One Dallas bike share company says it will start helping its rivals and citizens by picking up knocked over bikes.
It's one thing when the bikes are neatly aligned, but it can be unnerving when they block ramps for wheelchairs and strollers. It can be downright dangerous for people who are blind.
“If we don't expect it to be there, we're in trouble, we could trip up and fall,” said Blake Lindsay, Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind. Lindsay lost his sight when he was 9-months-old.
About 20,000 of the colorful bicycles from five different companies are currently on the sidewalks and street of Dallas.
Lindsay says people who are blind develop what's called an echo perception -- they can tell when they are coming up on an obstacle, but it needs to be at least waist high.
"If a bike is laying on its side then we cannot hear it,” Lindsay said.
The misplaced bicycles were causing so many problems for visually impaired clients and employees of the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind that complaints started pouring in to the bike companies.
One of the companies, Mobike, said it wanted to take quick action. It’s now telling its employees to pick up fallen bicycles, even if they belong to a competitor. It's also creating signs for every bike to inform riders where not to park them.
For that, Lindsay is thankful.
“They're understanding they need to keep the bikes out of the way,” Lindsay said.
Mobike says it is intentionally capping the number of its bikes to 3,000. The largest company in Dallas, LimeBike, has 10,000 bikes. One week from Friday, the city said it will start confiscating bikes parked in wrong places.