(Photo by Flickr user Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious, used under a Creative Commons license)
Earlier this summer, Wilmington got news of more SEPTA upgrades coming in December. Then Uber officially came to Delaware, followed very quickly in Wilmington by Zipcar. Now, the city could be getting a bike share program.
But before a bike share can actually happen, the city of Wilmington and DelDOT have committed to exploring just how feasible the implementation would be. Not only are they analyzing bike share programs that have been adopted in other cities, but they’ve also rightly requested the public’s input.
And they’re using an interactive crowdsourcing map to do it.
Users can go into the map and click where they believe a docking station should be placed. Better yet, in pure democratic fashion, users can click on suggestions other users have made and click “agree” or “disagree.”
“There’s probably around 20 or so suggestions of where a good location for a bike share station would be,” city planner Leah Kacanda told Delaware Public Media last week. “You just click on the map and you can notate your suggestion as to why you think it’s good, and then others users can vote on whether they think that’s a good location or not.”
According to local transportation enthusiast and urbanism advocate David Curtis, Wilmington looks “tailor-made” for a bike share of its own.
“Just as coworking spaces, WiFi-enabled coffee shops and fabrication labs have given new life to the work environment, transportation is being reinvented with the mantra that shared access sometimes trumps ownership,” Curtis said, adding that the bike share would benefit from the recent expansion of other complementary access-based transportation options in the city — namely, Zipcar and improving SEPTA frequencies (which Curtis himself was largely behind).
“Before you know it, we’re on our way to an incredibly convenient and livable 21st century city,” he said.
But, Curtis adds, that push into modernity won’t happen on its own: “Things like this only ever come to fruition when communities mobilize to make their collective voice heard. If you want more flexible, more affordable, more enjoyable transportation options in Wilmington, I urge you to get involved and push for this to happen.”
Those interested can find more information on the Wilmington Bike Share website, which will be active through the fall. A consultant’s report and subsequent business plan for the bike share is expected to be released by early spring 2016 at the latest.
A public meeting on the bike share project will take place at the Wilmington Public Library on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. Interested parties should also feel free to contact the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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