Concerns for Divvy Station ‘Winter Maintenance’

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Divvy Bikes In Snow

Divvy Bikes In Snow

Sustainable Meet Ideological

Did Divvy Give Up?
Posted by leftoverbacon on January 13, 2015 at 11:23pm

So, this winter I have yet to see any Divvy stations cleared of snow, let alone salted.

I thought this was supposed to be a thing?…

I don’t really use downtown stations, so I can’t speak to those, but from what I’ve seen outside of the loop, there is a significant lack of maintenance. *read: no snow removed*

It’s not like we’ve had a snomageddon this winter. What gives?

Anybody else have any insights here? Do your local Divvy stations get cleared?

The Replies ‘Poured In’

Reply by Tom A.K. 8 hours ago

Division and Western is cleared, locked and loaded, and ready for battle, leftoverbacon sir !

Reply by Alisa Hauser 17 minutes ago
pretty sure the Divvy station at Pierce and Damen in Wicker Park has been cleared. Will double check when I walk past it today.

What It Looks Like to ‘Get Owned’

Reply by h’ 1.0 14 hours ago
We have not really had any sort of snow that would necessitate shoveling. I’ve used a Divvy bike during or shortly after most of the snowfalls this winter and it was no problem getting a bike out. Expecting every station to be shoveled after every little snowfall is about as silly as expecting them to be salted…. try using Divvy, it might change your perspective.

This is the kind of snide remark so typical of the ChainLink in past years. And more importantly one of the most ardent abusers is the one who bears the brunt of the comeuppance being dished out. Whoopee!

Reply by leftoverbacon 4 hours ago
Well, I’ve been a Divvy subscriber since this summer, and a Divvy user since it went live. I now take at least 2 trips a day. Last winter the snow removal was pretty spot on. This winter, of the several stations that I regularly use, and of the many that I regularly pass, I’d have to say there is at least 4+ inches of accumulated snow @ every station.

While I can remove and dock bikes, the stations can be pretty slippery; not to mention seeing bikes surrounded by snow is psychologically disheartening and de-motivating. I dress in snow boots for my morning and evening commute. If I want to take a quick trip during lunch time, I’ll have to either take time to change my shoes, or get them covered in slush and snow while dealing with the dock.

When the system was launched, they said there would be snow removal. I could understand if it took some time to clear if we were getting regularly dumped on w/ snow, but NEVER removing the snow seems just lazy.

Divvy Is Labor-Intensive

You have a perfect storm of contradictory things going on with Divvy:

  • It’s load balancing scheme relies on automobiles (Yikes!) Here we are looking at the poster child for a ‘car-free future‘ and it relies on cars. What’s up with that?
  • Divvy relies for everything on humans with arms and legs to set put he stations, clear the snow, and otherwise keep things humming along.
  • Divvy does not get the financial support it deserves from those who are the most ideologically supportive of bicycle commuting. Say what you will the lack of sustainable financial support will ‘kill this dream‘ sooner than anything else.

Time for Another Stunt

If the guys over at StreetsBlog and Active Transportation Alliance can use a stunt to ‘make a statement‘ then why not ordinary ChainLinkers? If you really care about Divvy and indeed bicycle infrastructure (it is long past time that you did) do something concrete about it.

Why not organize groups of concerned cyclists to clear the snow where needed? That photo posted above was taken by my spouse heading into work last winter. As you can see much of the snow surrounding the bikes is likely placed there by plows.

Divvy stations are either close to streets or actually in them. When plows pass they plunge the bikes into a snowy, salty, slushy mess that settles on everything. That means that what few dollars Divvy has for its service/load-balancing crews needs to go for the essential services without which the system would collapse.

So ‘getting by with a little help from my friends‘ is in order.

Lip Service Is Insufficient

Chicago's Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

Chicago’s Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

Like a lot of kids from wealthy families, a proper understanding of money is lacking. Kids from these homes get clothed and fed on a regular basis and all they can think about are their electronic toys, new clothes and parties. It’s a great life!

The Urban Cycling Movement has been guilty of pretty bad parenting. It has been making the case that City Hall is gonna take care of our needs. So the little ones are more than willing to wait for Christmas when all 100+ miles of pretty green paint and PVC bollards are in place.

In the meantime they have been amusing themselves with concerns that the hired help (nannies and maids) are not earning their keep. Not once do they ever think that much more than showing up for photo-ops is required of them. Heck, they cannot even find the time to contribute to their ‘lapdog fund‘. So it is quite possible that my favorite target of journalistic flunkies is likely to go under. StreetsBlog deserves better than this.

Set Aside Some Beer Money

My guess is that ‘beer money‘ is the most abundant in the Urban Cycling Movement. And I am certain that more of it is being spent on that beverage than is humanly possible to consume without consequence. So why not buy yourself a yearly Divvy pass with the first $79 (assuming that is still the price). Then splurge and give a few more to StreetsBlog. These guys like to drink too!

Then settle back to ponder the ‘real world‘. You know. The one where 52+ schools get closed while more miles of crappy bike lanes are installed and the knuckleheads from StreetsBlog and Active Transportation Alliance cheer their arrival. You know the one where people are constantly wringing their hands over why there is no bicycle infrastructure equity in areas where crime is high enough that people have to wonder about their safety not only from wayward automobiles but bullets as well.

Divvy does not have clean stations as I said because of their placement. Evidently the folks in the cycling world are really poor at figuring out the simple stuff. But in their defense it is clear that most sidewalks are not wide enough to serve as station locations. And there are probably few side streets available for use as station locations.

All of which makes me wonder why on earth does the Urban Cycling Movements thinkers seem hellbent narrowing streets? I get the idea of ‘road diets‘ but I can tell you from personal experience, taking in your pants before you have reached your goal weight is a really stupid idea.

Nevertheless these idiots are taking their cue from the Pope of Cycling who has little more to do with himself than plot ‘desire lines‘. Maybe instead of paying this buffoon for advice that my grandmother could give for free, we ought to be purchasing solar-heated sidewalk that melt all that snow landing on top of Divvy stations. Then the overstated children of the Urban Cycling Movement can move on to bigger worries.

You know, like how many ‘weapons‘ can you see on this tool peg board. Sheesh!