The District is rolling out a new bike sharing system this fall. It has been dubbed Capital Bikeshare and it will replace the successful, but limited, SmartBike program that was introduced in 2008. Capital Bikeshare will have 100 stations in the District, which will be a ten-fold increase over SmartBike (there will be an additional 14 stations in Arlington-mainly in the Crystal City corridor). Today DDOT announced the proposed locations of the District stations. Under those plans, Georgetown would receive four stations, as you can see above.
The four locations are spread out across Georgetown. The first is on K St. and 30th in front of the Swedish Embassy. The next is up on Wisconsin just above the canal (this was the location of a proposed expansion of SmartBike). As recommended by GM, another station will be located at Georgetown University. Finally, it appears that a fourth station will be located at Hardy Middle School across from the Safeway, but if you click on the flag for the station it says “Wisconsin and 37th”, which is up in Glover Park. Since there is another flag for pretty much that exact same location and since a stop in front of the Safeway makes a lot of sense, GM is assuming that the flag is simply mislabeled.
GM is a big fan of SmartBike and is excited to be able to finally ride a shared bike to and from Georgetown, but he can’t help but think that the plan comes up short for Georgetown. Stations at popular destinations like Rose Park, Montrose Park, and Volta Park, as well as in-fill stations at Pennsylvania and M and Wisconsin and P would all make sense.
In fact, DDOT’s own analysis seems to indicate that east Georgetown is due more stations.
However, GM wonders whether Georgetown’s narrow sidewalks and federal land (namely Rose Park and Montrose Park) limited DDOT’s choices here. (Just a thought: The District still owns the Jackson School; it would be a great location for a station to serve Montrose Park. Surely the resident artists wouldn’t object.)
DDOT is hoping to win a TIGER grant to expand the system even more than the 100 proposed stations. Hopefully a few more Georgetown stations will be included.
Finally, you know what would go great with all this bike sharing? Some bike lanes!