Chairman Brown Delivers! Bikeshare coming to Rhode Island Ave NE

DC Capital Bikeshareby Nolan Treadway

As I was putting together my testimony for DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown’s Hearing on Economic Development in Ward 5 a couple weeks back, I was sure to hit on Rhode Island Avenue development– of lack thereof (Friends of Rhode Island Avenue had been asking their membership to come out and testify on that topic).  But in finalizing it, I realized all the ideas I had proposed were big ideas that could only be addressed over a long period of time.  I thought: “What was something could ask for that could be delivered on in the immediate future?“… Bikeshare!

Driving (or biking) from Downtown, Rhode Island Avenue Northeast doesn’t have a bikeshare station after you cross 4th Street NE.  Right before the deadline to turn in testimony, I added a couple sentences highlighting this and asking Chairman Brown to help us get a bikeshare station.  It’s important not only so we can all have healthier and cleaner transportation options — but it also sends a signal to the neighborhood that we’re just as important as the other parts of town that are seemingly drowning in bikeshare stations.

After giving my testimony Chairman Brown noted my request and agreed.  He said he would work to get us a bikeshare station, and he has delivered!

Today, DC Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown thanked the Mayor and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) for moving forward with a new Bikeshare station near the Brentwood and Brookland neighborhoods in Ward 5. The new station will arrive in late summer or early fall and be installed later this year. This announcement comes as a follow-up to interest expressed at a community roundtable the Chairman held on February 21 at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center.

“I want to express my gratitude to the Mayor and DDOT for moving forward with Ward 5’s new Bikeshare station,” said Chairman Brown. “The expansion of the Capital Bikeshare into this area will give more of our communities the opportunity to take advantage of this health-promoting and environmentally-safe transit option.”

According to Jim Sebastian, District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Bicycle Program manager, the new station will come in the city’s next shipment and will be located near the intersection of 20th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NE.

I can’t wait for the station to be installed so I can renew my bikeshare membership that I allowed to lapse after moving to Woodridge!  Thanks Chairman Brown!

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14 thoughts on “Chairman Brown Delivers! Bikeshare coming to Rhode Island Ave NE

  1. This is great. Now, people with bike and walk more instead of worrying about insufficient parking space or not wanting to use the buses. The streetcar with also help with commuting. When can Kwame produce this?

    Didn’t someone mention opening a bike shop? Will it be located in this same area?

  2. This is fantastic, but we really should have one at the Metro, as well. I know, I know…with the proposed bridge to the MBT, that will be more feasible, but there are a lot of us who live on the nearby southeast side of the Metro that could use a more convenient bikeshare station, as well. The ultimate goal is to have these every few blocks, right? It’s a 10-ish minute walk from the Metro to the current station at 4th and RIA (I made this walk this weekend due to a Zipcar screw-up, so that’s a current, accurate estimate from a young, healthy member of the community). It’s a travesty to not have a bikeshare station very close to the rapidly-developing Metro area. Could also work in the Giant/Home Depot center (bike to the center, drop off, pick up another bike and go home). Bottom line is that we have far too few of these stations in our area, and we need more to make this a desirable location that meets the needs of current and future residents. A step in the right direction, but we need more and can’t settle for just this one new station.

    1. Ms. D, Rhode Island Row is planning to have a BikeShare station at the Rhode Island Metro station soon. Your wishes are going to come true!

      1. This is great. We were told that one would be put at the RIA Metro. It is sorely needed there. Maybe Bikeshare can put both of them in place at the same time.

        To help with all this, it might be helpful to put bike lanes on RIA. It doesn’t matter what end of RIA you are on, it’s just difficult to cross the street with all the traffic. Motorists aren’t respecting the crossing signs in the street, particularly near Flip-it.

      2. Good to hear. I knew they were interested, but wasn’t aware that the plans were progressing to get one. On the same note, I noticed that the new condos at 4th & RIA seem to have a CaBi rack now, as well? I mean, it’s *right* across RIA from the existing station, but always good to see more. Now, if we can just get that bridge over the tracks to the MBT moving along, we can really start rebuilding the needed connections in the community that will bring development more rapidly.

    2. This is a gross oversight if there’s not one at the metro. That would be the whole point of riding one, let’s say I’m running late and want to grab a bike real quick to get to the metro. But if I can’t turn it in at the metro, then that’s dumb. Every metro station in the system should have a bikeshare station. It just makes sense.

  3. I’m really glad they’re putting one in there. I hope it’s one of at least a few. I wish they’d also put in more bike lanes in the area though. There aren’t enough good routes to get into the heart of the city. One can always dream. 🙂

    I do have some concerns with that station on RIA and having inexperienced cyclists try their first bike trip on Rhode Island. Those bikeshare bikes only go so fast and Rhode Island isn’t really a good place to be an inexperienced, out-of-shape cyclist on a slow bike.

    1. Sherry,

      I disagree with you. It just depends on the time of day. Trying to ride a bike anywhere in DC during rush hour can be a real pain. Otherwise no problem. We need to get a better estimate, but I would think a couple of hundred people cycle on RIA daily, experienced and inexperienced. Most are commuters. Bike newbies can ride on the MBT where it is safer for them to hone their skills. Does any one know when that new path is going to be built to join RIARow to the MBT? I hope it is soon!

  4. Ms. D,

    Thanks for the link to MBT bridge project. Here’s the latest on the bridge. DDOT got only one bid for the project and it’s too high. So, now they have to put the bid back out to get more people to bid to work on the project. Bummer!

    Hopefully, Urban Atlantic/Buzzotto will be restoring the stairs the go directly down to RIA from the metro.

    1. I thought those stairs were open when I was walking over there this last weekend. I took the ped bridge because I was crossing the street, but they were intact and I swear I saw people using them. I think they only closed them until they got the “dangerous” overhead construction done.

      Too bad about the delay. Hopefully someone will step up and offer a good bid this time. Any word on the deadline for the new bids?

  5. I just wanted to add another cheer for this! Although I probably won’t use the bike share station (only because I have a few bikes of my own already), I’m really glad to hear it will be installed. And as a 4 season, daily bike commuter (all the way down RIA to Scott Circle!) I would love to see bike lanes.

  6. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what the base requirements for a CaBi station are? We have a small pocket park in our neighborhood that could host one, and I’m pretty sure it’s city property (based on some maps posted a while back on WCP), and there’s also a really run-down corner around here that I’m unsure of the ownership of that would work as well (I know the city ends up cutting the grass and cleaning up the illegal dumping there, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s city property). I guess I’m looking for info on space/surface/cost requirements, and population density rules if there are any. We’re far enough from the Metro and the Woodridge main street that it would be a great mobility tool to get people moving around the neighborhood. It’s how I would vote in the spring if it existed (it’s a bit over a mile to my polling place and there are no good bus routes to get there…gonna be a long walk if I can’t snag a ride with a neighbor), how I would get up to the Woodridge main street, I could use it to get to any new retail that went in around the old Safeway center, and I’m sure I could come up with several more uses, as could my neighbors.

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