Bikeshare peddling comes with familiar ring
It would sure be great if the new Bikeshare program turns out to work exactly as described.
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It would sure be great if the new Bikeshare program turns out to work exactly as described. It would be nice if it’s even half as good as the marketing materials say it will be — reducing traffic congestion in urban Honolulu, helping folks stay healthy, reducing the carbon footprint and all that.
Maybe it will be.
There are so many things that have to happen to make it work. There’s a heavy reliance on people’s good nature, best behavior and willingness to adapt to new things. It’s all so hopeful.
The website bikesharehawaii.org proudly proclaims:
“Introducing Biki, Honolulu’s new favorite way to get around”
OK. Favorite? A tad soon to make that claim, but definitely hopeful.
According to the website, “Bikeshare is a viable transportation option for everyone,” which is amazing since there’s a wide range of people in Honolulu, from tiny 80-pound grandmas to massive 7-foot-tall humans with hands as big as tiny grandma’s head. But the website assures, “The bikes will be easy to use, accommodating riders of all sizes who can jump on a bike and start riding no matter their attire, including professionally dressed women.”
OK. Can’t wait to see Myra and Janel from the front office going down the street with their Manuhealiis blowing in the breeze.
Are they safe? The website plainly answers this question with a yes.
“In fact, bikeshare users are less likely to be injured in crashes than private bike users. … Although bikeshare riders often are inexperienced and helmetless, they have a better safety record than other bike riders.”
For bike-sharing (paying to rent a bike for a short period of time to tool around town, as opposed to having a bike that you take to and from work and home) to become part of the way urban Honolulu works, it would seem that many things need to work together:
Drivers need to be ready to deal with all kinds of people on bikes.
Riders need to have a credit card — and hopefully, not a stolen credit card, because that brings up a host of other complications.
People have to be OK being sweaty and windblown. Or rain-soaked and wet-shoed. That’s fine if you’re on vacation pedaling around to get lunch at a cute Chinatown restaurant, but it can be a drag if you work in an office, particularly on the people with whom you share space.
People have to be healthy enough to ride a bike. They also have to have a reason to hop on and get pedaling — jobs that require short jaunts during the day, though nothing that necessitates carrying large loads or picking up young children. The website addresses this as well:
“Whether you’re a resident, a visitor, a business person or a teacher, there is a trip in your day that bikeshare can help you with. It is affordable, convenient and easy to use, and will be everywhere you live, work and play in Urban Honolulu.”
Hmm, that “live, work and play” line. That’s the phrase used to sell the upscale Kakaako condo lifestyle.
Reach Lee Cataluna at 529-4315 or email@example.com.