Coronado to Impound Dockless Bikes and Fine Companies

by on March 21, 2018 · 12 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Gustavo Solis / San Diego Union-Tribune

Dockless bicycles, those ubiquitous two-wheelers that have overtaken downtown San Diego, have been declared a public nuisance in Coronado. The city said it plans to impound the bikes if they are left in the public right-of-way — streets, sidewalks, alleys and public parks or beaches — and potentially charge the companies that lease them hundreds of dollars to get them back.

Enforcement could begin Wednesday, said City Manager Blair King.

It is the latest bump in the road for the bike-sharing companies since they introduced the so-called dockless service in the region less than a month ago, with complaints from merchants about discarded bikes cluttering sidewalks, posing safety risks and hurting business.

Coronado didn’t expect to encounter those challenges. The city doesn’t allow the companies to operate. In December 2017, it denied business permits to LimeBike and other dockless bicycle companies. “However, the rampant use of dockless bicycles from neighboring cities has resulted in numerous dockless bicycles ending up in Coronado,” King said. Dockless bicycles from Imperial Beach and San Diego are making their way to the peninsula through the Coronado ferry and Silver Strand Boulevard. Locals have spotted bikes from LimeBike, ofo, and Mobike along Orange Avenue and state Route 75. For more.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

ZZ March 21, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Sad to hear this. Anything that gets more people on bikes and out of cars is a good thing. These could also be a good thing for poorer people who have no secure place to store a bike. It can also encourage bike commuting by people who have no place to store a bike near work.

Back in 06 I biked to work until my bike was stolen while locked up in front on my work building.


Chris March 21, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Well, we are talking Coronado here.


mjt March 21, 2018 at 2:03 pm

I must say this business model is extremely predatory. Three different companies team up and descend on communities with their leave it anywhere strategy.
In your face we are here to stay.

And like anything else, with popularity the price will increase, and normal biking will be gone forever


Michael March 22, 2018 at 9:42 am

That’s not what predatory means. If they advertised free rides and then charged, that would be predatory. You are not being forced to use the service and it has nothing to do with traditional bicycle ownership.

Bicycle manufacturers are HUGE companies because biking is universal and you can sell the same product everywhere. Not like media, auto or any other industry beyond paper and packaging. They’re not going anywhere. I would expect the bike prices to decline actually.


mjt March 22, 2018 at 10:13 am

Your comment focuses on bicycle’s and not the fact that they are using public space to sell their product. Throw in the fact that three companies colluded to enter the market at the same time and that is collusion and predatory in my book.

If the city had designated stations that is one thing, but to throw a thousand bikes everywhere and anywhere is predatory.
Why should citizens have to trip over some companies mess.
Let me sell apples on every corner without any rules and the next guy will sell watermelons.


Michael March 22, 2018 at 6:33 pm

Again, that’s not what predatory means. It would be collusion if the three companies agreed to not compete in certain areas to create a monopoly or if two companies colluded against a third.

They all showed up at the same time due to the exclusive contract expiring.


Jon Carr March 23, 2018 at 7:42 am

Exploitative is probably more apt..

Personally I’m still skeptical that the program will work smoothly, but mainly because I lack faith in the ability of Americas finest city to properly govern their use, and there are plenty of anecdotes from other cities documenting the problems these have caused. I still don’t know how our city plans to address the issues places like Dallas have encountered, and how it will be different in San Diego. We’ve also witnessed first-hand how poorly they’ve handled the STVR crisis. That being said, I still kinda think it’s a cool idea, and I’ve even used one to get to a meeting I was running late for. Pretty easy to do.


Michael March 23, 2018 at 11:22 am

There are some pictures and anecdotes from China which show huge piles of dockless bikes. We don’t want that to happen, but on the other hand, it would be nice to have some here and there for short trips. I think the city has an obligation to get these companies to offer affordable and responsible bikes because they operate in the public domain and on our sidewalks and streets.

If SD set higher standards for the bikes and required low pricing, the quality of the bikes would go up and the number of them would go down. Those OFO bikes are awful.

Make the bike companies invest in their product which is on our streets instead of putting $50 bicycles everywhere.


Peter from South O March 22, 2018 at 1:03 pm

I think it is worth noting that back in January a City Councilman made legal inquiries on the behalf of dockless bike sharing (in the context of possible legal obstacles vis-a-vis the contract with DecoBike).

The city could stop the madness if they enforced the encroachment laws equitably. Bike parked on public right of way? Confiscate, impound and charge company for retrieval.


Michael March 22, 2018 at 6:36 pm

I’m just curious if that same impound rule would apply to all bikes in the public right of way?

I.E. personal bikes locked to signs blocking the street. It would be nice to clear out all these crummy bikes likely locked to railings next to the sidewalk.


Peter from South O March 23, 2018 at 4:25 am

Section 54.0110 of San Diego’s municipal code forbids “any vegetation or object” from encroaching on a public space.


Chris March 22, 2018 at 11:47 pm

Honestly the controversy over these bikes his hilarious. Every one knew these were coming (been in the news since September) yet act shocked to see them when they finally coming out. Everyone knows there will be a weeding out. My only problem is when the bikes are left in the middle of the sidewalk or left in people’s yards, yet so many are pissing and moaning of their very presence. Many complain that these bikes are taking business away from traditional rental outfits. Maybe to a small degree but for the most part, anyone using these services are going from point a to b. Anyone who wants to rent a bike for the day or even a few hours will use a traditional rental.


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