Winter Park riding the brakes on bike share program

Bike share gets flat tire

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  • | 6:49 a.m. July 21, 2016
Photo by: Tim Freed - The Juice Bike Share program was expected to accelerate quickly in Winter Park, but has seen growth slowed by aesthetic concerns.
Photo by: Tim Freed - The Juice Bike Share program was expected to accelerate quickly in Winter Park, but has seen growth slowed by aesthetic concerns.
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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A growing bike share program has a flat tire in the city of culture and heritage, but one Winter Park board is hoping to get it pedaling forward once again.

The city’s Transportation Advisory Board discussed the status of adding more Juice Bike Share stations throughout the city last Tuesday, a process that has been held up due to aesthetic concerns with the bike racks.

Today Winter Park has one Juice bike station located at Valencia College, at the corner of Morse Boulevard and Denning Drive. Board members said their main goal is to get a second station placed outside the SunRail station with another hopefully outside City Hall.

The Transportation Advisory Board had submitted a recommendation to have stations placed at both those locations several months ago, but Winter Park Traffic Director Butch Margraf said that city staff has issues with the signage on the bike stations, which reportedly doesn’t fit in with city code.

There’s also disagreement in the exact location of the bike racks, Margraf said. City staff believes a Juice bike station should be placed at the south side of the SunRail station with existing bike racks, while the advisory board believes they should sit at the north side of the station closer to Morse Boulevard.

“A decision needs to be made where that SunRail [bike] station is going to go,” Margraf said.

Board members were insistent that the stations should be more out in the open and in plain sight.

“When you go to other cities, [bike share stations] are very prominent,” board member Jill Hamilton Buss said. “It sort of makes a statement about Winter Park and what we value. If we’re saying we’re going to value multimodal health and being active, then we should be proud of this. Where we put it, is an important discussion to have. Bicycles aren’t unattractive.”

The process of renting a Juice bike is simple enough. Riders can make an account online, reserve a nearby bike through the mobile app, unlock the bike by entering a PIN number above the rear tire and start riding.

Today Juice Bike Share has more than 200 bikes spread throughout the Orlando area at 30 bike stations, though the rentable bikes can be attached to any bike rack within the system limits.

Each one of the orange-colored bicycles has a built-in timer that keeps track of the allotted time you have to use the bike. For example: an annual membership with Juice Bike Share gives a rider 60 minutes a day before the bike must be returned and locked at a station

The bikes also come outfitted with internal GPS technology that tells Juice Bike Share exactly where each bike is located at all times. Both the locking and GPS systems are solar powered as well for an energy-efficient touch.

The Transportation Advisory Board will discuss crafting a new recommendation to the city Commission regarding the bike share program during their meeting next month.


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