City Removing DecoBike Stations From Ocean Beach and Other Beach Areas

by on September 6, 2017 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

For some reason, the City of San Diego is removing DecoBikes stations – mainly from the beach areas – including 2 in Ocean Beach.

Beginning on Tuesday, September 5th, the City is having DecoBikes remove 15 of their stations – the vast majority in OB, Mission Beach and PB – and relocate them to the urban core of the city.  The removal and relocations are supposed to be completed by September 11th.

The DecoBikes stations have had their opponents who see them taking up space and marring the coastal landscape. Others disparaged their commercial nature and their competition with local businesses. They have their admirers as well.

Brian Curry, past chairman of the Pacific Beach Planning Group, told CBS8:

“It takes away space view corridors.”

DecoBike maintenance costs include repairs and replacements from vandalism and accident. Photo by Judi Curry

Over a 4 year period, the PB Planning Board collected 3,000 signatures in opposition to the stations; they also lobbied the City to stop allowing the stations on beach boardwalks. Curry was involved in that effort. He said:

“If the locations had been at bus stops or at trolley stops, neighborhood grocery stores, that kind of thing we understood – and that is what we understood we were going to have when we invited them into the neighborhood.”

Curry added:

“We are so happy the City finally saw the light, heard the community and decided to remove them from those areas.”

Competing with local businesses is another concern. The owner of a bike rental shop,  WestOne Rentals, believes he’ll get more customers when the DecoBikes are gone. Brian Hess said allowing the stations on the boardwalk is not fair. He told CBS:

“I would love to have the boardwalk space to have these bikes on the boardwalk. We would kill it.”

“This is not a commute spot. This isn’t some place where they are going to go to the bus terminal to a bike to another bus terminal.”

They do have their fans. A PB seasonal resident of PB, Jim Luers, told CBS:

“I think they are awesome. I’ve used them in Chicago and I’ve used them in Washington D.C.”

DecoBike station not affected.

The stations were installed during the fall of 2013, as part of a partnership with the City and its climate action plan. DecoBike stated it spent $8 million in investments after signing a 10-year contract with the City. It’s plan was to have 180 stations and 1800 rent-a-bikes.

Somewhat incredibly, the agreement with the city does not include any monies going to city coffers until later, even when DecoBike placed ads on its platforms without any prior notice to the city. CBS reported “[DecoBike] planned to share revenues with the city.”

In February 2016 in an article about private incursion into public space, we reported:

The company DecoBikes, for instance, as reported by the San Diego U-T  is logging in lower ridership and revenue than the levels they convinced city officials they could meet.  A casual observation by this author of 5 DecoBike stations last weekend scattered between OB and Mission Beach found fewer than 50% of the bikes being rented. But their stands still take up a lot of sidewalk space. The U-T reported:

Company officials expressed optimism that better community outreach will reduce protests and complaints that have slowed the installation of new stations, especially in the potentially lucrative beach areas.

Here is the list of stations to be removed:

Ocean Beach

  • 5800 Newport Ave (Newport Ave & Abbott Ave)
  • 2100 Spray St (Spray St & Brighton Ave)

Here’s the remainder of the list:

Station #              Station Location

13           4198 Mission Bay Dr (Mission Bay Boat Ramp)

52           1492 N Harbor Dr (W Ash St & N Harbor Dr)

68           1899 N Harbor Dr (W Grape St and N Harbor Dr)

92           4500 Ocean Blvd (PB Boardwalk)

103         780 Thomas Ave (Thomas Ave & Mission Blvd)

104         700 Grand Ave (PB Lifeguard Station)

105         760 Pacific Beach Dr (P.B. Dr & Mission Blvd)

108         1005 W Mission Bay Dr (Bonita Cove Park)

110         1098 W Mission Bay Dr (Ventura Cove Park)

111         Dana Landing Rd & W Mission Bay Dr

118         2727 De Anza Rd (N Mission Bay Dr & De Anza Rd)

131         2576 Laning Rd (USS Recruit, Liberty Station)

187         1240 East Mission Bay Dr (Fiesta Island Park)

Below is the full email sent by the City in regards to the removal of the bike stations:

The City, per discussions with DecoBike, will focus on expanding the bike station locations by increasing the use of bike share for transit connectivity and short trips, which continues to support the City’s Climate Action Plan efforts and mobility hub plans.  As a result, the City is proposing new locations in the urban core areas which will be presented to the appropriate Community Planning Groups.  
The City will present the locations for public input to Downtown Community Planning Council, Uptown Planners, Uptown Public Facilities Subcommittee, North Park Planning Committee, North Park Public Facilities & Transportation Subcommittee and Balboa Park Committee targeting the upcoming publicly noticed September and/or October meetings.  
Based on this current focus, DecoBike will remove and relocate the bike stations listed below to the urban locations through the above mentioned City community outreach process.  The removal of the stations will begin on Tuesday, September 5 and conclude the week of September 11.    


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