The Union Station Bike Station is open an memberships are going fast. Before the ceremony, David Bono of the WABA board told me that they've sold 41 memberships. By the time Mayor Fenty spoke it was up to 45 and by the time Andrea White-Kjoss of Mobis Transportation Alternatives, Inc (aka Bike Station) spoke it was up to 60. That's out of 300 memberships to sell. White-Kjoss said it was the fastest sales pace of any of their bike stations.
That was one of many superlatives dropped today. The first bike station on the East Coast. The biggest bike station in the country (I'm not sure this is true, and it doesn't park as many bikes as others, but it was stated). The coolest bike station in the world. The new bike station triples the bike parking at Union Station, and I believe there is as much free parking, and at nicer inverted U's, as there had been before. DDOT did a good job of pushing for the project they wanted instead of satisficing.
The ceremony was packed and based on the media presence there are going to be a lot more stories about this. Mayor Fenty talked about the great bike station and the initiatives that are coming up - Met Branch Trail, expanded bike sharing, bike lanes, cycle tracks. Tommy Wells talked about one of his favorite themes, how Union Station is one of the most multi-modal places in the country "You can ride a bike here and then travel anywhere in the world." Which is good, since as he pointed out, there will soon be 50,000 more jobs and 10,000 more residents in the blocks north of Union Station. Gabe Klein did the unglamorous work of thanking everyone. And Andrea White-Kjoss talked about the benefits of bike stations. Many users are new to biking and the others, 60% drive less than they did before. At one point she said the Union Station Bike Station was the "boldest statement for intermodal transportation since ICE-T in 1991."*
And the bike station is more than parking. There was a store in the front (making sales and renting bikes immediately after the ribbon cutting). There are lockers and a changing station. More photos coming soon.
*I didn't know what ICE-T was, and since she laughing when she said it I thought she was talking about Ice T the rapper. I tried to think what song he sang in 1991 about intermodal transportation and was coming up blank. She was not talking about 'Cop Killer' I'm glad to say.