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Pismo Beach Conducting Study for a Bike Share Program

By Christian Hartnett, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Reporter, ChristianHartnett@kcoy.com
Published On: May 06 2014 07:57:51 PM CDT
Updated On: May 06 2014 02:00:00 AM CDT
Pismo bike share
PISMO BEACH, Calif. -

Leave the car keys and hop on a bike instead. That's what Pismo Beach is hoping locals and visitors will do. The city is exploring a bike share program.

Erik Vitands is almost glued to his bike. He’s cycled across the country once before. Today, he rolled into Pismo Beach in the middle of his 7-day trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

"Everything is a blur when you’re in a car," said Vitands. "You see so much more and you really get to enjoy everything about the place that you’re in (on a bike). When you see something interesting, you can stop and take a look."

Pismo Beach wants others to embrace that attitude. The city is conducting a feasibility study on a bike share program for the beach town. Bike share programs, with kiosks where you can grab a bike and go, are becoming popular around the nation.

"There’s different types of bike share programs," said Ben Fine, Pismo Beach Public Works Director. "Some of them are publicly owned and publicly operated. Some are publicly owned and privately operated. Then there are others that are privately owned and publicly operated. So the feasibility study fleshes out which model is best for us."

The city figures it’ll have multiple bike kiosks outside of downtown. There will be a central kiosk located near the Pismo Pier. The idea is to get people near the outside locations to bike into downtown rather than taking their car.

"We have a ton of visitors that stay in the hotels that are just a stones throw from downtown, but it's just far enough where people don’t want to walk," said Fine. "So you provide these bikes and all of a sudden you help eliminate the parking problems downtown and you’re encouraging the healthy, active Central Coast lifestyle we all love."

People can purchase daily, monthly, or annual memberships to rent the bikes. The city will know more about the rental pricing and how much the program would cost when the study is complete in about 5 months.

Vitands says more cyclists on the road will actually create a safer biking experience.

"I think ride sharing on a bicycle is a great setup," said Vitands. "The city has more incentive to provide bike lanes and resources that are helpful. The more bikes out there, the safer it is for everyone because people are just used to it."

You can help Pismo Beach with their feasibility study. The city has an online survey that will help it determine where the bikes should go and if you would use the service. Visit www.pismobikeshare.com to take the survey.

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