WEST HOLLYWOOD—The West Hollywood City Council dissolved the pilot program for dockless electric bicycles in the area on Monday, June 17. The city council also banned all electric bikes from city sidewalks and put out a request for proposals for a new pilot program.
The council meeting recommended re-opening the application period and will reassess parking requirements to allow bicycles to park near the curb of the sidewalk.
Guest speaker and resident of West Hollywood Kevin Burton, who spoke on behalf of the WeHo bicycle college, defended this action at the meeting by stating without restrictions of dropping off the e-bikes it will “guarantee a failure of the system.”
Burton stated that the issue is not what the companies want, but instead what the users want. Since no e-bike companies applied for the city’s pilot program for dockless bikes by the deadline, the city council voted 3-2 to go ahead and disestablish them. Mayor Pro Tempore Lindsey Horvath and Councilman John Heilman voted against dissolving the program.
Dockless vehicle companies such as JUMP or Lime were concerned about the fees which cost a $30,000 operator fee, plus an additional $210 per device in fees and bonds.
The city of West Hollywood currently allows dockless vehicles to pass through the city, though the applications that unlock the bicycles won’t allow users to begin or end their trips within city limits. West Hollywood insist that bicycles be left in designated areas or on private property with the owner’s permission when the user is done.
Attendees of the meeting expressed hope that West Hollywood and the dockless vehicle companies could find a way to work together and transition to the more economical and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
City council released background information regarding the savings the city would make from the termination of the CycleHop, LLC which in operating costs per month totals $29,000.
The hazards of the electric bicycles were reviewed as well. John Erickson, a speaker for the West Hollywood Planning Commissioner, supported the idea to include all electric bicycles, which he said were causing trouble with pedestrians and people in wheelchairs.
Erickson noted that electric bikes are everywhere and ultimately are “causing a serious public safety hazard in our streets.”