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I have no problem with the Arlington County Republican Committee point of view, as long as they are also advocating the sale of all roads in Arlington County to private entrepreneurs.

Learning how the explosive growth of CaBi is affecting stats on bike ownership and bike theft would be fascinating...

Strawmen beating on strawmen.

AC Republicans have a good point on using parking spaces for cabi stations. In R-B, there are plenty of sidewalks they could have used.

Is the split between Arlington and DC in profit-sharing real? So who gets the money from members in DC?

Selling cabi as bike-rental is never going to work. Although that is how a lot of tourists use it. As a PRT system, maybe, but lets be honest it is only benefitting R-B and CC.

I'd love to see a tie in,say, between Wilson and Lee Highway. Or CC and Shirlington. Or Ballston-Shirlington.

The buried lede of irony - the GOP also slips in there that they want the County to impose parking mins on new developments.

Freep this poll! http://www.arlnow.com/2011/04/25/morning-poll-bikeshare-worth-the-parking-sacrifice/

I agree with charlie. I live within walking distance of the Ballston metro, and while I welcome the arrival of bikeshare this year, I think it would be much more beneficial if it was expanded to allow people to get from the metro stations to the areas that don't have ready metro access, like Shirlington and the Lee Highway corridor.
The Republicans' original complaints about the cost of the bikes and the stations seem to have been based on a complete misconception of what the whole system is about, but I think they do have a point about the needless removal of parking spaces. Bikeshare stations should be put on the sidewalks or pedestrian plazas, as it is in most places in DC, without taking away parking spaces. We can have bikeshare AND street parking - it doesn't have to be a competition between them.

charlie, do you have an example of a sidewalk where the station would fit?

Yes, the split is real. I believe the arrangement is defined in DC's contract which I linked to. I saw it, and I think DC gets money from DC resdients, Arlington from Arlington residents and they split it based on station ratio for everyone else.

CaBi is not bike rental. It is bicycle transit, and they make that point often.

Right now it primarily benefits the areas it is in. That is pretty self-evident. Same is parking. What's your point?

mike and charlie, everyone has an opinion on where stations should go and they're based on the same thing: hunches. This is all so new that there is no "right way" defined. Putting it in areas of density and expanding out is one prevalent theory.

As for parking. In DC we've put stations in parking spaces. We've put on-street bike parking in parking spaces. And it seems to work. Why should all of the space come from pedestrians and none from drivers? Doesn't a station on the sidewalk encourage sidewalk cycling? Don't bikes primarily belong on the street? Perhaps we could add some car parking spaces to plazas and sidewalks since parking is so important and places for pedestrians are not?

Except we still have bikeshare AND street parking, Mike. And *lots* of street parking, at that. On the other hand, there's not exactly a surplus of public sidewalk space in Rosslyn that 1) isn't presently well-traversed by pedestrians and 2) in a location that makes a CaBi station viable and attractive.


I don't know how many times the dense-network approach of CaBi expansion has to be noted. Bikeshare has been demonstrated to work best when stations are located relatively close together (think mesh network, rather than hub-and-spoke). We're only going to see expansion patch by contiguous patch, unless CaBi adopts a significantly different philosophy than it has now. This certainly has its costs - I'd personally like to see a bridge approach (say, a string of stations between R-B corridor, a new patch of stations on Columbia Pike, and another string to Crystal City), but I don't think that will happen anytime soon.

Charlie, I think Bikeshare would be perfect for places like Shirlington and Lee Highway - but you have to build the network out from the Metro stations and Metro corridors first.

@Washcycle; both the Pierce and Rhodes stations could have been put on sidewalk/grass. The Lynn St station is on a weird access road -- not sure if it was a parking space or not, and I haven't seen the Rosslyn Metro station.

I agree we are all working on hunches, but I am really getting the feeling that station placement is pretty random. The Rhodes station was just dropped in after they couldn't get approvals for courthouse.

Moreover, and this is a larger point, if you want cabi as a PRT system, you need a more logical layout of staitons. Say every 2-3 blocks on a bikelane.

I imagine there will be a lot of traffic down Claredon from Courthouse to Rosslyn. So that rhodes station is even stranger. I would have placed it directly on Clarendon, not a block away.

MB has a good point that the "bridge" approach might require another tranche of investment. However, 30 stations on r-b itself is going to be a challenge, especially with the topography and density.

As as Cabi user, I don't like being in the road while getting a bike.

charlie, show me the spot where you would have put them.

You have to be able to show that (1) there is a space for them (2) putting it there is a better use of land than putting it in on-street parking. What is the marginal cost to a driver who finds three fewer on-street parking spaces? They have to drive a little farther away? Park in a parking garage? Is that so bad?

As for placement, again there is no "have to" or "need to". These are all guesses. Would a hub and spoke work better? Maybe for a small system. I think SmartBike would have been better with four stations downtown and 6 in nearby neighborhoods. Can I prove it? No. There's a bunch of theories and yours is one of them. There are no "Laws of Bike Share Station Placement".

It seems interesting that they would advocate that point of view after looking at the numbers and facts. I think we have to consider usage, accessibility and environmental issues. I disagree that the loss of parking spots will deter business because of added bike spaces.

Let's be honest - CaBi is going to be a fiscal disaster if evaluated under conventional accounting -- it will never make back what is spent.

But neither does the Metro. Roughly 1/3 of its budget is revenue (fares), and 2/3 is subsidy. That $3 subway ride costs $9. That's typical of most big-city transit systems. This merely reflects how much we value public transit despite the costs.

Evaluated on that basis, CaBi might very well be a good "investment" in transit. As a bicycle commuter, I value getting more people out there on bikes and am thankful that other taxpayers subsidize it.

Washcycle, as I indicated, both the pierce and rhodes locations would be incredibly easy to put on the sidewalk.

Now, I think you are making my point. there is no laws of bike share placement. And given the somewhat peculiar places they are putting them I'd say Arlington/DDOT/Alta doesn't have a much better idea than me either.

@Anon; I think CaBi MIGHT start to be profitable in DC. Huge number of day passes and visitors who don't mind paying $5 to rent a bike. Clearly not intended. Also, the ability to sell advertising/sponsorships will bring in some cash. PNC Cabi? ATT Cabi? Verizon Cabi?

I also have to wonder if Cabi might be a marker for business that bike customers bring in money. Or at least that guy in Brooks Brothers this weekend with bike panniers isn't an exception....
MetroRail, if I remember, is about 1/3 subsidized, so your numbers are backwards. Bus, however, is much as you depict.

"On the sidewalk" is a nebulous location. I'm asking for a specific location. Can you show me on google streetview? (and while you're at it, can you show me where the current station is. I haven't been over there yet, and I'm unsure if the marker on CaBi's map is exactly correct.)

I just took a quick lunchtime tour of the stations, as I've been out of town since the installation. So:

No, there isn't anywhere easy on the sidewalk to put it at Pierce & Clarendon. It's in the very best place it can be, in my view. It takes 2/3 spaces, and those spaces are directly across the street from a public parking garage. Cars will have a place to go. You can rest easy now.

At 16th & Rhodes, I'm nearly certain that no parking spaces were used, and that it was simply a no-parking segment before. The street is an accessible and easy surface to use (cf. the park, which would probably get a whole 'nother segment of opposition, in addition to encouraging people to ride on sidewalks (by starting them there).).

The Ft. Myer & Wilson and Lynn & 19th both suffer from a similar issue: they're on one way streets. Now, the one at Ft. Myer may not be too much of an issue, b/c the correct direction is downhill. The one at 19th & Lynn, however, is going to get considerable wrong-way-down-the-one-way traffic (I was an offender just an hour ago). Prime candidate for a contraflow design/signage. The Arlington BAC will be looking into it.

Given that parking is a heavily subsidized commodity, shouldnt the GOP be happy to get rid of it?

@MB. washcycle:

Washcycle, don't know how to bookmark street views, but it on Pierce, across the street from Enterprise rent a car and the garage. I think the online spotcycle map is correct.

I went over to Pierce the day before the stations were going to be installed, and was somewhat mystified why they were putting it there. As I've said before, Wilson and Pierce would be better. Tons of room there.

It is very bad because if you're doing downhilll towards Rosslyn, to dock you have to make a left on Pierce, then cross the street. I'm sure some idiot is going to turn left into oncoming traffic.

There is space on the sidewalk across Pierce by Enterprise. In fact, if you look on the sidewalk you see some spray can marks Cabi uses to map out stations. There is construction going on in front of Bennet park Apts on the sidewalk which is perhaps why they put in on the street.

MB is correct that Rhodes didn't use a parking space, but it is on the road, and you can have easily moved it a foot back. Again, that was a snap decision when the Courthouse station couldn't be placed.

19th and Lynn -- is that a one way street or a weird parking alley? It's one of those strange Rosslyn street. Actually I think it works becuase you're not in the road when getting your bike.

I'm 82% certain you can ride on the sidewalk in Arlington, although, as always, not a wise choice.

For non-Arlington people, realise the GOP is a very minority party, and mostly is some north Arlington people complaining that R-B and CC get all the love. there is a large chunk of North Arlington that is often ignored by the county.

charlie, from what I can see that sidewalk looks crowded with street trees and parking meters. And apparently construction. I'm not saying that ADOT can't make mistakes, and if you really think there is a better location you should contact them and let them or Alta know. They're reasonable people and the stations can be moved. But I don't think they just place them willy-nilly. Even where you think they made "snap" decisions I think it's more likely they went to plan B, which they had already considered.

I think it's too easy to say "why not put it some place else" without considering where that spot is or whether or not it fits and allows for adequate access and sunlight.


1. In DC, I have criticized CaBi use of the sidewalk and not using parking spaces. The only place I can think of that uses street space is the station abutting Union Station, across from the Marshall Administrative Courts building.


2. Arlington's master transportation plan parking and curbside management element prioritizes optimal mobility. While I don't recall the element addressing bikeshare per se, optimal mobility policies would support using parking spaces to support bikesharing over cars, because far more trips are supported for the space utilized.

@Richard Layman, in addition to the station at Union Station, 37th & O NW and 10th & Monroe NE use on-street space. Plenty of others also use non-sidewalk space. Kennedy Center is tucked away on an underutilized walkway. 10th & Constitution is in the median. The Catholic University stop is on the Met Branch Trail. And of course the Lincoln Park station you linked to.

Your larger point still stands of course, I just wanted to add this for completeness.

I talk to the folks who work on the CaBi siting regularly. They're a smart and dedicated bunch of people. None of these were just thrown down without a thought. Did no one notice that this took *months* to happen? There are lots of constituencies that Arlington tries to satisfy with placements. Not everyone will be thrilled, but Arlington deserves more credit than it's being given, here.

The Rhodes station is perfectly fine where it is. Not a busy road, and it's plenty wide right there.

Re: Lynn & 19th - you're most definitely in a road. There was about 18 inches between me standing at the edge of the CaBi stand and the Metro bus trying to squeeze through there. It's the exit point for the local slug pickup area.

And I'm 100% certain you can ride on Arlington sidewalks. I'm just not at all a fan of it for the vast majority of riders, and don't really want to see it encouraged.

@Richard - bike sharing, specifically, is slowly working its way into Arlington's transportation and area plans (see, e.g., the recent naming of the EFC station for a bike station and bike sharing).

"If there’s a significant demand for short-term bicycle rentals, why can’t private businesses meet that demand without government subsidies?"

Bike share can be profitable with ads. Because of government and contractual limitations, that revenue stream is limited.

The Arlington GOP is out of touch with reality. Arlington, with it's world-class Transportation Demand Management program, has demonstrated that Arlington can grow its population and its economy without growing the number of car-trips. CaBi is a part of that effort. Continued low-cost parking for single-occupancy vehicles is not.

Does the Arlington GOP not favor a strong economy?!? Perhaps, after years of saying that the way to pay for things is to cut taxes, the GOP has forgotten how money works.

@Mr. Share - note, too, that there *is* a private business that is serving the short-term bicycle rental market. An Arlington business, in fact. Even better, ask them (Revolution Cycles), how they feel about Capital Bikeshare and its effect on their business (they're fans). But I'm sure the poster won't be troubled with facts (this is kind of a requirement for the Arlington GOP).

"If there’s a significant demand for short-term bicycle rentals, why can’t private businesses meet that demand without government subsidies?"

OK, then why are we subsidizing private automobiles?

Corey H. -- thanks. I'll keep my eye out. I knew about the 10th and Monroe spot, I guess I just zoned. Even if I am going to Georgetown's library, 37th and O NW is a block I am not likely to be by anytime soon...

plus, you're right about the CUA station, although I consider that space sidewalk like as opposed to being on the street. But it doesn't encroach on sidewalk space unlike most of the other stations that are truly on sidewalk space.

@washcycle; the one factor which I am really not accounting for is the sun. I can make an estimate but otherwise hard to do.

In terms of Pierce, my guess is they wanted the station on the sidewalk there, realized the construction was going on, then asked Arlington for the parking spot.

if I remember correctly, it is $5000 to move a station.

@Richard Layman; I remember some of the arguments re: Lincoln Park. I'd hazard a guess that this part of Rosslyn gets a lot less foot traffic than Cap Hill. My concern is more about using the system rather than taking a parking space. As I said before, getting to that station is very awkward on the street when coming in from Clarendon, and you're also rather exposed when poking around the station -- which day members seem to like to -- i.e. read the poster and what not.

No perfect solutions, and I'm sure they have a larger map in mind.

MB, right, there are various private business that rent bikes for a day profitably. Bike share doesnt steal their business, it actually complements it.

Bike share gets more people out biking, many who would not otherwise bike at all. Some of these people will go to a local bike shop to buy a helmet, a flashing light, or some other gear. Some may realize they enjoy biking and want to buy a bike for recreational use.

Others will see everyone biking and say, "hey, that looks fun" and will dig out their old dusty bike and get it repaired.

Bikeshare only expands the market for bike shops.

I've seen all kinds of people on CaBi bikes.. race, age, dress, weight.. it is great to see.

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