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The Common Mistake That Undermines American Bike-Share Systems

[video width="553" height="415" m4v="http://usa.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2015/02/Tale-of-two-plans.m4v"][/video]

(Southern California editor's note: When you read this, think about how it applies to L.A. Metro's regional bike share system, planned to open later this year in downtown L.A., then later, leapfrog discontinously to Pasadena.)

One of the leading architects of New York City's bike-share system, NYC DOT alum Jon Orcutt, is on a mission to show how the design of bike-share networks affects their success.

Orcutt created this animation warning against a fairly common practice in smaller American cities: splitting the bike-share network up into separate clusters of stations. On his Tumblr, he elaborates on why a divided system won't work well:

Plans to launch bike share systems in separate geographical areas or nodes are almost certainly a recipe for low usage (unless each node is very large and essentially its own system).

Small bike share systems are generally low performers. Breaking a finite amount of bike share resources into smaller pieces needlessly sacrifices the utility and productivity of stations/bicycles.

The video breaks it all down.

For more advice from Orcutt, check out our November interview where he discusses why high station density is such a critical factor in designing bike-share systems that people will want to use.

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