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Fort Worth Bike Sharing Program

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#1 beverlyb

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:55 PM

The website for the Fort Worth Bike Sharing Program is now up http://fortworthbikesharing.org/.

 

The official launch is scheduled for April 22, Earth Day. Volunteers will ride the bikes from the storage location to Burnett Park. From there the volunteers will ride the bikes to the docking stations. You can sign-up to participate on the website.

 

At the information session I attended they very briefly showed a map of where the docking stations will be located, but they weren't quite ready to go public. From memory I think I saw stations downtown, on 7th street, the museum district, and southside around Magnolia. About 30 stations, around 300 bikes.

 



#2 Austin55

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:40 PM

I'm surprised there hasn't been a thread on this, but the Facebook page is exellently run so I always just get my news straight from there :)

 

I was shocked with the number of stations! I figured maybe like, 2 in downtown, one or two in the stockyards, several scattered around southside, and some along 7th, but 30?! Great stuff! I really hope this is super successful.



#3 Electricron

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:02 AM

No one is sharing bikes, so why call it bike sharing.

They're renting bikes, maybe they should change the name to reflect what's actually happening?



#4 Fort Worthology

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:57 AM

It's called bike sharing because it's *not* like just "renting" a bike - the system is designed to encourage short trips rather than renting something for all day.


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#5 Volare

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:52 PM

Like Kevin said, it's sharing not renting. If you decide to keep a bike to yourself all day, you will incur some hefty usage fees (up to $100!). Whereas if you check a bike out and return it in less than 30 mins, you get a $0 usage fee.

 

I've spent quite a few days of free time volunteering to assemble the bikes and get them ready to go on April 22nd. They are still looking for lots more volunteers to participate in the launch on Apr 22nd and ride the bikes from Burnett Park out to the stations. It will be quite an event. 300 identical red bikes massed together are quite impressive.

 

As for the program itself, a similar bike sharing system was set up in Minneapolis a few years ago, it has grown so fast that they now have over 1200 bikes and 120 stations. It started first in Minneapolis, and has grown to include St. Paul too. Oh and due to the winter is only open roughly 7 months of the year. I hope we can do better- faster!



#6 beverlyb

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:13 PM

The Aprill 22nd event sounds like it is going to be great. Unfortunately I am already taking off Thursday and Friday to volunteer at Main St. Arts so I can't swing taking off that Monday too.

Yes they need lots of volunteers. They also mentioned that they have opportunities for paid advertisment on the bikes and the docking stations. Starting at $1,000 up to $30,000 - it is called a sponsorship.

An interesting fact, say you ride from downtown to 7th street and the station is full, you get another free 30 minutes to ride your bike to another station and dock it. There will also be a truck that will come around and move bikes to other stations if a station stays full for too long.

I think this whole thing sounds great and I hope Fort Worth can pull it off. On a personal note however, I haven't been on a bike in 20 years so I don't know if I will be participating.



#7 Volare

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:26 PM

oh don't worry, it's just like riding a bike!



#8 Austin55

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:14 AM

Nobody talking about the map that was revealed today? I love maps and bike sharing so I've been pumped for this day for a while now. 

 

http://fortworth.bcy... Bcycle Map.pdf



#9 Doohickie

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:10 AM

Cool.  I hadn't seen that.


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#10 Volare

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:25 PM

That is quite a fancy map



#11 Austin55

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:39 PM

I'm very pleased with how it looks like it's starting! Like I had said, I was'nt expecting so many, but this is a great start, and I'm sure there are plans for expansion. If I had to nominate a short list, I'd like to see several more scattered around the Southside, one on Foch, expanding up North Main and towards the Stockyards, a few more at TCU (seriously only one waaay of at TCU? That is the only one I can't imagine being used much), maybe a few along Samuels Ave. perhaps one at the Zoo, and maybe one at the the Firestone Apartments area. 

 

These programs have been tremendously successful in DC and Denver among a few, I'd love to see FW get on the list of successful bike shares despite Texas's amazingly huge car culture.



#12 Dismuke

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:31 PM

Like Kevin said, it's sharing not renting. If you decide to keep a bike to yourself all day, you will incur some hefty usage fees (up to $100!). Whereas if you check a bike out and return it in less than 30 mins, you get a $0 usage fee.

 

So what kind of scenario would a typical user use one for within a short period of time?  It seems to me that those who would be most receptive to getting around by bike would already own one.  And from the photos I have seen, the bikes look more like they are designed for functional use rather than recreational use - so I am guessing is that they are not particularly intended for exercise and such up and down the Trinity Trails.   What do people use them for in other cities?  Do most such users already own bikes - and, if so, what is the advantage for them to use a shared bike rather than their own?

 

I have a friend who recently lived in Boston for a few years.  They had a similar service up there but with cars.  It was called Zip Cars.  They were parked throughout the city and could be rented for as little as an hour and the rent included insurance.   Because of it, he and his wife had no need to own a car.  They got around by walking and by subway for their day to day needs.  And when they needed to do big shopping trips to places beyond transit or to buy a size or quantity of items they could not carry they would just rent a Zip Car for a few hours.  For occasional out of town pleasure trips they would just use a conventional rent-a-car service.   So I can see how the concept would work very well in certain areas for cars.  But it works for cars because owning a car involves a significant expense - which can make for a very expensive trip if one only uses it on occasion.   But a bike is inexpensive by comparison - and, even if one only uses it occasionally, it is still very affordable for most people.


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#13 Austin55

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:53 PM

^ I'm curious about this aswell.

I live way out in the burb's ( :(  ) and commute m-th to TCC. I plan on using the station at TCC to get around to eat, visit an event or something, or most likely, just to get around to take pictures. That way, my car remains in a safe place where I can park for free, I don't have to bring my own bike in my trunk, and I can get around quicker and more fun than walking. 



#14 Fort Worthology

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:04 PM

I own a bike, but I'm going to use them.  Bought an annual membership, in fact.  And my wife will be using them for commuting as there are stations by our house and by her office.


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#15 Russ Graham

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:06 AM

I thought the same thing at first ("why would anybody use this?") - but it is starting to make sense to me.  People commuting into town on the TRE could definitely use this instead of a bus to get to work.  Or people leaving town on the TRE, that don't want to leave their personal bikes locked up at the ITC all day.  My bike is all set up for commuting to work, which actually makes me not want to leave it out in public all day.  I could lock it up, but anybody with an allen wrench or two could rob me blind.

 

Also, say you drive to work downtown; there might be a lot of places you could conveniently bike to on your lunch hour, that are just too far to walk, and getting the car out of the parking garage and then finding a parking spot at your destination would take too long.  Another use is if you happen to live close to a station, you could use them to get to things like Main Street Arts Fest, or Mayfest, or anything downtown where parking is going to be hard to find.  Think about going to the museums - if you ride a bike there, you don't have to pay the dreaded $5 parking fee.  

 

Or say, if (like one of our forum members) you're walking from downtown to Target for groceries, you could save a lot of time by using a bike.



#16 Russ Graham

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:12 AM

Also - that map is pretty cool.  It's the first time I've seen "roads to avoid" spelled out, that will be important for new cyclists.  I'm curious because Forest Park Blvd north of Rosedale is, in my mind, a "road to avoid" - but it's not spelled out that way on the map.  Does anybody on this forum use that stretch of Forest Park (cycling)?  That would be a really nice way to get to the southside, and I'm wondering whether recent changes in that road have made it a better place to cycle...

#17 mmmdan

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:55 AM

Another great use will be tourists.  The last time my wife an I were in San Antonio, it wasn't until the last day we were there that we looked up how it works, and we wished we had sooner.  At that point it was cost prohibitive, but the next time we go, we will be using the bike share.

 

It is great for the places that are just far enough that you don't really want to walk to, but you also don't want to wait for the bus or get your car out.

 

With the bike share, you will have people that are staying at a hotel downtown that want to check out the museums, near southside, etc.  This a great way for them to get from downtown to the outlying areas.



#18 mmiller2002

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:52 AM

It's called bike sharing because it's *not* like just "renting" a bike - the system is designed to encourage short trips rather than renting something for all day.

 

...and "sharing" sounds nicer ;)



#19 Volare

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:33 PM

I've used the Minneapolis bike share system while on the road for work. I stay at a hotel in downtown, and I can get a bike share and travel all over the Twin Cities using one of these. Obviously I don't bring along my bikes when I travel, so this is a great alternative that lets me cover a lot more ground than walking.

 

"mmmdan" above mentioned San Antonio. The great thing is they are on the same "B-cycle" system, so if you get a membership here, you'll be able to use their system too. Houston also uses B-cycle. Hopefully Austin will also decide on B-cycle. Dallas of course will one day decide on a completely incompatible system just to demonstrate their superiority to all the other Texas cities. :wink:



#20 McHand

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:00 PM

It might be helpful to think of it as a short-term bike exchange.


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#21 cberen1

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:48 AM

I saw people using a similar system in Paris.  People would just grab a bike, ride a few blocks (less effort than walking and faster) and park the bike.  It looked awfully convenient.



#22 mmiller2002

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 11:23 AM

I saw people using a similar system in Paris.  People would just grab a bike, ride a few blocks (less effort than walking and faster) and park the bike.  It looked awfully convenient.

 

Isn't that called stealing a bike?  ;-)



#23 Fort Worthology

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:29 PM

The first station has been installed, at 9th & Main in downtown: http://fortwortholog...tion-installed/

- Architecture/urban planning/transit blogger, Fort Worth Weekly

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#24 Fort Worthology

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:53 AM

Looks like the plan is to do two station installs per day - this morning, the first Near Southside station went up, and UNT Health Science Center's is going in later today.  http://fortwortholog...er-later-today/

 

magnoliahenderson1-1024x768.jpg


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#25 mmiller2002

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:25 AM

Hmmm, I just got a jury summons for April 22...

 

So, how is this being funded?

 

And, what if you go to return and all the stalls are full?



#26 Volare

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:16 PM

Here is a FAQ page with lots of questions and answers:

 

http://fortworth.bcy...wledgeFAQs.aspx



#27 RD Milhollin

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:33 PM

I saw people using a similar system in Paris.  People would just grab a bike, ride a few blocks (less effort than walking and faster) and park the bike.  It looked awfully convenient.

 

I NOW recognize this program. I have seen it in Córdoba and Sevilla recently. here is a link to a bike-sharing blog:

 

http://bike-sharing....01_archive.html



#28 McHand

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:38 AM

You can only use it if you have a credit card???


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#29 Volare

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

I think the thinking is they have to have some way of charging you if you or someone steals the bike.



#30 Fort Worthology

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:09 PM

I think that's a major component of it.  Bike goes missing, your card gets charged for the $1200 replacement cost.


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#31 Volare

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:49 PM

Which encourages a user to dock it at a station rather than lock it up elsewhere using the supplied lock. Once it is at the station it's no longer your responsibility.



#32 McHand

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:31 PM

Bummer, some of us only have debit cards.  I get it, but......yeah.


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#33 Fort Worthology

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:58 PM

Bummer, some of us only have debit cards.  I get it, but......yeah.

 

I bought my membership with my debit card.


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#34 Austin55

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:22 PM

The bikes also have GPS in them if I remember right.



#35 dangr.dave

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 09:24 PM

There's a station right near my work!  Pretty cool how they had to cut down a tree to install the station, rather than locating the station five or ten feet away.  I'll have to take a bike for a spin around town soon.

 

8646379923_267791141b.jpg
Never a bike when you need one by dangr.dave, on Flickr



#36 Volare

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 09:54 PM

The City reported that they were unable to keep this tree alive in this location, thus it was removed as part of the station addition. The bikes will be showing up at all of the stations on April 22nd!



#37 Brian Luenser

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:46 PM

Walking around the South end of Town last night.  Came across these two new bike stations.  Seem like REALLY strange places for them.  On Vickery and on South Calhoun.  I like the bike sharing concept alright.  But will give the whole program about an 18% chance of working. I wish it the best.  As long as they are not riding in front of me of course.

 

This is on Vickery in the middle of no place.

BikeRack1_zps0d674986.jpg

 

 

 

And this one is on Calhoun in the middle of a super industrial area.  (I was one day late buying this Supreme Golf Building for my business in 2006)

BikeRack2_zpsb7da8fe7.jpg

 


www.fortworthview.com

#38 Volare

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:52 PM

The Vickery location was chosen for the proximity to T&P station. There is actually one station on the north side of the station too. Thus if you rode over on the train and wanted to visit the Near Southside, this is probably the station you would use. If you rode over and wanted to visit Sundance Square, you'd probably use the one on Lancaster.

 

The second photo of the Golf Warehouse is where FW Bcycle headquarters is going to be, thus the location of the station. The whole warehouse is being redone into lofts on the upper floors and retail on the ground floor. My guess is this area will soon be unrecognizable compared to your photo. You'll have to do a before/after when that happens.



#39 JBB

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:56 PM

The one on Vickery is accessible from the TRE station. I would assume its intent is to capture TRE riders who would use a bike to venture out in the Near Southside neighborhood. I'm pretty sure there's a bike share terminal on the north side of the T&P building for downtown riders.

#40 Austin55

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 08:47 PM

Correct, T&P has two stations on either side.



#41 Fort Worthology

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 08:04 AM

And as mentioned, the Golf Warehouse is being completely remade with lofts upstairs and retail/office spaces downstairs, including a brand-new beer garden/live music venue.  FW Bike Sharing's office is in this building, hence the station.

 

I'm sure people in other cities with bike sharing like San Antonio gave theirs "about an 18% chance of working," but fortunately the actual success has been way beyond that.  No reason to think FW will fail where SA succeeds.


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#42 Brian Luenser

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 01:28 PM

Very excited about the Supreme Golf Building being redone.  It is a bomb shelter (Like really) and too good of a building to just sit. It was going to be my perfect water filter manufacturing location and then hours after we started looking at it the owner verbally promised the Museum of Science and History they could store their stuff there for like 3 years. We still could have purchased it (1.6mm) but could not use the first 2 floors.  We needed more. They were there working on that building late Saturday night.  I like the building a lot. I actually like that little industrial area a lot.  That additional building attached on the South end I would tear down for additional parking.  It is icky. 

 

And best luck for the bike sharing program. I can't see it working.  What works in another city tells us something for sure.  But I don't think much.  For example, people walk in other cities but not in Fort Worth.  I walk all the time.  I never see anybody else.  Outside of maybe a wino.


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#43 Volare

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 03:45 PM

US Bicycle sharing:

 

B-Cycle:

  • Denver, CO
  • Boulder, CO
  • Madison, WI
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Spartanburg, SC
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Omaha, NE
  • Nashville, TN
  •  Kailua, HI
  • Broward County, FL.
  • Fort Worth, TX (launching Spring)
  • Salt Lake City, UT (launching Spring)

Other US systems:

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Boston
  • Washington D.C.
  • Oklahoma City
  • Chattanooga

 

There are many other systems throughout the world. Given that this list of US cities encompasses everything from the far north to the far south, from the east to the west, cold/hot, big/small, etc, I'm at a loss how one could suggest that Ft. Worth is such an outlier as to preclude the success of a bike share system. Of course this same outlier argument was the same thing we heard when the streetcar money was forfeited to Dallas. I'll be there on next Monday along with 299 other people to launch this thing. I've heard that there were way more volunteers than bikes for the launch. Good things are coming, sometimes in spite of the "it won't work here" attitude that for some reason exists...

 

Brian, I think this system will allow you to expand your walking tours dramatically. (Take a bike from downtown to TCU, start walking from there, etc.)



#44 Doohickie

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 10:00 AM

I walk all the time.  I never see anybody else.  Outside of maybe a wino.

 

Oh, was that you I saw the other day?  I assumed it was a wino...


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#45 Austin55

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:25 PM

I saw them putting in the one by TCC today :) very excited.

I'll bet they make enough money to support themselves of advertising alone. 



#46 Doohickie

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 06:22 AM

I wish I could participate in the rollout Monday, but I have a 7 am meeting at work that I can't miss.  It will run most of the morning.  It's been a busy year.


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#47 AndyN

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 10:05 AM

I got my "B" card in the mail yesterday. Not sure I will be able to volunteer for the event Monday but hopefully they have enough volunteers to get them all moved. It would be easier for me to help if there wasn't a bunch of pomp and ceremony planned. Monday morning means time to go to work.


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#48 Fort Worthology

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 10:29 AM

I've heard similar things to Volare - there was actually a waiting list, they had so many volunteers.


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#49 beverlyb

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:04 PM

I heard today's bike share launch was a great success.

One of my co-workers shared this picture with me.

I think it was taken at Burnett Park where they started.

 

8674100020_1b36f2370f.jpg



#50 Volare

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:57 PM

I'm actually visible in this photo- in purple. Love the irony of the signage.






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