On the heels of the IPO of Zip-Car, an automobile-sharing service, comes an article about a service sharing bikes. Today’s Washington Times (yes, in some parts of White Flint, the print edition of the local paper is back) has an article focussing on Minneapolis’s bike-sharing programs.
I just returned from a trip to Minneapolis, which has many features highlighted in the White Flint Sector Plan, including a bicycle culture. “Minneapolis, which recently was named the most bike-friendly city in the U.S. by Bicycling magazine, has 128 miles of bikeways – on and off the streets – and is adding an additional 35 miles this year.” Even in the winter, many urban Minnesotans ride bikes to work.
Minneapolis converted the historic Old Stone Arch Bridge into a bicycles-only bridge over the Mississippi River:
and a busy downtown street into Nicollet Mall, a bus and pedestrian mall running from the heart of downtown to the lakes and parks area just to the west:
One big difference between the new bike-sharing programs in Minneapolis and some earlier, failed programs, is that the new bikes have a built-in computer chip monitor, so so riders can be responsible for damaged or stolen bikes.
But with the level of bicycle-consciousness in White Flint (Friends of White Flint began as a bicycle-oriented residents’ organization), maybe a program like this one could be popular.