Group Health to sponsor 15 bike share stations across Capitol Hill, SLU

bixi-montreal (1)Puget Sound Bike Share riders will be cruising Capitol Hill by September — and Group Health has tossed in its support to sponsor some of the 50 stations planned for Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Downtown and the U-District:

Local non-profit health care provider Group Health has announced its support of bike share docking stations for Seattle’s upcoming bike share network, signing up to sponsor 15 stations in Capitol Hill and South Lake Union.  Group Health has thousands of employees who work at four facilities – Capitol Hill Campus, Downtown Seattle Medical Center, Group Health Research Institute, and their headquarter offices – between the Capitol Hill and South Lake Union neighborhoods.

Additional local companies, including Vulcan, REI, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Spectrum Development Solutions and others have also signed up to sponsor bike share stations.

The new system will begin with 500 bikes. The program’s primary bike sponsor has not yet been announced.

The PSBS describes its bike stations as “free-standing and battery powered” with solar backup, sited in the public right-of-way, parks, plazas and on private property. The city must approve placements. Station sponsors will receive “naming rights to the station(s) of their choice,” according to the statement released by the bike share on the new sponsorship.

Each station will have docks for 12 to 20 bikes and will feature a kiosk where non-members can sign up for 24-hour, or multiday passes, and or access bikes using a code. Those who pay around $80 for an annual membership will be able to bypass the kiosk and check bikes out directly from their docks. In order for PSBS to operate in compliance with Washington State helmet laws, each station will also have a “helmet dispensing” device, and a helmet return bin. Helmets will be available to rent for about $2, will be sanitized after each use, and cycled out after a certain number of uses. Station locations are still being worked out. You can add your ideas and suggestions here.

16 thoughts on “Group Health to sponsor 15 bike share stations across Capitol Hill, SLU

    • And maybe perhaps you might get with the thrust of this announcement of the program and save your outrage for a better forum to register your displeasure with GH employees. I’m not quite sure I understand your thoughts that you’d gain anything by complaining here.

      • Smoking is legal. I’m certain Group Health has smoking cessation programs for employees. They used to have Free and Clear which was later bought by Allere. It takes an average of 6 to 9 tries to successfully quit smoking. Some of the people you see smoking are in the process of attempting to quit. And some are also choosing to smoke. It’s not just medical professionals who know the health risks of smoking. Pretty much everyone does and that doesn’t stop some people from smoking. It’s much more complicated than that. If you have any anger at something not right here, I suggest you target it at tobacco companies. And also advocate for more resources for people who do want to try to quit.

        People who work for Group Health are people. Some people smoke. It’s called reality. What are you doing to help people quit smoking? Are you advocating for more resources like patches, and support groups in community clinics? Are you having empathy for people? Nope.

        • And biking helps cardiovascular fitness (lungs, etc.), which is important for everyone, including smokers. Once people stop smoking, the lungs start to recover. Bike Share is a step in the right direction. I think it’d be neat if they added kid size bikes too, even tricycles, though then we’d see a lot of hipsters on tricycles so strike that last part. Anyhow. health promotion is a complicated thing. You have to see people as complete people. Not attack an effort to help.

  1. I would like the government to just butt out and stop nannying me. If I want to endanger my life (debatable) by not wearing a helmet that’s my choice.

  2. Nannying? Wearing a helmet is already required by law (whether for bike share or bikes individuals own). And I’ve never personally seen a non-helmet wearing bicyclist be cited/fined by the police. I’ve heard of it happening a couple of times. The stations will offer helmets but I don’t believe they will require helmets be purchased (as they know people will often have their own).

    The bike share stations need to be in compliance with law. If you don’t want their to be a helmet law, then take that up with the government directly and good luck since it’s low priority enforcement anyhow.

    And while it is your choice, it also would potentially affect others. For instance if you’re hit and the fact that you’re not wearing a helmet means you die instead of only being injured, then the driver would be up for manslaughter. Not to mention the burdens on the health care system. Just please do your best not to text while biking. Or is that a right you want too? And by the way, with that, I’ve actually seen people doing that and they didn’t get stopped by police that saw either. Some nanny state. And some red herring from you.

    • I am well aware that helmet use has been in force. My comment still stands that it’s further nannying of the government. People in the Netherlands and in Denmark don’t wear them in any significant numbers yet they have less bicycle/vehicle accidents than they do in the US.

      • Different countries with totally different infrastructure (i.e., they have lost of separated bike facilities – cycletracks, etc) which allows most bikers to ride without having to mix with traffic much. And drivers there are much more aware of bicyclists because there are so many more of them, and they are more respectful of them. With all of that, of course you can get away with biking without a helmet. Not here, unless all you’re doing is riding on the Burke Gilman Trail.

  3. I agree with Max, mainly because some cyclists who are anti-helmet are uninsured, and if they are injured the cost of their care is transferred to taxpayers and/or the hospital who treats them (charity care). And it also means higher premiums for all those with insurance.

    Not wearing a helmet is, basically, a very selfish act.

      • You may want to review your comments (and their confusing double negatives) before posting. But if you meant it as written, then you’re right. “NOT wearing a helmet has NOT been shown to increase safety.” Because how could NOT wearing a helmet ever increase safety.

        Anyway, in the case of accidents where somone’s head makes contact with a hard surface (pavement, windshield, etc.) a helmet is a single use item. It’s designed to absorb impact (and protect against sharp/rough objects) instead of the person’a skull/face taking the full damage.

        It’s about one person in one accident at one time. Statistics don’t come into play as the skull careens toward the ground.

        Sometimes bikes can have mechanical issues as well and an accident can happen without any cars or other issues on the road. My bike frame cracked at the thinnest point nearest the back axel and I almost crashed. I was able to keep my wits about me, adapt and stop safely. There can be surprising potholes or or bumps on the road.

        If you’re seeking a feeling of independence, I suggest you start a political movement about worker’s rights or fight for public transportation or start a letter writing campaign to bring Designing Women back on the air. You already can choose to not wear a helmet. You already can do that. Why don’t you now ride your bike to a homeless shelter and help prepare meals for people. Or is the nanny state stopping you from doing that?

        • Helmets give people a false sense of security and it also encourages motorists to take chances with cyclists. Just as striping a road with a bicycle lane gives the appearance of protection for the bicyclist.

  4. Ah, the volatile helmet debate. You get one side claiming bicyclists not wearing a helmet are reckless, selfish, and lazy and the other side claiming that helmets discourage riders (ie. lowers safety in numbers), give drivers and cyclists a false sense of security, and don’t actually protect the head in the vast majority of crashes. And everybody’s got some acquaintance with a personal anecdote that “proves” their point.

    There’s peer-reviewed evidence for both sides, including research done right here in Seattle. I sympathize with favoring more physical protection vs less, but if we’re really so concerned about saving people’s bodies from transportation-related harm, we should require all car-drivers and car-riders to wear protective suits and helmets as well.

    My current opinion is that there is some on the whole, helmets ought to be encouraged but not required in a city like Seattle that has very little downtown cycling infrastructure. If we were Copenhagen, different story. If all bikes riders went 30mph, different story. But having the legal requirement means we have to have cops waste a lot of time punishing cyclists (because there will ALWAYS be large numbers without a helmet), even though they’re likely making the city safer (by not driving).

    Regarding Bike Share, however, those bikes probably can’t exceed 15mph, no? And it’s mostly people biking a couple blocks or so. Sure, provide some helmet dispensers, but in all honesty I doubt they’ll be used. In any case, one thing that I think everybody agrees on is the need for BETTER cycling infrastructure, especially in dense areas like downtown/cap hill. And especially in anticipation of bike share.

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