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  • Bicycle update

    I went over to a block party today at the park by Esplanade & Mystery St, and learned some interesting stuff.

    First, the Bayou St John Neighborhood Assn, motivated to fix the long running post-fest Esplanade traffic mess, and to avoid a repeat of last year's horrific accident on Endymion night, is looking to propose some changes for traffic for special events including Jazzfest. They have a tentative plan now that they'll be refining, aiming to take the plan to the city by the end of February. If it gets implemented, expect more streets closed to traffic, some roads converted to bikeways, and possible small changes to taxi and rideshare service. The goal was, "assume everyone walking, biking, or driving is drunk, how can we make things safer for everyone?" The plans I saw looked promising.

    The Blue Bike folks were out there too. I got my first chance to demo one of the electric "pedal assist" bikes. My initial reaction, it was fast, fun, and easy. But I only rode two blocks on a well-paved street with minimal traffic, so I can't really judge the safety factor based on that. The real test will be hitting a pothole or swerving to avoid a car or other hazard while at higher speed.

    Things I learned about the e-bikes:
    - The demo ones are red, but when the fleet gets rolled out, they will still be blue.
    - They're waiting for one final approval, and whenever that comes in (maybe as soon as this week), the cutover will begin. It'll take about 3 days to replace all the old bikes.
    - The new bikes have no keypad. To unlock them, you'll need the Uber app on your phone and a camera that can scan the bike's barcode.
    - The monthly plan will only be available to Louisiana residents. Out of state visitors can use only the pay-as-you-go per-minute plan.
    - The planned expansion of the service area to include Uptown and parts of Gentilly won't happen right away. Timing on that is "months", but should be before year end.
    Visit my Jazzfest advice site: http://jazzfest.swagland.com/

  • #2
    Great info, thanks!!

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    • #3
      I agree, very comprehensive. Nice summation.

      Last edited by 20/20; 2 weeks ago.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the information.

        But due to the fact that I do not have the Uber app on my phone and most likely never will have it, due to my intense dislike for them and there extremely dubious business dealings all around the world.
        I will not be able to use the blue bikes, luckily there are other options

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        • #5
          If they're like the electric-assist Uber bikes in Sacramento, they're clunky, heavy, and kind of have to be assisted vs. a standard pedal bike. I've seen several close-up crashes with these bikes, too... hitting parking meters, cars, curbs, etc. (at least 3 of these riders were in business suits w/no helmets), and the bikes' weight is a factor in those dust-ups. Make sure the bike you pick is charged, wear a helmet (always), and don't be another sidewalk-ridin' jabronie (let our town be the best in this category). I really like the idea of a pedestrian/bicycle-only route along the Esplanade corridor. We're back to St. Claude this year, but walking daily to/from the fairgrounds from our digs last year was really the best part of fest for me.

          p.s. and watch the out-of-area penalties - those power-assist bikes will take you further than you might pedal!

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          • #6
            These new bikes will cost more. I'm curious if more or less people will use the new ones. It would have been nice if they had both types for those that want the to use a regular bike.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gards View Post
              Thanks for the information.

              But due to the fact that I do not have the Uber app on my phone and most likely never will have it, due to my intense dislike for them and there extremely dubious business dealings all around the world.
              I will not be able to use the blue bikes, luckily there are other options
              Slight correction to my earlier post. There's also a separate JUMP Bike app. You can use either the Uber app or the JUMP app.

              But you still need an app, and either way, you're doing business with Uber. But that last part isn't new; Uber bought Social Bicycles in April 2018, so if you've ridden a Blue Bike anytime since then, you were already doing business with them.
              Last edited by swag; 2 weeks ago.
              Visit my Jazzfest advice site: http://jazzfest.swagland.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gards View Post

                But due to the fact that I do not have the Uber app on my phone and most likely never will have it, due to my intense dislike for them and there extremely dubious business dealings all around the world.
                I will not be able to use the blue bikes, luckily there are other options
                If you don’t want to support Uber (I feel the same) use Lyft.


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                • #9
                  Thanks Swag. Great info.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the update Swag- lots of good info.
                    I rent a car for fest which is a substantial cost. The way I saw it, Blue bikes were always an affordable add on for me- I’ve expressed my dislike for the assisted pedal bikes but I’m really peeved about the increasing cost. This stuff adds up. Also, I liked being able to find a blue bike in random places. I’m assuming the boosted bikes will need to be returned to a docking station which just sucks.

                    edit to add a correction about the docking- according to the TP article from December the new bikes can be locked to any bike rack. They just can’t be left free standing.
                    Last edited by fichadelphia; 2 weeks ago.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fichadelphia View Post

                      edit to add a correction about the docking- according to the TP article from December the new bikes can be locked to any bike rack. They just can’t be left free standing.
                      So any bike rack/fixed object, just like last year i guess. It was a fun part of the adventure walking up to the bike i saw on the map to see what it had been locked to. A couple times it wasn't locked at all, they just replaced the bar in to the holes to stop the timer...

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                      • #12
                        The rule has always been to lock it to something (but not not private property). The new bikes have the same rules. Whether they start actually enforcing the prohibition on "air-locking" remains to be seen. But yeah, no need to return to a dock.
                        Visit my Jazzfest advice site: http://jazzfest.swagland.com/

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                        • #13
                          So how will they get recharged?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fesstgeek View Post
                            So how will they get recharged?
                            guessing solar or daiquiris

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tye 1on View Post

                              guessing solar or daiquiris
                              A perfect illustration of the problem with the crowd that hangs out on this street corner. A bunch of wise asses.

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