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NUZ: An Anti-Parking Crusader; Jump Bikes Expand

Santa Cruz cracks down on electric bike offenders

As skepticism grows around the idea of building more parking downtown, a new subcommittee will crunch the numbers and study lots of math.

One transportation expert steering community opinion has been Patrick Siegman, a former planner for Nelson\Nygaard, which frequently works with the city of Santa Cruz.

Siegman doesn’t think downtown Santa Cruz needs a new garage; he gave a presentation laying out his argument at a City Council meeting, and wrote a guest commentary in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Rick Longinotti has been citing Siegman’s analysis ad nauseum, like a UCSC student reciting Bob Marley lyrics at his first party.

What no one’s talking about here—and what Siegman hasn’t been mentioning, either—is that he was fired from his planning job by Nelson\Nygaard. (Siegman told GT in the fall that the company cut him only after he developed repetitive stress issues, which slowed his pace of work, but Nelson\Nygaard hasn’t confirmed that.) Let’s maybe lay off trying to oversell his policy-wonk cred.

RIDING ON THE ISSUE

Jump Bikes is expanding in Santa Cruz, and the latest round of electric bicycles from the bike-sharing company features a more intuitive built-in lock and a QR code that would seem to make taking a bike for a ride easier than ever.

Unfortunately, the process is beset by glitches, as the Jump phone app gets merged with the one for parent company Uber—the sleazy, beleaguered the ride-hailing business, which bombed its recent public offering while employees partied hard at corporate offices, making its notoriously toxic workplace sound worse than ever.

At least the city’s transportation officials are taking complaints about improperly parked bikes seriously. Jump has suspended 120 user accounts for repeatedly parking bikes inappropriately (i.e. blocking sidewalks), according to a report from Transportation Planner Claire Fliesler at an April council meeting. Anyone who sees a poorly parked Jump bike can email [email protected] with the time of day and bike number.

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