Denver Bike-Share: Progressive Urbanism or Elitist Folly?

As Denver B-Cycle, the country's first large-scale municipal bike-sharing program, seeks to expand with 27 new stations, one city councilman is objecting to the plans with concerns that the system is skirting poor and minority neighborhoods.

Although the expansion plans that were set to go before the Denver City Council this week are thought to have widespread support, as Jeremy P. Meyer reports, "Councilman Paul Lopez, who represents a mostly Latino district in southwest Denver, has been the lone vote against the expansion, saying the 2-year-old bike-sharing program should be for everyone."

"This shouldn't be just for people who can afford it," Lopez said. "It's truly sad that just one (of the stations) is in west Denver. That truly says something."

"Program officials said they must put stations where they can get the most ridership," notes Meyer, "and in some cases cultural barriers prevent some people from hopping onto the B-Cycle's red-framed bikes with the big white baskets."

"Lopez said the stations are needed in areas that are the least healthy in the city. His district has a high rate of obesity and diabetes, and he said residents should be given every type of encouragement to exercise."

"If it is truly about behavioral change, make it available where it is really needed or where it will have impact," he said. "Is this truly, truly about the issues and behavioral change or is this just for looks?"

Full Story: Denver B-Cycle program faces criticism that it skirts poor, minorities


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