loading...

Convenience or Obstruction? DC Residents Sound Off on Dockless Bikes

by Nena Perry-Brown

image
Mobikes parked in DC.

Chances are that you have used one or seen one around town. Orange, green and yellow bikes parked virtually anywhere, which can sometimes mean odd places like the middle of the sidewalk.

Since dockless bikeshare companies began operating in DC in September, the bicycles have served as a convenient mode of transportation as well as the object of frustration, even inspiring a Popville series on appalling parking practices.

Yesterday evening, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and a handful of ANCs in Ward 2 co-hosted a town hall about the dockless bikeshare pilot program to get feedback from the community.

DDOT is testing out dockless bikeshare as a supplement to the regional Capital Bikeshare program, which has been in operation in DC for seven years. Because the city’s regulations have no guidance on how dockless bicycle companies should work, the marketplace was essentially opened up for seven months in order for the companies to test things out.

The companies (Mobike, ofo, Jump, LimeBike and Spin) are permitted to operate their systems in DC and are not being charged; all but Jump have close to the maximum 400 bikes currently available throughout the city. DDOT is collecting monthly data reports from each company and wants to see what impact, if any, the competition has on Capital Bikeshare usage and revenue.

DDOT representative Sam Zimbabwe explained that by the pilot’s conclusion in April, the agency hopes to have amassed a significant amount of feedback from the community and to finalize recommended approaches to the issues of whether a regulatory framework need be established, including maximum number of bikes and costs to bikeshare operators and how to better regulate proper parking of the bikes.

And the attendees of the meeting ensured that DDOT, the ANCs and the bikeshare companies had plenty of feedback to start with.

image
Spin’s parking guide

Irresponsible parking was one of the primary frustrations discussed on Tuesday evening. “We’re finding them in front of our condominium, abandoned; I cannot describe the urge to go out there and heave those things into a lane of traffic during rush hour,” one attendee said to applause.

Suggestions ranged from removing bicycle kickstands to discourage people from leaving the bikes where they may be obstructions to companies utilizing their tracking systems to enforce penalties on riders who flout parking regulations. After one attendee shared a story of trying to move a bike from the sidewalk only to have it fall apart, another attendee concurred about the low value of the bikes. “When you have an asset that is valued at $0, the company will not take care of it, and I think we’re seeing that in terms of the companies not following up on problems.”

image
image
Two panels from LimeBike’s parking guide

Bikeshare company Jump seemed to be the least-offensive bikeshare alternative to many in the audience. “Our bikes have a U-lock in them; all users are required to lock their bikes to fixed objects like racks or street signs,” Nelle Pierson explained to scattered applause, emphasizing that the integrated lock differentiates Jump from the other bikeshare alternatives. “It is an easy fix. DDOT could require that of all the companies.” Pierson and the bikeshare rep for ofo also went on the record to call on DDOT to invest further in providing bike racks throughout the city.

The desire for more DDOT investment was echoed in other ways throughout the evening, with community members requesting that DDOT prioritize improving the city’s protected bike infrastructure and basic road maintenance in order to encourage more residents to ride. The dockless bikeshare pilot period will conclude in late April, with recommendations implemented the following month.

See other articles related to: dockless bikes, ddot, biking, bikeshare, bicycle lanes, anc 2f, anc 2e, anc 2b, anc 2a

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/destruction_and_obstruction_dc_residents_respond_to_dockless_bikes/13330

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Ballston
Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Clarendon
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Rosslyn
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
Shirlington
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
Huntington
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
Parkfairfax
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »

Maryland

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Annapolis
Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bethesda
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
Potomac
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Hyattsville
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Bloomingdale
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
Brightwood
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
Burleith
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
Crestwood
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
Georgetown
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
Kalorama
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
Palisades
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Petworth
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
Shaw
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Takoma
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Tenleytown
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

Brookland
New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
Deanwood
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Eckington
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
Langdon
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
NoMa
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Rosedale
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
Trinidad
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Woodridge
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Hillcrest
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾