Letter to the Editor: JUMP bikes have the potential to be even better

The State Hornet

I live on the downtown grid and like to walk, bike or take transit instead of driving. I avoid driving my car because parking is a nightmare, gas is expensive, carbon emissions are destroying the planet and many other reasons.  

However, one year ago, my bike evaporated during the Sonoma wildfires.  I don’t have the money to buy a new bike and my parents are busy rebuilding their lives. That’s where JUMP bikes come in: they are simply the easiest way for me to get around the grid. I ride them to work nearly every day, I have a helmet and I follow all the rules of the road.

What your Op-Ed left out is the fact that, according to UBER, 10,000 people in the Sacramento region are active JUMP users. Sure, many of those folks park their bikes improperly, ride unsafely and act drunk or “bro-y” (as if being a Natomas bro is against the vehicle code!) However, many more users are respectful and safe.

The problems that you point out, I see them as symptoms of other issues. The JUMP app should try to educate riders on bike safety and etiquette. Also, our city needs more bicycle infrastructure, such as bike lanes and bike racks.  I’m sure the incident that you had on J street would have been less stressful if there was a protected bikeway all the way from Midtown to Sacramento State. And finally, we need to change our culture so that bike safety and maintenance are as common knowledge as safe driving.

Sacramento, like the rest of California, is undergoing a massive transition towards dense communities where residents don’t need a car to get around. For example, thousands of units are planned so close to campus that students won’t need to drive to class.  Shared mobility solutions like JUMP, Zipcar and Lyft make it easier for students to live a cheap and car-free lifestyle.

I’m choosing not to be mad at the folks who use these bikes incorrectly. Instead, I am hopeful that UBER, the city and Sac State can work together to ease these growing pains and make JUMP even better. If this service succeeds, our campus and our whole city will benefit.

I am one of two student representatives to the Transportation Advisory Committee.  If you have comments or suggestions about transportation and parking on campus, please email me at collinjameskemp@csus.edu.

Collin Kemp