I was in Lexington, Ky., this past weekend -- a town I've written about before for becoming more bike-friendly -- and I noticed all these yellow bicycles scattered around town.
Turns out they're part of a nonprofit program, called Lexington Yellow Bikes, to provide bicycle access for anyone in Lexington who pays a $10 lifetime fee. The first batch of the bikes, which ultimately will number 200, were apparently just positioned last week.
These kinds of programs aren't new, especially in European cities like Copenhagen, Helsinki, and Paris, which recently announces plans to sprinkle 20,600 bikes at 1,450 stations around the city. Austin; Minneapolis; Portland, Ore.; and Boulder, Colo. each have similar programs as well.
But it's always nice to see a city embracing transportation choices for its citizens. (True, in Lexington's case, the program is privately financed, but the city's still providing the lock-up space and helping promote the bikes.)
So why are Lexington's bikes yellow?
"One of the things that's really fun about these is we sort of wanted to make these bikes as ugly as possible to deter theft," says a member of the board of directors of the bike program. "But they're so ugly, they're cute."