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!
5 responses to “Georgetown to Receive Four Capital Bikeshare Stations”
Glad to see a last-minute stop added on Upper Wisconsin! But yes, I would love a stop at Wisconsin and P and at all the parks mentioned. I didn’t think about the federally-owned land being an issue…a shame. And the narrow streets and lack of available space is surely another impediment…but other cities can make it work! I would love to see the Marvelous Market surface parking lot converted, at least partially, to a bike-sharing location (and while I’m dreaming, add some zipcars too – Georgetown is very under-served by zipcar locations compared to other DC neighborhoods, but that’s another topic). My husband and I just spent some time in Montreal and we used their Bixi Bikes as our primary mode of transportation, which was made possible due to the high number of convenient docking stations, and the plentiful bike lanes. Here’s hoping we can strive for something similar in DC!
Actually, the only place there are zipcars in Georgetown is at the CVS right down the block from MM. We need more locations, but that area is actually already pretty well served.
Agree with all points. Having just four locations, while we should be happy with what we get, it is a joke. If there is any place that is snarled with traffic and limited transportation options, it is Georgetown. We dont have to limit ourselves to land, if I remember correctly Bixi in Montreal takes parking spots and converts them to stations as well. Not a popular topic in Georgetown to take parking spots, but it would be worth it from my view.
I wish the Georgetown BID and residential organizations would get behind this effort to get more locations. Critical to keeping the neighborhood as the premier desitination for shoppers, tourists, and residents is having these alternatives. If we live in the past and focus on NIMBYisms and live up to the false but poor reputation as being against these solutions, then we will not compete to be a viable thriving neighboorhood in the future.
If anything we should blanket the neighboorhood with these and get serious about making the area bikable/walkable. Hell – close off some side streets on the weekends to car traffic and make them entirely walkable/bikable.
I live near Rose Park and would gladly give up the car if something like this existed.
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