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Some Aurora residents fed up with dockless bikes left in street

AURORA, Colo. -- Bright green and yellow bikes across Aurora are part of a dockless, ride-share program to get people where they need to go.

But that convenience is causing a headache for some residents, who say the bikes are left tipped over in the street.

Similar to Uber or Lyft, an app on smartphones can locate and unlock a LimeBike or Ofo bike to pay for a ride.

The pro for riders is they can leave them just about anywhere. They don’t need to find a dock station. But the con is not all riders are responsible with where they park them.

“I’ve seen them in the gutters. I’ve seen them toppled over on lawns and scattered,” Gene Heman said.

Heman is fed up with the green and yellow bikes.

“I said somebody needs to come and get this bike or else it’s going to be scrap metal,” Heman said.

On Thursday morning, he found the bike abandoned in front of his house in the middle of Oakland Street. Other residents share his frustration.

“I’ve seen someone run over the bikes, so it’s definitely a problem,” Aries Cannon said.

Last fall, Aurora launched its dockless bike share program.

“You scan it and it unlocks,” said Brenden Paradies, a planner with the city of Aurora.

The bikes give users a convenient way to get from point A to point B. The two bike companies, Limebike and Ofo, have a permit with the city to operate the bikes.

“We do try to encourage riders to park at a bike rack and really try to keep it, if it’s on a trail network, to the side,” Paradies said.

When asked if the city has received reports from annoyed residents of the bikes just getting left, Pardies said, “No, no, if anything it’s more of what are these bikes and how do they work.”

LimeBike's and Ofo’s “rebalancing teams” are in charge of collecting the bikes and completing maintenance on them.

The city said accountability comes back on the rider. But for Heman, he’s frustrated it took four days for Ofo to pick up the yellow bike.

“I think it would be more of an orderly fashion if they were at certain stations in bike racks,” Heman said.

An OFO spokesman said just like with Uber, the rider has a score. So if they are repeatedly leaving the bikes in the street, they could be penalized.

Riders are encouraged to park the bikes in existing bike racks, next to a bus or trail stop, off to the side of a sidewalk or to the side of a building entrance.

Aurora does not want riders to park in the middle of a sidewalk, against a tree, personal driveways, in the street or on landscape beds.

LimeBikes (green bikes) are $1 per 30-minute trip. Ofo (yellow bikes) is $1 per 60-minute trip.

Each bike-share operator is responsible for the management, repairs and maintenance of the bike.

Anyone with a complaint can email the city.