WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City Council Aug. 17 approved the creation and implementation of a citywide public bike share program.
The program, which is expected to launch in Spring 2016, will be operated by CycleHop, which plans and runs bike share programs throughout North America. CycleHop will also be launching compatible bike share programs in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Long Beach and at UCLA in 2016.
“Bringing bike share to West Hollywood means more residents and visitors will have a transportation option that’s also great for a healthy lifestyle,” Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath said. “The more bikers we have, the safer biking will become, which will eventually transform our car-centric culture.”
West Hollywood’s bike share program will feature 150 social bicycles (“smart bikes”), which utilize wireless technology to allow riders to use a smartphone app to reserve bikes, pay for membership and track and share ride data with friends in online social networks.
The bicycles will feature light-emitting diode headlights and taillights and cargo baskets. To tackle steep climbs to Sunset Strip, the smart bikes will feature eight gears. Twenty self-service stations will be constructed throughout the city, and the city will seek to locate a limited number of additional stations at key destinations outside city limits.
The city will soon be launching a suggest-a-station website to solicit community input on desired bike share station locations citywide.
Bike share is an alternative to automotive or public transportation for short trips. At 1.9 square miles, the city is well suited to bike share, a spokesperson said.
The city’s residents, businesses and visitors will be able to use the bikes for errands and commuting or for recreation and fitness. Bike share also makes cycling a more attractive option by eliminating the need to store and maintain a bicycle.
The popularity of cycling in the metropolitan Los Angeles region is soaring. In Los Angeles County, events such as CicLAvia, which most recently took place on Aug. 9 in Culver City, are demonstrating the region’s capacity to transform its relationship to car-free transportation.
In West Hollywood, groups such as the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition help to catalyze interest in bicycling.
In recent years, the city has made investments in bicycle infrastructure such as bike racks, bike lanes and routes across the city. It has added bike sharrows to remind motorists and cyclists that a roadway is a shared space and is moving forward with the installation of bike lanes on Fairfax Avenue.
The city also has increased the availability of bike racks for parking. In addition, the city is in the process of updating its Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan, which evaluates and recommends improvements to the city’s existing bicycle network and facilities based on current best practices, emerging and innovative design strategies and community input.
Information: (323) 848-6868.