Capital Bikeshare to Get to Georgetown, Eventually

Yesterday the District’s new bike share program, unimaginatively titled Capital Bikeshare, officially started. GM mentioned here a few weeks ago that the bike share program would “come” to Georgetown by yesterday. Well, turns out that was a bit overoptimistic.

Rather than wait until all the stations are in place, DDOT and Arlington County started the program with only about half the stations ready. None of those are in Georgetown. This isn’t necessarily how GM would have started it, since it’s a bit confusing for riders. But since most of the initial adopters are probably bike share fans like GM, there is probably little risk they’ll give up on the program.

Anyway, another concern for Georgetown bike share users is that on the map of proposed stations, the west Georgetown station is completely gone. Remember that originally it was going to be just outside the gates of the university, then it was proposed to go next to the Car Barn, and after the ANC objected, the station remains in limbo. DDOT representative John Lisle assured GM that they are still looking for a location in west Georgetown, but the decision hasn’t been made yet. The likely outcome will be that the station will be actually on the campus and that GU will pay for it. For this system to really succeed, it will need to have a station on the campus and in the neighborhood, but getting one on the campus is a good first start.

As for the other three locations that aren’t controversial: Lisle stated that about five stations are being installed per day across the city, and that all the stations should be in place within 2-3 weeks.

GM took his inaugural ride yesterday. It was fantastic. The bike is heavy (even heavier than the Smartbikes) but sturdy. The fat tires and the thick handlebars definitely brought GM back to his BMX days and inspired him to add a certain classic to his Netflix queue.

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6 Comments

Filed under Capital Bikeshare

6 responses to “Capital Bikeshare to Get to Georgetown, Eventually

  1. Ken Archer

    I’ve been asking residents who actually live within a block of the Car Barn entrance about this, and none of them objected to a Bikeshare location there.

    Who in Georgetown is actually opposed to a Bikeshare location in front of the Car Barn, and where do they live? I was pretty confused by the fact that outgoing Commissioner Skelsey said his constituents oppose it, when none of his constituents showed up to the ANC mtg to oppose it and the Car Barn isn’t even in his district. I just don’t see how we are going to relieve Georgetown of traffic and parking congestion, while opposing initiatives this.

  2. Ben

    Ken:

    I agree with your comments. I understand that having a bike-station facility outside someone’s house might bring a few more people to the area but I’d think that most of the people who would be members of this bike-sharing program are probably pretty decent people who won’t cause problems of loitering, noise, etc that the neighbors fear.

    Here’s a chance to do something to address scarce parking in Georgetown and provide an alternative to more driving and congestion and yet the ANC is opposing this?

  3. GM

    To be fair to the ANC, they aren’t opposed to a station in west Georgetown. They just want it closer to the school. Which, really, is the better place for the first station. Ironically, it was Skelsey objecting to the Car Barn location even though that’s not his SMD, yet he specifically encouraged DDOT to locate it *in* his SMD.

    The ones who should really be complaining are us over on the east side. There’s both space and a need for a station in Rose Park. NPS isn’t an issue since good chunks of Rose Park are District owned. I also think a station at the Jackson School would be great (granted, I live next door. But a station for Montrose Park would be very popular).

  4. Ken Archer

    GM,

    I think the problem is that the ANC is telling DDOT that Georgetowners don’t want Bikeshare stations close to their homes, which I simply have not found to be true except for a small number of NIMBYs.

  5. asuka

    A station near the Car Barn would make it inconvenient for many Georgetown residents. It should be more centrally located to both West and East Georgetown, as well as Water Street and the M street/Wisconsin intersection.

  6. Omar

    A Car Barn location would be very convenient for Rosslyn commuters!

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