Feedback Wanted on Bikeshare Expansion Plan

by Katie Pyzyk March 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm 3,174 40 Comments

Earlier this year, Arlington announced plans to create a six-year plan for the growth and utilization of Capital Bikeshare in the county. Now, the public is being asked to weigh in and give suggestions on the plan.

An online forum has been set up for gathering feedback about the plan, which will cover fiscal years 2013-2018. Four scenarios were created and posted on the BikeArlington website as a general guide for expansion. Users are asked to comment about the favorable and unfavorable aspects of each scenario. Designers expect that none of the existing scenarios will be strictly adopted, but rather that elements of each will contribute to the final proposal.

One of the goals of the plan is to project costs and adjust budgets accordingly. All transit agencies in Virginia are required to complete a transit development plan every six years.

Comments can be posted at the online forum until April 13. There will also be a public meeting to address expansion on March 29, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at George Mason University’s Arlington Campus (3351 N. Fairfax Dr). The public is encouraged to attend and provide input.

  • Brian K

    I believe the correct headline would be ‘Feedback’ not ‘Feeback.’ Please proofread Katie

    • Swag

      I proofread Katie. She seems alright.

      • MC 703

        Brian, K?

        • drax

          I ate, shot, and left at that comment.

  • Heres the Video About It
  • novasteve

    What they should do is put a mini CaBi station, say 3-5 bikes several apartment/condo buildings.

    • Swag

      Problem is that big or small, all the stations require about the same amount of upkeep. There’s a lot of time/money spent shuffling bikes around from full stations to empty ones since the system fails if you can’t get a bike when you need it or return a bike when you’re done with it.

      Adding lots of small stations would increase their overhead with only minimal returns.

    • drax

      I had the same idea. Though Swag has a point. Best to put stations at the center of high-population areas.

      On the other hand, there could be a few smaller stations in outlying areas, like parks (especially parks where parking is a problem) and schools (likewise).

  • SouthArlJD

    Lately I’ve noticed Capital Bikes tooling around the Courthouse area. It actually seems like a good idea. Instead of driving or having to take a taxi or boarding a crowded train people are able to ride to their destination and get a little fresh air and exercise.

    • Michael H.

      CaBi has been expanding its coverage in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. There are only a few stations there now, but many more are on the way this year.

  • No Bike

    No more damn bikes, lets put a trolly line in the entire county courthouse to ballsto, its needed

    • CW

      Or have the subway run more than twice an hour on weekends as if we lived in a first world country or something.

      • Silver relief

        Metro headways on the evenings and weekends are truly terrible, and create a catch-22 where infrequent service (~20 min. headways) means fewer folks ride, and lower ridership means low motivation to decrease headways.

        WMATA needs to serve more than just commuters. Join me in challenging WMATA to advertise and run a six month pilot to decrease headways to no longer than 12 minutes on Thursday, Friday, and Sat. evenings, as well as weekends during the day, to see if they could get sufficient ridership to support that level of service.

        From a more narrow optic, the Silver line should improve headways for Arlingtonians going to and from DC at all hours.

  • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

    Maybe they could more bike parking for those of us that own bikes and use them, instead of providing for this niche only. Improve the amount of secure bike parking through out the county in shopping centers, at parks, grocery stores etc. Oh, wait, that doesn’t offer the pat on the back photo ops the County Board is really after.

    • MB

      Oh, wait, the County installed 30+ racks in the R-B corridor in the past month and a half. And I think there’s about that many more coming to the rest of the County, soon.

      And guess what else? Secure bike parking is a part of pretty much every new development site plan (and has been, for a few years now).

      Maybe we should hold a County Board photo op to get the word out.

      • CW

        I agree wholeheartedly with your second point, its especially a no brainer if a building is trying to go LEED.

        Regarding your first point, I live in Clarendon and would say I spend a good amount of time in the R-B corridor. I also ride a lot. Where are these 30+ county, non private new racks? No sarcasm, genuinely curious because I have not noticed a one of them.

        • It was actually 41 racks installed in February. Email me at [email protected] for a complete list.

          And there are more on the way–put in a request for a spot you think needs it here:

          • SomeGuy

            Tim, could you or someone at BikeArlington post a link to such a list so it’s more accessible to the community? I.e. so we don’t actually have to email BikeArlington for that kind of info.

        • MB

          Think of it as more “in-fill” type installations than big new installs, CW. Off the top of my head, I know there’s a new rack outside Galaxy Hut, a couple new ones outside of VA Square Metro (along Fairfax & Monroe), several along Wilson between Ballston & Clarendon, etc.

          The link Tim gives above is a good one. The trick, however, is that the requested location must be public prop/ROW. It cannot solve, unfortunately, the bike parking messes that are, say, the Virginia Square Giant.

          • CW

            Great, thanks!

  • Bender

    What’s with the one-size-fits-all bikes? People come in different sizes, and judging from the bikes I saw at one station, I would have a difficult time riding one of these comfortably, not to mention safely.

    Does the County carry liability insurance in case someone gets injured riding one of these bikes?

    • Greg

      I’m not trying to be rude, but maybe it just isn’t for you.

    • MB

      The seat posts are very adjustable, and the geometry of the bikes makes them very much “One-size-fits-most”. I know people who are 5′ to 6’6″ that regularly use them.

    • Michael H.

      You can easily adjust the height of the seat post.

      As for the injury rate, it has been extraordinarily low throughout the entire system. While there have been about 17 accidents over the first 1.6 million bike trips, there were only two that resulted in serious injuries. So we’re talking about one serious accident every 800,000 trips, and no deaths.

  • Chris, BikeArlington

    All users agree to a user agreement that includes a waiver. If there is a lawsuit, the operator, Alta Bicycle Share would face it, and they do carry insurance.

  • Bender

    So, the public accomodation that are these bikes are not ADA compliant?

    • Justin Russo

      Is yo’ momma ADA compliant?

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    I would like to see actual utilization rates. Because, as this photo shows, there are not a lot of bikes being used and they do take up open space on the sidewalks.

    Will they leave the bike stations out in the winter?

    Is Capital Bikeshare the only bike rent company that gets to bid on the contract?

    I fear the billboard syndrome as we had on highways in the 60s and 70s.

    • Crystal Dykey

      I’ve had a membership for over a year and I love it. They are available year ’round.

    • MB

      Loads of info about utilization rates here –

      Short version: they’re heavily used, and there’s a better recovery of costs than most any other transit system in the region.

      • Clarendon Cruiser

        Impressive, as an ORSA guy it looks like they have done their homework.

        Still sad that more of my sidewalk space may be taken away.

        What makes Paris and Berlin great cities are their wide pedestrian promenades.

    • drax

      Really? You’re judging the entire program by one photo?

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    Actually it’s this company that owns and operates the bikes, they seem to have a monopoly in all big cities.

  • Umm

    Or we could acknowledge this was a well-intended bad idea and scale back the program.

    • Juanita de Talmas

      Actually, it’s been wildly successful.

    • Bandersnatch

      Where is that coming from? Look at the data (linked a few posts above) and open your eyes- the bikes are everywhere and actually being used.

      • Biking dude

        But the bikes aren’t being reshuffled properly or priced properly to encourage reshuffling. I walk and bike everywhere I go where I live (nova), but near where I work in DC, there are two locations with bike racks that never have bikes in them at the times of the day when I need to do errands (during and after work)– so I have never bothered to join bikeshare and never plan to. Instead, I take cabs where I need to in the city. My guess is that the reshuffling problem will only be worse in Arlington, since there isn’t the same level of density as there is in downtown DC.

  • Chris (BikeArlington)

    Yes, the bikes stay out year round.
    Alta Bikeshare operates the system. They won the contract in an open bidding (RFP) process. They also operate in Boston and will start soon in New York and Chicago. They won all these contracts through bidding.
    A photo of bikes in docks does not necessarily mean that usage at that station is low. In fact, it probably means that lots of people rode to that station to dock. Users can pick up and drop off at any station, so the bike counts at each station are highly variable.
    Some usage stats: Over 6000 trips per day on Capital Bikeshare the last few days. 1 million trips in the first year.
    A more thorough network of stations will boost the usage even further.

    • Karl

      Republicans don’t care about your “facts” and “statistics”. If we say we believe it to be a bad idea, that’s all the proof needed.

  • Barry

    I won’t ride a bicycle on Arlington’s streets until Arlington’s streets are repaved. Shame on the bicyclists for not demanding an accelerated repaving program.


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