The city signed a 10-year deal with DecoBike to set up bike rental kiosks on city property. Launched in January 2015 as a way to boost residential bike commuters, kiosks would also be a means of income because the city would share in a portion of the rental profits.
The key to the deal was the minimal expense to the city, as Florida-based DecoBike footed the bill for setting up its own bike sharing infrastructure, which allows commercial advertising on kiosks to recoup part of the company's investment.
The exact locations of expanded DecoBike rental kiosks in La Jolla however has yet to be determined.
“This past summer DecoBike worked with the City of San Diego to develop a list of proposed locations in coastal communities, including La Jolla,” said Melinda Pederson, DecoBike San Diego's administrative manager. “I do not currently have a date for when proposed locations will be available for public input. Initially, it was anticipated that the internal review would be completed in August.
“However, the city's examination period has taken longer than anticipated due to the need to propose sites that are beneficial to the community, meet regulatory and safety standards, and are financially viable for DecoBike San Diego. Once the locations have been vetted with the city, the city will present the proposed sites to community planning groups.”
A random survey of La Jollans on their views concerning bike sharing coming to the Jewel offered little support.
“My opinion as a member of La Jolla Parks & Beaches is no to DecoBike,” said Realtor Bob Evans. “I don’t like the space that it takes up, and don’t like the advertising in our parks and beaches area that comes with it. If there is a demand for bike rentals in La Jolla, then I would rather see it filled by local merchants.”
Phyllis Minick of parks and beaches concurred.
“DecoBikes will cause a traffic disaster on already overcrowded La Jolla streets,” she said. “Because auto traffic is so heavy, drivers of cars pulling in and out of parking spaces – or fighting to beat another driver out of an open space – will be additionally distracted by more bike traffic. Families attempting to ride together will be dangerous obstacles, with attention on each other, not on cars.”
Minick also objects to DecoBike's “taking space our community does not want used for yet another commercial purpose. The ads their stands intend to display violate city codes. Finally, our bike rental businesses should not have this competition, which all our community organizations have voted against.”
Dan Allen chair of La Jolla Parks and Beaches Inc., said “Our organization does not support locating bike kiosks in La Jolla parkland or public areas. Our objection is to the City’s bike share station location plan (previously) proposed by contractor DecoBike as presented to us, which includes using grassy areas and adjacent parking spaces along Scripps Park in La Jolla.”
This position taken by LJPB at its April 2014 meeting was 15-1 opposed to DecoBike in La Jolla.
Added Allen, “The recent Grand Jury report says there is opposition to bike-rental kiosks in La Jolla because they are an eyesore and would take up too much valuable public sidewalk, park and parking space.”
Concerning La Jolla DecoBike kiosks having billboard space for general advertising, not just promotional information for bike rentals, Allen noted, “Our organization has a decades-long record opposing commercial uses in Scripps Park. We have resisted Coke machines, beach equipment rental, T-shirt vendors, etc., and the proposed bike-rental kiosks are just as inappropriate in Scripps Park.”