11 October 2018

Did Lime Make Things 1000 Percent Worse?

Given how much I ride in Westchester County, I haven't ridden much in White Plains.  It seems that I pedal through all of the towns surrounding it, but somehow manage to miss WP.

Then again, I haven't found many compelling reasons to wheel through the city.  One thing I have noticed is that there are probably more signs telling cyclists (and skateboarders) not to ride on the sidewalks than in any other municipality in the area.

Lately, I've heard that the police are actually making efforts to enforce the law, especially since the dockless Lime Bike sharing company set up shop.  Although some locals say that there's been more riding on sidewalks since those green bikes made their appearance, Mayor Thomas Roach insists, [T]his is not a Lime Bike issue. This is a bike issue."


He may have a point.  After all, in places where Lime has come to town, the main complaint has been about bicycles left on sidewalks and other places where people could trip over them.  On the other hand, it may be that people on such bikes are more likely to ride them onto the sidewalks since the only stipulation seems to be that they can't be left in the street.

Whatever the situation, some in the city think the real problem is that there is so little disincentive to break the law.  Police officers who wrote tickets soon realized as much when they learned that the fine--$10--"hadn't been increased since the Eisenhower administration," according to Roach.

So, he says, it should be increased to $100--or 1000 percent.  Some agree with this idea, while others--not all of whom are cyclists--think it's too steep.  Some, like Laura Molloy, believe "something like $30 or $40 will make you think about it.  Fellow resident Joan Bennett thinks, "they should get a $10 ticket the first time," but "if there's a second time, they should get a much bigger ticket."

A vote will be taken on it at the next City Council meeting, 5 November.

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