New Bikeshare Stations Proposed for 2013

by ARLnow.com September 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm 4,098 72 Comments

BikeArlington has released an extensive list of proposed Capital Bikeshare stations to be built in fiscal year 2013, and is asking for public feedback.

The two page list shows proposed station locations, broken down by area. Among the areas that might get new Bikeshare stations are Shirlington, Arlington Cemetery and numerous neighborhoods along Columbia Pike.

Each of the 40 entries is accompanied by an aerial and a ground level photo of the location. Public comments about the proposed stations are being accepted via the online map, or by emailing [email protected]

BikeArlington’s Chris Eatough stresses that the locations listed are still preliminary, but the public feedback will help to devise the final list, which should be released sometime in the fall.

Although some residents have offered suggestions for stations in outlying areas, organizers say that doesn’t work with how the system is set up. The overall plan involves adding more docking stations in areas that already have Bikeshare, then gradually expanding outward. Because users need to dock bikes frequently, new stations wouldn’t be useful if they’re positioned far from existing stations.

“If you don’t have alternatives close by, people can get stranded, basically,” Eatough said. “We have to connect to the existing network.”

Eatough says devising the list is just part of the extensive transportation planning process that’s been ongoing since early this year. While continuously collecting public comments, there have also been numerous meetings and work sessions to come up with a longer term comprehensive plan for Bikeshare in Arlington.

“We do feel like we’ve done our due diligence and outreach, and continue to do it,” said Eatough. “For a bike sharing program, this is pretty groundbreaking stuff. Nobody has a long range plan for bike sharing in the country right now.”

The program has only been around for about two years, but much effort is spent on helping the public to consider it a legitimate mode of public transportation. In becoming more recognized and validated, the hope is to bring in additional funding sources.

Even though expansion of the program has been explosive and the stations are well used, the newness of Capital Bikeshare means there’s still some confusion about how it works. For example, Eatough says some people initially think it might be a good idea to rent a bike for a few hours to get some exercise or see the sights. However, the program is actually intended to be a point-to-point option for short trips and commuting. Regular users quickly learn that keeping trips to 30 minutes or less is the most cost-effective way to do bike sharing, based on the current pricing system.

“If you want exercise or to go on the trails, those kind of longer trips are really not the purpose of Capital Bikeshare. Users can make a series of trips all day long and if each one is 30 minutes or less, then you’ve got several useful trips and that’s of no additional cost. That’s why we put docking stations all over the place,” Eatough said. “It’s kind of a new way of getting around, so there is a learning curve for people.”

The long term plan for Capital Bikeshare is just one of the several biking improvements getting praise in Arlington. Eatough also pointed out the county’s recent widening of certain bike lanes and painting portions of bike lanes green.

“They’re all just a sign that our streets are evolving little bit. Whether you’re driving or biking or walking, everyone has interactions and has their role to play in these interactions,” Eatough said. “We have to help each other. It’s really about people rather than mode.”

Right now, it’s unclear when the dozens of new Bikeshare docking stations will be installed. Once the list of proposed stations is finalized, there’s a permitting process, and the County Board has to give approval. After that, the stations can typically be installed at a rate of three per day, and only take about two hours to get up and running.

  • novasteve

    If they put these on columbia pike, with the streetcar, I have a feeling the bad press from the fatalities might finish Cabi

  • Becoming indifferent

    All I ask is that they quit putting these damn Bikeshare stations in places where they take away parking spaces. Yes, I walk and bike as much as possible, but I do have a car because there are places that are otherwise inaccessible, and many of us rely on street parking.

    • DCBuff

      ArlCo only wants to tax our cars, not drive them.

      • DCBuff

        not for us to drive them

      • John F. Kennedy

        Ask not who you can drive for us, ask who we can drive for you.

        • franks sinatra

          to do be drive by do be do

          • The Bud Light Penguin

            do be do be doooooo

    • Dezlboy

      At the last Arlington Heights Comm Ass meeting, a the Arlington Co. Bikeshare manager presented three possible locations for Bikeshare racks in Arlington Heights. Likely only one will be installed. All three were on concrete areas, not in the street.

    • drax

      Um, 15 bikes taking up 1 or 2 spaces are probably going to free up more parking spaces than they consume.

  • Swag

    Kinda surprised they couldn’t get the county to cough up 100 sq. ft. of the barely used Barton Park for that station they just installed instead of taking up two parking spaces. Not only do people have to wrangle their bikes three feet from traffic, but they also have to block the bike lane to do so. On top of that, you just know that somebody is going to hit it eventually.

  • DCBuff

    By all means, put lots of the heavily subsidized by taxpayers Capital Bikeshare stations on Columbia Pike, where the bikes will be unuseable due to construction of the heavily subsidized by taxpayers streetcar.

    • Benedict

      Don’t forget the heavily subsidized roads and other heavily subsidized automotive infrastructure.

      • Eggs

        I wish the government would heavily subsidize some hollandaise sauce up in here…..

  • Westover Leftover

    Subsidized bikes:
    Not a function of government

    • MB

      Is on-street parking a function of government?

    • Benedict

      Subsidized auto infrastructure:
      Not a function of government

      • DCBuff

        How is auto infrastructure subsidized? If you own an auto in VA, you pay the car tax. You pay the federal excise tax and state sales tax on your fuel purchases. Those taxes go to the “auto infrastructure.” So do the specific sales taxes on car sales. And, we pay taxes that support our streets–some might say ArlCo isn’t doing enough to maintain our streets, but they just recovered mine, so I can’t–so there are plenty of taxes paid, directly and indirectly, to support streets. Which the bikes also use, but in virtually no way support. But, I know you are being sardonic.

        • Michael H.

          General taxes are used to pay for much of the road network because gas taxes do not even begin to cover the entire cost of construction and maintenance of roads. That is the definition of a subsidy.

          Cyclists do use roads but they do not cause the damage that cars and trucks do. The massive amounts of spending on road maintenance are required to counter the wear and tear caused by cars and trucks, not cyclists and pedestrians.

        • drax

          Micheal H. is correct. These days, user taxes like the gas tax only covers about half of infrastructure spending. The other half comes from general taxes.

          Cyclists have very little impact on traffic or road wear and tear. And they pay their fair share of taxes.

          Next people will want to ban pedestrians or get rid of sidewalks because they don’t pay a gas tax either.

    • happycyclist

      fighting anything that reduces oil consumption

      A function of the Kochs bros, Exxon Mobil, and their internet pals

      • Becoming indifferent

        Not fighting anything that reduces oil consumption, just asking for some consideration as to where they put the stations. Sorry, you’re dreaming if you think we’re getting rid of cars anytime soon, including ones that run on gasoline. Many of us do walk or bike (I walk to work), but sometimes a car IS necessary.

        • V. Putin

          sometimes a car IS necessary

          If you find it necessary to use a car, then it is your responsibility to find a place to park it, not the county’s.

          • Becoming indifferent

            Well, we had more places to park until the COUNTY allowed a Bikeshare station to built in our neighborhood without any input from the local residents.

          • Becoming indifferent

            And the Bikeshare station could have simply been placed on the sidewalk, or in another area that doesn’t take up limited parking in the neighborhood.

          • tea party

            input from the local residents –
            Not a function of government

          • happycyclist

            well now they seem to be asking for input – that in the post

          • Josh S

            Perhaps some in the neighborhood are bike riders?
            Share and share alike, right?
            Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten, etc, etc.

          • Becoming indifferent

            Whether or not there are bike riders in the neighborhood (and I am one), NOBODY inquired whether we wanted a Bikeshare stand or not. But hey, that’s the Arlington Way.

          • Siegfried Fischbacher

            Sure they did, you just weren’t paying attention.


          • drax

            So they have to get permission from you for everything?

          • drax

            1. Yes, there was input.

            2. You realize that more people riding bikes = more net parking spaces, right?

        • happycyclist

          the comment to which I responded had nothing to do with parking

          And the point is not to get rid of cars, but to REDUCE the amount of gasoline consumed, which can be done by using the car for FEWER trips.

    • D’oh

      The Leftovers have spoiled…

    • tea party

      subsidized bailouts and CEO bonus – only legitimate function of government

  • JnA

    More bicycles on our streets? Arlington should do what Alexandria is doing, put police officers on bicycles on our streets.

  • SomeGuy

    I drive a vehicle AND ride a bike. I never know which extreme side to join in these threads, because clearly there’s no middle-ground where bikes and cars can give each other some consideration.

    • SomeGuy

      I walk places sometimes too, which makes it even more confusing.

      • WeiQiang

        Just don’t cross the street while talking on your mobile phone … while walking, biking, or driving. You’ll get creamed. [not the hollandaise kind]

      • jackson

        You don’t walk. You use one of those hover chairs from Wall-E

    • Dr_Klahn

      I’d give cyclists more consideration if they went back to riding those old fashioned bikes with the huge front tire and teeny-tiny rear tire.

    • drax

      Just take a side based on how you got to work that day.

  • craig

    does anybody actually use these dumb looking bikes?

    • SomeGuy


    • Marissa

      Yes, I see morons riding them without helmets all the time. I’ve only seen ONE get hit by a car and I’ve only been hit by ONE of the morons (sans helmet) riding on the sidewalk.

      • Dr_Klahn

        Who cares? There’s a lot of evidence out there that bike helmets actually worsen a lot of types of injuries b/c of the way they are designed (check out http://www.vehicularcyclist.com/).

        If you really wanted to prevent head injuries then cyclists should wear motorcycle helmets. For that matter, far more pedestrians and motorists suffer fatal head injuries than cyclists do any given year, so if they’re so critical why don’t you wear one when you’re driving or walking?

        • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

          That is some creative spin of statistics. OH head injury… those bikers have no clue! (tic) Right.

        • drax

          Helmets and helmet laws are not the same thing.

        • drax

          The “evidence” on this site consists of saying that lots of people without helmets don’t get hurt.

          So what? Is keeping a thing off your head worth the risk that you won’t be one of those people?

      • happycyclist

        I personally wear a helmet whenever I ride (I have one and I believe its a net improvement to safety)

        but the reality is that by the nature of bike share, people who use it won’t alway have a helmet with them. Given the relative importance of cardio vascular disease vs bike injuries in our nation’s health, I would suggest that someone taking a Cabi bike out for a spin sans helmet, is probably better off than someone driving instead.

        Im also not clear how someone wearing a helmet would make them less like to hit a pedestrian.

        • Josh S

          No one claims that having a helmet on your head makes you less likely to get in an accident. It’s there in case you do get in an accident. If you’d like to do the research yourself as to whether your head survives impact with the ground better without a helmet as compared to with a helmet, be our guest…..

          • dll

            Did you learn how to be snide in kindergarten?

          • drax

            That wasn’t snide.

          • Josh S

            Well played, well played. A tip o the hat….

    • Siegfried Fischbacher
  • Curious

    I like the idea of Bikeshare & it seems quite popular. However, I can’t figure out under what circumstances I would ever use it.

    Can someone explain a hypothetical situation where I would need this service?

    I own a bike.
    I live 1 mile from a metro station.
    The nearest Bikeshare station is 2/3 mile from my house.
    I work 2 blocks from a metro station.
    I plan leisure/entertainment activities around metro accessible areas.

    • Vinh An Nguyen

      Do you ever use a cab even though you own a car? It’s kind of the same concept.

    • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

      And you are in the minority. The majority people can not tick off your list. Thus, the use of CaBi makes sense for people. Or, you are at work (came by metro), need to make a quick errand, so you grab a CaBi and get there and back quicker. There any number of uses if one uses their imagination.

    • happycyclist

      I guess if you want to go to a leisure/entertainment area that is outside walking distance from a metro, but too far to bike to, and its at a time when you can’t take your bike on the metro (for example you might want to take a lunchtime ride). That might not be often enough for it to work for you though.

    • cynthiabigc

      I have a bike, like a mile from the station.. have a car.. but if I want to go into DC and meet friends, and I ride a Cap Bikeshare bike.. I can ride into town.. meet up with friends.. all drive in one car, and then ride home later or metro home. Otherwise if I rode my bike… then I’m not hanging out with my friends in the car etc. etc. The other great thing is that I don’t have to worry about my bike being stolen.. as it’s NOT MY BIKE! great! Also, just rode from Rosslyn to Court House on a bike share bike to do and errand in the middle of the day for work! Easy.. not that miserable metro that takes FOREVER!

      • T

        Clearly, if there is even one person in the county who objects or finds no benefit from any program, the program should be eliminated. I’m working on my list of programs to be eliminated. “Shoot first, aim later.”

    • Josh S

      I sort of scratch my head, too – but I see them in use *all* the time, so I don’t really worry about it – obviously they work for some people.

    • Michael H.

      It’s not intended to be used by every single person in D.C. and Arlington. Never was. But it has been used by a significant percentage of D.C. and Arlington residents, along with many visitors from outside the region. Despite the complaints of people like novasteve, the program gets a lot of use for the amount of money spent on it. And the amount of money is actually getting lower, since the D.C. part of the network is already bringing in more money than it’s spending. (It really helps to have so many tourists and business visitors buying up the one-day and 5-day memberships.)

      I own two bikes, which I use frequently. But I also use CaBi often. CaBi is more convenient for running small errands, because I don’t have to worry about locking up my own bike outside. CaBi is good for one-way trips. Suppose I decide to commute one way, knowing that the weather will be bad in the evening. Or I plan to go to a happy hour after work and don’t want to bike back home. I can use CaBi one-way. I can’t do that with my own bike, unless I left it overnight. I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving the bike outside that long.

      I live near and work near Metro stations. I use CaBi bikes near home and near work, for various types of trips.

    • drax

      So now you can expand your reach from work. You could go shop after work at that store that’s a mile away or whatever.

  • Id

    I am a 100% streetcar guy.

  • Kowalski

    So in the dead of winter do these bikes just sit in the snow?

    Do they put the inventory away for the season and give back the sidewalk or parking space?

    I can’t see these being used as much then (even though I used to do some serious MTB in New England snow)

    • Josh S

      How many days is Arlington snow-covered, on average? 10? 15? No need to put them away for the winter.

    • Jacques

      In the winter of 2012, they were used over 3,000 (and I think closer to 5,000) times per day. In the summer, it’s been closer to 7,500 trips per day.

    • Michael H.

      As noted, we don’t get that much snow in Arlington. The bikes are available year-round, and yes, people do use them. Over the first winter, I used the CaBi bikes very frequently. I didn’t use the bikes as often last winter, but I still checked them out occasionally.

      The usage numbers do go down a bit with the cold weather. But there are still many people using the bikes over the winter.

      • Clarendon Cruiser

        I’ll be looking closely at the bikeshare racks after the first few days of snow and near 20 F (before windchill) this winter.

        and 3000 to 5000 uses per day is a pretty wide variance, or was that just a guess?

        I Just don’t see men and women riding these things to work in their business suits everyday and I run every morning up and down the custis trail at those hours.

  • JnA

    Why do I have to chain my bicycle to a tree or lamppost? Installing bicycle racks will benefit all bicycle owners. I have a bicycle that fits my needs. I will not use a clunky rental bicycle. Start serving the needs of all and stop serving the needs of for-profit special interests.

    Also, please don’t tell people to bicycle in the winter when there’s ice and snow on the trails, sidewalks, and streets. It’s just too dangerous.


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