Photo by DDOT.
Capital Bikeshare has been a hit since it started September 20th. There are 4,480 members and a total of 52,000 trips have been taken. In October alone, there were 36,762 trips using over a million minutes of bikeshare time (that’s an average of about 27 minutes a ride). Those are really great numbers.
They’re so great that DDOT is already announcing that it’s going ahead with its first expansion. Twenty additional stations will be added next spring. Certainly DDOT is going to be hearing from a lot of sides where to put those stations, but GM believes that at least one of them should go to east Georgetown. Right now there’s a bit of a hole in coverage for east Georgetown, and putting a station there would benefit residents and neighbors greatly.
But where exactly? GM’s got a couple of ideas:
Rose Park has a bunch of strengths. It sits between M and P, which are the two primary routes that people take from central DC to Georgetown. It has nice paths which connect down to Rock Creek Park. It’s a popular destination for people visiting the neighborhood either to sunbathe or play tennis, etc. And finally, while most of it is federally owned (which makes it tough if not impossible right now to put a station there) a small section near the tennis courts is city-owned.
M and Pennsylvania:
At the intersection of M and Pennsylvania is a pocket park with plenty of space for a station. This would be a great location since it sits at one of the main “entrances” to Georgetown. Moreover, the city is planning to paint bike lanes on M St. up to about this point. The downside? The pocket park is owned by the federal government. While the city has obtained ownership of a lot of pocket parks like this from the federal government, it takes time. (Sidenote: Remember when they used to erect a fake Christmas tree there? What happened to that? GM remembers the last year it was up, maybe 2007 or so. It went up one day, then about 3 days later it was gone and there hasn’t been one there since.)
Full disclosure: GM lives right next to Montrose Park, so he’s obviously biased in favor of putting a station there. But come on! It would be a great location! Over the last five years or so, Montrose Park has gone from Georgetown’s best kept secret to Georgetown worst kept secret. The word is out and people love coming to Montrose Park. And that’s great (except for the dude who brings his guitar and loudly sings these really awful songs. Man, shut up.) The problem is that too many of them drive. Putting a station here would encourage people to bike instead.
Montrose Park is entirely owned by the federal Government. So placing a station there means going through NPS, which DDOT has said it is working towards. Unfortunately, NPS is encumbered with a lot of vendor contracts that restrict the ability of other entities providing similar services on NPS land. We’ll see how that plays out.
The sidewalks near Montrose Park are probably too small to host a station and GM can assure you that the neighbors would be hysterical about removing a parking space or two for the station (even if it meant fewer cars during peak hours). But there is a solution: the city could insist the Argos Group allow a station at the front of the Hurt Home. If that doesn’t work, it could instead install a station in the courtyard of the Jackson School. While it is currently rented out to artists for studios, it is still a city property. GM would think artists would love the idea.
So what do you think (yes GM would take stations at all three locations, but we need to prioritize, if you could have one, where would it be?):