By: Scottsdale Pinetop
More bright yellow and lime green bikes appear to be popping up everywhere in the Valley. The City of Scottsdale piloted the bike share program in early November and it has now extended to Mesa, Tempe and potentially Paradise Valley – taking on a life of its own.
Bike share programs provide residents and visitors with a new and practical way of getting around downtown Scottsdale without relying on the convenience of Lyft or dealing with the pains of parking. These bikes are available through the use of the company’s smartphone app where customers pay $1 per 30 minutes of riding. Once the ride is done the customer locks the bike, making it available for the next rider.
With the influx of winter visitors and Spring Training attendees, these bikes are becoming increasingly popular. But not everyone is on board with the program.
In the past few months, the City of Scottsdale has received a number of complaints. Some people don’t like the neon colors of the bikes. Others are concerned they interfere with private property. But the overall complaint appears to be the sheer volume of the bikes left around the city. They stand out just a little too much.
While these complaints are valid, they also miss the point of what bike share is trying to achieve.
There’s something romantic and reminiscent of childhood about riding a bike. Many of us have fond memories of riding to a friend’s house or running to the grocery store for a pack of gum. What bike share is doing is bringing that childhood spirit back to life. These bikes are redefining the way to live and play in downtown Scottsdale. They are good for the environment, they are affordable and they may resolve some of the congestion and parking problems that plague the downtown area.
While this program remains a work in progress, it is breathing new life into the area and encouraging everyone that the outdoors are some of the best places to be in Arizona. So thank you Scottsdale City Council for your creative and resourceful approach in redefining transportation in Scottsdale.
My only caution is this: complaints from the disabled community about blocking sidewalks and other impediments are real. They must be dealt with now. Because to frolic on a bike is not more important than even one physically challenged Scottsdalian being made to suffer or struggle.