The optimism within this thread is *ahem* refreshing.
I took the time to re-read it today on my phone while I was suffering through a work conference. Whilst I respect the original intent of squeaza to not let it sink into another helmet debate, (to my mind anyway) it's fairly pointless discussing the scheme as it stands without including the prohibitive helmet laws. Never has there been a bigger elephant in the room.
Tossing around ideas about where we might readjust the docking stations too, or how we might otherwise tweak the system are lame - sorry guys, but the evidence is clear. The usage stats contained within the last release of the MCC Bicycle Plan are damning. Can't be arsed digging them up, but they proved the amazing figure of 0.6 hires a day
on average for the year. The one obvious spike was in late January, around Fed Square. Tennis anyone? Euro tourists?
Survey sample of 5 workmates in the last 24 hours. I asked each of them if they'd ever used / would use the blue bikes. Answer was a resounding 100% NO. The primary reason given was that it's just too dangerous. It is just too dangerous to ride a bicycle in Melbourne? I find that both incredibly frustrating, and kind of sad too.
In the last two months, I've used bike share schemes in three large cities in Europe.
None of those cities had a skerrick of "cycling-specific" infrastructure like we often hear about when protesters use the Copenhagen / Amsterdam example. You just ride on the streets. Amongst the traffic. Without a helmet. You can do that over there, because cycling is normalised.
All I want is for cycling to become normalised here in Australia. We will never achieve that with a mandatory helmet law. I think it was Euan that originally tipped (in another thread) that our MHL's would kill this scheme. I can't help but agree.