At CNU XIV, someone mentioned a “yellow kayak club” in Baltimore that works like a paid lending library for kayaks around Baltimore Harbor, allowing people to share a pool of kayaks and row to work. Turns out that this curious little TDM program (uniquely suited for Baltimore, as the center city wraps around a long harbor) is funded by a new urbanist developer:
bq. Canton Kayak Club, a nonprofit organization started by a group of local kayaking devotees/evangelists, including restaurant owner Charlie Gjerde and developer Bill Struever. For our membership fee, we get unlimited summer-long access to the kayaks, paddles, and life vests stationed at four docks around the harbor, and a cursory but adequate bit of training in the basics of kayaking. (Baltimore City Paper)
Three of the kayak launches are at mixed-use waterfront developments; the fourth is at a restaurant. What’s cool about this:
* sharing transportation equipment amortizes high capital costs that would otherwise exclude people
* garnering attention for an underappreciated form of human powered transportation
* developers and others should always be willing to pay for access improvements. Most cities require this in the form of on-site parking; why not allow people to buy out of those onerous requirements in interesting new ways?