July 14—Bastille Day—Bike Share came to Pasadena, with a grand opening celebration in front of Pasadena City Hall. It was a cause for celebration and a step forward in Pasadena’s efforts to be bike and transit friendly.
Bike share can be a game-changer, insofar as it helps solve the “first mile/last mile” connection to transit and encourages more people to ride.
The more people ride, the more it normalizes bicycling and helps people shift their thinking about bikes as a mode of everyday transportation.
Bikeshare allows more people to discover how biking saves money, reduces traffic and pollution, and helps people stay healthier. It also spreads the joys of cycling in the city: the way the bike helps people move through the city at a pace that enables them to see and experience so much more than they can from inside a car.
Initially, bike share stations are mostly clustered in Old town and Downtown Pasadena, with an easternmost kiosk at PCC, and none north of the 210 freeway. As an initial rollout, this makes sense, but I’d like to see Metro expand this program northward and eastward, and I also think it makes it imperative that the city expand its network of bike lanes and use traffic calming measures on more streets to make this program successful. As I’ve written about before, too many of Pasadena’s streets are still not friendly for cyclists and too many drivers treat the streets as speedways.
Bike share can help people discover there is a world beyond the automobile, it expands the realm of the possible for those who want to go car free for a day–or more. From the looks of the smiles on the faces of people riding the Metro Bikes, I’d say the city is on its way.