I’ve been hearing a lot about bike and car share companies sprouting up in many metropolitan areas. Businesses, too, are starting to get on board with this – offering incentives for their staff who are car-poolers or choose to take alternative transportation to work. Companies that service cars (i.e. tire shops and mechanic shops) are now offering bikes for their clients to borrow while work is being done to the car. These are excellent steps in the right direction – just choosing to live more sustainably with the tools and resources we already have… it can, and will, be done. We are seeing this all over the world.
In Japan for instance, there was a pilot bicycle rental project started in September 2010 for several of their largest metropolitan cities – among these are: Tokyo, Saitama and Fujisawa. Of course city infrastructure and bike lane route implementations would be necessary to make something like this work in a safe manor. Here locally in our city (Grand Forks) the city staff have created a chain of paved and crushed gravel paths, that is lit (not a fan of that) with tall lights, and is wide enough for 4 scooters to pass by each other without issues. Most people have been using them to walk their dogs, but I’ve seen several people using them regularly to get to work using their scooters.
We no longer see garbage and debris from people hanging out in those path areas, where they used to have little fires and hang-outs. However, the city neglected to clean up their own debris and the old waste that is down the banks of the path… some of this is down in a delicate bog. Hopefully they will consider this in their upcoming maintenance. There’s also no garbage or recycling bins on the entire chain of paths leading to, and through, the city park (except in the park itself). So if they did this, more pedestrians would be willing to put the waste where it belongs – instead of along the river, down the banks or in the ponds.
Unfortunately most of the side-roads (in our area) are full of pot-holes and are difficult to drive if you have a little car – and very few of the roads have bike lane space of any kind. So there is still a lot of room for improvement – but the point is that we are making headway toward a more sustainable community.