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Bike revolutions - May23

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Bike Sharing Prepares to Get its World Rocked

Ian Sacs, Planetizen
First, I want to share some love for the many cities out there that birthed and raised bike sharing to what it is now. It has been a lot of hard work with much risk and - fortunately - reward...The evolution of today's infrastructure-intensive bike sharing systems has been a hard-fought learning process; alas, the current paradigm is about to get turned on its head, and it's happening – surprise - this week in Hoboken, New Jersey...

I submit that from today forward, all cities big and small will not only see bike sharing in a more feasible, if not different way, they will also be forced to ask themselves the question, "Why aren't we doing it like Hoboken?" The so-called "hybrid" bike sharing pilot kicking off this week in Hoboken is different in many ways, and arguably it is not complete with all the desired accessories at this point, but the key contrasts between Hoboken's model and contemporary bike sharing are fixed to the elimination of the most costly and restrictive component of modern bike-sharing: the docking station. Tom Glendening of E3Think - who is contributing to the launch and development of the Hoboken pilot - calls it a move from "Smart Dock to Smart Lock", and for good reason. Without the docking station, users are not only free to "return" the bikes wherever is most convenient to them, cities no longer have to face the furor of controversy about placement of static, space-taking stations...
(16 May 2013)

Social Bicycles Brings Sharing to Two Wheels

Lora Kolodny, WSJ Blogs
Today, collaborative consumption startups that let people rent or “share” their assets–from couture and cars to lodging and limos–are facing mature business problems...

Yet, investors’ and entrepreneurs’ interest in creating these businesses remains high...

In the latest deal, Social Bicycles raised $1.1 million in seed funding from David S. Rose, SOS Ventures, Esther Dyson and Karl Ulrich, according to the company’s Chief Executive Ryan Rzepecki. The startup enables Zipcar-like rentals of the bikes it designs and manufactures.

Instead of renting bikes by the day, picking them up and returning them to a storefront, renters access “SoBi” bikes on a self-serve basis, picking them up, and parking them at their destination of choice...
(2 May 2013)

The two-wheel entrepreneurs: bike culture spawns businesses nationwide

Lee Chilcote, the line
We're into bicycles in the Twin Cities. We're justly proud of how the growth of urban bike trails like the Midtown Greenway and the expansion of bike lanes in both cities have set the stage for our two-wheel renaissance. We patronize our many and varied bike shops, some of which--like Cycles for Change in Saint Paul and One on One Bicycle Studio in North Minneapolis--are also innovative ventures in social entrepreneurship. And we love the fusion phenomena that bike culture has spawned: the coming together of bikes, beer, art, and strong coffee, as exemplified by institutions like Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop + Coffee Bar and bike-themed poster gallerists and partygivers Artcrank.

But while the Twin Cities duke it out with Portland over which metropolis sets the gold standard of bike culture, other cities--some of them unlikely--are becoming serious players in the boom. As Lee Chilcote shows in this article, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, DC, and Tampa are among the places where ingenious entrepreneurs are "riding" the new bike culture, offering models we can learn from and a spirit we can emulate as we pedal together into the future...

(22 May 2013)

The Pedestrian–Cyclist Armistice

L.V. Anderson and Aisha Harris, Slate Magazine
Following in the footsteps of Amsterdam; Portland, Ore.; and Washington, D.C., among other cities, New York is set to launch its bike-share program, Citi Bike, on Memorial Day. New Yorkers have met the impending influx of bikes with both excitement and dread. The mixed reactions are unsurprising: Antagonism has long simmered between pedestrians and cyclists in New York...

Which is why we at Slate decided to convene a summit between a representative cyclist and a representative pedestrian to see if we could defuse tensions a bit. One of us, Aisha, is a daily subway rider and pedestrian. The other, Laura, bikes most places she goes in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, including to and from work. We agreed going into negotiations that cyclists and pedestrians should be natural allies in a city of rogue cabbies and oblivious Mack truck drivers. We figured we could probably agree on five rules for pedestrians and five rules for cyclists that would make both sides less likely to resent the other.
If the 10 resolutions below sound reasonable to you, we hope you’ll share our (Facebook-friendly!) armistice agreement and join our nascent peace movement... (22 May 2013)

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