Bike Sharing Rolls Out in Plano

It's become a daily battle in parts of Dallas — getting rid of, or at least organizing, all those rental bikes left on trails, sidewalks and front yards.

There's even an Instagram page now called Dallas Bike Mess that has more than 6,000 followers.

Dallas has said it will let bike share businesses try to work out the issues before they get involved.

But Plano is taking a proactive approach. Bike sharing rolled out in the city in late November when LimeBike launched a pilot program by leaving 100 bikes in the downtown Plano area.

It's unclear how many bikes the companies OFO and V-Bikes have in the Plano market.

But Jim Porst noticed the bikes right away.

He's an SPCA volunteer who walks dogs downtown every day.

"I think they're a good mix to a community, but I'd hate to see a community get flooded with them," he said.

It's nothing like the number of bikes scattered around Dallas.

"It's visual clutter, but I don't think it's something that can't be overcome," said Peter Braster, about Dallas.

Braster is Plano's special projects director. He's handling the evolution of bike sharing in the city.

"It's part of the last mile, how do you get home? Once you get to the DART station, how do you get home? Or to work?" Braster said.

Bike sharing may be the answer, but realizing the problems they may pose, Braster is working on an ordinance to regulate bike-sharing.

The ordinance, he says, will include limiting the number of bikes companies can leave in one location, which is part of the problem in Dallas, he said.

"We're business-friendly and do believe in the free market, so we really do want the bikes to be here, and we don't want to over-regulate them. But we want to monitor their performance," Braster said.

Anthony Fleo, general manager of Dallas LimeBike, says the next thing the company plans to do is build out operations and have a dedicated team in Plano.

"I think our goal is to shift a paradigm for some people. It's obviously a very car-centric city, so if we can get more people riding bikes it really does benefit the community in so many different ways," Fleo said.

Braster says Plano is working with other cities, including Dallas, to develop similar bike share laws.

Plano expects to have theirs passed in February.

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