The Kirkland City Council met on June 4 and accomplished several actions for the month of June, including a bike share update and the recognition of retiring deputy city manager, Marilynne Beard.
Council received an update on bike sharing in Kirkland 4. Earlier this spring, council approved the establishment of a bike share pilot program for a one-year term. City staff then issued a request for proposals from bike share companies, but received no proposals by the deadline.
According to a press release, city staff reached out to known bike share companies to determine why this occurred and discovered that the market for bike share has shifted drastically in a short time. For example, Lime Bike told the city it was shifting its business model to focus more on scooters. Other companies such as Lyft and Uber expressed their desire to expand into Kirkland only after launching/expanding their operations in other parts of the Puget Sound such as Seattle or Bellevue, the release states.
During the discussion city staff also shared current state and local requirements around electric scooters, as well as lessons learned from other municipalities that have allowed scooters. Positive factors reported by other cities included the “fun factor” and users replacing car trips with scooter trips, according to the release. Some of the potential negative factors included injury to riders, the inability to hand signal and the lack of durability of the scooters.
More information on the staff presentation can be found at http://bit.ly/2MtzBMI.
Council directed staff to continue to remain open to the prospect of proposals from bike share companies. Council directed staff to not pursue scooters at this time.
During the meeting, city council members recognized the contributions of retiring deputy city manager Marilynne Beard. She has worked in local government for more than 38 years and has been at the city of Kirkland for 31 years, where she served as director of finance and administration prior to her move to the city manager’s office in 2006.
Beard graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor of arts in education and a master of science in public administration. In addition to her job with Kirkland, Beard is a volunteer mediator for the Bellevue Neighborhood Mediation Program as a public involvement practitioner and group facilitator, the release states.
According to the release, Beard is a past president of the Washington City/County Management Association (WCCMA) board, is an ICMA accredited manager and received the WCCMA Assistant Excellence in Leadership Award in 2012.