[Brace: Here's the bike program pitch made by CEMUSA, the urban advertising company that obviously lost to Clear Channel due in part, we are certain, to the absolutely grinding nature of this spot. Courtesy YouTube user sosasw, via SFist.]
It's official: The Chron reports that Clear Channel Outdoor's 15-20 year, $306M advertising contract with the city will, in fact, require the company to wrangle a bike sharing program should the city fancy having one. San Francisco? A bike sharing program? Given the fleet of Zip Cars and City Car Share vehicles hoarding parking spots across the city? Is this even a question? The proposed program is based on a Parisian model wherein users are charged a nominal fee to release bikes using a swipe card. Thieves are thwarted via electronic tracking devices, a so-called "third generation" advancement in bike sharing born from the failure of the more Utopian "share and share alike" concept that has bombed here before. We're nice, but we're not that nice.
Though local sustain-a-holics are probably thrilled at this prospect (save, perhaps, the Clear Channel part), bike enthusiasts might want to pause for a moment before breaking out the bubbly: The city doesn't vote on the final contract until the end of the month. But beyond that, even, lies a logistical nightmare in waiting as a plan for implementation has yet to be hashed out. Keep dreaming that bureaucratic dream...
· S.F. moving to catch up with European bike-share programs [SF Gate]
· S.F. Muni board OKs plan for Clear Channel to sell transit shelter ads [SF Gate]
· Cycling supporters on a roll in S.F.: Bicycle Coalition has political clout and backing of public—but resistance by some motorists is still creating tension [SF Gate]
· San Francisco Bike Coalition [website]
· East Bay Bike Coalition [website]