Home » Blog » Safe Walkways USA Blog » YOUR HELP REQUESTED | RFP UPDATE


Neither Director Muto nor the AT&I committee adopted some of the simple, costless proposals we made and so we are looking for public support via email to CMs prior to the Council meeting for late May for some outstanding but important further changes to the MC.

Note that as a result of a complaint we submitted the FHWA is currently investigating the City’s ongoing failure to apply the ADA, so implementing some of these proposals could help it with that.


Please write an email to Councilmember Stephen Whitburn <[email protected]>, the representative for District 3, (which includes Downtown) saying that you want him to sponsor the public safety proposals being made to him by Safe Walkways. Those proposals include:

  • The state mandates that the City enforce state law. In this case there are two laws to be applied:
    • Require the Shared Mobility Device operators to geofence shared devices to zero mph on all roads where it is illegal to drive them. Bear in mind that someone driving a scooter south on Fifth Avenue to Harbor Drive and then turning right, (something I have witnessed), is entering an effective death trap.
    • Require that identification be via the renter’s drivers license (not some other form of ID as currently proposed). The CA Vehicle Code, Section 14608 (a) (2), requires that the person renting a vehicle out must have “inspected the driver’s license of the person to whom the vehicle is to be rented and compared either the signature there on with that of the person to whom the vehicle is to be rented or the photograph thereon with the person to whom the vehicle is to be rented.”
  • Mandate, (rather than simply require), the use of sidewalk driving detection and prevention technology by the selected operators, rather than waiting for this to be applied only “when commercially available” as is currently proposed,
  • IDEALLY: Require that shared e-bikes be placed in the street rather than have shared bikes locked to public bike stands on sidewalks as is currently proposed, because:
    • ALL rented devices which are driven in the street should be made available in the street not on sidewalks, otherwise:
      • bikes will be driven on sidewalks, and
      • scooter drivers will copy what they see and leave scooters on sidewalks as well, and,
    • the number of bike stands available for the public to use is limited and the proposed locking requirement will lead to them being saturated with rented bikes leaving nowhere secure for the public.
    • We recognize that the RFP stipulates that bikes be locked to bike racks and thus that it may not be possible now to change this. In that case we urge you to ask staff to develop proposals to prevent the problem of crowding out secure space for the public described above, e.g by allowing shared bikes only at specific racks, budgeting for the creation of more racks (bound to be popular with the cycling enthusiast groups), limiting the number of bikes at a rack as is proposed for scooters in corrals, etc.
  • Require the selected operators place identifying signage on devices in braille so that the visually impaired can report devices placed in a hazardous manner.
  • As CM LaCava did for D1, add the following D3 parks and walkways to the list in the MC of those to be geo-fenced to zero mph:
    • Fifth Avenue from Broadway to Harbor Drive,
    • Balboa Park’s and Liberty Station’s plazas and walkways.
    • Pantoja Park.
    • Fault Line Park.
    • Port Authority: Ruocco Park, Seaport Village, Convention Center, Spanish Landing Park.
  • IDEALLY: Rather than listing parks and plazas we believe this requirement should be applied to ALL parks and plazas city-wide. Parks should be tranquil areas devoid of motorized vehicles.
  • Save lives by making the proposed curfew from 10pm to 5am(not midnight to 2:30am as proposed). The argument that shift workers need rentable scooters is outweighed by the injuries and deaths this curfew would save.
  • Add “within 15 feet of a fire hydrant” to the list of immediate impound situations.

You can specify the items above in your own words, copy the points above, or you can simply email CM Whitburn and say that you support the Safe Walkways proposals and want him to sponsor them as well.

If you have additional parks and walkways you want us to add to the list above please include them in the email you send and let us know which they are.


We believe the City has selected four operators from those that submitted proposals. With a cap of 8,000 devices this means that each will have a total of 2,000. The City wants a variety of devices to be offered. Assume that each operator offers only 10% of its fleet as e-bikes that would mean 800 rentable e-bikes would be offered. Under the current proposals these would ALL have to be locked to public bike stands, and, currently the operators serve only the Downtown, Uptown and the  Beach communities where in total there are likely insufficient stands to accommodate that many rental bikes – see our point in the section above.

We understand that all the companies that submitted proposals have been informed of the outcome but no public announcement has yet been made officially. Proposers who were not successful have ten days from the date applicants were informed in which to submit a protest to the City over the selection, if they so wish. We understand that at least one protest has been submitted and believe the time the City has to render a decision on a protest is not specified.

Indications are that the City wants the RFP contracts in place to replace the current period of permitting which ends on July 31st. and intends to make the necessary changes to the Municipal Code at a Council meeting in late May – see the section above. All contracts must be approved by Council, therefore the contracts with the four selected operators must be approved before July 31st. and, indeed, to enable the selected companies to have clarity we expect a practical deadline for such approval to be the end of June.

If the City aims to keep to the late May date for a Council meeting to amend the MC it does not necessarily need to consider the contracts then. If the City’s decision on the protest is later than May then it may consider the proposed MC changes in May and vote on the contracts some time later and it is conceivable that it might not approve all the four contracts (though we believe that to be unlikely). Thus the MC changes may be in place before the successful selected firms are known.

Note that at least one of the unsuccessful firms is reported to have stated that they will continue to operate in San Diego regardless. How the City deals with that, if it happens, will be interesting.