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Morning Poll: Bikeshare Worth the Parking Sacrifice?

by ARLnow.com — April 25, 2011 at 7:00 am 3,454 93 Comments

For many people who don’t have cars, Capital Bikeshare seems like a no-brainer. With all the money spent on road construction and maintenance, and with our streets lined with parked vehicles, the loss of a few parking spaces and the investment of a few thousand dollars to bring CaBi to Rosslyn is a drop in the bucket.

But to those who own cars and frequently utilize street parking, even the loss of a couple of parking spaces in a crowded area like Rosslyn can seem like an encroachment. Doubly so if you don’t believe Bikeshare is an efficient use of tax dollars.

Thus, when someone at the Arlington County Republican Committee observed the loss of eight parking spaces for CaBi’s four new Rosslyn locations, he or she took to blogosphere to vent.

“Those parking spaces had been heavily used by Rosslyn visitors and shoppers… but the County decided to replace the valuable spots with rental stations for the costly subsidized bicycle rental program,” the GOPer fumed on the committee’s blog.

“The loss of on-street parking in Rosslyn means additional inconvenience,” the GOPer argued. “It also hurts Rosslyn shops and restaurants, who depend on available parking to attract customers.”

The blog estimated that the loss of the parking spaces would cost the county $10,000 in parking meter revenue per year.

Do you think the loss of parking spaces and meter revenue is worth it in order to bring Capital Bikeshare to Rosslyn and – soon – other Orange Line locations?

Flickr pool photo by Patryce

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  • 4Arl

    It sounds like they like to ignore the low hanging fruit and would rather quibble over $10K. If parking revenue is the issue, it would be more fruitful to look at how the replacement of the traditional meters with the new kiosks has impacted fine revenue or how much they are now paying banks for interchange fees on all the small transactions.

  • novasteve

    what was teh other one called? at 12th and G in DC they used to have a bikeshare, and now its parking spots again.

  • TMP

    Arlington has Republicans?

    • Arlington, Northside

      There are a bunch of us. It is funny how even my Democratic wife and neighbors complain about the socialism run-a-muck on the County Board.

      • dynaroo

        Um, socialism?

        Wow, since Obama came along, you guys have diluted the word “socialism” to the point of absurdity. It’s like “liberal” or “activist judge” now – it just means anything you don’t like.

  • Deb

    There are parking garages in Rosslyn…just saying… I work in Rosslyn and, on those few occasions that I drive to work instead of taking METRO…I always park in a garage. BTW…those food trucks seem to have little problem finding parking during the day. I really don’t see the issue.

    • Burger

      Well, usually parking spots on the street are for short-term parking not all day. The short term is so that the spots turn over quickly as people go and stop for 1/2 lunch and pay $1. People are less likely to stop for lunch with it is going to cost them $10 to park in a garage for 1/2 hour.

      Overall, the bike share is a just the rest of the county subsidizing a small subset of people that are too cheap to buy bikes.

      • dynaroo

        You could just as easily say that street parking is the county subsidizing people who are too lazy to get out of their cars. That would make as much sense.

        • Agent Michael Scarn

          +1.

          Like Rosslyner below, I also own my own road bike but have a CaBi membership. CaBi is wonderful for random trips (especially in DC) and when I don’t want to worry about locking things up.

        • Burger

          Hunh,

          Your response makes absolutely no sense. People pay to park in those spots, so not sure who is subsidizing who under your theory.

          But, if your alternative is to change the street parking spots into driving lanes then I’ll support that position.

          • dynaroo

            Burger, do you really think people pay the going market rate for occupying those spaces, if there were a market for them?

            Yes, you could compare them to driving lanes. If you want to be a strict free-marketer about this, all lanes on public streets should be open to traffic, and private garages and lots should provide all parking. But that would be pushing things to absurdity, wouldn’t it? Kind of like talk of “subsidies” over 8 stinkin’ parking spaces.

      • Rosslyner

        Agree w the first part of your post. More on street parking is better. I’d be happy to see most of those big on-street x’s replaced by parking spaces and see the bikes up on sidewalks or other off-street sites.

        On the cheap comment, I own 2 bikes and benefit from the bikeshare. It has made bicycle commuting a realistic option for me.

        • CW

          Yeah – you can own as many bikes as you want but you still have to worry about them being stolen and you can’t make one-way trips.

          Although, speaking to the latter point, I’m curious to see how things will be once the Court House/Clarendon stations open…I just have a mental image of hundreds of bikes thrown in a pile at the bottom of the hill in Rosslyn after having been used for one-way trips…guess the CaBi guys will be busy ferrying them back up!

          • Joe

            Not at $1,000 per bike. Since you need to register a credit card to take out a bike, you are forced to dock the bike again when you are done with it.

          • CW

            (I know you have to dock it – that was just my humorous mental image; of hundreds of bikes descending down the hill to rosslyn and then being summarily dumped)

        • GM

          Same here. Right now if I want to take public transportation to work, the two bus line options I have leave out of Ballston or Rosslyn, which are 1.5 and 1.25 miles away. Not an impossible walk (I’ve done it before) but more likely it means either hopping on the Metro for a couple of stations, or taking a second bus, which greatly improves the chance of missing the one I need.

          With Bikeshare, I can walk for less than 5 minutes to the pick up spot and zip down the hill to Rosslyn and catch the bus there. Fraction of the time if I was going to walk, less worry about the first bus making me miss the second bus if it’s running late, and my car stays put and off the road and eases traffic just a bit more.

      • KTD

        You have no clue if you think people who use bikeshare are too cheap to buy bikes. Bikeshare is a great supplement to owning a bike, and eliminates the worries of theft, having to take the bike both ways on a round trip, etc. Some trips are better with one’s own bike, and some trips are better with bikeshare. It simply offers another option to those of us who are sick and tired of being in our cars. Please try it sometime. It’s fun and will keep you healthy, and think of how much car traffic it eliminates.

  • dynaroo

    It’s pretty obvious that it’s probably a net gain when you can fit ten or so bikes into the space that one car would take.

    • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

      What is obvious is you don’t like cars. What is realistic is that people, the county, and businesses have benefits from having metered street parking AND bikeshare. Economics is the debate, and economics will likely decide in the long run what mode of transportation gets what real estate.

      • dynaroo

        1. No, there’s no evidence in my post whatsoever that I don’ t like cars.

        2. Whether I like cars or not isn’t relevant to my post. It’s simple math – you can fit more bikes into a given space than cars, and therefore serve more people.

        3. Of course we should have both bikes and cars. Nobody is proposing removing all street parking and replacing it with row upon row of CaBi stations. How many parking spaces will CaBi take overall in the County? A dozen? It’s silly to even worry about that, especially given #2 above.

        • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

          Except, if you read the ARLnow article, it is about more than how many people the bikes could serve. I say “could” because we all know there are very many more motorists than bicyclists….but that is another debate. The other issues are economic. The article mentions the use of tax dollars for Bikeshare, and it mentions the loss of revenue on the parking spaces. The other economic debate is the potential loss of business. So, it really is an economic issue that will work itself out with time. I say, for now, let it stand as is. If the bikes are not getting used enough remove them or provide a smaller amount. If the businesses are impacted, find another location and put back some parking. If the county is willing to give up the $10K in revenue (which seems hight to me) then let them. They’ll just get it somewhere else (likely from our real estate taxes at some point).

          • dynaroo

            Now that’s a reasonable comment. So why all the stuff about “you hate cars?”

          • R. Griffon

            I’m OK in general terms with the County investing in green options, I also don’t think it’d be unreasonable to ask CaBi to “lease” the spots from the County. They are using public revenue generating space, after all. If they were paying the County back more or less what those spaces generated in meter income, there would be little debate.

            Totally worth it.

          • Vinh An Nguyen

            The article mentions the use of tax dollars for Bikeshare, and it mentions the loss of revenue on the parking spaces.

            But it doesn’t mention the revenue generated by CaBi, which it should.

  • darren

    Doesn’t government subsidized street parking in the public right-of-way unfairly compete with private parking operators?

  • Brandon C

    A Republican opposes something that’s subsidized. In other news, the Pope is Catholic.

    • Max

      actually they support subsidized parking.

      • speonjosh

        Yeah, it’s a total myth that Republicans dislike subsidies. It’s just so much more banal than that – they want subsidies for their stuff and none for anyone else. Sort of like the Democrats.

        So – mortgage interest deduction, price supports for farmers, government payments to developers, build more roads, oil / drilling / mining tax credits, low tax rates on capital gains, etc., etc.

        There is no such thing as a level playing field and crying and moaning about it is just an attempt to use smoke and mirrors to obscure the real fact that government, in many ways, enriches the rich.

  • dynaroo

    Except Republicans support lots of subsidies – they just don’t mention those when whining about other peoples’ subsidies.

  • Peter

    First, I don’t think it’s fair to declare the bikeshare in Arlington “successful” yet. Let’s watch a while, and see how it goes. I think the program is worth a try.

    Second, if the loss of just a couple of parking spaces for the bike racks makes that much of a difference, then bikeshare isn’t the problem — there’s a bigger problem that needs to be solved. I’ve worked in Rosslyn for the last decade, and I’m glad I have a garage to park in. Rosslyn is a very awkwardly planned space for cars *and* pedestrians. No, I don’t have a solution.

    And finally, while I don’t consider myself loyal to either political party, the reaction to this attempt at something new (the bikeshare program) sounded stereotypically Republican. (Believe me, I have the same sort of thoughts about the other party when I read certain articles.) Stop the arbitrarily partisan divisiveness!

    • dynaroo

      What’s stereotypically Republican is the impulse to favor cars over bikes. How dare people be self-sufficient, save money, get exercise, pollute less, consume less oil, and take up less space?

      • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

        Oh, my mistake, this is a political issue for you. I understand.

        • dynaroo

          The ArlNow post is about how Republicans oppose using the parking, so yes, it’s a political issue because of the post we’re responding to. Did you read it?

          • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

            Yes, I said I understand.

  • http://blacknell.net/dynamic MB

    Good answers to this silliness over at Washcycle – http://www.thewashcycle.com/2011/04/arlington-gop-opposes-capital-bikeshare.html

  • OddNumber

    I mistakenly assumed that the bikeshare program was privately funded. Anyone have information on the public costs of the program? Seems a bit early to judge the effectiveness of the program, which is why I’m surprised that the stations are spreading so quickly.

    • KalashniKEV

      +1 I would like to know. Also, has anyone ever used one of these bikes as an alternative to a car? Most people so far I think are just using them as an alternative to a walk… or still just trying it out. I think the helmet issue is a big deal, too.

      • dynaroo

        I can easily see it being used as an alternative to a taxi.

        • http://jacquesofalltrades.tumblr.com Jacques

          I live in DC, not Arlington County, but in 50 trips I’ve taken, I’d say about 10-15 have replaced a car trip (mostly on evenings and weekends, since I don’t drive to work), 5 or so have replaced a taxi ride, and 25-30 have replaced a walk/bus trip.

        • KalashniKEV

          I mostly take a taxi when I’m heading out in the evening… I don’t think I would take a bike instead, esp. with temps approaching 90 today. It’s good that others are using it to replace a car trip though. I would use it a lot if I was still living on the Pike. I do anticipate a huge problem the first time someones melon hit’s the asphalt though…

        • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

          Agree. I use my bike as an alternative, but that’s just me. Some may not want to use their own bike or don’t own one for whatever reason.

      • Eponymous Coward

        I own a bike, but used CaBi over the weekend as one part of a three-leg trip. Metro from A to B, bike from B to C (not on Metro), get a ride from a friend from C back to A. B to C would have been a taxi ride, or me parking at B for several hours and C for several hours.

        No helmet, however, which, admittedly, is a problem. Given that many of our bike lanes are in the middle of the street (?!?), it is only a matter of time before a rider gets hurt and sues everyone under the sun.

        For those saying bike-sharing is people who don’t want to buy bikes, they really don’t understand the difference between bike sharing and bike rental.

    • 4Arl

      The City Paper recently FOIA-ed the DC contract, http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/2011/04/20/calling-all-bikeshare-geeks/
      A commenter there added a link to the Arlington contract which has initial costs/pricing.

  • John Fontain

    The bike sharing program is a plus overall, but why not install the bikes on one of the many 20 – 30 foot wide sections of sidewalks that are available? Car parking spots wouldn’t be lost and it would be safer for the folks checking their bikes in and out of the rental station.

    • othersideoftheriver

      I was wondering about that, too. There’s an enormous amount of space in Gateway park — why take up a parking space when there’s underused park space?

    • Georgethecat

      Totally agree. Why can’t the bikes be parked on especially wide sidewalk areas or areas on the street too small to make parking spots that presently go unused?

  • novasteve

    And liberals expect other people to pay for the things they want.

  • Mike

    What I don’t get is why this has to be either/or. I’m a bikeshare member but I drive sometimes too, and I’d like to see more bikeshare stations and more street parking. So why did the County take away parking spaces to put in bikeshare stations, rather than putting the stations on the sidewalk like they do in DC? I’m all for adding bikeshare stations, but don’t understand why they think they need to take away parking spaces to make that happen.

    • KalashniKEV

      At least they’re replacing parking with bikes here- in Crystal City they took parking spaces and replaced them with dirt and plants in the name of “Road Narrowing/ Congestion Promoting.” These people are brain dead.

    • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

      Copied and pasted:

      “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.”

      • KalashniKEV

        Wrong. What about the stupid little patch of grass right near the Hell Burger CaBi? Why didn’t they put it in there?

        • dynaroo

          Do you know who owns that patch of grass?

          • CW

            Yeah, seriously…I wonder what the value of that grass patch is? Probably a couple hundred thousand.

          • KalashniKEV

            Google Maps doesn’t show it as Green/Parkland, so I wonder if it is privately owned? Right on the corner of Clarendon and Rhodes I’m sure it’s worth WELL over a million. It’s actually not all that little now that I look at it, but it’s definitely stupid.

          • CW

            Oh, the Rhodeside Green park or whatever it is? I think that is actually a county or community park of some sort.

            I’d not been down and actually seen the CaBi location there; I thought it was over on Wilson and was thinking of another (much smaller!) area that literally was just a patch of grass.

          • dynaroo

            Would this be a good place for Dr. Dremo’s?

          • KalashniKEV

            This would be the BEST location for Dremo’s. In fact, I might just plop a keg in there this weekend and write DR. DREMO’S next to it on a big easel. Does anyone know if the name is trade marked? I’ll bet the county wouldn’t even care if I paid the Bums to police up all the empty solo cups at the end of the night.

  • spookiness

    I used to think Cabi was the stupidest thing ever when I first learned of the concept. Then I tried it and found myself using it almost daily at my work (in DC). I could even use it for partial commuting, and lost 10lbs in the process.

    My work location changed, and now I don’t have access to it, and I really miss the convenience and ease of it.

  • OX4

    Oh no! An angry blogger!! Who the hell shops in Rosslyn anyway?

    • GM

      Apparently they sell a lot of bitterness.

  • Angela

    Bikeshare is fine and should be accomodated for. However, there seems to be a grudge against those who drive cars, to which I take offense. Some of us who live in and around the city work outside of the city with a work commute that makes taking public transportation pretty much impossible. Street parking is already at a premium – removing spaces to make way for bikes makes parking even more difficult for those who need to make quick stops when on the way out. Why can’t bikes and cars co-exist in a neutral and friendly environment?

    Off-topic: I think it would be very helpful for bikesharing groups to require a bike safety course as a requirement for membership, or at least for renters to read and sign a rules-of-the-road reminder before renting a bike.

    • LyonSteve

      How do you know that they aren’t required to agree to their terms of service, which includes following traffic laws?

      • Eponymous Coward

        Getting people to read a 103-page terms-of-use agreement (I just checked) on that little touch-screen display would be ridiculous.

        Incidentally, there are stickers on the dock by each bike that say “CaBi encourages helmet use”. As do I, after sharing the road with some DC drivers.

    • dynaroo

      If enough people who would otherwise drive use bikes instead, it should open up even more parking spaces.

  • JP

    I think the problem with the Arlington Republicans point of view is that don’t realize that CABI is not a bike rental service it is bike transit service. The exponential increase in cost over 30 minutes of use makes CABI an unreasonable option for bike rental. The purpose is short trips for short distances, where walking would be just to far and transit and/or driving takes longer. Don’t think of it as removing 8 parking spaces, but adding 30. All it takes is 8 people a day to use CABI to get to Rosslyn instead of drive to make the bike share stations a net benefit to the community.

  • 4Arl

    JP, bike transit does appear to be the goal, if they can handle the rebalancing they have a shot at that. If riders begin to encounter empty or full racks more often, with all the social deal memberships sold recently, useful bike transit will be hard. Transit doesn’t work well when there is a chance you won’t have a bike when you need it. Or worse, you’ll be stuck with a $1000 bike you can’t dock.

    • R. Griffon

      This kind of thing screams out for a smartphone app to tell you the nearest station as well as bike and parking availability. I see there’s one in the App Store (for iPhone) already, but it appears to be by a 3rd party and has horrible reviews.

      Any chance CaBi will be releasing one of their own?

      • GM

        There is an official (and free) app for Capital Bikeshare, called Spotcycle, that is much better received.

  • http://BikeArlington.com Chris Eatough

    The phone app for Capital Bikeshare is Spotcycle. http://www.spotcycle.net/

  • eosacritic

    Why is your survey slanted(“Yes and no. It’s worthwhile, but options other than removing parking should have been strongly considered.”)?
    really? Do you really think they did not consider other options? Is there anything in the article that says they did not. No. There. Is. Not. Please be more responsible. Perhaps you could actually ask the County the reasons.

  • sophia

    Could someone help me please with a route?

    I work in rosslyn and want to get to pentagon city. I know there is a bikestation on Pentagon row.

    Thanks

    • South Arlington

      Get on the GW Parkway at the Key Bridge, ride to Crystal City, exit GW Parkway, take 18th St. to Pentagon City.

    • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

      Sophia, there are a couple of ways. This is a decent route that Google maps gives from the corner of 19th and Lynn to Pent City Mall – http://bit.ly/eSWxyz I’ve ridden this route, and if I were in a hurry, it’s the one I’d take. You might find it a bit more pleasant to stick along the Mount Vernon until you get to National, and then take the spur into Crystal City. Might take 5-7 minutes longer, though.

      For anyone else looking for route help, remember that Google Maps has a “bike there” option. It’s definitely not perfect (occasionally telling me to get on Route 50, for example), but it’s useable. And the folks over at BikeArlingtonForum.com are quite helpful for these sorts of queries.

      (And thanks, South Arlington, for being ever so helpful. Enjoy your next traffic jam.)

      • South Arlington

        Sorry for confusing the name GW Parkway and Mt Vernon Trail, MB, and suggesting the exact same route you did. You might want to let sophia know that the other route you suggested is an unpaved, narrow dirt track that gets muddy and full of puddles anytime it rains.

        • Josh S

          Obviously a case of two people talking past each other. The request, it appeared, was for a BIKE route between the two destinations. The Mt. Vernon Trail is, in fact, a paved bike trail between the two destinations. No dirt track anywhere along the route. Puddles, sure. GW Parkway, is, of course, GW Parkway. A road. Not suitable at all, and possibly illegal for, bicycles.

          • South Arlington

            I’m aware of the Mt Vernon Trail. For whatever reason, I’ve always considered it riding along GW Parkway, rather than by the proper name of Mt Vernon Trail.

            The running path cutting from the Memorial Bridge to the Pentagon parking lot is a dirt, single track running path that is difficult to ride under any type of wet conditions, which is what MB suggested to “save 5-7 minutes”. I’d just take my original suggestion, get on the MT VERNON TRAIL, get off at Crystal City, and go down 18th St. to Pentagon City.

          • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

            My apologies for being a snot where it wasn’t necessary.

            (And yes, Josh S, it’s actually illegal to ride a bike on the GW Parkway. It’s also a blindingly bad idea north of Alexandria. It’s actually quite safe south of Alexandria (having done it many many times before I finally found out that it was illegal, per order of the NPS superintendent in charge of the GW.)

    • sophia

      Thank you!

  • http://therightsideofaustin.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/rand-paul-as-noze-brother.png The Noze Bros

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the spaces that ZipCar takes up. This is a for profit company that has gone public and doesn’t pay Arlington any money at all for the parking spaces that they take up.

    I like ZipCar but I don’t think that Arlington should be subsidizing their profitability. Let them garage their cars (like they do in DC) or pay Arlington $24/day (the Arlington rate for parking being $1/hr, right?) for using those spots.

    But ZipCar shows that most of what you do with you car is to store it, whether it’s at your home, in the public street in front of your home or at the meters in Rosslyn.

    • dynaroo

      If Zipcar should pay, it shouldn’t be $24/day. Every Zipcar is equal to several cars that would be owned by Zipcar members and parked somewhere, not just one. Zipcar does a public service by taking cars off the road and out of parking spaces, as does CaBi.

      • Josh S

        I think it might be a stretch to say they do a “public service.” It’s a for-profit entity. They exist to make money. Sure, it has positive externalities such as those you mention. But Gold’s Gym has positive externalities by keeping people healthier thus reducing strains on the health system. Is that a public service? Should the county thus subsidize their existence? (Leaving aside questions of whether they do for economic development reasons.) I think that for the county to get into the business of subsidizing businesses because of some notion of “public service” is just a really tricky thing. How do you draw the line?

        • dynaroo

          I understand what you mean – and I’d say they do a public service by taking care of a problem that the County would otherwise have to deal with (parking). So I think “public service” is fair. Kind of like with a gym that makes money, but also saves on health insurance costs by improving health, which causes some health plans to offer discounts on gym membership.

  • Carol_R

    It seems that Arlington County doesn’t like cars and doesn’t like local businesses. It keeps driving away their customers. No one is going to use a parking garage to stop and purchase products from local stores to run in quick and buy it. Parking garages are for long term parking. Arlington County already gauges customers with a restaurant tax and they continue to discourage people from buying from local businesses – this is just another example.

    I used to stop regularly at the Subway on Wilson Blvd/Barton St on my way home from work until they took away all the parking. Basically if I want to go to a restaurant (even fast food these days) I go outside of Arlington to Falls Church typically where they don’t charge a restaurant tax and I can park.

    Eight parking spaces to lose is a lot. And I expect that the local businesses are upset about it since it means a huge lose of revenue for them. It means that they are only going to get business from locals who can walk there from their condos/apartments or work in Rossyln and that’s about it.

    • dynaroo

      The county doesn’t hate anything, it’s just changing so that people have more options. That’s good. It can’t please everyone all the time, so it has to make choices. Cars already dominate the county, and letting that continue will only make it just as hard to drive and park simply because the roads are choked with them. Providing alternatives benefits everyone, including drivers. Someone on a bike is someone who isn’t in a car, taking the parking space you wanted.

    • OX4

      It’s not that Arlington doesn’t like cars, it’s that Arlington is giving equal priority to drivers, bicyclists, walkers, and subway riders. Many of us live in Arlington for that exact reason. And I’m not sure why people wouldn’t use a garage for short term parking. That’s simple confusion on your part. The Safeway garage in Rosslyn validates, and the Ballston garage is still $1 I believe.

      • dynaroo

        The garage at Clarendon Commons validates too. Lots of them do.

        And Carol, 8 spaces is nothing. Get serious.

      • PhilL

        I would say they are not giving equal priority to cars. The Master Transportation Plan states that reducing the proportion of cars to other modes is one of its goals. Almost everything the County is doing, either in planning strategy or in promotion of other modes of transport is designed to get people out of their cars. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and it’s OK to just admit it.

        • dynaroo

          Well, yes, of course they aren’t giving “equal” priority to cars – because cars have had almost total dominance. Anything you do to improve the mix of alternative modes of transportation is going to involve other modes, sometimes at the expense of cars.

          And remember, that benefits those people who are still in their cars, by reducing traffic congestion and pressure on parking.

    • South Arlington

      1.) It’s not like the County Board decided we have too much parking in Courthouse, let’s build the Arlington Rooftop Grill and get rid of parking. A private landowner made a business decision in a free market that their property was more valuable with Arlington Rooftop Grill than with a few parking spots for Subway and Delhi Dhaba. I’m pretty sure they are coming out ahead after losing your $4 Subway purchase versus their huge revenue from the Arlington Rooftop. But I understand that business decisions like that might be difficult for you to understand.

      2.) Only locals and Rosslyn workers were going to the Rosslyn restaurants anyways. Anytime after 6:30 or 7 street parking in Rosslyn is plentiful due to no one being there.

      3,) You ignore that people using Bikeshare also buy things and food. Considering you are complaining about paying the minimal cost for parking, I’d hazard a guess that the Bikesharers are also riding to spend more money on brunches, happy hours, nights out, dinners, etc. than you would have. That doesn’t sound bad for business to me.

    • bizarro Carol_R

      It seems that Arlington County likes mobility and local businesses. It keeps creating new ways for customers to get to the businesses. No one is going to use a parking garage to stop and purchase products from local stores to run in quick and buy it–but they will use bikes or Metro. Arlington County already has the lowest property taxes in the area.

      I used to drive past the Subway on Wilson Blvd/Barton St on my way home from work because there was no parking, but now I don’t need to park because I bike or Metro there. Basically if I want to go to a restaurant (even fast food these days) I can get there easily by bike or Metro, or still take a car and use a garage.

      Eight parking spaces to lose is really nothing. And I expect that the local businesses are happy because it means more customers can reach them even as traffic congestion grows in the region. It means that they are going to get business from locals who can walk there from their condos/apartments or work in Rosslyn and also from people commuting by Metro or using bikes. There has been a net gain in parking spaces with new garages, and people will shop and then eat too. Restaurants and businesses are doing just fine in the area and new ones open all the time.

  • dynaroo

    Just happened on this article by a new bike commuter in Arlington, with one of her reasons biking is better:

    “Pollo Rico takeout meals got easy. No more waiting for a parking spot.”

    http://www.commuterpageblog.com/2011/04/i-biked-it-i-liked-it.html

  • dynaroo

    WashCycle found an interesting study from Australia:

    “A study in Melbourne, Austrailia showed that dedicating a parking space to bike parking (and that probably translates to bike sharing) generates more business than it did as a parking space.

    Each square metre of space allocated to cars reaps just $6 per hour in expenditure, whereas each square metre of space allocated to bikes reaps five times as much ($31 per hour).”

    http://www.thewashcycle.com/2011/04/bike-parking-is-better-for-business.html

  • Charles

    You mean to tell me Arlington County GIVES the Capital Bikeshare company free use of street space for the profit of C.B. profits? What stupid !@#$%head in Arlington County government thought this was a good idea?

    It is wrong wrong wrong to make taxpayers make up the difference, just so Capital Bikeshare can make profits.

    Capital Bikeshare should be required to re-pay the county “the loss of the parking spaces would cost the county $10,000 in parking meter revenue per year.”

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