Post-WWII urban areas, like our very own Arden Arcade, have been optimized for cars. But there are problems: not everyone has a car, cars pollute, parking can be expensive, transit systems are lacking, bike and pedestrian infrastructure is spotty at best, etc. So new solutions for mobility are popping up, seeking to solve the “last mile” problem that represents the disconnect between regional transit systems and origins/destinations. Bike sharing and electric scooter sharing systems - led by companies like Uber’s Jump, Lime, Gotcha and others, are seen as part of the answer. Though poorly suited for cargo or passengers, they do seem to provide value for commuters and lunch-goers at typical far-flung office parks in downtowns or for students on college campuses. Maybe you have noticed that Jump bikes and scooters - and now Lime scooters - are all over the place in the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento and Davis. There is also a new program to bring bike sharing to the suburbs: the Sacramento Council of Governments (SACOG), the regional transportation planning and funding agency, has partnered with Gotcha to try bike sharing in Elk Grove, Folsom and Rancho Cordova. Though the program is getting off to a slow start (tariffs and some hardware and software challenges), there is hope that work site access to and from light rail and lunch spots can be improved such that commuters will not have to rely on cars.
"The Bike Share pilot program will provide an easy-to-use, affordable, and healthy way to travel throughout our bronze-level, bicycle-friendly City."David Sander, Vice Mayor of Rancho Cordova and Chair of SACOG
Elk Grove, Folsom and Rancho Cordova are cities. SACOG’s bike-sharing trial is aimed at cities. No surprise there, because SACOG is all about cities. Its governing body consists of a lot of city representatives and some county supervisors. Three of the SACOG supervisors are from Sacramento County - two of them have city roots and are city-oriented (Sacramento and Citrus Heights). The third is our very own unincorporated District 3 representative, but SACOG’s track record doesn’t seem to reflect any influence she may have had going to bat for us. Still, it is good that suburban cities are being considered, because the lessons learned may be of some value for our community one of these days.
In the meantime, though, Jump bikes are already showing up around Arden Arcade. We don’t have much in the way of a supportive infrastructure, but we have acquired a reputation as a dumping ground. The few sidewalks we do have appear to be targets for bike littering, a problem that has beset many city neighborhoods. Gee, thanks, Jump. How special of you. At least the cities have cops. Anyone want to guess whether abandoned Jump bikes are keeping the Sheriff awake at night?