La Jolla leaders against DecoBike's plans in the Village
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 11/26/16 - 09:00 AM | 5 5 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With plans to expand to outlying areas from its downtown San Diego core, DecoBike is likely to get a cool reception from La Jollans whose older demographic and staunch opposition to commercial advertising pose major obstacles to bike sharing.

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.”
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Competent Thinker
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November 29, 2016
La Jolla's "leaders" have no idea what bike share programs are. It's almost as bad as the crappy poor service "bike shops" in PB who claim the bike share program has taken away their business even though one of the shop owners mentioned he'd been losing money before the program came to Pacific Beach.

Families don't use Decobike - there is only one size if bicycle available and technically people under 18 aren't allowed to use the system, it's designed to fill gaps in the public transportation system and reduce automobile dependency. It doesn't matter what the median age of the populace is in La Jolla or whether bicycling will "add traffic" bicycles are legal to use on all city streets. A few parking spots are lost? Big deal. Parking and automobile use in general does not and has not paid for its part.

And speaking of advertising on public property, has Bob Evans never noticed that ads are allowed on city-owned benches and at MTS bus stops as well as on the side of MTS buses?

For the record I bike in La Jolla quite often. I ride in the bike lanes where available, use lights, stop for stop signs and all that. I've had very few issues with drivers.
Elbaite
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November 29, 2016
Elitist? Try ageist and ableist. There's an unfortunate presumption in the DecoBikes argument that everyone is young and disability-free enough to use a bicycle. If La jolla's pushing back it's because bicycles don't fit the needs of our community, in which a high percentage of residents are over 60, and suffer the painful complications of aging. What we really need--and I'm not being sarcastic--is a DecoBikes-type arrangement for mobility scooters. *That* would be a service for which many of our residents would have a real use.
Sn0wflake598
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November 29, 2016
There's no ageism or ableism in the expansion of a bike share program. La Jolla is pushing back because these people do not have a competent understanding in transportation systems.

Also remember UCSD is in La Jolla. It makes sense to have bike share there alone just to support the gaps in public transit for the significant people magnet that is UCSD
sdurban
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November 28, 2016
Families shouldn't be allowed to ride bikes on public streets because they're a "dangerous obstacle" for aggressive drivers fighting over a parking spot?

What a disgusting, entitled motorist thing to say. These are people's lives we're talking about, not "obstacles". God forbid you're delayed for a few seconds in your Bentley.
Batvette
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November 29, 2016
It says "families attempting to ride together". What does that mean to you? To me I think of a couple with 2-3 young children, could be as young as 4-8 years old, maybe one has training wheels... off on an outing on a busy public street... not gonna be riding single file per vehicle code that's for sure. I am an avid cyclist but I am sorry that is a tragedy waiting to happen.

City streets are to be used for transportation. We have some of the finest parks in the nation as well as bike paths which are t better suited to take the kiddies out for a weekend excursion.

While I don't share what appears to be an elitist attitude toward cyclists I think it should be said that Decobike and families riding together for recreation are a completely different issue from those using bicycles for transportation.
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