Category Archives: News and Media

Bike Share programs around the world spark ideas for Seattle’s

B-cycle bike share in boulder
Boulder’s B-cycle bike share, which I used last year to get the last 2.5 miles from a bus stop to my destination. It was fantastic!

I highly recommend this excellent article from Grist on bike sharing. It cites numerous examples from around the world (here’s a handy map of them all), which spark several ideas for shaping the Puget Sound program (already in the works):

  • One bike share in Germany uses “station-less” bikes that are parked anywhere and located by smartphone. Sound familiar? The increasingly popular Car2Go program in Seattle uses the same model. I already tweeted @Car2Go asking why not start Bike2Go, if not in Seattle, then in other cities they service. Feel free to do the same! =) 
  • Clear Channel started the well-known and highly successful program in Paris called Vélib’. Seattle has no shortage of potential “anchor” corporations that could do the same or at least take a supportive role, yet according to this PSBJ article, Puget Sound Bike Share is still seeking sponsorship. Looks like Microsoft, UW, and REI are already in on the action, or are at least offering statements of support. Anyone from Boeing, Amazon, Safeco, Nordstrom, Alaska Air, Costco, Nintendo, Raleigh USA, etc., etc. reading this? Seems like a golden business opportunity.
  • A program in Hangzhou, China, integrates its bike sharing with other local transit options like bus and subway. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if Seattleites could use their ORCA card to access bike share?

What features would you like to see in our local bike share program?

I really like the article’s concluding statement: “Having bikes ready to go on the streets encourages more people to try out biking, and once they experience its convenience, speed, and lower cost, they then advocate for further improvements to cycling infrastructure — like bike lanes, paths, and parking — making it even easier for more riders to join in. This “virtuous cycle” means that it is increasingly likely that bike sharing could soon show up in a city near you.”

What a fantastic way to increase ridership, and what an extraordinary opportunity for Seattle.

Cycling evolution: from sport and practicality to “eye-catching glamour”

Bicycle Chic Gains Speed - New York Times
Bicycle Chic Gains Speed - New York Times

The New York Times printed another great article that observes the growing number of “women, mostly young, [giving] the image of cyclists ‘an extreme makeover.'” The article notes how these women “are infusing what used to be an athletic, or purely practical, pursuit with eye-catching glamour and sex appeal. Their style, a modish amalgam of fashion and function, is documented on blogs and emulated by like-minded sisters on wheels.”

The article goes on to mention that improved infrastructure allows more types of cyclists to ride in NYC, which is becoming an ever more bike-friendly city. Perhaps most interesting is that the improvements have led to a significant increase in the city’s number of women cyclists. In turn, many female riders like the ones depicted in this article are embodying a slower, nonaggressive, more stylish mode of bike riding, and while wearing runway gowns and toting designer bags might be a little extreme, the general direction is toward a more ubiquitous form of transport.

In our opinion, the future of urban cycling will look more like these women than the more masculine archetypes currently found in American cities.

You just don’t see this sort of thing happen with bikes

Are we there yet?

By now you’ve probably heard about this epic 60-mile-long traffic jam in China, especially since it lasted for nearly–wait for it–TWO WEEKS. Drivers in giant queues had to be woken up any time the colossal, congested mess inched forward. You know, because those people were going to sleep. For the night.

So… how long was the last bike traffic jam you got into? About 2.8 seconds? Here’s to the freedom of two wheels.

Seattle could learn from New York re: cycling infrastructure

Via Crosscut.com: "Even New York City gives cyclists real bike lanes, not 'sharrows.'"

This fantastic article on crosscut.com discusses how Seattle has been overtaken by New York in terms of bike infrastructure. It also cuts to the chase as to why many initiatives to improve infrastructure here in Seattle have fallen short, and why the city has a long way to go before being a true haven for cyclists. A great addition to the ongoing conversation on how to make cycling a transportation option for everyone.