The town of Salisbury launched its SPIN bike program in February to better the environment and since its launch there have been over 600 signups, more than 2,000 miles ridden and nearly 2,400 pounds of CO2 kept out of the atmosphere.
Salisbury Mayor Jake Day considered the launch of the program successful, especially with the statistics in comparison to surrounding areas.
“When you look at SPIN as a company, we are one of the most successful roll outs that they’ve had,” Day said. “Approximately right now every single day half of the bikes having a ride, and having a ride that averages around 26 minutes – so when you think about that, in two days 100 percent of the bikes turn over which is pretty incredible.”
Day highlighted the success revealing that within the first 10 days Salisbury had a bigger roll out than most of the major cities. He has confidence that as temperatures warm the bikes’ rate of usage will increase.
“The first week we had a really bad week of weather,” Day said. “I think you will see an increase in usage as the weather gets better. I also think as people become more familiar with it there will be an increase in usage, and then when we have events and large gatherings in town whether that’s a marathon, or a downtown festival, or a third Fridays or the National Books festival, I think we’ll see an increases usage around that.”
With the wanted increase in the use of bikes for transportation instead of carbon emitting vehicles, the town of Salisbury is working to better accommodate for bikers through the installation of new bike lanes.
“The city of Salisbury has been putting in $750,000 a year every single year into bike lanes for the last three years,” Day said. “We’ve designed out our entire network and we’ve started construction – there’s going to be four road diets that occur in the next few months – meaning we are going to remove lanes of streets and replace it with protective bikeways.”
Sophomore Chance Moné takes advantage of the SPIN bikes do to their convenience to get him places in a timely manner.
“They are definitely convenient,” Moné said. “I take them back to my car after class because my car is on East campus, and the walk is pretty far, so the bikes definitely make it easier and quicker.”
Sophomore Anthony Marut works with the SPIN program to make sure the bikes are working properly and are being relocated to the most populated areas.
“I think that the SPIN bike program is a great idea for Salisbury as it is incredibly unique, and SPIN as a company seems to actually care about the campus community,” Marut said.
In his time working for the SPIN program, Marut has also noticed some negative aspects toward the overall treatment of the bikes.
“The problem that I see with the SPIN bike program as a whole is the lack of respect from students towards the bikes,” Marut said. “Not only do countless bikes come back broken, most of them don’t come back to campus at all. Students seem to not understand that bikes that are rented are to be left at a bike rack when they are done with them and not just thrown on the ground because it is no longer their problem.”
Marut worries that this disrespect toward the bikes could lead to unfortunate consequences, including losing the program all together.
“I think that a select amount of people are going to ruin the SPIN bike program for everyone else as mechanical issues are expensive to fix and there are bikes being broken weekly,” Marut said.
By CAROLINE STREETT
Featured photo: SPIN bike spotted in front of Wicomico Hall (Megan Campbell image).