Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Department of Transportation (DDOT) interim Director Frank Seales, Jr. and Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells participated in a groundbreaking ceremony today for the Bicycle Transit Center at Union Station. Also know as the Bike Station, this innovative project supports the District’s goal of providing residents and commuters with a wide range of alternative transportation options. The 1,700 square foot facility will be the first of its kind on the East Coast and is expected to open for business in spring 2009.
“The District is already one of the best cities for biking in the nation,” said Mayor Fenty, “but we’re not satisfied with that distinction. This facility, with the myriad of services it will offer, demonstrates how committed we are to making DC even more bike-friendly.”
The striking glass and steel building will be located at the west end of Union Station, near Massachusetts Avenue and 1st St. NE. It will offer bicycle parking, rentals, repairs and retail accessories, all in one convenient location near an important transit hub. There will be space for approximately 150 bikes on 2-tier racks. The bike station will also accommodate recumbent bikes and tandems. Parking will cost $1 a day or $100 for an annual membership. The revenues are expected to offset the expense of operating the facility. Some free parking will remain near the new building. The cost of constructing the Bike Station is approximately $3 million, plus an additional $1 million for site work on the new plaza.
The bicycle transit center is just one of many pedestrian and bicycle initiatives currently underway at DDOT:
- The SmartBikeDC bike-sharing program, launched in August 2008, is off to a fast start. More than 775 people signed up in the first month and the program is averaging 136 trips a day.
- DDOT is scheduled to install 7 miles of bike lanes on city streets by the end of 2008, more than any single year to date, bringing the total bike lane mileage in the District to 39.
- 100 more bicycle parking racks are scheduled to be installed in the city by the end of the year bringing that total to 900.
- The highly publicized Draft Pedestrian Master Plan was released earlier this year and is currently undergoing its final public review process. The plan recommends new traffic safety policies and roadway improvements to improve pedestrian safety and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities.
- Now that school is back in session, DDOT representatives are visiting schools as part of the DDOT pedestrian/bicycle education program. This program looks to educate both children and adults on safe pedestrian and bicycle practices.