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January 14, 2018



Can you just leave the bike anywhere? Can you leave it in Millbrae (at BART?) Can you leave it on El Camino at a bus stop?


Hate the way these bikes clutter the sidewalk in SSF. It's a hazard when you are shopping on Grand Avenue because people dump the bikes willy-nilly because there are no places to park a bike. Merchants on the Ave are going to hate finding these bikes all over the sidewalks. How can this company be allowed to dump all these bikes without providing infrastructure for parking?

Bruce Dickinson

The problem with these bike sharing programs is that people aren't carrying around helmets with them all the time. Bruce Dickinson notices these bicycles on the Bayfront but do those visitors (staying in the hotels) likely to use the bikes carry helmets along with them on their trip to the Bay Area?

May be a classic case of a solution in search of a problem! Wouldn't be the first time coming from city government!


Unless you care about brain injury, the "threat" of CA law for not wearing a bike helmet is not going to convince you to wear one. If an individual under the age of 18 is found to be riding his or her bicycle without any such helmet, then a law enforcement professional may potentially issue a fine to the rider. For first time offenders, no fine shall be issued, however after an individual’s first warning, fines may be assessed at no more than $25.00 per occurrence.


With auto burglaries at night skyrocketing all over the Bay Area and Burlingame in particular, I want Darwin's Law to take precedence over helmet enforcement and CRACK DOWN on car thefts. This does seem too hard to figure out. Why isn't the council talking about car break-ins???????????????

Beatrice Buffet

Major liability issue. These things are taking parking spaces, blocking sidewalks, and we are pushing them on the public too hard. Traffic has increased with cars...not decreased.

And....they look like shit


When we hit them with our Ferraris it would be nice if they were wearing a styrofoam hat for their safety. It would make us feel better about it.

If we’re genuinely concerned about safety, helmets would be the 3rd or 4th thing down the list. First would be where are the safe bike routes these people should be riding this side of 101. Next would be why are people allowed to drive 25+ mph on our narrow Burlingame sts like in the Easton.


I agree.
It would be very reasonable to install Personal Injury Attorneys contact info.
Helmets need to be attached to the bikes too.
As long as the Helmets are CA DOT Certified.
Horrible, Ridiculous, and Stupid.
But that is who we are.
This decision is what we voted for.


By law, only kids need to wear bike helmets. But anyone with a brain should be wearing one.


I can't wait to see the first cyclist on the new Carolan bike lanes. Haven't seen one yet. Guess I will have to do it myself on my much cuter-than-lime bike.


I cannot take credit for this little nickname, but one Voice reader I've spoken to refers to the LimeBikes as "LitterBikes". They are landing in odd places and seem to sit there for quite some time.


This is a John Horgan GEM, beautifully written.
SJ Merc. Feb. 2, 2018

"They are the new homeless. Parked LimeBikes have become a rather sad sight in some Peninsula communities these days and nights.

Left by their riders who are finished using them, the spiffy, new rental bicycles can sit for days on end out there in the open, rain or shine, if no one else wants to ride them; they appear to be unwanted and uncared-for.

The innovative LimeBike premise is based on “dockless” bike-sharing. In other words, you can rent a bike ($1 for 30 minutes, 50 cents for students) and leave it locked outside your chosen destination.

In theory, another renter (maybe the same person) is expected show up at some point, unlock it and utilize those wheels to get somewhere else. It’s all accomplished via a mobile smartphone app. Very tidy.

But some bikes become what amounts to temporary, unloved quasi-orphans out there in the winter elements. One block from our abode, a lonely, solitary LimeBike sat pathetically for five days and nights without being moved. Finally, just after noon Sunday, someone picked up the forlorn item and rented it or removed it for other opportunities.

LimeBike, barely a year-old, is operating in South San Francisco and Burlingame, among other Peninsula towns. Headquarters are located in San Mateo. We wish the LimeBike creators/investors well."

Thanks John....


I have to say that I am getting very tried of moving the darn things off the sidewalks and pathways throughout the City. I've pulled them out of bushes in Washington Park and one was even in the gender neutral bathroom at Washington Park the other morning. There isn't a day that goes by, that I do not move one from being parked completely across a sidewalk. I would think that this would be a problem for seniors and handicap residents and I hope the City is fully indemnified.


A slight improvement on Litterbike-- Loobike.

Handle Bard

As a bikeaholic I am very concerned about these Limebikes. In a very short time we are seeing a lot of dangerous riding on the sidewalks and on the streets against the traffic flow and without helments. I have not seen one limey with a helmet yet. They also look a little uncomfortable since the seats are set too low for most riders.

Peter Garrison

You can adjust the seats- although with some seats, the seat post is hard to move... I rode one set too low and looked like a circus monkey on a tricycle.

I live up in the hills and saw an electric LimeBike parked nearby. Only problem is that to bike down to the grocery store and back would cost about 6 dollars.


Pete, I did not realize there were electric limebikes. How do they keep the battery charged? What is the rate? Now they have me interested even though I have two bikes of my own in the garage!

Peter Garrison

Dollar to unlock and dollar per 30 (?) minutes. App shows charge on the bike’s battery and location; maintenance techs swap out the battery if it gets low.

Peter Garrison

Correction: 1$ to unlock, 10 cents a minute...

Account Deleted

With regard to safety (in particular, kids' use without helmets, which I'm seeing a lot of), for what it's worth here's what appeared in the Dec. 4, 2017 staff report when the Limebike pilot program agreement was presented to Council:

LimeBike will also partner with the City to enhance bicycle and helmet safety education in Burlingame. LimeBike has committed to the following:
- LimeBike will offer an initial 100 free helmets to be distributed in Burlingame.
- LimeBike will provide additional free helmets based on the program’s usage and success.
- LimeBike will coordinate with Burlingame High School on providing bicycle safety information and training.
- LimeBike will provide bicycle safety information to the City to distribute in various locations including at the Main Library and by police officers.

Steve K

This morning the Caltrain PA system at the station was announcing a major delay on the tracks. So I decided to try one of the Lime bikes for the first time. I've been meaning to give them a try and I had already signed up and had the app on my phone. So I opened the app, took a picture of the QR code on the bike and viola the lock on the bike unlocked the back wheel and it made a little tone indicating it was ready to use. With the app already set up it took about 15 seconds.

I got on the bike took a few pedals and then adjusted the seat for my height. I've seen a bunch of people riding around in positions where the seat is set uncomfortably low (kind of like obama on a bike) so I got it set up correctly and decided to ride to the Milbrae station to catch BART up to the city, or even catch Caltrain if it was up and running again.

Man, that was grueling. The Lime bikes are decent quality and solid but they are WAY harder to pedal. I don't know if it the much heavier weight or a resistance in the hubs. Or maybe its the tires. It's totally flat from the Burlingame station to Milbrae (Carolan and Rollins) and when I occasionally do it on my own bike, nothing super light, it takes about 15 minutes at an easy pace. It took me twice as long and I felt like I was climbing a hill the whole way going about the speed of a jogger. My legs got a pretty good workout from those 3 miles.

When I've seen people riding the Lime bikes I've often noted how they seem to be riding in low gears pedaling at a pretty high rpm for the condition and now I know why. There's a lot of built-in resistance on those bikes and you need the lower gearing.

As noted above Lime has now also introduced a second version that is electric and now I know why. I would assume the electric bikes probably go a little faster for the same effort. I'd think you'd want a helmet (not that you shouldn't wear a helmet on the slower ones too) but yes the electric ones are probably the way to go if you are going more than a mile. Although the electric ones do cost more and an uber might not be much more expensive.

Anyway, it was fun. I'm not sure how Anot very good for a 3 mile ride.

Steve K

hey, this comments editor needs a way to correct typos and errors.

I meant to say:
Anyway, it was fun, but I don't think I'll do it for another 3 mile ride.


The bikes are clearly under-geared. Which may be an intentional safety feature. Definitely not as comfortable as your own bike. But the e-bike aspect is a game changer and will be interesting to see.

Looking at that 12/4/17 staff report Lorne referred to, the Limebike agreement says as the first bullet:

“Limebike will track and pick up any bicycles taken outside of Burlingame, parked improperly, or left unused for over 24 hours and return them to identified locations in Burlingame.”

I don’t believe that last clause is being followed.

Handle Bard

It is not even close to be followed.


They collect them and then in mass, do a neighborhood dump and place two to three bikes on a busy corner in residential neighborhoods, Washington Park, the Train Station etc. Don't mind the park and train station dumps as public property, but had a problem with the residential neighborhood dumps. At least that was happening in Victoria Park and the Lyon Hoag area. I complained and was told that they didn't do dumps, but were at a loss to explain how nine bikes show up on each corner of my block after 7:30pm and before 5am. Since the complaint, the neighborhood dump has stopped as instead of bikes in mass, there are only the single bikes being driven by residents in the neighborhood. Not a fan of this program as they promote bike riding without a helmet. Since the City promotes and has approved this program, I surely hope that they are fully indemnified.

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