The new Bike Station at Union Station is opening today [More on that after all of the hullabaloo is over]. So before we finish eating the cake and ice cream maybe we could talk about where to build another one. I have some ideas.
1. Dupont Circle - I've written about this before but the former streetcar station under the circle (or at least half of it) would make a great bike station.
2. L'Enfant Plaza - One thing that made Union Station a great location is that it's a transit hub, and not just for Metro but VRE, MARC and Amtrak. Those train systems, which make few stops in the District are perfect for a bike station as most of those users probably have to get off the train and switch to something else anyway. For some it might as well be a bike. The only other commuter rail stop in the District is at L'Enfant Plaza, which is also a junction of four Metro lines, the first Metro stop in the District on the Yellow line and the closest station to the 14th Street Bridge. Perhaps space could be found in Hancock Park or by taking out the unnecessary pull in lane along Maryland Avenue east of 7th. That pull in lane looks like a pre-9/11 design and it doesn't even add parking (there are 13 parking spaces in the lane, but if the curb were unbroken you could still get that many parking spaces in between 7th and the parking garage entrance).
3. Nationals Park - For the same reason these train stations make sense, the District's new ferry pier makes a great location for commuters to get off the boat and get on a bike. It's also near the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. On the way from the pier to the Metro ferry commuters will walk past the bike valet cage. A cage that is used for 5-6 hour blocks 81 times a year (or more if they make the playoffs...so 81 times a year). It would take little to modify the cage to be a bike station. Some new key swipe doors, maybe turn that weird office across the walkway into a bike shop area. Since most people would be getting off the boat and then grabbing a bike on the way to work, there would be less need for showers than elsewhere. On game days, the bike valets could lift bike station bikes up to the ceiling.
4. Foggy Bottom - This is the stop closest to the terminus of the Capital Crescent Trail. It's also near GW's campus and in the West End near bike friendly business the World Bank. Ideally it would have been built as part of the new hospital (like the Minneapolis Bike Station), but it could be built on the surface parking lot across New Hampshire from the hospital.
5. National Airport - There is a dearth of bike parking at the airport and a lot of people are probably worried about leaving a bike parked there for several days. Travelers may just need secure, long-term for hire bike parking. But then again the airport is a major employer, connected to two great bike trails with a spur to Crystal City and employees often have to work until after the Metro closes. Bike commuting might make sense for many employees, and a bike station would help with that.
7. Dunn Loring-Merrifield - I don't bike out here during the work week, but this is the first Metro you'll come to going east on the W&OD trail from west of I-66. I'm sure some people just keep on riding onto the Custis and into town. But a bike station here would let a lot of new commuters - ones who aren't interested in a 10 mile ride - ride into the Metro and then take the train the rest of the way.
I thought about New Carrollton, with MARC and Amtrak trains, but the neighborhood just isn't easy to bike around. I also considered above the Smithsonian station, where bike rentals could serve tourists but it's just too far from most work places. Where would you put one?