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Added Mar 05 2014

Wasn't there debate and a resolution passed in the city council that forced private taxi companies to service the entire city? What about DIVVY? They use our public roads and parking spaces to run their business. I made a rough map with conservative city boundaries. Looks like over 50% of the city is getting screwed from bike sharing.

Should we be allowing a company to use public assets and yet still discriminate against communities in Chicago?

  • Apple Jaxx Pissing people off not once, but twice...

    That's a great question and needs to be answered. Good one.

  • Dawn 7 years in RP

    Why would you classify renting of equipment in the same category as a service like taxi companies? Seems like it would be more similar to a paperbox that you find on the corner. Is there a similar requirement for how these are dispersed?

  • d3 NOH

    You're absolutely correct... Rogers Park is sorely lacking in stations... none even planned further north... which is ironic because they have gaping holes in areas that are TIF districts, and DIVVY is funded w/ TIF money. For example, Howard St is a TIF district yet the closest DIVVY is well 3.8 miles away mapped the most direct route. The closest planned station is 2.2 miles away still. Allegedly the Aldermen have some say in DIVVY placement but considering there is one planned, not implemented, station, it doesn't seem like the 49th Ward Alderman has had any real involvement in making this happen. I have to wonder why. IMO being taxpayer funded is even more reason why they should populate the entire area of Chicago (to directly address Dawn's question). And yes, the city of Chicago has all kinds of tracking/rules/requirements that require them to pick up at least one or maybe two dispatched fares in under-served areas. Taxis are not taxpayer funded, DIVVY bikes are.

  • Jeff D East Rogers Park

    Show me a 50 foot by 4 foot paper box that takes up 2 parking spaces or takes out a turn lane. haha, but yea I understand and respect your point. I don't really have a problem with them being on sidewalks or streets, but if they are using public assets, they should service the entire city, like say, paperboxes (they're everywhere).

    Maybe we should be looking at ride sharing and bike sharing as the same service as taxis. why not right? Judging by that map, they haven't even given half of the communities a chance to participate. That is unfair.

  • d3 NOH

    http://suggest.divvybikes.com/page/about is where you can suggest stations, but there are already tons of suggested stations so if you log in it would be better to "like" already suggested stations. Though, it appears as though that web site is having issues... there used to be a liked count for each station but it's showing 0. Howard actually had one of the highest counts of likes. What's strange is there were suggested stations that aren't on there at all, for example I know Juneway Beach had a suggested pinpoint and doesn't right now show.

  • They are working on expansion. See here- http://chi.streetsblog.org/2013/11/06/divvy-expanding-to-475-possibly-550-docking-stations/

    Would include some up in Rogers Park. Reaching up towards Howard is definitely on the agenda.

    It's worth noting that because of the way Divvy works, they can't just start popping stations up all over the city. It has to grow from the core. Stations shouldn't really be put a mile or more from other stations because then transferring would be more difficult.

    Putting one up today on Howard would be difficult as it's a 4 mile ride to any other station. Sure, folks can pick up and drop off at the same place, but a big part of Divvy is transportation- going from one part of the city to another.

  • Apple Jaxx Pissing people off not once, but twice...

    Jeff is right, they should be forced to service the entire city. Not only that, for the parking spaces that these DIVVY stations take up, the city should be charging rent on top of a cut from each bike rental. Yeah, it's high time these Bikers start paying just like citizens who use motor vehicles. If driving on the public way is a costly privilege, bike riders should enjoy the same expense.

  • d3 NOH

    A lot of the stations I've seen seem to be placed in what would otherwise be no parking like at the end of blocks, and/or non-metered at min... but i've seen few on side streets at the end of blocks.

    If they took out metered spaces, the city actually has to pay Morgan Stanley / LAZ for the cost of the missed meter revenue over the life of the remaining ~70 years of the parking meter contract. So there's a lot of incentive for them to not place them on busy streets in metered parking.

    Though it seems they could find a way to put them around fire hydrants in a way the fire dept could still access the hydrant w/out issue... they could all just be at hydrants

  • Estes&Ashland Rogers Park & West Ridge Resident since 1960

    Fire hydrants are huge revenue generators for the City - it's hard to imagine them just giving away that space for a few bicycles.

    CTA stations seem to be better suited to the need. They are placed at regular, well-known locations, and the bikes would appeal to riders of public transportation.

  • We were told a few months ago that Divvy was planning to extend its network to Rogers Park this year, so it should be here soon. But there might be a delay since the Canadian company that manufactures the bikes went bankrupt, although the city of Montreal seems to be taking care of that and Divvy insists its operations won't be affected (Montreal, New York and Chicago all use the same bike supplier).

  • Jeff D East Rogers Park

    I really do not have a problem with DIVVY using city streets, parking spaces or sidewalks. As my brother points out, -

    "The amount of "value" one parking spot provides is 3-6 times less valuable for a car than if a bike rack/bike share station was present. Only one person can enjoy the use of that parking spot which may be taken for hours/days at a time, while a bike share/bike parking spot can serve dozens of people per day. I think this is a small sacrifice for helping take back the streets for tax-paying citizens that may not otherwise be able to take advantage of that parking spot."

    To me, it's more a leadership problem. Once again a great opportunity and service presented itself. Something that could have directly affected communities so deeply in need of transportation, but once again no leadership or real opposition to stand up and demand equality in services for everyone in Chicago.

  • Estes&Ashland Rogers Park & West Ridge Resident since 1960

    @Jeff:
    You and your brother are failing to see the issue from the City's perspective: providing parking a few bicycles in a parking spot, produces no revenue for the City.

    By simply placing a "No Parking" sign at the same spot, the City stands to make thousands of dollars from that single spot (in the form of parking tickets, doubling fines, and increased boot and towing fees).

    Losing another parking space is NOT a "small sacrifice", and the idea that taking back the streets "for tax-paying citizens", is somehow a more noble calling, neglects the fact that drivers of cars are also tax-paying citizens, who in-fact support the the road infrastucture through the mandatory purchase of "City-Stickers", vehicle registrations, gasoline taxes, etc.

    I doubt that anyone is proposing that bicyclists should also pay for their use of the public streets, although they would have a more persuasive argument for converting car parking into bicycle parking, if they agreed to pay for such amenities.

  • I'm not sure how this Divvy parking and car parking thing got put together, but every Divvy station I've seen is on a sidewalk and doesn't interfere with street parking at all. As far as taxation issues are concerned, every cyclist and pedestrian and transit user is doing the city a huge favor by not adding additional congestion (and contributing minimal wear) to the city's streets, by reducing contamination, and by reducing health care costs through better physical fitness. But many Divvy riders are also car owners, and they pay gas taxes as well.

  • Joe Moore Alderman, 49th Ward

    Regular readers of my electronic newsletter were informed in December that Divvy bike sharing is expanding to other parts of the City, including the 49th Ward:

    http://www.ward49.com/site/epage/149052_322.htm

    As one of the commentators noted above, it is simply logistically and financially impossible to roll out the Divvy program citywide in one fell swoop.

  • Andrew Mann Hippie with a job

    Owning you bike is better.

  • Divvy is owned by the city of Chicago, funded by grants (roughly $40M) from the federal government and managed by a private entity (Alta Bicycle Share, Inc). So there is no substantive conflict in terms of public/private. Although once can question the "convenience" of one company dominating the bike sharing industry, but that's an entirely different conversation about how government procurement works.

    From the Divvy website:

    Divvy is a program of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), which owns all of the system’s bikes, stations and vehicles. Initial funding for the program comes from federal grants for projects that promote economic recovery, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, as well as additional funds from the City’s Tax Increment Financing program.

    CDOT’s mission is to keep the city’s surface transportation networks and public way safe for users, environmentally sustainable, in a state of good repair and attractive, so that its diverse residents, businesses and guests all enjoy a variety of quality transportation options, regardless of ability or destination.

    CDOT’s vision is to ensure that Chicago continues to be a vibrant international city, successfully competing in the global economy with a transportation system that provides high-quality service to residents, businesses, and visitors—a system that offers a solid foundation for the city, regional and national economies, yet is sensitive to its communities and environment.

    ABOUT THE OPERATOR
    Divvy is operated by Alta Bicycle Share, Inc., an American firm that is the only company in the world focused on operating large-scale bike share systems. Alta designed, launched, and operates Capital Bikeshare in Washington DC and Arlington VA, Hubway in Boston, Citi Bike in New York, Bay Area Bike Share in the San Francisco Bay Area, Melbourne Bike Share in Melbourne Australia, CoGo Bike Share in Columbus OH and Bike Chattanooga in Chattanooga TN.

  • d3 NOH

    You left out one key detail: it's funded by both grants from the federal government and local city TIF money.

  • Dee in E Rogers Park East Rogers Park over 10 Years

    I have voted for a Divvy spot near Touhy & Sheridan. The college is too far south. I agree w/Jeff D that it needs to expand to the entire city and by the numbers, hopefully soon it will. I also understand that they have to start out in one given point and expand from there, so only time will tell. If we want to include more Divvy stations, can the Wards use discretional funds to sponsor? I would be all for that!

  • Yes, TIF funds are a part of it (although I'm not clear on the precise breakdown). The fact remains that Divvy is not a private enterprise benefiting from the use of public property.

  • So there's this big argument about how DIVVY plans to expand . . . with no concrete data.
    Since this is Chicago, it never crossed my mind that someone isn't getting paid for the space used.
    One of the things that has impressed me about the rollout is how well-capitalized it seems to be. Ten or a hundred times as much right out of the gate seems ridiculous.
    And DIVVY is a "web 2.0" sort of system. Every single trip is logged when it happens. I'm sure they're watching usage patterns to tune their expansion. And now that I've seen the suggestion page Alderman Joe linked to, I'm even more sure these guys are doing things pretty right.

  • Jeff D East Rogers Park

    I decided to go to every single ward page and check out links to other pages. What I found was rather interesting. I saw only 21 out of 50 wards have links to websites. Of those 21, 4 are linked to websites that state "Not funded with taxpayer money." that includes the 49th ward. While the 49th ward page is not the only ward page that links to a politically funded website, it is the only one that links to a website that has active campaigning and endorsements on it. Other alderman have notices saying Paid for by soandso, but none have any endorsement lists or campaigning content. So, it does raise issues.

  • Jeff D East Rogers Park

    oh well that was posted to the wrong thread oops.

    Anyways, Thanks everyone, I have learned a lot from all the comments. I hope soon every community in Chicago will be able to benefit and enjoy bike sharing.

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