The idea of asking Peachtree City staff to probe the feasibility of bike rental kiosks sprung two flat tires Thursday night.
Councilman George Dienhart’s proposal was deep-sixed after it was picked apart by Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch, who noted that the Trek bicycle shop already rents bikes to citizens and visitors.
Two hotels in town allow guests to check out bikes that are owned by the hotels, Fleisch said, adding that she felt the need was already being filled by local companies.
Dienhart clarified that his idea was to have a private company install and operate the bike rental kiosks so residents and visitors could rent a bike with the swipe of a debit or credit card … not for the city to operate such an initiative itself.
In her brief remarks, Flesich chided Dienhart for not researching the proposal ahead of time. She added that Bicycles Unlimited had once rented bikes, but stopped about four years ago “because it wasn’t profitable.”
“In the middle of a recession!” Dienhart exclaimed. He accused Fleisch of politicizing the matter.
Fleisch said she was particularly wary of wasting city staff’s time.
Fleisch and Dienhart are both seeking the mayor’s office in the November election, alongside current Mayor Don Haddix, former Mayor Harold Logsdon and businessman Ryan Jolly.
A quick poll of council showed that Dienhart was the only one in support of the idea, so council declined to ask city staff to undertake the project.
Dienhart said it wouldn’t be difficult to reach out to several bike rental kiosk companies to see if it might be feasible.
Haddix wrapped up the discussion on a high note.
“It is thinking outside the box and that is always good to do,” Haddix said.
Haddix noted that a number of years ago council briefly discussed a bike rental program, but it was rebuffed because the city could have lost money on the initiative.