by Candace Garcia
Unless you have been living under a rock in Atlanta or just don’t care all too much – bike share is coming to our glorious City under the trees! What is bike share? Well… Here isCycleHop’s website – they’re the company that’s providing the bicycles and stations for the bikes. They look awesome, and they come equipped with all of the GPS tracking elegance of a City dubious of their population’s intentions. For good reason, I guess.
The bike sharing station can be placed on both private and public property, but there are different methods for the stations’ implementation. In the case of the public property choice, which includes the public right-of-way (i.e., the sidewalk), the Commissioner of Public Works has the final say-so as to where and how the stations are placed. But, in the case of private property the company that provides the stations must fill out a Special Administrative Permit. This means that City Hall determines the uniformity of the stations in regard to each other – the height, the amount of bikes, etc.
The City of Atlanta hasn’t shared a date as to when bike sharing will be a public transit option for us residents, but hopefully it’ll happen faster than the streetcar.
Below is the bike sharing code of ordinance and being that I am of keen legal mind, I assume I deciphered the legal jargon correctly. Oh, and here is the legit legislation that was by the Atlanta City Council.
Sec. 138-62. – Bike sharing infrastructure
(c) Authorization to allow the use of public property and right-of-way for the program. The commissioner of public works is authorized to allow the installation of stations and kiosks on public property including the public right-of-way. Such stations shall only be installed by a provider that has a contract with the city to manage and provide services to the public under the program. In order for the provider to install required infrastructure for operation of the program in the public right-of-way, the provider must enter into an encroachment agreement with the city for the installation of each kiosk and station pursuant to the requirements of Division 1 of Chapter 138 of the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances in general, and Code section 138-24 in particular. In no instance shall the contract or the authorization granted by this section require the commissioner of public works to allow the installation of kiosks and stations in locations which the commissioner of public works deems unsuitable for the installation of such infrastructure.
(d) Criteria for the location of stations in the public right-of-way.
(1) No station shall interfere with the reasonable visibility needs of drivers on the street where the station is located or any connecting street.
(2) No station shall interfere with the flow of pedestrian traffic taking into consideration the queuing areas for adjacent businesses, the size of the station and the width of the sidewalk.
No station shall be located so as to unreasonably interfere with businesses located on the same block (block faces) as the proposed station location. A notice shall be posted by the provider at the site on the street frontage where the station is to be located which states that the provider has sought permission from the city to install a station at the location. The required encroachment agreement shall not be executed by the city until the provider submits an affidavit that the notice has been posted for ten days. The commissioner of public works shall receive any comments from the public and consider those comments in making a decision as to whether to authorize the station installation.
(e) Installation of infrastructure on private property.
It shall be unlawful to erect or maintain a station on private property except as permitted by the commissioner of planning through an endorsement of a special administrative permit (“SAP”) obtained from the office of planning by a provider and issued pursuant to the City of Atlanta’s Code of Ordinances Land Development Code at Part 16 of Chapter 25. The endorsement by the commissioner of planning of such SAP shall be the final approval required before a building permit may be sought to construct the station.
All stations to be located on private property shall be erected, operated and maintained by the provider in conformity with the city’s zoning ordinance, including without limitation, the requirements as to signage, station size and design, as evidenced by the approval of an SAP by the commissioner of planning. The permit and the review of the criteria required in this section to obtain the endorsement of the SAP by the commissioner of planning shall be in addition to and shall in no way modify or replace the requirements set forth in the Zoning Ordinance and all permits required therein.
Before a permit for a station to be located on private property can be approved, the applicant must submit design plans, to be accompanied by photographs and any other required supporting documents, to the commissioner of planning for approval. The submitted design plans for stations located on private property must also comply with the same restrictions related to the location and placement of the stations installed in the public right-of-way as described immediately above in subsection 138-62 (d).
(4) All SAPs shall be reviewed by the urban design commission as required by Chapter 90, Article II, Division 2 of Part 16. Such review may be undertaken at any time prior to the commissioner of planning’s endorsement of the SAP.
(f) Provider assumes risk for installation and operation/management of the stations. All stations located on public property are to be installed and managed by the provider who shall at all times assume all risks for the condition and management of the stations, the use of rental bicycles and any events occurring at the stations. The provider will obtain liability insurance in an amount approved by the city’s office of enterprise risk management and under which the city shall be named an additional named insured.
Such insurance requirements shall be set out in the encroachment agreement that must be agreed to and executed by the provider.
(g) Provider responsible for condition of public property. All stations located on public property are installed at the risk of the provider who shall at all times have the obligation to return the public property on which the station is located back to the city in the same condition as when the encroachment agreement was entered into. In this regard, bond requirements as set out in the encroachment agreement must be complied with by the provider.