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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Why Didn’t We Think of That?

dsc_9003low.jpg It’s not often that I envy other cities for their bike-related policies (Portland being such a poster child, in that department), but this is pretty impressive: a formalized bike-sharing program in Barcelona that’s much like Zip Car here in the states, only better, because it cuts out the car part.

Only begs one question: Why haven’t we done this yet in the States? Or have we?
Found via Out There Biking.

6 Responses to “Why Didn’t We Think of That?”

  • March 10, 2008 at 2:30 pm | J. S. Townsley says

    Portland did have a bike sharing program sponsored by the city. The program is defunct now and I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s documented on wikipedia as one of the first in the country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_bicycle_program.

    JST

  • March 11, 2008 at 10:22 pm | ed says

    fresno, ca. has tried this program before, i think in the mid/late 90′s. it was sponsored by one of the local rotary clubs. they painted all the bikes yellow, and a plate stamped on them that explained how the system worked. you could use a bike, and when you were done, just leave it @ a major intersection for someone else.

    i’m pretty sure most, if not all, of the bikes were later stolen.

    and, looking @ that wiki link, the fresno program was very similar.

  • March 12, 2008 at 9:28 am | Austin Ramsland says

    If I am not mistaken, the Portland bike sharing program essentially just released a number of bikes painted yellow into the wild. They were last seen crossing the Idaho/Wyoming border, and were never heard of again.

    With one exception.

    Apparently there was one yellow bike that for a long time remained in Pioneer Square in downtown Portland. People would “ride” it from time to time, but since it was a stationary bike, it didn’t really get many miles out on the road.

  • March 12, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Eugenie says

    I remember the yellow bike program in Portland, too, and also the yellow bike program from school in Colorado, which faced a similar fate. Disappointing, on one level, but not really surprising. I don’t think those early programs were really trying to address alternative modes of transportation in a lasting way. The bikes were of marginal quality, and oversight was nil; it was cute and fun while it lasted but not exactly catalyzing real changes in (movement) behavior.

    Portland is perfectly poised to set up something in a much more formal way. There are rumors of the city’s involvement with something like this, but nothing official. It’d be nice to see our fair city as one of the first in the states to step up.

  • March 14, 2008 at 12:02 pm | Dub says

    Ashland tried the yellow bike thing as well, with some success, but simular results in the end.

    I remember reading Boulder had something too.

    If PDX does it again it will definately have to “set up something in a much more formal way”. People will steal any bike in this town. I know becuase someone walked in my backyard (thru a gate) and stole an 80′s Giant Mtn bike otta my shed. Go figure?

    Good thing the Lemond was locked down in the basement!

  • April 1, 2008 at 8:46 pm | Marjie says

    I know there was talk about this in Chicago. Our mayor went to Paris to see and try-out their bike rental system. I don’t know what the final say was. I sure hope they do it, I think it would be great to see some of these cars off the roads.

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