Several cities, including the City of Tempe, are discussing a regional solution to manage bike-share companies, but the City of Scottsdale is against any regulation of the bike rental companies.
This development comes as the dockless bikes are gaining popularity, but some residents and business owners complain about abandoned bikes and the time it takes for bike-share companies to retrieve them.
“This is just way too many,” says Brian Moore. He’s had a retail shop in the Old Town section of Scottsdale for six years, and now, you can find clusters of bikes on nearly every street corner. “It's not visually pleasing by any stretch of the imagination,” says Moore.
The bikes are not only an eye-sore, says Moore, but they’re causing a safety issue. He says careless riders hold up traffic and zip by his store on the sidewalk putting his customers in danger.
“They're literally plowing into people walking out of shops,” says Moore.
Scottsdale police say their officers handle complaints on a case-by-case basis.
“If there is a crime or public safety issue then we will respond,” says Scottsdale police Ofc. Kevin Watts. “Non-criminal calls, such as bike placement, are directed back to the bike companies.”
The City of Scottsdale admits to receiving complaints about the bikes, but says ridership is very high. Transportation director, Paul Basha, says in the first three months, there were 110,000 rides logged from the bike-share companies.
Unlike surrounding municipalities, Scottsdale does not contract with the bike-share companies. Vice Mayor Virginia Korte says she expects the companies to work out the kinks without government intervention.
“If ridership is so high, why are these bikes just sitting here?” asks Moore. On this Monday afternoon, we found a cluster of bikes on every corner outside Moore's storefront.
Basha suggests the companies are in marketing mode and will determine over time just how many bikes need to be placed at certain locations. He says Scottsdale is “reluctantly” participating in discussions with other cities to impose rules on dockless bikes.
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