SEATTLE — Editor's note: The above video is from earlier in 2019, when bikeshare companies were told to reduce their fleets.
As Seattle continues to struggle with improperly parked bikeshare bicycles, a proposed resolution by the city's transportation committee would likely change user behavior.
The Sustainability and Transportation committee, chaired by out-going Councilmember Mike O'Brien, pushed a resolution forward Friday morning that would ask the Seattle Department of Transportation to develop a budget proposal for expanding the city's multi-modal parking infrastructure beyond the current goal. Further, there was an amendment that suggests the city implement penalties for improperly parking bikes.
Up until now, the most punishment Lime and JUMP have faced are a reduction of their fleets. The city's action earlier this year was in response to the accuracy of customer service data. The reduction of 1,000 permitted bikes for each company came as the city continued working to make the programs successful.
The Seattle Department of Transportation has the goal of building 1,500 new bike parking spaces by the end of the year, with the hopes it would reduce the number of bikes blocking public right-of-ways. The proposed resolution also calls on SDOT to develop a budget proposal to expand on-street bike and scooter parking for 2020.
The first quarter bikeshare report for 2019 found that 14.3% of bikes were obstructing pedestrian access.
Existing bike parking may be located far from where people actually want to park their borrowed bikes, increasing the likelihood of them being improperly parked, according to the proposed resolution.
Councilmember Abel Pacheco said the goal is to reduce those obstructions, especially for people living with disabilities; ensuring they have space to move freely throughout the city.
O'Brien agreed, saying that even in the rosiest scenario, there are "way too many" bikes being parked.
The resolution will go in front of full council in September.