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Syracuse seeks partners in new bike-share program

The city of Syracuse is moving forward on its bike-share program, but some people doubt its success. (c) 2018 Saniya More

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By Saniya More SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The city of Syracuse is one step closer to its new bike-share program, with bike-stands expected to hit the streets this summer.

The Office of the Mayor made an announcement saying the city is looking for potential business partners for the new program.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh unveiled the new bike program in late January of this year.

The bike-share program follows a relatively simple process. People can pick up bikes at any stands around the city and rent them for a certain amount of time. Once they are done using the bike, they can return it to the nearest bike stand.

“With Bike-Share, someone else is taking care of the maintenance, making sure the tires are pumped up, the seats work, all of that. That’s where the real benefits come in,” Burke said.

But some people are concerned over whether the new program will work.

“I was surprised on how fast it’s gonna be implemented. I would’ve thought there’d kinda have to be more infrastructure in place first,” said Jim Lampman, a sales manager at Syracuse Bicycle, a local bike store.

Lampman says although a new bike-share program could mean more business for where he works, he’s not sure Syracuse is ready to have bikes all over town.

“It might be good if there’s more follow through than there has been with bike lanes and such,” Lampman said.

The city has nearly twenty miles of bike lanes. The city is currently building another 1.5 miles of bike lanes along Euclid Avenue from Comstock Avenue to Westcott Street, according to Burke. After completion, this work will create a direct path from Syracuse University to Armory Square, Burke said.

Burke said the city is expanding its bike lane system slowly but surely because Syracuse is not traditionally a bike-friendly city.

“We’re new to this, so we need to make sure we’re doing things right before we roll out city-wide,” he said.

Despite this, Lampman says he still feels like the city is rushing, and says Syracuse can’t be ready for the bike-share program by the summer.

“If you put the underlining stuff in ahead of time, it would make it so that it was a smoother process when it actually happens,” Lampman said.

Burke says since the press release, the mayor’s office has already received offers from local bike businesses to continue moving the program forward.

The Mayor’s Office plans to choose a bike business to work with in the next few weeks.

 

Syracuse Bicycle is one local bike business that doesn't see itself being negatively affected by the new bike-share program. (c) 2018 Saniya More