Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 11, 2018

Bikesharing is caring

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

So about those dockless bike shares, here’s a good piece from CityLab. Although this is specifically about Washington DC it’s relevant to Alameda because we have dockless bike share and because some people have their panties bunched about some of the parking jobs, we might see some scaling of how dockless bike share will function in Alameda. In fact I think there’s an outstanding Council Referral on the topic. Highlights:

Since the dockless bikes arrived, I’ve been seeing more and more black Washingtonians, particularly youth, on two wheels. That has not been a common sight in the past. Among commuter cyclists, white men have been largely overrepresented across the country. And city bikeshare initiatives have suffered from even starker racial disparities: In D.C., a city that until 2015 boasted a predominantly African-American population, black riders represent a tiny fraction of bikeshare patrons.

In light of all of that, I was curious about whether dockless bikes were, in fact, doing a better job of drawing black riders like myself. Was dockless bikeshare disrupting traditional bikeshare’s diversity problem—and if so, how?

It’s hard to back that hypothesis up with numbers; private bike companies don’t collect racial demographic data on their riders. But the data they do have, in conjunction with the anecdotal observations of bike advocates and riders across the city, suggest that dockless bikes are indeed changing the face of D.C. bikers.

“There are plenty youth of color riding and lots of women riding,” said Greg Billing, executive director at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA). “I think it’s a lot more reflective of the community at large than biking in general, which is great for the city.”

“Young people, in general, are more used to using their phones than this archaic parking machine to access a bike,” said Emiko Atherton, director of the Complete Streets program at Smarter Growth America. “Even I don’t like to do it.”

Atherton said she’s noticed more young black riders on dockless bikes in her Northwest community of Columbia Heights, too. “I remember walking down 14th Street and thinking there was an event, but it was just a group of young black men on dockless bikes,” she said. “It was really cool and it wasn’t something that I’d ever seen before.”


In Alameda, I’ve seen a lot of kids on Limebikes and a lot of kids of color on Limebikes as well.   Maybe it’s just a fad that will die among the youth, but for now, it’s been a great equalizer for folks that don’t have access to personal bikes and for our city without a docked bike share infrastructure.



  1. The growth of bike sharing is also the growth of helmet-less riding. The consequences of that are worrisome.

    Comment by dave — January 11, 2018 @ 6:35 am

  2. “Panties in a bunch”? This is your response to the elderly and handicapped having to maneuver around bicycles parked mid sidewalk or crossings, now in the rain? Nice! NOT!

    Comment by Ajm — January 11, 2018 @ 7:50 am

    • I actually agree with you Ajm. I not so against the idea but where they park them. A lot of the sidewalks in alameda are too narrow and it not only the elderly or handicapped, but people with baby strollers or people walking with their kid, dogs and friends who have to maneuver around them is the problem. I noticed they took out the bike rack at 7-11 and I expect it was because of Limebikes. I went there once and you had to walk and the cars because around 5 of them people left there. Limebikes should pay for wider sidewalks or some sort of extra tax for doing business on the sidewalks of Alameda? If someone parked one in front of my house I would be angry.

      And as dave said in comment 1 it is true and the other thing is I don’t think they have lights on the bikes which is also dangerous.

      Comment by joelsf — January 11, 2018 @ 8:53 am

    • Not to mention that “panties bunched” is an offensively sexist term. For shame, Lauren. Thought you were better than that.

      Comment by kurt — January 11, 2018 @ 9:19 am

      • That is funny. Some guys wear panties also and not necessarily gay guys either…so maybe not so sexist.

        Comment by joelsf — January 11, 2018 @ 9:23 am

      • Exactly.

        Comment by Ajm — January 11, 2018 @ 12:48 pm

  3. Of all the things blocking sidewalks in this town, LimeBikes seem to be least offensive and easiest to move. Cars, trucks, old furniture, appliance, etc. are much of an eyesore and difficult to maneuver around. You can even call or text LimeBike and they will come move them or take them to a central location.

    On a separate note, I think one real benefit of these bikes are that you don’t have to worry about having your own bike stolen. I would not leave my own bike locked up at a ferry terminal all day for example. This may have something to do with poorer and younger people using these more because they are less able to replace stolen bikes.

    Comment by Spanky McDoogle (@SpankyMcDoogle) — January 11, 2018 @ 10:42 am

    • The Main St. ferry terminal has a guard who is there all day I use to leave my bike there all day without know of anyone who had a problem…need a better example.

      Comment by joelsf — January 11, 2018 @ 11:28 am

    • “easiest to move” ?. Try moving one while keeping one hand on your quad cane or walker.. Or white cane. Spanky, good for you that you have no physical limitations. Can I call you when I find a Limebike in my way?

      Gosh, I must really be poor. I cannot afford a Smartphone. But “poorer” kids on LimeBikes can.

      Comment by vigi — January 11, 2018 @ 12:18 pm

      • Easier than moving a parked car or couch, no? You can use your cane to knock the LimeBike over and carry on 😉

        Comment by Spanky McDoogle (@SpankyMcDoogle) — January 11, 2018 @ 12:23 pm

      • I didn’t ‘get it’ until I began volunteering with the elderly. It’s hard to understand unless you see it. That being said, the lack of empathy toward the elderly and handicapped is bizarre to me.

        Comment by Ajm — January 11, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

  4. Also, they do have lights and they do make very clear that you are required by law to wear a helmet if under the age of 18.

    Comment by Spanky McDoogle (@SpankyMcDoogle) — January 11, 2018 @ 10:44 am

    • I rode “my” bike to 7-11 and they were spraying were doing some sort of maintenance inside so they were temporarily closed for 10 minutes, so I hung out with a couple people outside chatting. Because I was on a bike someone brought up the subject of Limebikes. This one guy said he passed one the other day and somehow they had 5 kids on it and they were all over the road none of them had a helmet. Kids don’t think about those things…if they are stupid enough to have 5 on one bike (I don’t know how), they are not going to worry about helmets. When a kids such as these cause an accident who is libel, the City, Limebike, their parents? Kids are riding them all over. I personally don’t like riding down Central, Lincoln, Webster, or Park. I prefer Pacific going across town. I image it will be better once Jean Sweeney Open Space Park is finished.

      I did contact Limebikes and they did respond and say that the bikes are equipped with lights which is good.

      Comment by joelsf — January 11, 2018 @ 2:14 pm

  5. I am starting to sound like I work for LB (I don’t), but also:

    We have received a large shipment of helmets and will begin distributing them with approval/oversight from local high schools and other organizations.
    Attended Alameda Farmer’s Market, Bladium Sports club party, and planning to be at several Holiday events upcoming.

    Comment by Spanky McDoogle (@SpankyMcDoogle) — January 11, 2018 @ 10:47 am

  6. “but for now, it’s been a great equalizer for folks that don’t have access to personal bikes…” What do you mean: “great equalizer”? To use one of these LimeBikes, don’t you need to have a SmartPhone? How much do SmartPhones, plus annual contract, cost? If you can afford a smartphone, you can afford a bicycle.

    LimeBikes are only for kids who are affluent enough to have smartphones. Unless you are implying they are using stolen smartphones.

    Comment by vigi — January 11, 2018 @ 12:11 pm

  7. Since all the streets inside Bayport are all private streets, the mini-parks are also private and the sidewalks are to narrow there is no where to park them except the public park or school. So you essentially inside of HOA’s where the City doesn’t pay for much I shouldn’t see any Limebikes? Maybe they should make 1 or 2 parking spots at Bayport Park to be used as parking only for Limebikes. Since I live on one of the public streets I just don’t want a bunch of bikes parked in front of my house just sayin. We had a couple of people with lawn chairs sitting in our front yard in lawn chairs during a soccer game a couple months ago. I was going to go tell them to leave but mother nature took care of it with sudden rain. The only one I have seen inside of Bayport someone parked it on the roundabout which since Bayport maintains those I think they are private also…they just re-landscaped and it made it look trashy to have a bike parked in the middle of it.

    Comment by joelsf — January 11, 2018 @ 12:19 pm

    • You correct they should not be on private property. LB states that and agrees with you. I read they are working on education around this and could also prevent bike from locking on private property buying their GPS and continuing to charge the rider until they park in a proper place. You can also just call or text them and they will come take them away.

      Comment by Spanky McDoogle (@SpankyMcDoogle) — January 11, 2018 @ 12:25 pm

  8. So, Lauren, how many of those riders you saw were wearing helmets?

    Comment by MarcL — January 12, 2018 @ 5:08 pm

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