DALLAS - Dallas’ city manager has a simple request for bike sharing companies – clean up or we will. The message comes after weeks of complaints about the bicycles being dumped all around the city.
City Manager TC Broadnax sent a letter to all five bike sharing companies operating in Dallas. He told them in a letter they need to clean up the clutter before Feb. 9. After then, any bikes that are causing a hazard or obstructing a public right-of-way or trail will be removed. So far there are no plans to charge the bike companies anything for the expense of moving their bikes.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said he’s a fan of the bikes, but the situation needs to be improved.
"I love these bike shares. I'm so glad we did not invest in all these expensive bike docking, Seattle had to pull it out, millions of dollars. We waited for the right technology. Now we've got to get it right,” Rawlings said.
He also pushed back on any worries the city manager’s memo didn’t have enough enforcement heft.
“The teeth was there,” Rawlings said. “If they don't do what he said, they're going to pick up the bikes and move them. Send them to the city pound.”
Since August, five bike sharing companies have rolled into town and a sixth one is considering joining them. There are an estimated 20,000 bikes in the city of Dallas alone. The bikes are everywhere, and on Friday one was even in the air.
Someone in Deep Ellum decided to make a statement by cutting a LimeBike in two and bolting it to a telephone pole as an impromptu art piece. It was taken down midday by LimeBike and Oncor workers.
In Uptown Dallas, people navigated around bicycles that crowded out sidewalks on Friday.
“They are all over the street. I usually walk to my job, so I find them everywhere in the weirdest places. Trees, upside down, broken,” said Luis Keriner.
City staff has already met with bike reps about the need to clean up their acts. They reportedly said they were on board but the complaints kept coming. Since the bikes began to arrive in August, Dallas has received an estimated 500 complaints -- mostly about bikes blocking pathways and ramps.
“We can't have obstructions to our ADA ramps, to our sidewalks,” said Michael Rogers, Dallas’ director of transportation.
A committee was also formed to come up with possible rules and regulations. Changes could come in the next few months.