I was walking downtown Nashville on Church Street the other day and noticed all of the bicycle racks with available rental bikes. The first thought that came to my mind was this might not be the best idea. That being the case, I decided to look into it a little bit.
These red bikes in the bicycle racks are apparently quite popular. Now that I am paying attention to them, I see people riding them all day. These bikes are a favorite among both locals and tourists as a preferred method to tour the downtown Nashville area.
These are known as the Nashville B-Cycle rentals. Anyone at anytime, day or night, can walk up insert their credit card into the machine right next to one of the racks, rent a bicycle and cruise around the city. It is viewed as a very convenient, healthy and eco-friendly way to travel around the Nashville area.
These bikes are everywhere. There are 30 B-Cycle rental stations around the city with 263 red bikes available to anyone eager to ride. This means that whatever rack you originally rented your bike from does not have to be the same rack that you return your bike to. Any B-Cycle rental can be returned to any rack, even if the bike came from the other side of the city.
A Great Option For Getting Around Nashville
The B-Cycle rental here in Nashville seems to be a great option for visitors or residents venturing around downtown, taking in the scenery, dining out and shopping. This is especially convenient given Nashville is the hot spot for construction at the moment. Travel by car is certainly frustrating and slow. Therefore, having a bicycle makes all the difference when you need to get from one side of the city to another in a relatively quick fashion.
A Formula For Disaster?
So why was my first thought that this was a bad idea?
You are giving people who may not have ridden a bike for ten year, access to ride. You are giving people who may have spent the past few hours in Tootsie’s, freedom to jump on a bicycle among the downtown traffic. In short, this sounds like a formula for disaster, both for those injured and those being sued.
I certainly think it is foreseeable that allowing someone to jump on a bicycle with no restrictions and no helmet is likely to lead to bad things happening. An inexperienced, or worse, a drunk bicyclist is likely to wreak havoc.
Our downtown roads are heavily traveled. It is reasonable that drivers could get into a car accident after dodging a person on a B-Cycle. Further, it is foreseeable that a cyclist is going to fall and sue the city for making bicycles accessible to them without determining whether they are capable of riding.
While I think this is an ambitious project, and certainly one with great intentions, I have to wonder if it has been fully thought out. I think this project is unfortunately rife with potential pitfalls.
If you or a loved one is injured while using a B-Cycle or due to the negligence of someone else using a B-Cycle, call me. We will discuss this more fully and do everything we can to protect your rights.