Picture: Doug Silverstein on a Lime-E electric-assist bike by the Burlingame Main Library

Editor’s note: this blog was prepared by guest contributor, Doug Silverstein, Burlingame resident.

Envision San Mateo County with tens of thousands of happy and healthy bicyclists cruising to work, school, shops, and transit; parking their shared bike at journey’s end, only to pick up another when they need it.

Four of the county’s cities are adding momentum to this reality with Burlingame officials as the latest environmental leaders to embrace the innovative and disruptive bike share movement. Foster City, San Mateo, and South San Francisco have similar programs.

On December 3, the Burlingame City Council unanimously voted (5-0) to extend its Lime dockless bike share program through June 2019. The Council also authorized a Request for Proposal to identify a long-term bike share vendor.

Supporting top 2018 priorities – sustainability, transportation, and greenhouse gas emissions – the City Council first voted in late 2017 to allow use of public right-of-way and spaces for the Lime bike share program.

Strong community feedback from a recent survey backed the extension:

  • 69% were “very supportive” or “somewhat supportive” of the bike share program
  • 90% used Lime to and from work, school, or for errands
  • 61% would have used a motor vehicle if a Lime bike were not available

Notably, since February, rides have averaged over 5,000 per month with 70 percent electric-assist bikes vs. pedal rides. And, total complaints to Lime have decreased substantially since the program’s start with October 2018 (last month available) hitting the lowest level measured.

These results collectively validate the city’s stated goal last December 2017 to use the program for ‘first and last mile transit connections’ and ‘reduce greenhouse gas emissions’.

No doubt, many of the people biking also benefit from Burlingame’s recent Complete Streets projects including California Drive and Carolan Ave, and look forward to additional biking infrastructure. We hope that the city will be inspired to use new funds from the recently passed Measure W for this purpose.

Picture: Depiction of Burlingame’s recently completed California Drive Complete Streets Project

So, with bike share programs expanding across the country and globe, will these low environmental impact rides surpass car trips on our County’s neighborhood streets? Help surpass our greenhouse gas reduction goals? And promote more sustainable living?

It’s up to us to inspire additional local leaders to jump aboard and fast-track this vision.

Hey Millbrae and Hillsborough residents, Belmont and Redwood City leaders, join us in Burlingame on the path to a happier and healthier San Mateo County.

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