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Reston Bikeshare’s 13 Stations May Open by Late 2016

by Karen Goff — October 30, 2015 at 10:00 am 13 Comments

Reston bikeshare stations/Credit: Fairfax County

Reston will be getting Fairfax County’s first bikeshare system, and Fairfax County officials expect it to be operational by late 2016 or early 2017.

The tentative plans for an extension of Capital Bikeshare have been in the works for more than a year, since the county completed a feasibility study in spring of 2014. Since then, bicycle program staff as been identifying potential vendors — the plan is to go with Capital Bikeshare, already in place in the District and Arlington — as well as station sites and additional money sources.

Last week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors OKed the county’s application for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s FY 2017 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Grant Application. The grant will give the bike program $400,000 as seed money for bike share program. The money will go to pay for needed equipment such as 130 bicycles and 13 stations.

“We consider the TAP grant Fairfax County’s endorsement of the project,” said Fairfax County Bicycle Program Coordinator Adam Lind. “The project is ready to open into the design [process].”

Lind said the program will be seeking additional local funding, as well as sponsorship as the total estimated cost of system is close to $800,000. Federal funds can only be used for equipment and stations, not for operational costs, said Lind.

Lind was in Reston Thursday night to show bikeshare timelines, stations and take feedback from citizens.

Some of the highlights:

The system will start in Reston, with the goal of eventually expanding to Tysons Corner, Herndon  and Merrifield.

The design will not have to go through Reston Association’s Design Review Board as no stations are on RA land.

The next steps will be land acquisition, completing the design plan, and finalizing funding. Different sites have different challenges, such as whether they are on private property (i.e., Reston Town Center, Reston Hospital) or public land, and whether there is already a hard surface in place or one needs to be constructed.

Bikeshare stations can be moved, said Lind. For example, if a station is built at Restion Regional Library, which may get a new facility in a slightly different location in the future, the station can be moved near the new building.

The tentative timeline calls for opening in late 2016 or early 2017. Lind stressed that that estimate is rough as federal funding requires additional steps that could slow the down the process. Also, the he prefers the system open “when people are active and outside,” so the system likely would not open in deep winter.

All Reston stations are located north of the Dulles Toll Road (see graphic). Lind says the county looked into stations at various office buildings in south Reston, but decided the locations would throw off the balance of bikes throughout the day.

“People would ride to work on the south side and there would not be any constant flow,” he said. “Bikes would just sit by the workplaces all day.”

While Reston has 55 miles of Reston Association trails, the W & OD Trail and many bike lanes, one citizen in attendance questioned whether the community is bike-friendly enough to be safe for bikeshare riders, He pointed out that bikeshare riders are often occasional cyclists rather than experienced riders.

“Are you going to throw a bunch of bikes into places where there are a lot of cars?” he asked. “All of those driveways are going to be key places where bikes and cars can meet.”

Lind pointed out that Fairfax County plans additional bike improvements (lanes, signage) countywide, as well as an awareness and safety campaign prior to the system opening.

“One of the benefits of bikeshare is it does get people used to using biking as a transportation alternative,” said Lind.

Graphic courtesy of Fairfax County

  • Jodanyo

    Seems like they missed a bet by not putting stations at Lake Anne.

  • meh!!

    “All Reston stations are located north of the Dulles Toll Road (see
    graphic). Lind says the county looked into stations at various office
    buildings in south Reston, but decided the locations would throw off the
    balance of bikes throughout the day.”

    Also they won’t get stolen…

    • GB

      Please learn a little about the CaBi system before commenting. They aren’t stolen with any kind of regularity, even in the worst parts of DC.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    So, it seems that the only two features that matter in Reston are the Metro station and RTC. In fact, it would seem that the intended use is to get people from RTC to Metro, with maybe a detour at Plaza America. I say that because, quite frankly, I can’t see anyone renting a bike to get from one side of RTC to another, so if you’re renting a bike in RTC, it’s because you’re either going to Metro or Plaza America.

    This would lead to another point. This system is constructed not for Restonians but for commuters coming into Reston. Unless you live in RTC, there is no BS stand near your residence. And, with the exception of Plaza America, there isn’t even a stand at your local shopping center. So, if If you want to ride a bike from your home located a distance from RTC or Metro, well, you’ll just have to provide your own bike, because you’ll have quite the hike to the nearest BS stand.

    In order for this to work, there had better be on heck of a large BS stand at the Wiehle Metro station. If it’s just your standard sized stand, it’s going to run out of bikes quickly. Also, they’re probably going to need to keep one of the BS vans in the area to shuttle bikes to/from the RTC stands to the Metro stand.

    • Karen Goff

      Forgot to mention, Reston Station bikeshare will have 33 spaces/17 bikes. Rest will have 15-23 slots.

  • meh

    who is going to recover the bike frames when they end up south of the toll road?

    • Chuck Morningwood

      BS bikes are made with non-standard parts, so stripping them is of little worth. I understand they adopted this strategy specifically as an anti-theft measure.

  • PG_Thug

    Hi there, looking forward to taking the Silver line from Maryland to do some robbing and mugging in RTC. The Bike Share program will make it that much easier. Do they accept stolen green dot cards? Got plenty of those. See ya’ll real soon!

  • Mike M

    So, . . . this is an RTC program?

  • Jay

    This is fantastic expect north shore drive doesn’t even have streetlights or sidewalks for bikes. Reston needs to further develop pedestrian walkways and street lighting if it’s going to consider itself walkable and bikeablenand commuter friendly. Bike lanes would be a plus

  • Greg

    Doesn’t RTCA have to review them? “The design will not have to go through Reston Association’s Deisgn Review Board as no stations are on RA land.”

    PS — there appears to be a typo: Deisgn

    • Karen Goff

      Typo fixed. thanks. Yes probably would have to go through RCTA review, but that group’s process isn’t as complicated.

  • John Higgins

    I’m growing to like this plan. Its utility and the location of stations will make a lot more sense when Metro extends to Reston Parkway.

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