Philly Will (Probably, Most Likely) Have a Bikeshare Program in 2014
If I’ve ever felt even the tiniest bit like Woodward or Bernstein, it’s today, folks. I’ve been on the case all day trying to confirm a stray tweet sent three days ago during Mayor Nutter’s trip to Beijing, posted by Fortune magazine managing editor Andy Serwer.
I shall call this Exhibit A:
Fortune exclusive: Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia speaking in Beijing announces a bike share program for his city starting on 2014.
— serwer (@serwer) December 4, 2012
Said tweet was then retweeted by Fortune magazine and elicited a reply from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Reader, meet Exhibits B and C:
It was at this point that my interest was officially piqued, so I picked up the phone. First I tried the mayor’s office and was told someone would call me back. Hmm. Then I called my friends over at the Bicycle Coalition to see if they could confirm the news.
“It’s our understanding that there’s going to be some news on that in the next week,” said BCGP spokesman Nicholas Mirra. He added that it’s not his group’s news to share but that “we’re part of the conversation.”
Ok, fair enough. So I called Mayor Nutter’s press secretary, Mark McDonald, again. And again. On the third attempt, I got him. And the vagueness continued.
“I can’t talk to about this subject,” he said. “There was a tweet—he [Mayor Nutter] apparently said some things and I think they stand. The mayor certainly stated an intention.”
I like the sound of that. I asked McDonald if he could say when any sort of official announcement would come down the pike but he wouldn’t budge. I also couldn’t wrangle any other details about who will run the program, what it might cost, and how big it will be. For that, we’ll have to wait for the forthcoming announcement from City Hall.
But what I think we’re safe taking away from this, Be Wellers, is that a bikeshare program seems to be in the works. Which, if you ask me, is fantastic news. This is the kind of program our city should and could embrace, especially if we’re serious about making it a healthier, greener place to live—both priorities the mayor himself has stated over and over again.
Now, if only we could get on that whole fitness court idea.