In response to the Miami-based company’s installation of two bike share stations on the boardwalk, running contrary to the beach community’s wishes, PB civic groups have jointly dashed off a letter to the mayor and the city denouncing the move.
“We have still not heard back from the mayor,” responded Pacific Beach Planning Group chair Brian Curry. “His rep continues to suggest that there is a 90-day period, and then they reassess the locations.”
Curry added, “As the boardwalk location is unacceptable, it is frustrating. I have asked for a meeting with DecoBikes and the city to discuss but again have had no response other than the ‘canned’ boilerplate email sent out to most everyone who inquires. Thus far, we have more than 1,000 signatures on our petition to get them off the boardwalk. I want to revisit all locations at this point, given their continuing nonresponse to community concerns.”
An online petition drive has also been launched in an effort to get DecoBike to relocate its boardwalk stations.
The online boardwalk petition notes, “The beach and boardwalk areas are a natural resource and a regional asset … boardwalk locations are not acceptable, as the space is not appropriate for a permanent commercial operation, negatively impacts coastline access and impairs coastal views and pedestrian traffic. … This enterprise is unfair competition with local bike rentals as well as being opposed by all local community organizations.”
The petition concludes by asking for removal of DecoBike installations “on or near the boardwalk of Pacific Beach.” The online petition also ask that all future community bike share installations should “be halted and that full community approval by sought prior to any further installations.”
“Over the last two years, we were approached by numerous city representatives and DecoBike consultants to assist in the processes of integrating bike share into the City of San Diego and more specifically into our community of Pacific Beach,” said a joint letter from PB Planning Group, PB Town Council and Discover PB BID addressed to the mayor and Councilwoman Lorie Zapf.
“We have coordinated many after-hours meetings between all of us to vet issues including impact on local small businesses, safety, convenience, parking and traffic congestion along with the needs of Deco Bikes to ensure a successful business model for bike share.
“While not everyone in our community welcomed bike share with open arms, we used our leadership in the community to mitigate these issues and ensure a smooth transition of bike share into Pacific Beach, understanding that is a great benefit to the public transportation system and falls in line with our Eco-District efforts.
“It is for these reasons it is extremely disappointing and offensive for the actions that have transpired regarding the kiosk installed on the public boardwalk,” continued the letter to the city. “Furthermore, it appears the notification of businesses/structures within 100 feet of installations has not occurred, as was agreed upon by Deco Bikes. Again, we are reaching out to your office and DecoBike representatives to remove the two locations, 92A and 104A. The boardwalk locations threaten the integrity of one of the most popular (and sought-after commercially) park sights in the city as well as cause concern with congestion, small businesses’ ability to compete fairly and equal access to the beach.”
The joint letter concludes by stating, “All of our organizations have been bombarded with objections to these locations, and our concerns have been ignored by DecoBike and your office. We have offered to work with both of your representatives to find alternative locations and have been met with silence. The lack of professionalism on the part of Deco Bikes… has already damaged the hours of work we have all done to integrate bike share into our community, and unfortunately it will be much harder to repair moving forward.
“ ...Once again, we would like to request the removal or transfer of these locations, a response from your office to our concerns and for the notification within 100 feet of the remaining installation to be honored. Furthermore, we would like to meet with DecoBike and City representatives to review all finalized locations, as those were never presented to us or in any public forum.”
DecoBike has a 10-year contract with the city of San Diego to provide an interlocking network of bike stations at 180 locations citywide.
In response to citizen complaints about the PB boardwalk bike share locations, the mayor’s office responded by email: “It is important to provide a reliable and workable network of cycling options throughout the city. For the bike-sharing program to be feasible and successful, locations for the bike docking stations need to be in areas easily accessible to the public, to be used by residents and visitors alike to have a healthy and fun way to get around San Diego. We (city) will continue to conduct performance reviews of the bike dock locations and make adjustments accordingly.”