Lime bikes — some love them, some hate them with a fiery passion. But should they come back? The city of Spokane is thinking about allowing Lime to return and is debating safety issues and helmet requirements.
I was very excited to hear about Lime’s possible return to Spokane. For someone without a vehicle or a personal bike, Lime bikes and scooters provided me comfort in knowing I could still get around on my own.
My position has nothing to do with the $20 in credit I accidentally added on the last day of the trial, and in no way sways my opinion.
In the fall, my dad and I toured the campus to the Kendall Yards portion of the Centennial Trail via Lime scooters. We glided over potholes, zoomed down sidewalks and even tackled the Sharp Avenue construction site. The scooters were surprisingly capable of off-roading when we lost the trail. It was a process to get them started at first, but in the end it was a great day and fun off-campus activity.
The bikes, for better or for worse, were everywhere in the fall. Whether it was on the sidewalk, in the river or in front yards, you couldn’t go 10 feet without seeing that obnoxious green color in the corner of your eye.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, on campus had something to say on the Lime takeover. It was something to talk about because it was everywhere. Representatives handed out coupons and snap bracelets every week and encouraged us to get out there and try it for ourselves.
College students, particularly Gonzaga students, are always busy. Some spend their entire day on campus and must bring everything they need to survive and thrive on campus: gym clothes, food (for those without a meal plan) and of course, textbooks. I am guilty of forgetting all of these at one point or another, and most days I don’t want to sacrifice precious time to walk back home. The Lime bikes and scooters would get me home faster if I wanted to retrieve the necessities.
With every new thing comes a few haters, and Lime bikes had no shortage. For my friends with cars and bikes of their own, it was a nuisance to their daily routine. They hated the fact that they had to see bikes in the neighborhood, especially the occasional bike on the front lawn of their newly occupied rental. After living in the Logan Neighborhood for almost a year now, I can tell you this is not the worst thing to find on your front lawn.
I could not see the negative impacts of Lime bikes overriding the positive when I listened to complaints about their presence. They provided an inexpensive transportation alternative to owning a car or even taking Uber or Lyft. If you wanted to go a shorter distance but didn’t have time for the bus, you could take a bike. They were everywhere for a reason.
The two months of Lime offered Zags convenience and laughs and motivated many to get outside. I’m sure we all remember that first magical ride when we let our hair fly in the wind, with the comfort of a pedal-assisted bike doing most of the work.
From racing to reach 17 mph on Lime scooters to seeing stockpiles of Lime bikes outside of houses on Friday nights, Lime was a positive memory of fall 2018 for those that took advantage of it, and I truly hope Spokane allows its return.
Alyssa Estes is a staff writer.