Creating walkable, urban, human-centered neighborhoods in the Granary District.
Bike-sharing, is a service in which bikes are made available for shared use to individuals
who do not own them. Bicycle sharing systems can be divided into two general
categories: “Community Programs" organized mostly by local community groups or non-
profit organizations; and "Smart Bike programs," implemented by government agencies.
The central concept of these systems is to provide free or affordable access to bicycles
for short-distance trips in an urban area as an alternative to motorized public transport
or private vehicles, thereby reducing traffic congestion, noise, and air pollution. Bicycle
sharing systems have also been cited as a way to solve the "last mile" problem and
connect users to public transit networks.
Salt Lake City, in collaboration with the Downtown Alliance and Bike SLC (a nonprofit),
will be rolling out (pun intended) Salt Lake City’s very first bike share program this
spring (April, 2013). The eco-friendly bikes, which will run on hubs (kiosks) powered by
solar energy, will be the first of their kind in the western United States. The system will
be a pay-per-use program with rentals available on a one time, weekly, or monthly basis.
One of the perks of becoming a member is that the program, “will keep track of your total
miles traveled, the number of calories burned, the gallons of gas saved, and the pounds of
CO2 emissions avoided.” How cool is that?!
As of right now, we are told there will be 10 hubs with 100 bikes total. There’s no
public information available right now, however, on exactly where the main hubs will
be, but their websites states, “Stations will be near every major downtown destination
from City Creek and the Gateway to the Salt Palace and Main Street.” As we pursue the
interests of building a new neighborhood in the Granary District, which will focus on the
transportation alternatives of walking/biking/public transit, we should be looking at this
program as a means of supplying bicycles to the neighborhood for residents and visitors
to use. If a hub could be located inside Granary Row, with another at the nearest Trax
stop (900 south?), we could encourage people to ditch the car and run errands/commute
instead by biking and walking.
The program, while not yet up and running, is already considering growth and future
development. Our involvement and participation in this process could bring bike share
to the Granary! I’m not yet sure how future planning/development is planned to take
place, but the organizers of Bike Arlington used Crowdsourcing as a way of determining
the new locations of hubs. Perhaps we could encourage this model to get the
Granary community and the Salt Lake Valley, as a whole, involved in the development
and growth of this new system.
I think this could be an amazing opportunity for the new Granary District. I do, however,
also want to mention that there’s a way to bike share without the involvement of the
city and that type of peer-to-peer sharing via a website/app that allows people to directly
contact other people that are willing to lend out their bikes for a small free, is picking up
across the United States as well. I would like to provide more information on that in a
later blog, but if you’re interested in learning more about that now, you can visit one of
the pioneering sites that’s focused on this type of bike sharing: www.doliquid.com (the
site may be down for seasonal maintenance), but information can also be found here.
So, what do you think of incorporating bike sharing for the Granary?
Additional Resources and Reading
There are SO many resources out there on bike sharing. All you have to do is search for
“bike sharing” to get access to a variety of articles. Here are just a few though for you to
browse for more information.
The Bike Sharing Blog
Salt Lake City Bike Share
This is an absolutely incredible resource on bike sharing
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center and Toole Design Group have completed
an independent, national study of current bike sharing programs in the United States.
The study explores the evolution of bike sharing in the US, defines success factors,
examines funding models, explains demographic and geographic trends affecting the
implementation of programs, recommends a step-by-step approach for implementation in
cities in the start-up phase, and discusses measures to increase demand and expansion of
Thanks to Havilah for writing this blog post!