Little Italy businesses fighting for dockless bike regulation
11:17 PM, Mar 27, 2018
6:04 AM, Mar 28, 2018
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Little Italy is the latest San Diego neighborhood asking for more regulation over the dockless bike programs popping up all over the city.
The bright green, yellow, and orange bikes and scooters are all over downtown, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, and Coronado.
In December, Coronado banned the dockless bike companies from releasing the bikes on the island, but riders continue to pick up the bikes in San Diego, take the ferry to Coronado and leave the bikes there.
Riders love the convenience of not having to drop the bikes off at a designated place.
"The purpose is so you can take it to work, drop it off wherever, but it is becoming kind of 'cluttery,'" said Chanel Vasquez, who uses a dockless scooter to get to work.
"It definitely helps me be a little bit more efficient. If I am running late, these go up to I think 15 mph, they're pretty fast, " she said.
Little Italy's Business Association has expressed concern that the bikes are left on sidewalks creating a hazard for people with disabilities. Some have also ended up in driveways.
The association recently threatened the bike sharing companies with a notice of cease and desist, but according to a spokesman with Ofo Bike, the association backed off that position once the companies started a dialogue.
"We are actively working with the Little Italy Association and look forward to collaborating and ensuring we're a valuable community partner," said Anna Wan Christie, Ofo's General Manager in San Diego.
Tuesday night dozens of bikes were neatly set up in a line on the sidewalk on State Street off Interstate 5, tucked away from the business district. The association reportedly had its maintenance crews put the bikes there.
No one from the association returned calls to 10News on Tuesday, but restaurant managers said they're confident a solution will be found.
"In the beginning, it looks like a good idea, but as you can see, you can literally see the bikes left in front of you know, people's restaurants," said restaurant manager Lucio Tiberio. "They probably need some regulation."
At least two of the bike sharing companies said they don't have bikes set up in Little Italy, but that doesn't stop riders from taking them there.