MYNORTHWEST NEWS

‘Scofflaws,’ parking among top dislikes with Seattle bikeshares

Jun 5, 2018, 1:37 PM | Updated: 4:41 pm

bikeshare, seattle bikeshares...

LimeBike is one of three bikeshare companies operating in Seattle. (KIRO Radio)

(KIRO Radio)

There are plenty of reasons to praise Seattle bikeshares since they began operating, including the 468,000 rides taken on them since July 2017.

RELATED: Seattle’s ‘war on pedestrians’ is already underway

But people still have gripes about the dockless bikes.

A public opinion survey found the top three dislikes for the three bikeshare companies in town are: Too many bikes mis-parked, not enough comfortable bike routes, and too many scofflaws, according to information released by the Seattle Department of Transportation.

A total of 85 percent of public comments received via email and phone were unfavorable toward the dockless program. The reasons were similar to the aforementioned survey: incorrect parking, pedestrian access, and safety, bikes are ugly or cluttered on the sidewalk, companies are unresponsive, and people don’t wear helmets.

There were further concerns for people with disabilities, including the fact that the bikes often block sidewalks and curb ramps, as well as transit and business access.

Seattle bikeshares

A study, according to the information from the city, found 70 percent of the dockless bikes are parked correctly. Four percent were found to be fully blocking pedestrians.

Still, people are using them. Seattle, GeekWire first reported, is home to nearly a quarter of all bikeshare bikes in the country. There are about 44,000 bikeshare rides in America, and nearly 10,000 of them are in Seattle.

Overall, the public opinion survey found 74 percent in favor of Seattle bikeshares, with 33 percent of those surveyed having actually used them.

Top likes include: Reduced carbon emissions, more fun to get around, and not having to worry about bikes being stolen.

The data from the city shows 75 percent of people use bikeshare to access transit. Only 6.8 percent use them for recreation or exercise. In the afternoons and evenings, people often use the bikes to make it to social or leisure activities, run an errand or make an appointment or get to work.

This data was published as the city prepares to roll out new permit regulations. On June 19, the Sustainability and Transportation Committee will hear about an updated permitting system for Seattle bikeshares. It could be voted on by the city council by June 25 and in place by July 31.

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‘Scofflaws,’ parking among top dislikes with Seattle bikeshares