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2011 will be remembered as the tipping point for cycling in this region.

Funny -- I thought that Arlington money had already been committed this summer. So much for "Fall of 2011" for bike stations.

This bikeshare thing will never work.

This ought to drive the landed gentry of Old Town nuts. They already hate the tourists and the bicyclists that they have, now that the latter will increase subtsnatially. Look for the APD to start annoying bicyclists next summer in response to the Old Towners's bitching to City Hall.

Old Town is an ideal area for CaBi expansion. Glad to hear that Alexandria is now onboard. I know I'll be using those stations soon after they are installed.

As for Arlington, they had previously announced that the expansion would start up later than originally planned. That's not news.

@Charlie -- from reading the Arlington article, it looks like the Summer 2012 expansion is in addition to the current one in the works.

Currently, there are 18 stations in Arlington.

The near-term expansion of 30 or so will bring the total near 50.

The summer expansion will be 24, which is described as expanding Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and Crystal/Pentagon City to 70 stations total. (Personally, I'd like to see at least half of those 24 go to connecting the two areas, by building a couple of key stations along 4 mile run, and in parts of Columbia Pike and Shirlington).

I read it the way Jacques does. These are in addition to the coming expansion.

For the current expansion, Arlington has finished siting all the stations and is now filing the paperwork as I understand it.

My GGW article is now posted.

@Jacques, Michael H; OK, now I am really confused.

I thought the funds for the 2011 expansion -- which clearly is not happening this year -- were from car decal stickers.

This article is about state funds, as as Jacques said, it does look like a longer list of stations (70)

In terms of Alexandria, I don't think it will quite the success, of say, DC. If I had some time this morning it would be intersting to contrast it with the CC pod. However, I think long tourist trips to Mt. Vernon will help Alexandria on the financial side quite a bit -- and hurt DC and Arlington.

@charlie -- I could see some (though not too many) Alexandria riders taking bikeshare to Mt. Vernon, but it's a 15-mile roundtrip from Old Town. So I'd think if anyone who doesn't already have their own bike is considering taking one from Alexandria, they're probably not replacing a 25-mile bikeshare roundtrip from DC or Arlington, they're just replacing a different mode for travel to Mt.Vernon.

The bigger argument for Old Town (and why they probably stayed away from Del Ray for this round) is that it has huge potential for tourist use, but also as last-mile usage for folks from other parts of the city coming in to Old Town for an afternoon or an evening.

You will likely have some of the same morning mono-polar rush hour issues that you have with other metro-centric sites, but I also think there's much more of a potential counterbalance in the number of day-trippers who come to shop, eat, or play in Old Town, who will be taking those bikes away from the Metro, in addition to a not-huge but not-insignificant number of people who work in Old Town/Carlyle.

That counterbalancing is something that you don't necessarily see at places like Columbia Heights.

I don't think bikeshare will necessarily be a huge success in a 6-station pod (and I agree that the rider projections seem optimistic for a small pod system), but I do think that if you have to start with six stations, the Old Town area is in some ways uniquely well-suited to that set up. (I really think, though that it won't be until you incorporate Del Ray and Potomac Yards--actually connecting to the South Arlington network--that Alexandria bikeshare usage will really take off).

6 stations will succeed depending on how you define success. If Alexandria is set up similar to Smart Bike's initial 10 stations and operates as it's own unique node and service area (with corresponding service vehicle and crew), then there's no reason why it wouldn't work. The occasional mix with Arlington's system, or the rare and expensive trip all the way to DC would most likely be outliers.

@Jacques; it isn't resident who go to Mt. Vernon. It is tourists. Just go look at the bike rack at mt. vernon -- always a few bikeshare bikes.

From DC, that is a minimum of two hours. More like 3 with a tour of the house. That is $9 to $15 per bike.

My understanding is that will be marked down from the last station used (or recharged). I suspect the majority are comign from DC now. With stations in Alexandria, will people use those? Only 6 (or 12) stations isn't enough, but we aren't talking a lot of bikes -- just a lot of revenue.

That makes sense -- I'm surprised at the trip length, but good to hear that people are making it.

(After 20 miles on a CaBi at BikeDC, when I woke up to a blownout rear tire on my bike, I'm massively impressed by anyone who takes that kind of ride, and I would be very impressed if they do it in under 3 hours).

OK, I was confused about the station numbers too. The previously announced stations in Rosslyn-Ballston (in addition to the 4 already in place) were set to be added by late summer and this fall. But obviously that hasn't happened. Arlington later said that those stations would be installed throughout the fall and into next year, which I interpreted as meaning that most of those stations wouldn't be installed until late winter/early spring. (A little disappointing, but that's how it goes sometimes.)

I hadn't heard about the extra 24 stations in Arlington. Or maybe I did, but there have been so many stories about CaBi expansion this year that I'm getting them all mixed up. (Which is a good thing.) Crystal City is already pretty well covered, although there are some bike balancing issues too. They could add onto the already large station at the Crystal City Metro. Another station in the Potomac Yards area would be welcome too.

I don't think Arlington is going to add stations on Columbia Pike or in Shirlington for now. I can't think of a good location for a station in Pentagon City that would work better to connect to the Clarendon/Court House group. Maybe at the corner of Joyce St. and Army-Navy Drive? That doesn't cut off too much distance for the PC/Clarendon trip, but it helps a little. The Harris Teeter and Pentagon Row stores are nearby. So is the existing Pentagon Row station.

I agree that the Old Town stations could attract many one-day users, meaning a lot of revenue per station. If you look at the member statistics on the CaBi site, you'll see that the vast majority of riders are one-day and 5-day members. This bodes well for the system becoming close to self-sustaining relatively quickly. While I don't think it's necessary for CaBi to be self-sustaining (since no other transportation systems are), that amount of revenue can help to spur even more expansion of the system, whether it's more density in high-traffic areas, or stations in new areas like Bethesda and Friendship Heights.

Keep those stations coming, CaBi!

I also get the impression that many tourists don't know about the 30-min. time limit or they just don't care, since they are on vacation. That means even more revenue per ride for stations in tourist areas like Old Town.

Hopefully they'll put stations at the airport and Potomic Yards. That would really help tie the entire area together.

@Rootchopper: "They already hate the tourists and the bicyclists that they have"

I don't see that at all, and I've lived in Old Town for 6 years. It actually seems to me that the people who hate on bikes ARE the tourists (or at least out of towners) who don't get why they can't go 30mph down King Street at 6:30pm on a Tuesday (and I'm specifically referencing an experience I personally had at 6:30pm last night. Got hassled to get out of the road by some Georgians in a pickup truck...who I eventually sailed past again when they got stuck behind the trolley :) )

I think tourists are aware of the 30 minute limit -- they don't care.

$12 or $20 for a bike ride is cheap! And much easier than say, Bike and Roll.


It is a real balancing act. One one hand, having DC become self-sustaining in bikeshare is a big deal. On the other, having tourists take all the bikes on weekends is very annoying. I hope one we get 3-4 rounds of expansion the problem starts to limit itself.

This is so cool. I can't wait for Potomac Yard and Del Ray to connect Alexandria with Crystal City (and on to DC). Awesome!! How's this for a dream: Stations at Belle Haven, Stratford, Mount Vernon and Fort Belvoir.

@Catherine

To be fair, there HAVE been complaints from Old Town residents about bicyclists...mostly cyclists running red lights and stop signs without even bothering to look. We on the BPAC have been briefed on this by city staff.

@Froggie: I lived in Old Town for a long time and still spend a good amount of time there. If the residents driving automobiles stopped "running red lights and stop signs without even bothering to look" we would have achieved a greatv safety goal. Stand on any corner in South east Old Town and observe.

It's the same old song again. The scofflaw cyclist. blablabla

@Eric Oh I know. I see it every time I'm in Old Town REGARDLESS of mode of travel. Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians are all equally guilty of it.

So are the Alexandria docks going to be built on pontoon rafts? Enter a new form of dock blocking.

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