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Bicycle Vending on Esplanade Could Get Love in Triangles if Machines Scaled Down

On Saturday, March 25, the Mayor’s Neighborhood Engagement Office hosted their quarterly Neighborhood Leaders Roundtable. Over sixty (60) leaders representing neighborhoods across Orleans Parish gathered over breakfast at Café Reconcile’s Emeril Lagasse Foundation Hospitality Center for informative presentations and discussions around short term rentals licensing and new public safety investments.

Dwight Norton, the City’s Urban Mobility Coordinator, gave the first presentation updating attendees on the community workshops for the upcoming Bike Share program. Jennifer Cecil with the One Stop Shop for Permits and Licenses and Jared Munster from the City’s Safety and Permits Department presented information on logistics surrounding licensing and enforcement of short term rental facilities throughout the city.

Questions answered by the City

How is the city dealing with noise complaints with tenants in short term rentals?
We will deal with these complaints just as any other complaint we receive. If the neighbor is able to
provide documentation (i.e. cell phone video with sound), that would be very helpful.

Please explain how triplexes are impacted/are affected?
Buildings with three or more dwelling units cannot be “accessory” short term rentals based on how the
use is defined in the CZO. The buildings would be eligible for Temporary or Commercial STR licenses in
each legal dwelling unit, based on what is allowable in the property’s underlying zoning district.

Parking is already a problem. How do we make sure residents have their parking spots?
The public right-of-way is available for parking of any vehicle, there are no provisions of the City Code to
ensure that residents have available parking. Neighborhoods can apply to the Department of Public
Works to implement a Residential Parking program in their area, if one does not already exist. This
program does not restrict who may park on the street, but does limit the amount of time a vehicle may
be present if it does not bear a City-issued Residential Parking decal or visitor pass.

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April 3, 2017 article by Ms. Byun courtesy MidCityMessenger.com

By Claire Byun
cbyun@nolamessenger.com

A slew of bicycle share stations are proposed along Esplanade Avenue and the Lafitte Greenway, and Mid-City residents got their chance at criticizing or recommending them Monday night.

The 700 custom-designed bicycles will be placed at an estimated 70 stations designated at locations in neighborhoods around the city, with a built-in lock keeping them secure until a rider with an account card “hires” the bike, Dwight Norton of the mayor’s office of resilience, said. Norton and his team hosted the Mid-City/Bayou St. John bicycle share public workshop Monday evening to a crowd of about 40 people.

There will be about 15 stations around Mid-City, Norton said. All stations will be sized “according to context,” Norton said, meaning a less-populated area will only have spots for a few bikes. Pedestrian-heavy areas, such as the Central Business District and Canal Street, could have room for up to 20 bikes.

There will also be 10 walk-up kiosks throughout the city, though those will only be placed as densely-populated areas, Norton said.

Stations also must be in a public space that remains open 24/7 and has some sunlight during the day, since the bikes’ systems are solar powered, Norton said.

“If we’re trying to look at different transportation alternatives, they have to be functional in a way that actually gets people around,” Norton said.

A bulk of Mid-City’s locations were proposed along Esplanade Avenue and the Lafitte Greenway, especially near Conti Street. There were seven proposed stations along the Greenway, some at the intersection of side roads and Banks Avenue, and multiple along Canal Street. Tulane Avenue and South Jefferson Davis Parkway was another option addressed during the workshop.

Stations were proposed for multiple spots along Esplanade, including Wisner Boulevard, N. Rendon Street, Crete Street and Ponce De Leon. Norton said that area will most like have four to five stations, compared to just three or four in other parts of the neighborhood.

Nellie Catzen, program coordinator for Friends of Lafitte Greenway, said she was impressed with the number of people who showed up to the workshop. She said any number of stations along the Greenway would be beneficial, since about 750 people ride the greenspace every day.

“I think that the Greenway is a major faraway, so we know the need is there, but it’s a matter of figuring out which [stations] make sense,” Catzen said.

Participants were spread among nine tables adorned with large maps of Mid-City, dotted with proposed station locations. Major landmarks, such as schools, grocery stores and libraries were also marked to identify station locations better and also gauge the amount of use those proposed stations would incur.

A facilitator walked each table through each Mid-City station, which took a little more than an hour for most tables. Residents could support the station, remain neutral or “express concerns.”

An overview of the station location map used during the public workshop.
Steve Kaplan, who owns property in Mid-City, said he disliked the fact that people who live outside of the neighborhood could nominate station spots. He would have preferred each neighborhood, no matter how small, conduct their own workshop.

“Our goal is to meet the needs of the residents, to focus on quality of life, and who knows better than the people who live here?” Kaplan said.

Robert Thompson, who kickstarted a bike share study group among the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association, said the workshop still left some things “in the dark.” He’s hoping to get more transparency on how the city will decide final locations for the stations.

Kaplan argued the program isn’t meant for residential use, as advertised. He’s worried the bike share is meant to help short-term renters move through the city with more ease, thus increasing tourism. Alan Ma, planning and launch director for Social Bicycles, said the program’s main beneficiaries are residents.

“We’re really trying to make sure this does work with the people who live here,” Ma said.

Thompson also questioned how equitable the program is, since the elderly, obese or disabled would not be able to participate. Regardless, he said the workshop had some highlights.

“People were able to give location suggestions, and maybe the city will listen,” Kaplan said. “Maybe they won’t.”

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March 31, 2017

Today marks the end of bike share service in Seattle, as the city scraps its Pronto Cycle Share program. The system started in 2014—and expanded to 500 bikes and 54 stations—but never met the same level of success as bike share programs in other major US cities, like New York, Chicago, and DC.
Visit the link below for the rest of the story:
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The City of New Orleans, in partnership with Social Bicycles, Inc. (SoBi), is preparing to launch bike share, a new and affordable transportation system for residents. Before the Fall 2017 launch, the City and SoBi will collect community feedback on where best to place the initial 70 bike stations in the phase one service area (there will be an expanded service area in phase two). We’re kicking off this site selection process with six community workshops. Each workshop will focus on specific neighborhoods within the initial service area. Come to the workshop near where you live or work–we want to hear from you. Learn more and share feedback at nola.gov/bike-share

Attend the April 3rd meeting to make
sure your thoughts are heard
Mid City, Bayou St. John
Monday, Apr. 3, 6:30 p.m. at First Grace United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall

 

Steve Kaplan recently attended the Marigny/Bywater workshop for bicycle sharing in New Orleans. He reported the following:

At the Marigny/Bywater Workshop, the map covered the top of a white 6′ table.  The map itself was a Google aerial type map with some commercial establishments named and the proposed sites, which were numbered. The facilitator had a clip board with a list of the numbered sites. The group looked at the sites and voted for/against/no vote for each numbered site.  Notes were made and a colored sticker placed at the site to mark we had reviewed it. We were able to make suggestions for other sites which were marked with a gold star.  I recommended that future maps have commercial zoning property outlined , as it may help identify site locations.

My understanding is that our neighborhood, as outlined in the Bike Share RFP,  is being asked ro review the sites and nominate 4-6 sites.  This number of sites would ideally meet the needs of the neighborhood, concerning public safety and quality of life as well as the neighborhood saturation requested by Sobi of every 4-7 blocks.  The nomination will then be placed on a new map for a final review process, which I understand  would again involve neighborhood review… details of which we will need to verify.

Sites discussed by the group, so far include, but are not limited to:

Desoto & Broad by Kitchen Witch

Dreyfous by Lelong by City Park

Lafite Bikeway Circle by the Bayou

Public Racks by Bus Stop on river bound side of Esplanade & Grand Route

Public Racks on Mystery St by Esplanade

Still undetermined is a site between Esplanade  and Orleans. And a site by the Fairgrounds.

Here is a copy of the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between Social Bicycles Inc. and City of New Orleans.
This was obtained by a (FOIA) Freedom of Information Act request.

Section 4.4 outlines Relocating Hubs/Stations and who bears costs. This goes to CCC & MGM requirements to have access to the whole street which would require temporary moving of Hubs/Stations. We DO NOT yet know the requirements of the CCC & MGM. Section 4.4 outlines Revenue Sharing: 2% of System Revenues that exceed $2500 per Bicycle provided for use in the program, pursuant to Section 3.1 during such year. Funds to be used for a number of City physical bicycle infrastructure & Temporary or Permanent Relocations.

Here is an overview of the bicycle sharing program which includes SOBI’s timeline. It was passed out at the Marigny/Bywater Workshop.

Section 4.4 outlines Relocating Hubs/Stations and who bears costs. This goes to CCC & MGM requirements to have access to the whole street which would require temporary moving of Hubs/Stations. We DO NOT yet know the requirements of the CCC & MGM. Section 4.4 outlines Revenue Sharing: 2% of System Revenues that exceed $2500 per Bicycle provided for use in the program, pursuant to Section 3.1 during such year. Funds to be used for a number of City physical bicycle infrastructure & Temporary or Permanent Relocations.

Advertising & Branding as well as additional signage expectations are currently unknown.

***

Beaux Jones requested answers to several questions from Dwight Norton who is the Urban Mobility Coordinator for the City of New Orleans.   The questions and answers are listed below:

 

    1.  Who will be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the stations?

SoBi is responsible for all maintenance of bikes and station which will be passed on to their operations subcontractor.

Per the requirements of the City’s RFP and subsequent CEA, SoBi is required to commit to 35% disadvantaged business enterprise goal, even though the City is not putting any money into the agreement. SoBi will meet this goal by subcontracting to a newly created operations company owned by a woman who runs Charlotte bike share (Dianna Ward). She has an excellent track record and committed to the City’s goals of outreach and inclusion.

That company, New Orleans Bikeshare Operations will be locally run and staffed and responsible for all day-to-day operations including maintenance of bicycles and stations.

  1. Will SOBI/City have a telephone number that is staffed by live employees to handle concerns and problems particular to stations or will all issues be routed through 311?

New Orleans Bikeshare Operations will be locally run and staffed with local call in number that is answered locally from 8a-8p and after hours using a call support center (which assists in bike share customer support in many cities) 24/7

  1. Are there advertising parameters? (dimensions, height, etc.)

Yes, those parameters are being developed and will be reviewed by the City’s existing entities: one for design of anything in the public right-of-way, the Design Advisory Committee, and the other for historic compatibility, the Vieux Carre Commission’s Architectural Review Committee. Both are public meetings and we will notify through the website when bike share will be on the agenda (which are also posted ahead of time)

  1. After the initial siting, should a change to a station need to be made (particularly relating to size or location), would FSJNA be notified and given an opportunity to comment?

The city is creating a new permitting process for bike share stations and one will have to be filed for any amendments to an existing station. We have not yet established a formal notification process but would be open to feedback for a mechanism to allow for public comment for any proposed station amendments.

  1. After the first phase, can other sites be added to the neighborhood? If so, is that decision made by SOBI or the city? What will be the public’s involvement with such issues?

Yes, although any additional sites would be an expansion of the service area (as opposed to infill within the initial service area). Any expansion would follow a similar public participation and review process for the location of those additional stations.

  1. Is there any data available from the pilot study as to which station sites were successful, which were not, and why?

The standard metrics of “success” for the full program are not applicable for the preview, particularly on a station basis since the service area was limited. The preview was designed to allow people to try bike share and see how bikes/stations would fare in one of our most intense events. To that end it was a success (no vandalism or damage to any equipment) and we had good number given the limited service area and density of stations. To see preliminary results see the website:
http://www.nola.gov/bike-share/preview-event/

  1. After the SOBI contract expires (presumably in 5 years), could changes be made to the advertising and siting decisions made for this current contract? If so, would those changes be brought to the public?

The CEA is a 5 year agreement. Yes, any changes in a renegotiated contract would be public as would any regulations governing advertising and changes in station locations.

  1. Do you anticipate that stations will be placed in the street right-of-way in the place of automobile parking? If so, how will the stations be oriented? (parallel to road? Bikes facing sidewalk or road?)

In some cases, yes, stations may convert a portion of street right-of-way from automobile parking to bike share parking. This will be a function of demand for parking. In general a bike share station is a far more efficient use of public space as it can fit 5-6 racks in the same space as 1 automobile. Typically racks are oriented perpendicular or at a 45 degree angle (for depth space saving) and bikes pull in toward curb.

  1. When do you anticipate the ordinance to change the city code will be drafted and noticed? If possible, we would like to see the earliest available copy.

June or July is the current estimate. The city follows standard notification process which means any new ordinance submitted to council must be introduced first and is then typically discussed in the next appropriate council committee where public comment and discussion occurs with a recommendation to the next full council meeting (a month following introduction) for vote.

  1. If a business owner desired to have a station placed on private property adjacent to public right of way, is that an available option?

On a case by case basis, stations on private property will be considered. There are several operational restrictions include location must be publicly accessible 24/7 and easily visible. The most likely example is a large paved extension of the sidewalk that is technically on private property (common downtown)

  1. There seems to have been a suggestion in the past that rather than a physical station, there may be scenarios where existing bike rack facilities are designated as approved drop-off points where riders would not be penalized for leaving bikes there. This is likely not preferred, but if there were a location that warranted this approach, is it still a possibility?

Absolutely. Utilizing existing public bike racks is also a way to increase convenience and extend the service area. Racks need to work with SoBi bikes and locks (many racks do not work with fenders for example). The biggest issue is ensuring there is sufficient space to accommodate both bike share and private bike use. One or two racks is not likely but a bike corral. A good example is the two bike corrals at Avenue Pub which are a part of the preview system as a virtual (versus exclusive use) station.

  1. Will there be any contractual relationship between the various neighborhood organizations and either the city or SOBI regarding the bike share program?

No.

  1. On April 3, will the workshop already have proposed site locations? If so, could we see those in advance? Who will be the facilitators for the workshop?

Yes, there will be multiple potential sites, far more than will be in the finalized locations to allow for discussion of alternatives (this corner versus a block away). Maps will be presented at the workshop. We will also be soliciting ideas for additional potential sites not included on the map. The ones prepared are options the City and SoBi have considered viable, but not exclusive. Facilitators will generally be City staff supplemented by SoBi and their outreach consultant as needed.

  1. There has been some confusion about the online voting for station siting. Will the Social Cyclist app be used? If so, will there be a control on the number of times a person can vote or any criteria to make proposed sites eligible to be considered? Are the votes in any way tied to or weighted by where the individual lives in reference to the recommended station?

No, the City is setting up its own crowdsourcing online voting site. We are working through the testing now and based on the available technology will try to restrict double voting and gather location information. The City understands the limitations of online voting and will take that into consideration in using that feedback.

  1. For changes to the city code, will the CZO procedure for public involvement be followed?

Any changes to the city code follow the applicable legal requirements. Where there are changes to the CZO, then the CZO procedures will be followed.

***

March 7, 2017 statement from Dwight Norton:

In advance of tonight’s neighborhood association meeting, I wanted to provide a written response to some of the information/inquiries that have been raised thus far by those included here and I hope you will share with all other neighbors as well. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss further and address any and all concerns. I have also attached the status update presentation I gave to the City Council transportation committee for reference and will add this and additional materials to the website: http://www.nola.gov/bike-share/

First of all as an introduction, I am the City’s point person and project manager for bike share implementation as one of my jobs in improving transportation more holistically and efficiently for a more resilient and equitable city. Through a very open and public selection process last summer (link), the City awarded a 5-year exclusive use agreement to the best proposal, led by Social Bicycles, Inc. (SoBi) for 700 bicycles and 70 stations in phase 1.

1. Station selection process has only just begun and will be a public process. Many concerns have been voiced about the determination of the station locations. This process has always and continues to be an open one, designed for public participation. The oft referenced feasibility study was conducted in 2014 and merely serves as a reference point for our current efforts. It in no way is deterministic on station locations and furthermore was never intended as such. The maps are labelled as “conceptual” and do in fact have an unfortunately obscure disclaimer “Note: Station locations are roughly assigned to illustrate optimal station spacing…” The process for station location identification, which will be further discussed tonight, is as follows:
· January – April: introductions at neighborhood association meetings (I have completed 14 to date)
· March: potential candidate sites being developed by SoBi/City based on best practices and stated City goals (see #4)
· March 27 – April 11: Public workshops with maps for station siting recommendations/feedback
o Bayou St John/Mid City workshop is tentatively scheduled for April 3 at 630p
· April/May: online voting for station locations
· June: draft map of 70 stations incorporating public input
· August: final map
· October: launch

2. No paving any public parks, particularly small neighborhood ones. There is no budget or intent to pave over any green space for bike share stations. Despite the suggestion, the only possible exception would be in the case where there is a significant destination, connection transit or other protected bike infrastructure, technical problems with on-street alternatives, and strong community support. As an example, the very large neutral ground of Jeff Davis and Canal has a separated bike path, streetcar, active commercial and street flooding at the curb. Parks that will be considered would require other sounding destinations and excess paved area. An example is the large paved area off to the side of the entrance of Armstrong Park, set well back from the sidewalk, and across the street from a streetcar stop. Mr. London’s article recommending paved space adjacent to commercial nodes along Esplanade is exactly in line with best practices and our placement thinking: connect to local destinations: where would you as residents want a station to make it useful. This will be validated/refined at our aforementioned workshops.

3. Station size will be right-sized to meet demand and are more efficient use of public space. While stations have been referenced as “vending machines”, transit stations is a more appropriate analogy – they take up some public space and are gateways for accessing the system, including transaction. Most stations will not have a dedicated kiosk – our agreement with SoBi only includes 10 which will be strategically placed in areas with lots of pedestrian activity. There will be either a small or large panel based on residential or commercial nature of the area with wayfinding information and, in the case of large panels only, limited advertising – analogous to a bus station. Regarding the number of racks at a station, again the 2014 Feasibility Study is a reference and in our opinion inappropriate for recommendations on Esplanade. As noted by Mr. London, stations in neighborhoods are typically much smaller than in downtown core and busier commercial areas. The goal will be to anticipate demand and provide sufficient racks so bikes do not end up parked on poles. This may need to be adjust over time as the neighborhood finds the service increasingly desirable. Nearly all sites will be existing paved surface on street or sidewalks where space allows. Private space may be used only where the location is highly desirable and the land is publically available 24/7 (e.g. plaza outside a downtown high rise).

4. Station convenience is essential to a successful, equitable bike share program. The convenience of bike share, and thus is usefulness, is based directly on stations being evenly distributed. You should not have to walk more than 3 or so blocks to get to station. If so, it become far less convenient and people will not use it. When these basics are respected, not only does it prevent limited usage and thus financial insolvency (e.g. Seattle), it also has demonstrated people start driving less. In fact 25-52% less (study link; also click here and here for more information on best practices). Here again we deviate sharply from the 2014 Feasibility Study. Being a few blocks from a station means the stations will 4 to 7 blocks apart. Also remember it is a stated goal that we use bike share as a means to provide convenient, more reliable and cheaper alternatives to access jobs and other opportunities for improving lives. Cutting down on people’s transportation costs and travel time is shown consistently to be one of the biggest enablers of upward mobility (more time to raise kids, go back to school etc.). This clear evidence is what drives our equity goals as applied to transportation. We want to ensure access to bike share service extends as far as possible without compromising usability/sustainability.

5. Designing the system for residents knowing tourists will use it. In major tourist cities the world over, bike share does not compromise benefits to residents. Like any good transit system, if it is designed for residents, tourists will use as well. If it is design for tourists only they will use it. The City will ensure the system is designed for residents through two means: 1) station location process and 2) the pricing plans. For station locations, the previous section discusses how residents will inform that process. On the later, a higher cost $8 per hour plan subsidizes the significantly lower cost $15 per month plan (3 months equals one parking ticket!). There is also a $1.67 per month (or $20 per year) low income plan. In addition, the low income program will allow any residents to participate with or without credit card so that we can ensure the 12.5% unbanked (and 25.5% underbanked) members of our community have every opportunity to participate. And from a purely economic perspective, at $8 per hour, longer bike trips for touring or recreation will still make more sense on a rented or personal bike. In addition, the monthly passes are limited to 60 minutes of pedal time, which is a lot if you just think about it as transportation, but not very much if you plan on sightseeing. Bike share a one-way transportation system meant to get you from station A to station B and the pricing reflects that.

6. For-profit vendor model has historic precedent and is a win-win for residents. There have been several references and concerns that the model the City has chosen represents a commercialization of the city. First and foremost bike share is a transit system. Yes, it will be provided by a private entity, but it’s important to remember the service is still public and works very differently than rental. It is also worth remembering our beloved streetcars were all originally built and operated by private companies and only municipalized once labor costs and automobile adoption made service unable to break even. By using a 100% privately financed model, the vendor assumes financial risk for its performance – this is a great thing. This means all of the incentive for great customer service, excellent maintenance and marketing to attract users all falls on the vendor. Given the city’s limited resources for a major capital investment and ongoing costs, this structure is a great example of true public-private partnership for public benefit.

Thank you and look forward to discussing tonight and beyond,
Dwight

Dwight Norton
Urban Mobility Coordinator
City of New Orleans | Office of Resilience & Sustainability
1300 Perdido Street | New Orleans, LA 701116
Office: 504.658.7677

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Bike Sharing

Bike Share Update – Transportation Committee 2.22.17

 

 

 

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photos courtesy Google Street View

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

Bike Share Update – Transportation Committee 2.22.17

 

Recently, Robert Thompson, a long time Faubourg St. John resident, highlighted the new Bike Share program promoted by the City of New Orleans. You can read more about Robert’s concerns and the proposed plan in the link below:

http://fsjna.org/2017/02/pedal-power-advocate-raises-concerns-commericial-bicycle-rentals-parks/
Robert’s concern, one shared by many neighbors, is the possible placement of long bicycle vending machines in or around neighborhood parks. I began to think about where I would put bicycle vending machines on Esplanade if I wanted to maximize use and profit potential. It certainly would not be in parks.

What about placing smaller units in areas that do not take up any existing vehicle parking or use neighborhood park land? Many of Faubourg St. John’s parks are maintained by Faubourg St. John neighbors.

Commercial bicycle vending machines in commercial areas would get more exposure and therefore use. Since the vendor operator has refused to meet with Robert and other concerned neighbors, it gives more credence to Robert’s concern that the goal may be to place large vending machines in neighborhood parks.

Scaling down the size of the machines to fit on the following City-owned properties could get more support from neighbors:

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

The triangle of land on the corner of Esplanade and Ponce de Leon is City-owned land.

This triangle of City-owned land would be perfect for a small bicycle vending machine. It’s next to the popular Cafe Degas and just steps from some of Faubourg St. John’s most frequented businesses. However, placing a bicycle vending machine here would take more thought and planning as the area has been landscaped by Cafe Degas and it is unlikely neighbors would want that disturbed. Click on the photo for a closer look at the City-owned land next to Cafe Degas.

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

The triangle of land on Esplanade at Grand Route St. John is City-owned land.

This triangle of City-owned land at the corner of Esplanade and Grand Route Saint John is currently used as a bus stop. Bicycle vending machines located here would be an “impulse buy” and very convenient for those who may have been considering taking the bus but don’t want to wait for it to arrive. Click on the photo for a closer look at the bus stop shaded by a large oak tree.

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

This lot at the intersection of LePage and Esplanade is City-owned land.

I suggested earlier that the vendor may want to consider smaller vending machines for areas along Esplanade. Here is a swath of City-owned land that could accommodate a larger bicycle vending machine. Click on the photo for a closer look at the area on Esplanade that could accommodate a larger bicycle vending machine.

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

This triangle of City-owned land is across the street from a school and next to a coffee shop.

What better place for a bicycle vending machine than next to a coffee shop and across from a school? This area on Esplanade at Desoto is perfectly suited for this purpose.
Click on the photo for a closer look at the area by CC’s Coffee that could be used for a bicycle vending machine.

 

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

Area at the corner of Broad and Esplanade.

This location is in the middle of an area surrounded by successful businesses frequented by many patrons. A bicycle vending machine located here would have the potential for much use. Click on the photo for a closer look at the area on Esplanade at Broad.

This has been an opinion piece by Charlie London

Update March 5, 2017:
Robert Thompson suggested that the area on Esplanade next to the Rent-a-Center on Broad would be a viable alternative to placing a bicycle vending machine in a park
Click on the photo for a closer look:

Bicycle Vending on Esplanade

UPDATE:
The placement of bike sharing machines will be discussed at the neighborhood association meeting this Tuesday, March 7th.

The meeting will be held in the Black Gold room at the Fair Grounds at 6:30 pm
The Fair Ground is located at 1751 Gentilly Blvd in New Orleans.
The Black Gold room is at the rear of the facility.

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Bike Sharing

The City of New Orleans, in conjunction with Social Bicycles Inc. (SoBi), announced it will extend the preview of the City’s bike share program through March 31. 
 
During the extended preview, residents and visitors can sign-up and use one of the 35 bicycles to ride between seven temporary stations setup in Iberville, Downtown and Central City. Two additional bicycle racks will be available to end a ride or find a bike. 
 
“Bike share is the City’s newest and most convenient form of public transportation,” said Councilmember Jared C. Brossett, City Council Transportation and Airport Committee Chairperson. “It’s a network of bicycles and automated kiosks that allows users to arrange public transportation on their schedule. I am pleased that the City is extending the bike share preview to allow more users the opportunity to experience and embrace this service.”
 
During the extended preview period, riders can pay $15 to enjoy a 60 minute trip every day through March 31. The hourly rate is $8 per hour, pro-rated by the minute. Sign up using either the website https://nola.socialbicycles.com/ or by downloading the Social Bicycles app for iPhones and Android phones. There will also be greeters at various stations to help people signup and get started biking.
 
To allow more residents to participate in the preview, two bike stations will be relocated on March 1. Find a bike at anyone of the listed preview stations:
  • Basin Street & Bienville Street (near Magnolia Yoga Studio)
  • 501 Loyola Ave. (Near Hyatt)
  • Lafayette Square at Magazine Street
  • Decatur Street & Bienville Street (Through Feb. 28)
  • Baronne Street & Common Street (Near the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel)
  • Decatur Street & Barracks Street (near U.S. Mint through Feb. 28)
  • Magazine Street & Erato Street (Beginning March 1)
  • Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard & Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Beginning March 1)
  • 1000 Tchoupitoulas St. (near Cochon Restaurant)
  • 219 Loyola Ave. (Library Main Branch – existing bike racks)
  • Polymnia Street & St. Charles Avenue (near Avenue Pub – existing bike racks)
 
The full program, launching this fall, will consist of 70 stations with 700 bicycles and a guaranteed minimum future expansion of 90 stations with 900 bicycles. 100 percent of the bike share program will be privately financed through sponsorships, advertisements, and rental fees.
 
The fees for bike rental are:
  • Monthly Pass: $15 for unlimited trips up to 1 hour of riding a day (hourly rate thereafter).You can take as many trips as desired that all together add up to 60 minutes. For example, a 15-minute ride to work in the morning, a 5-minute ride for lunch; a 30 minute ride home with a quick stop to pick up some food totals 50 minutes for the day
  • Low-Income Pass: $1.67 per month ($20 per year) for unlimited trips up to 1 hour of riding a day (hourly rate thereafter)
  • Pay-as-you-go: $8 per hour of riding (pro-rated)
 
New Orleans has been growing rapidly as a bicycling city. The city was recognized as a bicycle friendly community in the Fall of 2014 by the League of American Bicyclists.
Last month, New Orleans was selected by People for Bikes as one of ten cities to participate in their Big Jump Project to reimage bicycle infrastructure.
For more information, please visit
 
For additional information on the preview and the full program, please visit http://www.nola.gov/bikeshare

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About the author
Charlie London
  • Get in touch
www.FSJNA.org is a community service of Charlie London. Charlie London is the Content Strategist for Faubourg St. John. Click on the icons above this text for more. Even more information is available at http://katrinafilm.com Links to the original article (when applicable) are provided in the post.