Posts Tagged ‘bikes’

Uh Oh: Short Term, Electric-Powered, Rental Bikes / Scooters and THE HELMET ISSUE – How FordGoBike, LimeBikes and BIRD are Handling Things

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

1) First up are the Ford Motor people – here’s some marketing from them:

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See that? It’s Chinatown! Anyway, these fashion models are on 2018 versions of a FordGoBike. Unlike the 2017 versions, which were/are comically heavy and astonishingly expensive (you’ll find out just how much after yours turns up missing and they send you in to the SFPD to file a report), these new rides are electric powered, the better to compete with the new orange-red JUMP! bikes.

But look closer – these tourists packed their helmets. Now that’s some amazing foresight.

Let’s wait and see if this becomes a thing, this carrying a helmet around all day in anticipation of coming across a rental bike thing. (I don’t think it will.)

2. Limebike is giving away helmets I hear. Maybe to their users, maybe in SF, maybe on Sunday. They might be a bit garish, something like this…

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…but I won’t laugh at you.

(Is a bike helmet and a scooter helmet the same thing? IDK.)

3.  What’s next, oh BIRD. Look what they’re cooking up for us:

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And here’s the current version of AB2989.

Notably:

“The bill would, among other provisions, require the minor operator of a standup electric scooter to wear a bicycle helmet while operating the standup electric scooter.”

See how that works? Through this hocus pocus, helmets would no longer be required for adult electric scooter riders on the Streets of California. (Did I say streets? I shoulda said sidewalks, as:

“(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), a standup electric scooter may be operated on sidewalks and may be parked in the same manner and at the same locations as a bicycle may be parked.
(c) A local authority may adopt rules and regulations by ordinance or resolution prohibiting or restricting persons from riding or propelling a standup electric scooter on highways, sidewalks, or roadways.”)

So there you have it. You can handle the looming HELMET ISSUE through marketing efforts, giveaways, or just going to Sac Town to change laws in order to favor your bidness.

Your choice.

Leaving you with a recent shot of our Fulton Freeway, 30 MPH speed limit:

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Oh, and here’s what the old-fashioned-style GoBikes look like:

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The have crazy drivetrains that only make things worse, IMO.

AB2989: Proposed Law to Eliminate Electric Scooter LICENSING & HELMET Requirements? – Plus, SIDEWALK RIDING Would be ALLOWED?

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Well Pa Pa Pa Ooh Mau Mau, Ooh Mau Mau, via Scooter Idiots @ScooterIdiots we learn that BIRD is the word in Sac Town these days.

Check it, is this real life?

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So, if people are beefing about all those ppl illegally riding Bird Rides, Inc rental scooters on the sidewalks of San Francisco these days, well let’s just change California law – is that how this works?

And if people are afraid of getting ticketed by the SFPD for not having a helmet, well, let’s get rid of that rule too.

And if you don’t have a driver license, well fear not, because BIRD is “sponsor”-ing, you know, effectively, an Assembly Bill to take care of that?

(And bike lanes? I don’t really get the part about electric scooters in bike lanes.)

Read all about it after the jump.

Oh caveats:

  1. Helmets would still be required for minors.
  2. Local municipalities could come in with their own sidewalk bans, which would prolly be a shoe-in to pass in Frisco (considering that SFGov has similarly banned sidewalk bike riding for almost all of the city.)
  3. And having a driver license, well, IDK how important that is IRL

IDK what to make of all this…

(more…)

A Good Turnout for Sunday Streets Mission (#1 of 2), 2018 – Valencia is Now the Flagship Sunday Streets Street

Monday, March 12th, 2018

I suppose that the Embarcadero used to be the flagship location, but that venue isn’t around any more.

Prolly they’re still fine-tuning schedules and locations, as some recent events have looked like fog-enmeshed ghost towns, where it’s literally hard to see another soul.

No no, this is how it‘s supposed to be:

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Ten years ago, people got around on wheels more, it seems. Most of yesterday’s large crowd was on foot, as you can see…

Why You SHOULDN’T Read Your JUMP! Bike Rental Agreement – Hey, Can you Ride in the Fog? NO! – What If You Weigh Over 210 Pounds? NO!

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Well, here it is, just a part, one screens-worth, of your JUMP! bikeshare rental agreement, as approved by our SFMTA:

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Noting just three items here – these are things that popped out at me when I looked up the insane MEDIA RELEASE clause – this is what I saw on my screen, and I didn’t go poking around the rest of this document as I had had my fill:

  1. A 210 pound weight limit. This seems low to me, as someone who’s six foot one/ and tons of fun.
  2. You can’t ride these bikes in the fucking fog? Srsly, in Frisco?
  3. And who the Hell negotiated the MEDIA RELEASE on your behalf, Gentle Rider?

So that’s why I say to not read the agreement – ’cause you prolly won’t like what’s in there and, you know, these issues most likely won’t come up unless you’re in a big accident or something.

Anyway, read and weep:

“(h) Restricted Uses. You shall not do any of the following acts (“Restricted Uses”):

  • Use any Bicycle if You are younger than 18 years of age.
  • Use any Bicycle if You exceed the maximum weight limit (210 pounds) of the Bicycle.
  • Use any Bicycle if You have any existing physical or mental condition that would prohibit You from safely operating the Bicycle.
  • Operate a Bicycle while carrying any item that impedes Your ability to safely operate the Bicycle.
  • Operate a Bicycle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance that impairs Your ability to safely operate the Bicycle.
  • Use any cell phone or mobile electronic device for any use that distracts You from the safe operation of the Bicycle, including but not limited to phone calls, text messages, or music.
  • Allow any other person to use the Bicycle or allow more than one person to be carried on the Bicycle.
  • Overfill the Bicycle basket or place objects weighing in total more 20 pounds in the Bicycle basket.
  • Violate any applicable federal, state, or local law or regulation.
  • Operate or use a Bicycle in any manner during adverse weather conditions, including but not limited to hail, dust storms, fog, heavy rains, or lightning storms.
  • Ride or operate a Bicycle that has any defect, fails to operate as a properly functioning Bicycle, or that is in need of repair.
  • Use the Bicycle if it, or any component of it, appears to be or becomes defective or malfunctions.
  • Use the Bicycle for racing, tricks, jumping, stunt riding, off-road riding, or in any other hazardous manner.
  • Use the Bicycle for any commercial purposes.
  • Tow, pull, carry, or push any person or object with a Bicycle.
  • Remove, dismantle, write on, deface, misuse, or modify any accessories, parts, or components of any Bicycle.

6. MEDIA RELEASE

We reserve the right to photograph and record You using the Bicycle(s). You hereby give Us the right to use Your image and likeness (including caricature), and any reproduction or simulation thereof, in any media now known or hereafter developed, both during and after the term of this Agreement, for whatever the purposes We deem necessary or desirable. You hereby waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising from or related to any such use by Us or related entities.”

The Rental Bike Bros of Civic Center – But LimeBikes Have Been Banned by SFGov for a Year and a Half, to “Protect” Us, Right? Doing Tricks in Front of City Hall

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

One assumes these yoots came into town via BART, you know, one assumes.

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Now let’s hear from Actual Journalist Dan Brekke of KQED about the SFMTA Lime Bike Ban:

The companies, San Mateo-based LimeBike and Beijing-based Ofo, are among a handful of firms that hoped to expand into the city after the SFMTA began taking permit applications last July. But the firms were barred from doing business in San Francisco until at least mid-2019 when the SFMTA announced earlier this month it was granting an exclusive permit to New York-based Jump Bikes to place 250 dockless electric bikes on city streets for an 18-month pilot project.

And hey, isn’t it ironic, dontcha think, that one can venture into Civic Center from the Western Reaches, the Great Sand Waste of western Frisco and encounter more people riding JUMP!* rental bikes AND LimeBike rentals than vaunted FordGoBikes? And hold on, seeing ppl pushing stolen GoBikes doesn’t count, and seeing sometimes totally full “docks” of giant FORD**, FORD, FORD, FORD-logo’ed bikes sitting in the Western Addition, some for the whole live-long day, also doesn’t count.

(Is Ford Gobike like in the process of failing right now? We’ll see. Hey, is our SFMTA pleased with the low usage figures of the heavily marketed but somewhat unpopular with the populace GoBike? Well, not currently, but they’re not going to come right out and say that I don’t think.)

Anyway, ppl together riding LimeBikes in Frisco is new on me.

*By coincidence, also SFMTA-approved, oddly, in a kind of short term rental bike duopoly (the other half of which is the old-school “docked” Gobike program) that just got created by the SFMTA. But AFAIK, there are only 250 of them JUMP bikes on our streets so far. The usage figures show they get used on average 4.x times per day? I can believe that, at least for non-broken, operational JUMP bikes. 

**Who was kind of a Nazi – discuss the pros and cons of that allegation amongst yourselves

JUMP! Rental Bike Riders Don’t Drive Too Good

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

You can’t miss these bright orange rides these days, particularly the past month or so.

Like look at this fellow on Market – like how much a third of a horsepower has helped him to haul him and his buddy up to 20 MPH straddling the MUNI tracks. Talk about making good time.

Anyway, this is just an observation:

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More caution is advised…

Coming Down Masonic, Bike Riders have Five Choices on Which Way To Go at Fulton – Which Would You Choose?

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

IDK, I’ll guess I’ll say that I don’t understand what the SFMTA is doing with Masonic for what, the past couple of years or so?

So, for the still inchoate “transformation” of the 3000 feet of Masonic from Fell on up to Geary, are people still riding their bikes on the sidewalks?

Well, Hell to the yes. And as a matter of fact, now more than ever.

So for instance, the northbound block between Grove and Fulton has bus stop that drivers just ease on over to. You’re going want to be on the absurdly wide sidewalk on this block of Masonic. (I guess when it’s all done, buses will just stop in the slow lane. And somehow this won’t create traffic during the Morning Drive. Somehow.)

Now take a look here, coming down the hill approaching Fulton. Where will you end up after you cross?

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  1. The “fast lane” of Masonic. Potentially legal, but NOPE.
  2. The slow lane. Also potentially legal, but also NOPE.
  3. The bus stop. Well, it leads to the bike lane further south, but that’d be silly. NOPE
  4. The bike lane. Usually peds are in it, instead of the crowded sidewalk, so MAYBE.
  5. The already-crowded sidewalk. You could squeeze between the new garbage can and the vehicle(s) what are seemingly always there on your right. MAYBE.

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I’ll tell you, I never go on the sidewalks of Market, but I always go on the sidewalks of Masonic, or at least on some blocks of Masonic, depending on traffic, conditions, etc. Go figure.

Anyway, you should too. My advice. Until the current morass dries out a bit, or rather, until the long-promised “transformation” of Masonic…

[And oh yes, if you continue on down towards Fell, I’ll tell you to take Central or Ashbury instead of Masonic, depending on your final destination. Or consider the sidewalk, depending, of course, upon traffic and whatnot.]

FordGoBike Goes Electric: Ford Motor Company’s GoBike “Bikeshare” Rental Scheme to Expand with Battery-Assist Bicycles in April 2018

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Pretty soon it won’t be so hard to pedal up our 48 hills on a heavy, clunky GoBike rental

See all the deets in this just-released press release:

 “Motivate will launch a pilot program adding 250 Ford GoBike-branded GenZe electric bicycles to its bikeshare fleet in San Francisco, beginning April 2018. (Photo: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Motivate International, the operator of the Bay Area’s regional bike share system, announced today it will add e-Bikes to its fleet, beginning with 250 e-Bikes in San Francisco this April. The pedal-assist e-Bikes, produced by Silicon Valley-based GenZe, will help riders by boosting their natural pedal power, so they can get up hills more easily and ride for longer distances. This new offering will integrate seamlessly with the Ford GoBike network and add a safe, reliable and affordable shared mobility option to the city.

“We believe e-Bikes will be a game-changer for the San Francisco bikeshare experience, vastly improving accessibility and rideability. All kinds of riders, no matter their fitness or riding level, will be able to zoom up hills and zip around the city.”

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“Our shared e-Bike is the newest product in our pipeline of innovative, sustainable mobility solutions,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Motivate. “We believe e-Bikes will be a game-changer for the San Francisco bikeshare experience, vastly improving accessibility and rideability. All kinds of riders, no matter their fitness or riding level, will be able to zoom up hills and zip around the city.”

“E-Bikes will give Bay Area residents and visitors one more option when traveling around San Francisco, which will help to make San Francisco more livable and reduce congestion and household transportation costs. We look forward to the expansion of the Ford GoBike e-Bike pilot to the other Ford GoBike cities,” said Alix Bockleman, deputy executive director for policy at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the regional governmental agency that partners with Motivate to bring bike sharing to the Bay Area. MTC also manages the Bay Area’s Clipper® card, which can now be used to unlock Ford GoBike.

“In many ways, e-Bikes are ideal for bikeshare programs because they make local, short-distance cycling easier for people,” said Vish Palekar, CEO of GenZe. “Our e-Bikes can go anywhere a conventional bicycle can go, including shared lanes and cycling paths – allowing riders to commute greater distances with no traffic and zero emissions. We’re excited to be a part of this innovative bikeshare initiative, and our partnership with Motivate.”

Riders can locate e-Bikes using the Ford GoBike app, rent them from any station where they are available using their Clipper card or smart phone, and park them at any station in San Francisco. For a limited time, Ford GoBike members and riders purchasing a day pass or single-trip fare will be able to ride an e-Bike at no extra cost. Bike Share for All members (low-income residents who become Ford GoBike annual members at the greatly discounted rate of $5 for their initial year) will always be able to use e-Bikes at no extra cost throughout the pilot, for rides of up to 60 minutes.

The custom e-Bikes were developed through a partnership with GenZe, a leading developer of zero-emissions, two-wheel electric vehicles. To announce the pilot program, the e-Bikes will be displayed at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as a part of the tech show’s “Smart Cities” exhibit. The e-Bike’s maximum speed is 18 mph. It features a 345 Wh Li-ion battery and a user interface panel that lets riders know their speed and battery charge level.

By adding e-Bikes on a 12-month pilot basis, Motivate will be able to gather community feedback and work with its city partners to evaluate the results of the program before looking to add e-Bikes permanently to the Ford GoBike system.

Since launching in June, the Ford GoBike system has become an integral part of the Bay Area’s transportation network. With 262 stations and 2,600+ bikes on the ground across San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville, the system has generated more than half a million rides since launch in June of 2017. When completed in 2018, the 7,000-bike, 546-station Ford GoBike network will be the second-largest bike share system in North America, while setting new national standards in density, convenience and socio-economic equity.

About Motivate

Motivate, the global leader in bike share, operates tens of thousands of bikes across four continents. Led by an executive team with deep experience at the highest levels of public transportation and technology, the company is relentlessly focused on innovation and has a proven and sustainable business model to manage complex operations and logistics. A vertically integrated company, Motivate controls the full technology stack, enabling us to lead on the design and deployment of the next generation of bike share technology. Motivate works in close partnership with government officials to implement bike share systems that meet the unique needs of the cities in which we operate. Motivate systems, including Citi Bike in New York, Divvy in Chicago, Capital Bikeshare in the D.C. area, Hubway in the Boston area, BIKETOWN in Portland and Ford GoBike in the San Francisco Bay Area, are responsible for over 80 percent of bike share trips taken annually. To learn more please visit the Motivate newsroom at https://www.motivateco.com/news.

About the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, go to http://mtc.ca.gov.

About GenZe

GenZe has a simple motto: “Two Wheels. One Planet. Zero Emissions.” GenZe is committed to providing easily-accessible personal transportation through e-Bikes and e-Scooters loaded with smart, connected technology and powered by sustainable, zero-emissions electric energy.

GenZe manufactures and assembles in Ann Arbor, Michigan with corporate headquarters in Silicon Valley. GenZe is a division of the globally-expanding $19 billion Mahindra Group, which focuses on enabling people to rise through new and better solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. The Mahindra Group is a worldwide leader in aerospace, automotive, utility vehicles, tractors, motorcycles, clean energy, and more. For more information on GenZe, visit www.genze.com.”

Our US Postal Service Gets an Early Start with Parking in the New Bike Lanes of Masonic Avenue

Monday, November 27th, 2017

And this lengthy project isn’t even done yet:

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Where will these trucks park after completion?

– The slow lane, leaving just one for MUNI and cars?

– The slightly elevated bike lane, as seen?

– The new overly-wide sidewalks?

– Some yet-to-be-designated delivery vehicle / UBER Lyft dropoff point?

IDK.

 

Test Riding the New and “Improved” Masonic Boulevard – It’s Not Going to be a Night-and-Day Difference, Safetywise

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Here you go, heading south, in the downhill direction – you’ve got your new median on the left, your downsized two lanes of traffic, your removed bus stops (so MUNI will just stop in traffic in future), your (slightly) raised cycle track and then your preexisting houses and driveways on the right:

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And here’s your reverse angle:

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So this isn’t much of a difference, safetywise, right?

What else, oh, for the next year or two of construction, we’ll continue to see this kind of half-assed engineering – this is a wheelchair ramp, of sorts:

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Hey, why would bike riders even want to get onto the sidewalks of Masonic? Well, you should try it sometime, as this person ahead of me wisely was doing. (And boy, if you threw in heavy rain and a few epically drunk drivers, the likes of which killed a pedestrian and a bike rider on this stretch of Masonic the past decade or so, well that’d make the sidewalk even more appealing.)

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Those are USF trees you can see on the right in the above photo. This used to be the narrowest sidewalk of Masonic north of Fell, but as you can see it’s quite wide now.

But look, turnabout is fair play, as peds seems to enjoy walking in the new bike path. That’s a bus stop there on the left, complete with a cut out to please Area Residents:

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There are costs and benefits to these changes, of course. It’s too bad that our SFMTA didn’t even try to document them…