The Redmond City Council is considering action on March 20, which if approved, would enable bike share to launch in May. Photo courtesy of the City of Redmond

The Redmond City Council is considering action on March 20, which if approved, would enable bike share to launch in May. Photo courtesy of the City of Redmond

Redmond plans to roll out bike share program in May

The City Council is considering action in April that would enable bike share to launch.

The “bicycle capital of the Northwest” may soon be home to a bike share program.

The Redmond City Council is considering action in April which, if approved, is anticipated to enable bike share to launch in May. May, the annual “Bike Everywhere Month,” is a common time of year to begin new bicycle initiatives.

Karen Anderson, director of planning and community development, said that the program is meant to provide opportunities for both recreation and transportation — especially for first/last mile connections — in the city, which has already made significant investments in bike infrastructure.

Each bike share company is independent and has its own system of bikes and smartphone applications. The apps are used to find bicycles, unlock a bicycle and pay for rides; and certain companies offer the first ride for free.

The bikes are dockless, meaning that they can be picked up and dropped off anywhere. Dockless bike share started in Seattle last year, and some of the orange, green, and yellow Spin, Limebike, and Ofo bikes have been spotted on the Eastside, though the program hasn’t launched here yet.

Those three companies were present at a bike share open house hosted by the City of Bellevue a few months ago, Anderson said. Some Eastside cities have been trying to coordinate the launch of the new technology and the new regulations that have to come with it.

The bike share service in Redmond would be provided by the private companies via a city permit, at no cost to the city. A minor municipal code amendment is necessary to issue the permit, which will be brought to the City Council via an ordinance next month.

The city has to change its right of way regulations to allow the bike share vendors to operate and to put some “rules of the road” in place to make sure they’re good neighbors in Redmond, Anderson said. For example, the companies are responsible for removing bikes that have been vandalized or are causing a nuisance. They’re also in charge of “inventory rebalancing,” to prevent the bikes from clustering in certain areas.

City officials say that bike share will provide flexibility in the city’s transportation system, providing an alternative to car travel and easier access to transit. Redmond’s Transportation Master Plan has long called for bike share service in order to help provide travel choices for residents, employees and visitors.

The average trip length for all trips in Redmond is 2.2 miles, or about a 15 minute bicycle ride, according to the city.

Anderson said that the main questions residents have are: when is the program launching, and how will the city control for safety hazards and nuisances.

If bike share comes to Redmond and there is an issue, citizens would be asked to contact the bike share provider. Contacts will be provided when operation begins, according to the city. The city won’t have an exclusive contract with any one vendor, but will also be a point of contact for residents with concerns, Anderson said.

“We would of course take the call and try to resolve it,” she said.

City planners are developing recommendations for a permit that would allow a phased rollout of bike share starting in May, with the opportunity for expansion if the program is working well.

Issues being considered for the permit include: number of bikes to allow in Redmond; ensuring bicycles are not a hazard and do not impede pedestrian mobility; and vendor responsiveness to public questions and issues.

For questions about bike share, visit www.redmond.gov/bikeshare or contact Buff Brown, senior transit planner, at bbrown@redmond.gov or (425) 556-2870.

Update: This story was updated at 1:45 p.m. on March 20 to reflect the information that the City Council pushed its bike share discussion from March to April.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

File photo
Snow Lake, located near Snoqualmie Pass in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Washington releases new forest plan

It outlines ways the state will protect and maintain forest health.

Sage Viniconis is a career performing artist in King County who’s been out of work and seeking creative outlets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo/Sage Viniconis
Puget Sound artists adapt creativity, and business sense, to pandemic

Artists Sunday is an online directory that connects artists across the county, state and nation.

Chris Fagan trekking across Antarctica in 2014. Contributed by Chris Fagan
South Pole or Bust

The story of a North Bend couple who trekked across Antarctica.

King County Council has nine members who each represent a district. Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County Council passes $12.59 billion biennial budget

King County Council on Nov. 17 passed a $12.59 billion biennial budget… Continue reading

pexels
EvergreenHealth receives stroke care certification

The hospital system was able to demonstrate quality care and an advanced stroke program

State Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) authored the letter to Gov. Jay Inslee. Mullet represents the 5th Legislative District. File photo
Democratic lawmakers ask Inslee to lift ban on indoor dining

They want to try to scaling back on occupancy before forcing an end to inside service.

Tim Eyman get in some last minute campaigning for I-976 in downtown Bellevue on the afternoon of Nov. 5, 2019. File photo
Eyman fights allegation he repeatedly broke campaign laws

In a lawsuit, the state accuses the prolific initiative promoter of getting kickbacks.

Kabal Gill, owner of East India Grill in Federal Way, wears gloves to hand over take-out orders at his restaurant. File photo
State halts indoor service at bars, restaurants, home guests

Amid soaring new coronavirus cases and an overburdened health care system, the state’s clamping down.

King County 2020 unemployment numbers. Source: Washington State Employment Security Department
Boeing, coronavirus likely to impact King County economy

Unemployment remained high in September.

A rendering of the entrance of the upcoming southeast Redmond Light Rail stop. Courtesy Photo/Sound Transit
Construction work increasing around Redmond light rail extension

Residents can expect upcoming tree removal, structure demolition, utility relocation along State Route 520

File photo
State Supreme Court strikes down $30 car-tab initiative

Justices unanimously agreed that voter-approved Initiative 976 is unconstitutional.

The closed Redmond Senior Center on Oct. 13. Community members leave ribbons in the heart to honor the memories of the to-be-demolished center. Haley Ausbun/staff photo.
Demolition of Redmond Senior Center underway this month

The city council has an upcoming vote on the size and cost of the future senior center