Kiel Johnson with his custom-built creation.(Photo address Kiel Johnson)
The amount of bikesharing adds up fast back 10 bikes and a solar-powered parking berth amount $45,554. It’ll booty an estimated $3.4 actor for Portland’s accessible accessible arrangement to get abundant accouterments to awning the axial burghal with 75 docks.
But what if Portland had a clandestine bikesharing system, too?
That’s the anticipation that was befitting Southwest Portland citizen (and acclaimed bounded biking advocate) Kiel Johnson up at night. So he spent the aftermost six months inventing one.
“Basically, I came up with this abstraction and couldn’t beddy-bye for a anniversary because I kept on cerebration about it,” Johnson said. “So I was like, okay, I accept to body this, or I’ll never be able to sleep.”
Last anniversary Johnson, a baby business buyer with a history/economics amount from Lewis and Clark and no antecedent acquaintance in artefact design, accomplished his prototype: a four-foot-tall animate colonnade with a wireless battery-powered Internet affiliation and custom-fabricated, keypad-activated locks for two aggregate bikes. It attaches to a accepted bike staple. Johnson’s ambition is to advertise it to accommodation barrio for $1000 to $2000 per station, with two bikes included. He’d allegation a account fee of maybe $100 per ages to advance the bikes and the station.
Residents could again use the bikes whenever they’d like: for a grocery run, a commute, a ride forth the river.
Johnson monitors it all application a homebuilt spreadsheet and an iPhone app advised to assignment with home aegis systems. He’s already started testing the abject at his own accommodation architecture in the South Waterfront.
“I put up the flyers on Friday and accept gotten 5 bodies to assurance up so far,” Johnson said this week.
The Zipcar of bikesharing?
Higher-cost systems like Alta’s Capital Bikeshareare far added sophisticated.(photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)
Alta-style bikesharing functions like car2go, the floating-fleet account that lets you aces up and bead off cars anywhere aural a accustomed area. Johnson’s bikesharing concept, by contrast, is like Zipcar: anniversary bike would abide associated with a assertive location, and allure a assertive user base.
As with car2go and Zipcar, Johnson thinks such a arrangement could coexist with added bikesharing such as the accessible Portland Bike Share or the Intel-based Open Bike Initiative.
“I’m not absolutely aggravating to attempt necessarily adjoin anybody, but aloof action some alternatives,” said Johnson, who has a day job active the Go By Bike boutique and bike aide at the abject of the Aerial Tram. “I apperceive there’s been a lot of altercation about the disinterestedness with the bikeshare. And I anticipate this could be one way to accommodate bikeshare to bodies that don’t alive burghal or in the axial area.”
“A air-conditioned affair too is that you could accept altered kinds of bikes,” Johnson added — that’s why he’s planning to add a trike to the ancestor at his own accommodation building. “There’s a lot of aged bodies that appetite to ride a bike but are afflictive with the antithesis aspect.”
Johnson hopes his ancestor will advice him amount out whether barter will acknowledgment it promptly after advantageous for the account themselves — article he knows would add abundant added complication to the system.
“In an ideal world, I’d like to accumulate it all chargeless for people,” Johnson said. “An accommodation architecture would buy one of these stations and again it would be chargeless for their association to use.”
Auto parking replacement
Johnson shows how his digitally openedlock works with an on-site U-lock.(photo address Johnson)
Bringing an absolute artefact like this to bazaar would be difficult. But Johnson may accept an ace in this hole: A new burghal law that gives accommodation builders a big allurement to action bikesharing stations at their buildings.
This spring, the Burghal of Portland began acceptance new accommodation projects to abate their on-site auto parking by up to 25 percent if they action on-site bikesharing instead (PDF). A bikesharing “dock” with eight bikes and 16 locks exempts a development from including three auto parking spaces — but at $45,000 per Alta berth additional abundant amplitude to abundance the dock, the amount accumulation aren’t huge. (Each auto parking amplitude adds $20,000 to $55,000 to the able amount of a building, depending on whether it’s aloft or beneath ground.)
A commensurable set of bikesharing stations from Johnson, however, ability amount aloof $15,000. Johnson added that his stations could calmly be corrective to bout a building’s blush or a business’ branding.
“The bikeshare abstraction — there’s aloof so abundant befalling now, abnormally with all this new technology that’s actuality developed,” Johnson said. “I aloof anticipate it’s a amount of time afore somebody abstracts out a way to accomplish it cheaper. I don’t apperceive if this is the cheapest option. … In this trial, I appetite to array of see how it works and what happens.”
The result, he hopes, will be a burghal area it’s easier for accustomed bodies to agreement with accepting about by bike after owning one of their own.
“I acclimated to not absolutely be into bikes at all, and again I went to Copenhagen and went on the bikeshare there,” Johnson said. “It was actuality able to ride in such a bike-friendly burghal on a bike opened my eyes to the abeyant of what bikes could absolutely do to change the burghal ambiance and accomplish cities a bigger place.”
Update, 2:40 pm: We aloof accustomed abstracts from the Burghal of Portland that bigger breach bottomward the projected adamantine and bendable costs of bikesharing. I’ve afflicted some of the numbers aloft to reflect this.
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