Several Hundred Riders Try Out New Bike Share Program in Watertown

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Lime bikes arrived in Watertown Friday. Riders can locate and rent a bike using the Lime mobile app and leave it where they want.

Lime bikes arrived in Watertown Friday. Riders can locate and rent a bike using the Lime mobile app and leave it where they want.

Since the new bike share program came to town, sevearl hundred local cyclists have taken a ride on the bright green bikes.

During the 13 days since the launch of the Lime Bike program, 1,374 rides have been made by 825 riders in Watertown, according to Transportation Planner Laura Wiener. The average trip is not long: less than a mile (.8 miles), and lasts 19 minutes.

Lime Bikes operate a bit differently from the BlueBikes (formerly Hubway) in Boston, where riders pick up and leave bikes in docking stations. Lime Bike riders use the company’s smartphone app, which allows riders to locate a bicycle, unlock it and go for a ride. When they are done, the rider leaves the bike in an appropriate place. Wiener said she thinks the program has mostly gone well.

“I’m pleased with how much use it is getting,” Wiener said. “They are still getting some of the kinks out in terms of redistributing the bikes.”

Bikes are supposed to be left on a curb or sidewalk, but not blocking sidewalks or traffic. The company will pick up bikes and leave them in more frequented spots around town. If people see bikes that are parked inappropriately, including blocking sidewalks, Wiener said, they should email Lime customer service at support@limebike.com.

Look for the Green Bikes — Lime Bike Share Company Comes to Watertown

6 thoughts on “Several Hundred Riders Try Out New Bike Share Program in Watertown

  1. Interesting, but is LimeBike in some way exempt from the following law?
    If not, shouldn’t the town be enforcing it?
    —–
    Section 11D: Bicycle helmets; display of sign requiring use

    Section 11D. Every person engaged in the retail business of selling or renting bicycles, in line skates, scooters, skate boards or other manually-propelled wheeled vehicles shall display in an area conspicuous to customers of the business a sign containing the following statement: Massachusetts law requires that a bicycle helmet be worn by a person 16 years of age or under who is riding as an operator or passenger on a bicycle, in line skates, a scooter, or a skate board.

    By posting such a sign, such retail business shall be deemed to be in full compliance with this act, and no liability shall be incurred in the event that said helmet is not worn. A person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of renting bicycles shall make available a bicycle helmet conforming to the specifications for bicycle helmets of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission to each person renting a bicycle.

    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter85/Section11D
    —-

    Regardless of the law, there has been much discussion regarding making our
    streets safer (Mt. Auburn St. being the prime example), for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. If the safety advocates are being genuine in their concerns, shouldn’t they make it a priority that helmets be made available to those that desire one?
    And I’m not referring to the free helmet give-a-ways by the Bike-Ped people.

    Helmets aside, do the LimeBikes have any sign or placard attached to them advising users of the 16 years and younger law? Even if by definition they’re not a “retail business” shouldn’t they still have some responsibility informing the user? If the users are a family of tourists from out of state, shouldn’t the parents be made aware of the law?

    Is there any age verification when one signs up? If there is, how does LimeBike know if an underage rider has or is wearing a helmet?
    If an underage rider is not wearing a helmet and is injured, who is responsible? Who is liable?

    If a user is injured because they hadn’t been wearing a helmet because none was available, shouldn’t the town bear some responsibility since they were the ones
    that welcomed LimeBike to begin with knowing full well that helmets wouldn’t be available?

    So, what’s fix here, wait until someone is injured or killed because of this oversight and then correct it?

    • Alan – I went to see if my kids could ride the LimeBikes and actually their agreement says that riders under 16 cannot use the bikes. So maybe the helmet law is moot. Since the app requires a credit card, the age verification is put on the parents, or should I say “co-conspirators”?

      • Thank you for answering that, however, what I would still like to know is:
        1) Is LimeBike subject to the MGL cited above, specifically “A person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of renting bicycles shall make available a bicycle helmet conforming to…”

        2) If they are, why are they being allowed to conduct business here with the support and blessings of town officials?

        3) If they are not, in the name of safety shouldn’t they at least make the effort to supply helmets for those that desire one?

        4) When the town partnered with LimeBike, and an agreement was signed,
        why wasn’t it conditional that LimeBike made helmets available?

        I realize I’m repeating myself here, but it frustrates and irks me to no end that while the Mt. Auburn St. project is being forced down our throats,
        and being sold with heavy emphasis towards safety, why is the town sending out mixed messages here by ignoring, brushing aside the number one, cardinal rule of bike safety? At the recent town council meeting, even
        Councilor Donato suggested that the project was improperly labeled as
        Complete Streets, and should have been named “Safe Streets”.

        I find it really hard putting my faith in a body that bends their beliefs in order to suit their agenda.

  2. ok, LimeBike seems to be in another EU city/ies but is still worth posting: “In Munich, the municipality has gone one step further and asked for legal advice on what options the city has to reclaim costs associated with clearing away the bikes. Given that the bikes have legally not been abandoned, and are not city property, the municipality isn’t allowed to simply remove them.”{the ref.is on http://www.dw.com in an article about an insolvent bike sharer}. BTW, one can ride to those EU cities and leave the Lime bike there rather in nearby cities without dockless bikes…. Lime-bike safe!!!

  3. Watertown in charge people have gone nuts in my humble opinion. Bikes left anywhere and we the citizens are supposed to monitor and report inappropriate places that bikes may be? What are you thinking people?

  4. I’m okay with Lime Bikes. Despite nanny types whining about helmets and such. (Indulge in personal responsibility much?) Maybe more access to bikes and their convenience will get people out of their cars that are choking the life out of our cities. And get municipalities to pay more attention to alternative transportation such as bikes. Like more bike paths with more visible bike path markings and more attention to the paths in winter. I bike regularly and initially found Lime Bikes sometimes positioned along the Charles River bike paths an issue. Although recently I noticed that issue has been apparently addressed and not much of a problem now.

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