"We don't really have a biking culture in this city," said Toks Omishakin, the man Nashville Mayor Karl Dean has charged with the job of turning the city into a bicycle-friendly, pedestrian-friendly mecca. "But change is happening. If you build it, they will come."
What Nashville has built are two pilot bike stations — one at Shelby Bottoms and one at the Music City Star riverfront train station on First Avenue South. There, any Davidson County resident can take one of the city's new bright yellow and blue one-speed bikes out for a spin.
An attendant will take down the cyclists' driver's license information, provide them with a helmet if they don't have one of their own and send them on their way with a map of the city's bike paths, bike lanes and suggested cycling routes — and the understanding that they will return the bike.
The pilot locations were chosen because they will attract plenty of people on foot, looking for a way to get around without a car. In Shelby Bottoms, park visitors could take the bikes for a spin on the greenway's miles of bike paths. The train station bikes might appeal to the Music City Star commuters.