The City of Scottsdale is giving people a new way to get around town, but not everyone is on board with their bike share program.
Here’s how it works: riders download the bike share company’s app, add their credit card information, scan the code on the bike, and then cruise off.
Riders are charged by the hour or half hour. Once finished, riders can leave the bike virtually anywhere, and that seems to be the problem, according to Scottsdale resident Jill Betzold.
"If you see where some of these bikes are, they’re in dangerous spots. This one is right by the freeway. I would never let my kid go get that bike. I’d leave it. This one is in a ditch at the further end of our neighborhood," said Betzold.
A quick scan of Betzold's neighborhood reveals bikes scattered all over.
"When you pull up the app, you see probably about 22 bikes on here, just within about a half a mile radius," said Betzold.
Lime Bike is one of four bike share companies that set up shop in Scottsdale since November, offering easy bike rental for people like JC Hoffecke, visiting from Colorado.
"I think it’s fantastic. I see a lot of people on them. I see a lot of them abandoned unfortunately, but I think it’s very good that you provide that service. Not everybody can go out and buy a bike," said Hoffecke.
According to Paul Basha, Scottsdale’s transportation director, city leaders are taking a very hands off approach.
"The bike share companies own the bikes. They’re responsible for the bikes. It’s a private business, and they are required to relocate the bikes that are not in safe or legal parking spaces," said Basha.
And how does the city enforce that?
"Through conversation. The bike share companies are very cooperative," said Basha.
While cities like Phoenix use grants and general funds to pay for their Grid Bike share program, which provides docking stations for bikes, Scottsdale does not.
"We don’t want them to pay taxes and use their tax revenue unwisely. We have a very high principle regarding using taxpayer monies," said Basha.
According to Basha, it's more cost effective to instead install more bike racks to Downtown Scottsdale, with the hopes that riders will use them.
"I really think they were trying to be fiscally responsible, but pinch a penny, waste a dollar, this was not the way to do it," said Betzold.
The City wants feedback on this bike share program. The public can give input by going to the transportation commission meeting, next Thursday at 6 p.m. at the city Council Chambers in Scottsdale.
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