Daily Breeze Makes a Pitch for Bike and Car Sharing

3_11_09_dc_bike_share.jpg3_11_09_zip_cars.jpg

In an editorial earlier today, the Daily Breeze, a newspaper covering the area between LAX and the Harbor, praised the city for moving ahead with a car sharing program and studying bike share.  In its own words the Breeze made the case for shared vehicles and managed to do it without calling supporters communists:

With a down economy, people throughout the Los
Angeles region are looking for ways to cut costs and save money. Now
the city of Los Angeles is working on programs to help folks do that –
through the concept of sharing cars and bicycles…

…The program is designed for urban residents who
no longer want to be burdened by the costs of car ownership, which
include fuel, financing, maintenance, insurance and related taxes.
These folks would use a combination of public transit and car sharing
to go about their daily lives. They can reserve a car online or by
phone in 10 minutes. And with a membership, they can quickly check out cars whose keys are stored in their glove compartments.

After similarly praising and explaining bike share, the editorial then ventured into Streetsblog territory by calling on the city to reduce its take home vehicle fleet and invest in car sharing for downtowners and government offices.

For example, instead of financing city-owned cars
for council members, why not just offer them paid Zipcar memberships
and access to bikes when why need to travel around the city? After all,
if the idea is good for average residents, it should also apply to city
employees and elected officials as well, especially when budget cuts
are on the horizon.

Is a movement growing to begin to truly pare down the fleet of vehicles that are treated as private property by city employees?  When Mayor Villaraigosa proposed cutting the size of the executive car fleet in 2008, the response was horror and outrage from City Council Members who claimed they were really concerned about the environment.  With the city and state in a full budget crisis, and with a recession slamming Southern Californians the response from our elected leadership might not be so tone deaf it the idea comes up again.

Photos: Sally M and jm3/Flickr

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Is Los Angeles Ready for Bike Sharing?

|
A motion on today’s City Council Transportation Committee Agenda requires LADOT to examine whether or not the city should invest in a bike sharing program similar to those in Paris and Washington, D.C.  For those of you that don’t know, bike sharing is a program that provides short-term bike rentals in areas near transit hubs […]

“The Times’ Editorial Page Is Pro-Bike.”

|
This weekend, the Los Angeles Times formally launched “Roadshare,” a specialized opinion page that focuses on bicycling, bike culture, and the controversy over creating safe space on the street for all road users. It announced this new web venture with an editorial, “Sharing the Road and an op/ed piece by Robert Greene entitled “Cycling in […]

LADOT: LA Lacks Bike Network Needed for Bike Sharing

|
LADOT: Several Obstacles Lie in Way of Bike Sharing for L.A. This Friday, as part of their Big Bikes Meeting Volume 2, the Council will consider whether or not to ask LADOT to begin soliciting proposals to bring bike sharing to Los Angeles.  However, based in part on testimony delivered when Chairwoman Greuel first brought […]

City Council Moves Bike Sharing and Advisory Committee Reforms

|
An Assistant Helps Adjust a Bike at Denver’s Massive, Temporary Bike Share Program for the DNC Enamored with the awesome bike sharing program she experienced while in Denver, Transportation Committee Chairwoman Wendy Greuel wanted to bring some form of bike sharing to Los Angeles.  Surprisingly, a lot of the feedback from the bicycle community received […]

City Continues Slow Growth Model for Car Share

|
Last week, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation released a report on the slow-growth success of car sharing in Los Angeles.  LADOT recommended renewing its program of providing free on-street parking for Zip Car vehicles up to 40 spaces so that the current level of car share is preserved while other options are examined.  Even […]