JUMP Sac bike count, and locking

Counts

The count of JUMP bikes showing on the app on the morning of June 9, 6:00AM, is 55 in Sacramento, 8 in West Sacramento, and 20 in Davis, for a total of 93.

On the evening of Monday, June 4, the counts were: Sacramento 69, West Sacramento 21, and Davis 16, for a total of 106.

On the early morning of Saturday, June 2, the counts were: Sacramento 54, West Sacramento 11, Davis 32, for a total of 97.

Though I’m not counting low-battery, in repair bikes, which is much harder to do since they don’t show up on the app map, my impression is that there are many fewer of these out.

Someone from San Francisco created a cool animation that showed the flow of bikes between the financial district and Market Street, during the day, and the outer margins of the service area in the evening. I want to do this for Sacramento, but haven’t had the time yet.

Locking

I have found a few bikes improperly locked, but not many. Other people have commented on this, but it doesn’t seem to be a common problem. In the app, under the left menu, Support > How It Works > Locking a Bike, it says that the bike must be locked to a rack (see the full text below). I’ve seen other detail on locking, but can’t track it down at the moment. Bikes do get locked to sign posts and parking meters. Though this is not technically OK, it seems to be accepted so long as the bike is not blocking sidewalk access or ADA access.

My advice is: try to find a rack, or even better, a hub. If you can’t, find something else secure, but think about how other people might need to move around it. Can a person access their car or parking meter? Does it intrude into the sidewalk? Does it keep people from getting to newspaper racks?

Over time, there will be more hubs, installed by JUMP, and more bike racks in general, most installed by the cities, but for now there are many areas of town where there simply aren’t any bike racks, and sign posts and parking meters are the only option.

In case you are wondering, the JUMP-designed racks, which they call wave racks, and had a base and cutout circle for the lock, are required by the City of Sacramento in any location where a bike might intrude into the roadway, as they enforce locking in such as way as it won’t. In other locations where this is not an issue, or where the rack has not yet been replaced, regular bike racks of various sorts are used.


At the station

You can lock a JUMP bike at any hub location free of charge. Simply secure the U-bar around the rack and insert into the designated holes at the rear of the bike. Give it a gentle tug to confirm it’s secure. The keypad LCD interface will confirm that the reservation is complete.

Outside of a station

You can lock a JUMP bike out-fo-hub at a regular bike rack as long as it’s still inside the system area. Simply secure the U-bar around the rack and insert into the designated holes at the rear of the bike. Give it a gentle tug to confirm it’s secure. The keypad LCD interface will confirm that the reservation is complete.

Using the hold feature

Need to grab a coffee on your ride? Not near a hub location? Need to hang onto the bike? You can use the ‘hold’ button on the keypad to keep your reservation running, and lock the bike out-of-hub. You will not be charged the out-of-hub fee. Lock the U-bar around a secure bike rack, and check the keypad to make sure the screen indicates the bike is on hold. Note that your rental is still running during this period.

Using the repair feature

Got a flat tire during your ride? Press the ‘repair’ button on the keypad and secure the U-bar around a rack and lock it into the rear of the bike. Give it a gentle tug to confirm it’s secure. Details about the issue will be send to the operator letting them know your had a problem. The bike will be unavailable until the issue is resolved.

Bike share and bike racks

The announced JUMP bike share coming to Sacramento (Sacramento, West Sacramento and Davis) is fuzzy on details. The announcement says “SACOG and the cities of Davis, Sacramento, and West Sacramento are currently permitting the bike share hub locations and are beginning public engagement.” The implication is that the system will be dock-optional, with hubs located in common areas and a small fee for not parking the bike at a hub, just like the existing SoBi Tower Bridge Bike Share Preview. However, the two existing JUMP systems, in Washington DC and San Francisco, are truly dockless, not dock-optional. There are no hubs, at least so far, though SF is considering some hubs to encourage people to leave the bikes at charging stations.

The JUMP bikes are of the same basic design as the SoBi bikes, they have a GPS unit and a locking U-bar that is meant to lock to bike racks or other fixed objects. Many other bike share systems such as LimeBike have a self-locking wheel lock (like European bikes), and cannot be locked to a rack. The Zagster system I used in Ashland is a hybrid: there is a cable for locking to a hub, which the bike must eventually be returned to, and another cable for locking to racks or other objects when stopping off as part of an errand trip.

When I used JUMP bikes in SF last weekend, one end of my trips had ample bike racks, but the other end did not. At the far northern edge of the geofenced system area, in a residential neighborhood, I searched four blocks without finding a bike rack, and finally used a post that was not a good location as it may have partially blocked access to a building and to parking spots. It was only there for about 20 minutes, so I felt OK, but it really brought home that a dockless system that requires bike rack use, as does the JUMP system, needs ample bike racks to work.

In the Sacramento central city, some areas have ample bike racks, but many areas, particularly neighborhoods to the east, and state building and office building areas, do not. So if the Sacramento system is to be dockless, and if it is to be successful, the city will have to install many more bike racks, in a hurry. West Sacramento and Davis probably have a similar need, but I’m less familiar with them.

My suggested criteria for bike racks is that one or more be visible when standing on a corner at any intersection, anywhere within the service area. I think electric bikes can be a great substitute for ride hailing (Lyft and the company that shall not be named), and a great complement to transit, but only if a person can find a bike close to their origin, and leave it close to their destination.

Co-op relocation

20120402-144029.jpgThe Sacramento Natural Foods Coop is considering relocation to 28th and R streets. As a coop member, I’m interested in how the new location addresses transportation. Though plans are preliminary and vague, here is my reaction to what is available so far on the website at http://www.sacfoodcoop.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1726:store-relocation-update.

  1. The new location is a bit closer to the 29th Street RT Gold Line light rail station. It is about the same distance from the RT bus routes 38, 67, and 68. Transit accessibility is a key locational factor, so this is good.
  2. There seems to be no special consideration for bus riders using the routes on 29th St. There could be a bus bay, large bus shelter, large but landscaped waiting pad, and a clear pathway from the bus stop to the store without having to cross through the parking lot and/or cross the driveway entrance-exit. These might be included and not shown on the generalized drawing, but I rather suspect that they weren’t even considered.
  3. The building is oriented to face the surface parking lot, not to face the street. The message of this orientation is that members who drive are more important than members who live in the community and walk or bike to the store.
  4. Bike parking seems an afterthought. The drawing appears to have 16 bike parking spaces, north of the store entrance, while there are 302 vehicle parking spaces. Common practice in cities with high livability is 20% of all parking for bikes, which would be 60 bike parking spaces. The bike parking area is also further away from the entrance than several non-handicapped spaces, which should never be the case. In the conceptual schematic drawing, the bike parking may be contained in the weird structure that sort of looks like a water tower.
  5. Several news articles in local media and in the Co-op Reporter have emphasized the additional parking but said nothing about bike parking, or other modes of transportation, and I suspect this is not an oversight. Does the staff and board regularly bike to the store, or drive? I don’t know, but the emphasis on parking is an indicator.

Given the stated mission of the co-op, “…consumer-owned natural foods grocery store that places the values of cooperation and sustainability at the forefront. Our focus is to benefit our owners, support our local growers, participate in our community and protect the environment,” every instance of a member or customer driving to the store instead of getting there by active transportation is a step away from these goals.

I hope that the co-op will revise its plans to reach out to people who walk, bike and use transit.