Richard Weis: What’s wrong with the new bike-share program

Published: 8/23/2016 11:05:06 AM
What’s wrong with the new bike-share program

The bike-share program that’s being rolled out in metro Amherst/Northampton (“Bike sharing program closer to reality” in the Aug. 6 Gazette) seems like an ill-conceived idea financially, as well as in terms of both personal and public safety.

I realize you have to administer the program and maintain the bikes, but spending $1 million to put 234 bikes into service works out to over $4,000 per bike, a pretty steep figure considering that the purchase price per bike is listed as $800.

I have a couple of old Raleigh 3-speeds in my basement I could have contributed for next-to-nothing, and they’re totally bullet-proof.

Alarmingly, I saw no mention of helmets in the article. If one falls off a bike, even at a slow speed, one can do serious damage to one’s head.

Never mind personal responsibility; I don’t want my tax dollar further stretched by the Commonwealth having to pay millions for the care of a bike-sharer who winds up needing lifelong brain injury care.

And finally, a ridiculous number of the folks who currently ride bikes in the area are a menace to themselves in traffic and to pedestrians on the sidewalks. I ride daily, for both commuting and recreation, and am very safety conscious, but even I roll through the occasional stop sign.

Thinking of scores more headphone-wearing, wobbly bike riders buzzing past pedestrians and cutting off cars is pretty terrifying.

So, in the end, if the program is successful, we’ll see a couple hundred helmetless novice bicyclists riding in traffic and on the sidewalks, terrorizing the populace. And if the program is unsuccessful, we’ll have a million dollars’ worth of pretty bikes, their idle chains rusting in the rain.

Richard Weis



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

23 Service Center Road
Northampton, MA 01060


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy