will instead ride a bus to the light rail station?  If this is the actual intent, I think much more planning and design needs to go into how the rail station can manage so many bus bays, how the rail station can be built to be a bus terminus, and how streets near the station will be converted to support that level of bus traffic. 

  • A-Red March 26, 2018 (7:59 am)

    Bike Blight. That’s what we call it. I’ve been documenting Seattle’s bike blight… 

    • I don't believe you March 26, 2018 (10:02 am)

      Easy enough to stage. Even if these are real, a handful of pictures that you selected doesn’t mean anything.

      • A-Red March 26, 2018 (10:48 am)

        The only photo that is staged is the one of my helmetless boy doing a wheelie.

        What does Bike Blight mean? It means that we suddenly have bikes in various states of disrepair all over the place, littering our sidewalks. You don’t believe it? Get out of your house more.

        • Jon Wright March 26, 2018 (11:49 am)

          How many cars in various states of repair all over the place did you encounter while you were busy photographing this handful of bicycles?

          • A-Red March 26, 2018 (1:03 pm)

            Good point, Jon. To answer your question: quite a few! Most of them weren’t in the middle of the sidewalk. 

      • Chuck March 26, 2018 (12:43 pm)

        Seriously, have you LEFT your house recently? Bike Blight is the perfect term on this assault on our eyes, and I appreciate A-Red’s well done visual documentation of the constant eye sore we are now having to endure. The sheer number (10,000!!!) of these bikes and their low use cost make these bikes something of a perishable commodity. Just yesterday I saw a Lime bike in the middle of the Lincoln Park beach pathway, completely abandoned and not likely to be ridden home by anyone anytime soon. It’s probably in the ocean by now. Once again, our city’s most commonly used transportation planning tool is trial and ERROR.  

      • A-Red March 26, 2018 (3:01 pm)

        100% real photo

      • Mike March 27, 2018 (7:00 am)

        hardly staged, my assumption is you don’t live in Seattle if you think this is staged.

    • Anonymous March 26, 2018 (10:08 am)

      I saw a lime bike inside of drumheller fountain at UW a few months back. 

      • WSB March 26, 2018 (10:20 am)

        There was a wave in the earlier days of the pilot program of people doing stupid things with these bikes (throw them in the water, wrap them around poles) so they would have something “funny” to post on social media. Right up there with vandalism and tagging. But the parking problem – blocking sidewalks, etc. – is real, as discussed by the SDOT program manager, and as we reported above, they ask that you contact the bike-share company/ies if and when you find them parked/strewn inappropriately. Here’s the contact info from the link we featured:

        ofo (yellow): 844-289-9747; support@ofo.com
        LimeBike (green): 1-888-LIME-345; support@limebike.com
        Spin (orange): 1-888-262-5189; support@spin.pm

        • West Seattle since 1979 March 26, 2018 (3:35 pm)

          Thanks for posting these.  These bikes are useful to many people, and it’d be a shame if we lose this service because of the irresponsibility or carelessness of some users.  

          • Jort March 26, 2018 (6:20 pm)

            Seattle had 11,603 police-reported automobile traffic collisions and 191 fatal or serious injury automobile collisions in 2016. 

            It would be a shame if Seattle residents lost the ability to drive any more because of the irresponsibility or carelessness of some users. 

            The way the bikes are getting left around on the streets seems to be hurting a lot of people’s feelings, though. I will grant you that.    

    • alkistu March 28, 2018 (1:03 pm)

      Thanks A-Red for sharing these wonderful photos. What is really nice is how the bright bikes contrast to brighten up even one of our very grey days. You have a good photographers eye. I especially like the dumpster one as it exemplifies the way the bikes can make a drab situation happier.   As for the white bike, it is very unfortunate that we have so many vehicle deaths.  There are twice as many  deaths in our city from car violence than gun violence.

  • Ron Swanson March 26, 2018 (8:45 am)

    Sound Transit isn’t going to talk about garages because new park and rides are illegal under Seattle law.  What else is there to say?

    • chemsit March 26, 2018 (9:53 am)

      citation needed

      • Ron Swanson March 26, 2018 (10:50 am)

        Seattle Municipal Code 23.45.504 – Permitted and Prohibited Uses.  

        The proposed parking reform changes the rule, though.  

        “Allow park-and-ride facilities (operated or approved by a public transit agency) within garages as a permitted use in selected multifamily zones, and in commercial zones, except not in a Station Area Overlay District (certain light rail station areas), Downtown and South Lake Union”

        Directors Report

        So, they’d still be prohibited at certain light rail stations, and it’s an open question whether new Ballard/West Seattle stations will get Station Area Overlay Districts that would prohibit them there too.

        • Ron Swanson March 26, 2018 (10:58 am)

          Screwed up the link.

          WSB Story with link to report

        • chemist March 26, 2018 (1:32 pm)

          Thanks for the link.  So it’s not a city-wide prohibition.  As far as I can tell, there is no Station Area Overlay District at Northgate, so it might not be a universal prohibition even at light rail stations in the city.

  • j March 26, 2018 (8:58 am)

    Yeah what about the helmets??

    A couple years ago an SPD officer threatened to give me a ticket as I left my home in AH without a helmet. I said “serious?” and he replied “if you don’t turn around and go get a helmet you’re getting a ticket.”

    Suddenly is ok to ride without a helmet because corporations want it. 

    Complete and total BS!

    • The King March 26, 2018 (3:53 pm)

      I hear you, only if the law fits the current agenda. We do seem to have a new car sharing program here in Seattle, over 4000 cars were stolen in Seattle last year so apparently you can just use your neighbors car if you don’t want to bike it. 

  • Gene March 26, 2018 (9:15 am)

    I absolutely can’t believe someone even suggested the possibility that once light rail starts- all but 2 bus routes will be stopped at bridge. 

    Perfect way to get folks back in their cars.

    • Sue H March 26, 2018 (10:01 am)

      No kidding. I’m so glad I’ll be retired by the time light rail comes along (if I even still live in Seattle by then). Turning most of the buses into water taxi type shuttles would be so incredibly inconvenient. I currently take 1 bus to work. That would require 3 modes of transportation to get there, and take at least twice as long, and any bus that goes direct would be absolutely packed. I would absolutely start driving if that were me.

    • Lagartija Nick March 26, 2018 (4:12 pm)

      Hundreds of millions of people transfer from a bus to fixed transit all over the world every day. It is not that difficult.

      • KM March 26, 2018 (7:54 pm)

        Agreed, and I think that the issue for some is that if people want to use transit in and around the rest of West Seattle? Maybe they can reshift this to include more interpenninsula  (if that’s a word) access since they won’t have to take many of these busses downtown anymore. I personally would be on the bus way more, getting downtown is easy. Getting to other parts of the neighborhood is not.    

  • just wondering March 26, 2018 (9:17 am)

    10,000 bikes?  Wow!

  • Azimuth March 26, 2018 (9:47 am)

    Im a fan of these bikes in general but I’m glad Seattle is regulating the scale of the rental bicycles or it might look like these photos from China

    • KayK March 26, 2018 (10:23 am)

      Wow that’s amazing!!

    • jissy March 27, 2018 (8:27 am)

      Azimuth:  I have no words.

    • Mike March 28, 2018 (12:21 am)

      Note that the yellow bikes in those piles in China are the same company dumping the yellow ones around Seattle.  They take no responsibility, but want all the profit and for the tax payers to give their company everything free.

      Industry Transportation
      Founded 2014[1]
      Founder Dai Wei
      Headquarters Beijing, China

  • Peter March 26, 2018 (10:00 am)

    “He also suggested to the stakeholder group members that if ST is not going to talk about certain ideas that are raised – such as parking garages – they should explain why.”

    Because Sound Transit is a transit agency, not a parking agency, and we voted for them to build light rail, not to build conveniences for car drivers. Not one single cent of our transit funding should ever be spent on parking.

    “There should be consideration of converting West Seattle buses into Water Taxi-shuttle-size buses.”

    Frankly, that’s just silly. That would drastically limit the capacity of of our system and drastically raise the cost per rider due to the massive increase in drivers and new vehicles that would be required.

    • Rick March 26, 2018 (1:36 pm)

      Key word “stakeholders”, whoever they may be.

  • MJ March 26, 2018 (10:03 am)

    Regarding the bike helmet law.  One way to fix this is to simply foist liability and all cost on a rider who elects not to wear a helmet.

    • Jort March 26, 2018 (12:22 pm)

      That might make sense, if the only person involved in the injury was the cyclist themselves.

      But if a driver hits a cyclist with their car – helmet or not – the driver is responsible. The helmet is not worn to make driving safer, nor as an insurance policy against serious injury from automobile driver errors. 

      Seattle is one of the only major cities in the world with a mandatory adult helmet law. Yet the data and science shows that the easiest way to improve cyclist safety is to have 1) more people cycling and 2) dedicated cycling infrastructure.

  • Lola March 26, 2018 (10:24 am)

    I have a question if anyone knows?  I was down by Alki on 64th.  I saw the curb lane for parking with the bike lane next to it.  Parked in the bike lane were the lime and yellow bikes.  Is this legal for them to leave them in the bike lane like that when there is parking on the other side of the bike lane?  How would you park in that spot if the bike is there?

  • SaraB March 26, 2018 (11:13 am)

    I love the idea of dockless bikes, but the clutter of 10,000 bikes really bugs me.  It’s wasteful, ugly, and a burden on the public commons.  And then there’s the helmet issue.  I hate to hold up Bellevue as a good example (sorry Bellevue, Westside bias here), but they have some sensible ideas about regulating the market better than Seattle has done.  Lisa Herbold, are you paying attention to their ideas about encouraging parking in only certain areas and limiting the number of bikes to something that’s not a gross waste of resources?

    • Jon Wright March 26, 2018 (11:54 am)

      Personally, I find the “clutter” of these bikes is nothing compared to all the wasteful, ugly cars everywhere that are a much more substantial burden on the commons.

  • SaraB March 26, 2018 (12:00 pm)

    You have a point, Jon, but at least car drivers pay taxes for some of that burden.  And just because that system isn’t perfect doesn’t mean we can’t do better with this system.  It’s not a either or situation, and limited thinking is how we got here in the first place.

    • Jon Wright March 26, 2018 (1:31 pm)

      Since city infrastructure is largely paid by property tax, car drivers, bike riders, walkers, transit users, and shut ins all pay for that burden. And cars externalize an awful lot of their impacts so I would wager that car drivers actually pay less than their share.

    • KBear March 26, 2018 (1:32 pm)

      Ah, the tired old trope that cyclists don’t pay taxes! They pay the same taxes as anyone else. Most of them own motor vehicles, too. And only a small amount of SDOT’s budget comes from gas tax.

    • KM March 26, 2018 (7:58 pm)

      Here are some details on that. Per $1 spent on driving by a consumer, it costs “society” $9.20. https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2015/04/the-social-costs-of-driving-in-vancouver-in-1-chart/389805/

  • JanS March 26, 2018 (12:44 pm)

    wow…even “whataboutism” regarding bikes and cars…amazing !

    • Nice March 26, 2018 (1:46 pm)

      What about “whataboutism” whataboutism?

  • smittytheclown March 26, 2018 (12:45 pm)

    It can be an extremely effective and efficient way to get around town.  Rode one from Lower QA to Safeco for a day game once.  Beat drivers leaving from the same location by 20 minutes.

    They just need to figure out a way to control/compartmentalize/reduce the sheer number of them laying around and getting in the way of pedestrians.

    Great idea in concept; reduce traffic, reduce pollution, etc.  

  • waikikigirl March 26, 2018 (1:40 pm)

    I agree with A-Red these bikes are scattered all over Seattle, his pictures are not staged except for the one he says he “staged”

    Why can’t our “Share bikes” be like they have in Waikiki, you’d think a City that has that many visitors and locals it would be worse but they have it where you get the bike at one location and you return it to same location or at one of their other docking stations, not just where you want to lay it down.








    • West Seattle since 1979 March 26, 2018 (2:37 pm)

      Docking stations were a problem for Pronto (well, one of the problems.)  What if you wanted to ride a bike from say, the bus stop home, or to the store?  You couldn’t, if the docking station wasn’t where you wanted to go.  

  • Curate March 26, 2018 (1:58 pm)

    I appreciate the bike photos shared by A-Red because they’re well done (artistic) and interesting. However, I disagree with the thesis that the images are trying to forward: That these bikes are “littering” our urban environment. I like the way they look (even upside down, next to dumpsters) and appreciate how amazingly ubiquitous they are. This nearly half-centenarian has taken them for several jaunts around West Seattle and from WS to SODO for Sounders games.  If folks are bothered by them, why don’t they pick (stand) them up or move them to safer locations if you encounter them? I pick up litter if it’s offensive, why not the bikes?

    • chemist March 26, 2018 (2:03 pm)

      The inverted bike has a pedal crank that’s bent to render the bike inoperable, so upside-down and triggering the tip/orientation sensor in the bike isn’t a bad move.

    • Rick March 26, 2018 (4:43 pm)

      I do pick up trash from inconsiderate  a**hats every day. I walk to work. Soon as you can get me vested in the bike picker uppers and put in safer places union(full benefits) I’ll sign up to help those involved prosper. Since you’re being so generous for others.

  • flimflam March 26, 2018 (1:59 pm)

    i appreciate people using these bikes, but yeah, they look bad just laying all over the city. it looks messy, thoughtless, and disorganized not to mention they are often in a walkway, etc.

    • West Seattle since 1979 March 26, 2018 (5:51 pm)

      If they were a different color, such as dark green, would they look better? Of course they’d still need to be kept out of walkways. But they wouldn’t be as noticeable as they are now!

  • skeeter March 26, 2018 (4:07 pm)

     Like the rest of you I got my King County property tax bill about two weeks ago.  It was $4,300 and change.  I called the tax collector.  “There must be a mistake.  I ride a bike and don’t pay taxes.”  The tax collector asked me to send a picture of me riding a bike just to prove I was telling the truth.  I sent the picture and within 4 days I received a letter showing my tax bill had been cancelled and nothing is due.  It really does pay to ride a bike!!  No taxes!!

  • wetone March 26, 2018 (5:14 pm)

    I work and travel through out the city on a daily basis and I see a minimum of 5 bikes in pieces or non ride able condition, and many days  more. All one has to do is drive, walk or bike along Airport wy, Aurora ave, any of the homeless camp areas, SODO area, waterfront and surrounding area streets.  (“Miller said. He says the program is “at effectively no cost to the city.”)   Not true, city shares liability issues with programs and uses share programs data.  I would never trust any data from SDOT related to this program. All mumbo jumbo for  promoting city’s agenda, just like streetcar project.     

    • I don't believe you March 27, 2018 (2:38 pm)

      Gee, must be nice to have time to stop, inspect, and determine the condition of every bicycle you pass by … unless you’re just making stuff up.

      • Mike March 29, 2018 (8:51 pm)

        You can drive by at 50mph and tell they are broken down and in inoperable condition.  I see them as I ride my personal bicycle to work.  Homeless have cut the wheel locks off to keep them for themselves.  One guy had a stash of them pulled apart.  The tires stacked next to one another.  But that’s just me traveling on my bicycle 8 miles each way. You’d have to be blind to not see them, they’re super bright colors.

  • MJ March 26, 2018 (5:44 pm)

    Skeeter good one.

  • Don Brubeck March 26, 2018 (9:46 pm)

    West Seattle Since 1979: They are privately owned public transportation. Maybe that’s why they are the same colors as Yellow taxis, Orange taxis, and Farwest taxis.  So you will see them. 

    I like seeing how many people are trying them. Lots of use to and from bus stops.  Lots of use by someone riding a bike share bike with another person on their own bike.  Lots of them way, way beyond where Pronto was and ever planned to be. West Seattle, for example. If they survive this winter and the vandalism, maybe they’ll prove to be a real part of our transportation. 

    • West Seattle since 1979 March 27, 2018 (7:50 am)

      @Don Brubeck, I hope they will stay and I think they’re very useful. But already we’re hearing people complain that they mess up the landscape (over and above people leaving them in walkways) so I’m just afraid that people who object to them will somehow hold sway and will band together to get the companies to pull out. 

      • SaraB March 27, 2018 (1:24 pm)

        I’m not asking the bike companies to pull out of the Seattle market, and I don’t see anyone else here suggesting that either. 

        I agree there is a place for bike sharing, and it could be a great program.  Offering suggestions for how the program could work better is not the same thing as suggesting there should be no program.  There are a lot more bikes on the streets than will ever be used, and the companies aren’t doing a good job of keeping them out of rights of way.  We could perhaps solve these problems if we start with listening rather than immediately jumping to polarize the debate.  We are each others neighbors – let’s practice constructive civil discourse together.  

        • West Seattle since 1979 March 28, 2018 (11:07 am)

          @SaraB, i didn’t mean you, specifically.  But there is so much negativity.  What if the bike companies can’t control what people do with the bikes–will people eventually say they need to go?  And some people are objecting to the bikes themselves and how they look, even if they’re parked somewhere and not blocking walkways or driveways.  (That was why I wondered if it’d be better if they weren’t so brightly colored).   

  • Flip phone forever March 26, 2018 (10:17 pm)

    Bike inequity for those without smartphones. 

  • Kathy March 27, 2018 (12:31 pm)

    You could check Limebike and see if they still have this program:


  • Jim P. March 27, 2018 (3:20 pm)

    “about 10,000 bikes on the street, according to Miller.” And I think that street is either First or Third downtown.  They both look like a bicycle jumble sale.

    Makes for a fun game out towards the suburbs through playing ‘Spot the discarded bike” in shrubs and down the small canyons and gullies and behind dumpsters and I’d swear I saw one or two on rooftops looking from the viaduct headed downtown.

    The bikes are a great ideas once we upgrade the majority of humanity that regards “pranks” and vandalism as a fine way to pass their days.

  • Jim P. March 27, 2018 (3:31 pm)

    “Judd noted that so far, it’s been suggested that Metro would stop all but two bus routes at the bridge.”

    Very bad idea.  NO cookie.

    Turning a one bus get on, get off into a two “bus” with wait time at the transfer point is a Bad Idea.  From where I Live it takes me about 30 minutes and one bus to get to any point in the immediate downtown area: Pike Place, movies, Benaroya etc.

    Having to transfer and wait for the next train would add at least fifteen minutes to this and, when the trains are broken, what do people do?

    Coming back would be even worse as you might have to tranfser to a bus that runs every 30 minutes that you could have taken directly from downtown.

    Nope, only someone who is not dependent on buses could come up with that crackpot idea.

    Run the light rail down Delridge to  Westwood or White Center or further with at least the frequency of the current 21/60/120/125/C combined and then we’ll  talk.

    • Kathy March 28, 2018 (12:00 pm)

      Jim P., lucky you! A huge number of  us in West Seattle live no where near walking distance to bus service. And for many others here it is now at least an hour to get downtown during off-peak. Our service was cut and more transfers added so that you can have your 30 minute more frequent service. If you say “thank you” I’ll say “you’re welcome”.

  • RayK March 27, 2018 (4:04 pm)

    Wait times for Link averages 1/2 their frequency which is 6 minutes during peak periods and 10 minutes midday. Therefore the average wait time is 3 or 5 minutes. The departures will be reliable because traffic will not delay the trains.     

    Bus frequencies at Link stations should be more frequent than RapidRide schedules with redirected bus routes within West Seattle. Your most convenient route schedule will improved or unlikely be worse.

  • bikesharerocks! March 27, 2018 (5:40 pm)

    I love the current bike share program. I actually wish there were more bikes available especially around the Junction area of other residential locations so that we didn’t have to go down to Alki to look to for them. I don’t even use my two bikes anymore. For everyone complaining about bikes laying on sidewalks, maybe pick them up? Seriously, the idea that a bike company can be responsible for every single one of their 3,000 bikes being in the perfect location and in the perfect position is ludicrous. It’s going to take a little effort on our part to make this work. I also wish local businesses would do more to keep bikes upright and in the right places. They bring more people to you, get people out of cars and create a better community feel. And if anyone has an entrepreneurial streak I think a helmet loan center at key points around the city could be worth looking into. Bikes are so cheap no one would mind paying a bit for a helmet. 

    • Mike March 28, 2018 (12:30 am)

      “For everyone complaining about bikes laying on sidewalks, maybe pick them up?”  Oh, been there done that.  Today I picked up an ofo bike that some kind soul left in the ramp of the crosswalk.  That elderly lady behind me must be lucky I was just kind enough to pick up after somebody else … again.  Then there’s the one that was left right in the path going up the hill, so I hoped off my personal bicycle, moved it, called it in and they took over 24 hours to come pick up (because it was still blocking the path, I couldn’t just throw it in the street).  You should come visit South Lake Union, ride them from SLU to The Junction, there’s tons for you to pick from!

  • yesindeedidodee March 27, 2018 (5:52 pm)

    And we could all live in a perfect world… 

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