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by Fatimah Waseem October 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm 18 Comments

Fairfax County is celebrating the first year anniversary of Capital Bikeshare this month as more stations in Reston are on the horizon.

County officials laud the program as a success. According to the Capital Bikeshare’s website, more than 1,000 people have signed up to become members and more than 27,150 miles have been travelled overall. More than 10,000 trips have also been taken with the bikes.

Adam Lind, the county’s bicycle program coordinator, said the county sees the program as a success so far, especially compared to counties like Montgomery County in Maryland and Fairfax County overall.

“Memberships and trips taken have continued to increase and we expect this to continue as we expand bikeshare to new areas of Reston and the county,” Lind said.

Currently, there are 15 stations installed in Reston. Within the next few months, a new station will be on the way near the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. A dozen additional stations are planned for next year in 2019, 11 of which will be funded by a federal grant and pone of which will be funded by a development. Ten of these stations are planned on the south of Toll Road, he said.

Funding is also available for expanding Bikeshare to the west of both sides of the Toll Road within phase two of the Silver Line extension.

The most popular stations are at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and the Reston Town Center Transit station is the 2nd most busy. The county expects bikeshare to continue to grow as more bike infrastructure is built in the community.

by Fatimah Waseem October 4, 2017 at 10:15 am 10 Comments

Fairfax County Department of Transportation officials are seeking public input on nearly 300 transportation projects that are vying for roughly $100 million in funding.

Local residents can provide feedback on proposed projects at a public meeting on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 7-9 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). The meeting will include a formal presentation about unfunded projects and a question-and-answer session.

Residents can also take an online survey by Nov. 9 to indicate preferred projects, or mail a printed copy of the survey to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033).

Feedback will allow the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to prioritize unfunded transportation projects in line for funding through fiscal year 2023, according to the county’s website.

Unfunded projects in Reston include those listed below:

(more…)

by Dave Emke March 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Usage of Capital Bikeshare in Reston has reportedly been strong, and the program will likely be expanding even further in Reston.

Adam Lind, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s bicycle program coordinator, says FCDOT is working toward using a previously received federal TAP (Transportation Alternatives Program) grant to add 10 additional stations to Reston. Those will be on top of the 12 already installed and the three more that have been previously scheduled for implementation.

“We are happy with the ridership we have seen so far [in Reston], especially since we haven’t fully built out the network with the first 15 stations and as we’ve only been open through the fall and winter,” Lind said. “We anticipate seeing an increase in members and ridership as we transition to the spring and summer, when bicycling in general picks up.”

Nine stations opened in Reston in October, while three more have opened so far this year. FCDOT is funding the operations in Reston and Tysons, as approved by the Board of Supervisors last year.

Data released earlier this week by Mobility Lab, an Arlington-based transportation-demand analyzer, showed strong usage of Bikeshare in Reston in the last quarter of 2016. Mobility Lab’s analysis of the numbers suggested, among other findings, that riders are taking “longer, more recreational” rides in the Town Center area as well as using Bikeshare to travel from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station to commercial and residential centers.

Lind said it was expected that the stations at Reston Town Center and the Metro station would have the most ridership, but other numbers have also been encouraging.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised that the station at Sunset Hills and Old Reston Avenue (near the W&OD) has seen such high usage (third-most trips),” he said. “We’ve also seen good usage out of the new stations near Lake Anne, which we expected as well.”

Lind said adding more bike lanes, a topic discussed at a recent community meeting, would “greatly assist the continued growth and expansion of Capital Bikeshare in Reston both north and south of the Toll Road.” There are currently no Bikeshare stations in the southern part of Reston.

Residents interested in having a Bikeshare station installed in their neighborhood can email their request to [email protected] or use the interactive map at www.cabistations.com. Lind said public outreach will also take place in the coming months to discuss suggestions about where the future stations will be placed.

by Karen Goff October 21, 2016 at 4:15 pm 18 Comments

Del. Ken Plum (second from left), Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova and Rep. Gerry Connolly among VIPS cutting bikeshare ribbon in Reston

Capital Bikeshare officially launched in Fairfax County on Friday, with nine stations in Reston and eight in Tysons Corner now available to add another mode to the area’s multimodal transportation.

Reston station bikeshare stationBy the time local officials such as Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va 11th), County Supervisor Sharon Bulova, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and Del. Ken Plum cut the ceremonial ribbon at Reston Station at 2 p.m., it was most certainly not biking weather as rain began to fall and wind began to blow.

Nonetheless, the bikeshare stations will now offer a new way to get around Reston, 24 hours a day, rain or shine. The county plans to have a total of 29 stations soon (15 in Reston), said county bicycle program manager Adam Lind.

“To be able to stand here with well on the way to 30 bikeshare stations in Fairfax County less than two years after the feasibility study is really a testament to the hard work and effort that went into this,” said Lind.

“Bikeshare is really another transportation option. It is really about solving that last mile of getting people from transit to where they live and work. That is why we concentrated bikeshare from here to the town center.”

Stations that opened Friday include the YMCA Fairfax County Reston; Reston Town Center Transit Station; Reston Regional Library; Reston Station; Temporary Road and Old Reston Avenue; Library Street and Freedom Drive (Reston Town Center); New Dominion Parkway and Fountain Drive (Reston Town Center); Sunset Hills and Old Reston Avenue; and Town Center Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive.

The Reston and Tysons bikeshare operations join the more than 400 stations in the Capital Bikeshare network.

Hudgins said Reston was a natural place to put Fairfax County’s first bikeshare system.

“Reston is a well-connected place,” she said. “We have the [Metro] station, the town center, the village centers and the W&OD Trail. In less than three miles, you can go any of those places. This will be a real connector.”

Hudgins said multimodal transportation has been on the minds of county officials since they started planning for Metro here years ago.

“When we started planing for transit, we said ‘we have got to find out how t0 connect people to transit. We knew that biking would be another option for us. When Reston developed under [founder] Bob Simon — I think he is up there cheering — our village centers are within three miles of transit. This kickoff is just the beginning for us.”

Visit Capital Bikeshare online to see membership options, rates and how to use the system.

Photos: Top. Del. Ken Plum (second from left), Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova and Rep. Gerry Connolly among VIPS cutting bikeshare ribbon in Reston; Bottom, Bikeshare station at Reston Station.

by Karen Goff October 12, 2016 at 4:15 pm 4 Comments

Bikeshare station at Reston Station

Who is ready to ride?

Capital Bikeshare will launch its first Fairfax County operation next week, bringing 29 stations to Reston and Tysons.

You may have seen the bikeshare stations being installed at locations such as Reston Station, Reston Town Center and the Reston Regional Library.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the $1.7 million program for Reston and Tyson last January. In late 2015, the supervisors OKed the county’s application for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s FY 2017 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Grant Application, which gives $400,000 as seed money for bike share program. That money will go to pay for needed equipment such as bicycles and station hardware.

There will be 132 bicycles in Reston at 15 stations located between the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station and Reston Town Center; and 80 bicycles available in Tysons at 11 stations located east of Route 7, north of Route 123, and south of the Dulles Toll Road.

There will be a ribbon cutting at Wiehle-Reston East on Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. with Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and  Fairfax County Bicycle Program Manager Adam Lind.

Here is where Reston’s bikshare stations will be located:

  • Wiehle-Reston East Metro Plaza (two locations)
  • Old Reston Avenue / W&OD
  • North Shore Drive and Temporary Road
  • Sunset Hills Road
  • Reston Town Center Transit Station
  • Reston Executive Center
  • Market Street and Town Center Parkway
  • Reston Town Center Ice Rink
  • Reston Town Center Town Square
  • Reston Hospital
  • Reston Regional Library
  • New Dominion Parkway
  • Spectrum Center
  • Lake Anne Elementary
  • Lake Anne Village Center

Read more about how to join or use Capital Bikeshare on the company’s website.

by Karen Goff September 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm 2 Comments

Capital Bikeshare, Pentagon City, Arlington/Credit: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz via Creative CommonsCapital Bikeshare’s first Fairfax County locations are still on track to open in the next few months in Reston and Tysons, says Fairfax County Bicycle Program Coordinator Adam Lind.

Lind said this week the county is in the process of “finalizing the contract with the Capital Bikeshare operator, Motivate.”

“Once the contract is signed installations will begin soon after,” he said. “We don’t have a specific launch date yet, but the target is still Fall 2016.”

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the $1.7 million program for Reston and Tyson in January. In late 2015, the supervisors OKed the county’s application for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s FY 2017 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Grant Application, which gives $400,000 as seed money for bike share program. That money will go to pay for needed equipment such as bicycles and station hardware.

There are plans for 132 bicycles in Reston at 15 stations located between the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station and Reston Town Center; and 80 bicycles available in Tysons at 11 stations located east of Route 7, north of Route 123, and south of the Dulles Toll Road.

Lind said Fairfax County Department of Transportation staff will be at Friday’s New Belgium Clips Beer & Film Tour at Reston Town Center. That event is also a fundraiser for Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling. Capital Bikeshare will have bikeshare bikes available for test rides.

See the map below to see where the Reston bikeshare stations will be located.

Reston Bike Share Station Locations by Karen Goldberg Goff on Scribd

by Karen Goff March 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm 20 Comments

Bike Share system in Reston/Credit: Fairfax County

Fairfax County has finalized the locations of the bikeshare stations that will be coming to Reston this fall.

There will be 15 stations in Reston and 14 sites in Tysons to comprise Fairfax County’s first Capital Bikeshare network.

In January, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a $1.7 million plan to bring the bikeshare network to Fairfax.

Last October, the 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 bicycles and station hardware.

Sharon Bulova, chair of the Board of Supervisors said at the time county’s investment will help get cars off the road, boost local economy and contribute to a healthier community.

“With the transformation of Reston and Tysons into more urban centers, Fairfax County is investing in infrastructure needed to make it easy to get around.” Bulova said.

“More people are living and working in these areas than ever before,” said Bulova. ” ‘Downtown’ areas by definition are not designed to accommodate high volumes of car traffic and parking. Creating the right atmosphere that encourages walking and biking is important for these areas to continue to be attractive and highly sought after by residents and businesses alike.”

Here is where the Reston Stations will be located:

  • Wiehle-Reston East Metro Plaza (two locations)
  • Old Reston Avenue / W&OD
  • North Shore Drive and Temporary Road
  • Sunset Hills Road
  • Reston Town Center Transit Station
  • Reston Executive Center
  • Market Street and Town Center Parkway
  • Reston Town Center Ice Rink
  • Reston Town Center Town Square
  • Reston Hospital
  • Reston Regional Library
  • New Dominion Parkway
  • Spectrum Center
  • Lake Anne Elementary
  • Lake Anne Village Center

To see the Tysons stations, see this post from Fairfax County.

by Karen Goff January 12, 2016 at 1:30 pm 33 Comments

Reston bikeshare stations/Credit: Fairfax County

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved a $1.7 million plan to bring a bikeshare network to Reston and Tysons.

The approval, at the supervisors’ regular meeting on Tuesday, was the final step in getting financing in place for the project, which could be operational by late 2016.

In October, the 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 bicycles and station hardware.

Sharon Bulova, chair of the Board of Supervisors says the county’s investment will help get cars off the road, boost local economy and contribute to a healthier community. (more…)

by Karen Goff November 3, 2015 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

Capital Bikeshare, Pentagon City, Arlington/Credit: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz via Creative CommonsFairfax County officials announced last week that Reston will be part of Capital Bikeshare by late 2016 or early 2017.

Planners envision 130 bikes and 13 stations, all north of the Dulles Toll Road, as an additional way of getting people from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station (and future Reston Parkway station) to Plaza America, Reston Hospital Center, the Reston Regional Library and other points.

Fairfax County’s first bikeshare system will begin here, with the goal of eventually expanding to Tysons Corner, Herndon  and Merrifield, said Fairfax County Bicycle Coordinator Adam Lind.

Lind says there are already more than 1,000 residents of Fairfax County who have Capital Bikeshare memberships.

Will you use the bikes? Take our poll.

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

by Karen Goff October 21, 2015 at 9:30 am 14 Comments

Capital Bikeshare, Pentagon City, Arlington/Credit: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz via Creative CommonsReston may be getting closer to a bikeshare system.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday endorsed the county’s applications for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s FY 2017 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Grant Application.

The county hopes to get $400,000 from the state as seed money for bike share program. Other projects seeking funding are Vienna Metrorail bicycle access improvements; a cinder bed bike path near the Franconia-Springfield Metro station; and improvements for bike access on Van Dorn Street in Alexandria.

Applications for the grant program are due Nov. 1.

County biking authorities conducted a feasibility study on a Reston bikeshare in 2014. They will give an update on the progress of the bikeshare plan Oct. 29 at Dogwood Elementary School at 7 p.m.

Capital Bikeshare, which has suburban programs in Alexandria, Arlington, and Rockville, Md., would offer those who live and work in Reston an additional way to access the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, as well as the future Reston Town Center station, Reston Town Center and other location.

The capital equipment needed for a Reston bikeshare station includes docking stations, bicycles and kiosks. The current projection is for 13 stations and 130 bicycles, which will cost about $766,000

The county will request $400,000 from TAP and pay $100,000 in county funds for the program. That would leave an additional $266,000 in funding necessary to get the program started.

The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) guidelines state applicants are required to provide a 20 percent match, with grant awards covering the 80 percent remaining. Local jurisdictions are also required to pay for any cost overruns.

VDOT’s TAP regulations require the sponsoring jurisdiction to accept responsibility for future maintenance and operating costs of any projects that are funded.

Photo: Bikesharing in Arlington/ARLnow.com file photo

by Karen Goff July 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm 1,000 3 Comments

Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (R) and other bicycle advocates pedal to Wiehle-Reston East for the garage grand opening July 19.

Beginning Saturday, Metro’s Silver Line will take visitors from Downtown D.C. directly to Reston.

But how they will get around Reston once they are here is still a work in progress.

While the Silver Line will likely be a boon to area residents who commute to D.C., it remains to be seen how it will be used for occasional visitors, such as those attending a meeting or special event.

The Wiehle-Reston East Station — located at Sunset Hills Road, Wiehle Avenue and the Dulles Toll Road — will be the end of the line for at least five years. When Phase 2 opens after 2018, there will be stations at Reston Parkway, Herndon, Route 28, Dulles International Airport and Ashburn.

Wiehle-Reston East is located closer to the south end of Reston, and while there are many office buildings nearby, the heart of the Reston business district around Reston Town Center is still more than a mile away.

Currently, the options are to walk or to hop on a Fairfax Connector bus. There are more than a dozen buses routes in Reston. Visit Fairfax Connector’s website to see interactive maps of where you need to go and whether a bus can take you there from the Reston Transit Center.

In the future, urban style transportation amenities may add to visitor options at  Wiehle-Reston East.

Scott Hall, General Manager of Zipcar’s Washington office, says the car sharing service is “actively pursuing the possibility of placing cars in the Reston area in the future.”

“Zipcar is very excited about the  extension of the Silver Line,” he said. “We are currently in talks to have Zipcars placed at multiple Silver Line stations with the hopes that they will be in place very soon. Zipcar continues to see strong utilization and membership growth in the D.C. area, and members tell us that they routinely use Zipcar in concert with public transit, so we will do our  best to meet those needs to provide ‘wheels when you want them.’ ”

Bikesharing may also come to Reston. Fairfax County has contracted with consultants to examine the feasibility of putting the county’s first bikeshare operation in Reston.

Consultants Charlie Denney and Fionnuala Quinn of Alta Planning + Design, hired by the county last winter, say bikesharing would be feasible in Reston as it makes the transition to a transit-oriented community.

Phase 1 of a bikeshare in Reston would consist of 13 stations with 130 bikes. Locations would include the plaza at the Wiehle-Reston East Silver Line Station; Sunset Hills/Plaza America; Reston Town Center/Freedom Drive; Bluemont/Transit Center; Reston-Wiehle East Southside; Town Center Parkway and Market Street; Reston Town Center/Fountain Drive; Market/Explorer Streets; Town Center Parkway/Reston Hospital; Bowman Towne Drive/Library; and two at the Spectrum.

The estimated cost of phase 1 would be $1.2 million: $54K is for startup costs, $766K for capital (cost of stations, docks, bikes), and $397K for operating costs.

What is not yet certain: who would pay the bikeshare costs. In other suburban-area bikeshares (Arlington, Montgomery County), funding came from a combination of  federal, state and local money, as well as developer proffers, county bicycle coordinator Charlie Strunk said.

Meanwhile, if you are arriving in Reston with your own bike soon, check out Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking’s routes.

More Silver Line news:

Photo: Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (R) and other bicycle enthusiasts pedal to Wiehle-Reston East/Credit: FABB

by Karen Goff June 27, 2014 at 2:30 pm 8 Comments

Capital Bikeshare, Pentagon City, Arlington/Credit: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz via Creative CommonsBikeshare consultants looking at the feasibility of putting Fairfax County’s first bikeshare program in Reston, say Reston could support a bikeshare system.

Consultants Charlie Denney and Fionnuala Quinn of Alta Planning + Design, hired by the county last winter, say that the feasibility study should be finished by the end of June. At a community meeting at Dogwood Elementary School Wednesday, they gave participants some of the highlights of the study:

In general, bike sharing would be feasible in Reston as the community makes the transition to a transit-oriented place. In July, Metro’s Silver Line will open its first station here (Wiehle-Reston East), with the Reston Parkway station slated to open in 2018.

Phase 1 would consist of 13 stations with 130 bikes. Locations would include the plaza at the Wiehle-Reston East Silver Line Station; Sunset Hills/Plaza America; Reston Town Center/Freedom Drive; Bluemont/Transit Center; Restom-Wiehle East Southside; Town Center Parkway and Market Street; Reston Town Center/Fountain Drive; Market/Explorer Streets; Town Center Parkway/Reston Hospital; Bowman Towne Drive/Library; and two at the Spectrum.

The estimated cost of phase 1 would be $1.2 million: $54K is for startup costs, $766K for capital (cost of stations, docks, bikes), and $397K for operating costs.

What is not yet certain: who would pay the bikeshare costs. In other suburban-area bikeshares (Arlington, Montgomery County), funding came from a combination of  federal, state and local money, as well as developer proffers, county bicycle coordinator Charlie Strunk said.

Those networks are owned by the jurisdictions but operated by Alta Bikeshare, which oversees maintenance, rebalancing, and the warehouse, among other things. Operations are partially funded by user fees. Membership fees range from $7 an hour to $75 annually, with additional charges per use.

Eventually, Phase 2 would include stations in the Lake Anne and South Lakes areas.

— Bruce Wright of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling contributed to this article.
 

File photo of Capital Bikeshare in Arlington

by Karen Goff June 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm 4 Comments

Capital Bikeshare, Pentagon City, Arlington/Credit: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz via Creative CommonsTwo big glimpses into the future of the area’s two-wheeled transportation will happen in Reston on Wednesday.

Fairfax County officials, who are eying Reston as a possible location for the county’s first bikeshare program, will present the results of a feasibility study at Dogwood Elementary at 6:30 p.m.

Fairfax County recently contracted with Alta Planning + Design to determine if bikesharing would work as Reston prepares to become a transit oriented community with the opening of Metro’s Silver Line next month.

“I get calls from Westfield, Chantilly, asking when can we get a bikeshare,” Fairfax County bicycle coordinator Charlie Strunk told participants in a community bikeshare meeting at Lake Anne Elementary in January. “The easy answer, probably not. Those places don’t have the density. We picked Reston because we think Reston is the best choice. Tysons is a way off. Reston has fairly good density, mixed use, a mix of shopping, office and residential.”

The feasibility study was paid for with a grant from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Main questions asked were who would use the bikeshare, where should stations be located, and would suburban residents use bicycles as a transportation alternative and not recreation.

Immediately after the bikeshare meeting the county will present the final draft of the Fairfax County Bicycle Master Plan from 7:30-9 p.m.

Fairfax County is developing a countywide bicycle master plan. The plan will determine what steps should be taken to improve the existing transportation system and make Fairfax County bicycle friendly.

Coming in the plan: recommendations for a network of both on-road and off-road facilities that will serve as a bicycle transportation network as well as ideas on how bicycle friendly design can be incorporated into future roadway projects and transit projects.

Photo: Capital Bikeshare station at Pentagon City/File photo

by Karen Goff January 23, 2014 at 9:00 am 0

Capital Bikeshare, Pentagon City, Arlington/Credit: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz via Creative CommonsReston-area bike advocates are looking towards a bikeshare system in Reston, and now they are ready for community input on the topic.

There will be a public meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at Lake Anne Elementary School. Meeting topics will include an overview of the bicycle sharing program, bicycle operations, infrastructure needs, and bicycle station locations.

A bikeshare in Reston would be the first system in Fairfax County. Biking advocates — as well as Fairfax County officials — say Reston’s existing system of trails and its future as a transit-oriented development makes it an excellent place to test such a program. Arlington and Montgomery County are among other suburban areas with bikeshares.

In December, about 25 stakeholders representing Reston, Fairfax County, developers, bike advocacy groups, Reston Town Center and Lake Anne Plaza met with representatives from Alta Planning & Design, the firm that developed Capital Bikeshare.

The meeting was the beginning of a feasibility study for a Reston bikeshare program. Last spring, Fairfax County applied for and received study funds from Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) Transportation/Land Use Connections (TLC) Technical Assistance Program.

Meanwhile, Bixi, the company that manufactures bikeshare bikes for more than a dozen cities, including Washington, DC, announced this week that it has filed for bankruptcy. That could lead to delays in procuring bikes in many programs.

The grant will look at creative ways bikesharing can work in Reston. In its grant application, the county said Reston would be an ideal test case for a Fairfax County bikeshare:

“Reston area has the highest concentration of active bicyclists in the County, there is an emerging bike culture forming.  Reston embraced our first two road-diet projects which included bike lanes, and there is strong corporate and residential support to initiate bike sharing in Reston. Furthermore, the findings developed from conducting this study can assist other areas of the region in making sound decisions regarding bike sharing.”

Bruce Wright, Reston resident and chairman of Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking, says he envisions a bikeshare working here with stations at the Metro Silver Line stations at Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway, at Reston Town Center and the village centers. Also necessary, to get major employers such as Oracle, United States Geological Survey and others on board to incentive employees using bikeshare in Reston, he said.

The involvement of developers as Reston expands commercially and residentially is also key. Wright said Republic Land Development, which has been awarded the redevelopment of Crescent Apartments and the Lake Anne area, has offered recreational proffers for two bikeshare stations, which would cost $50,000-$70,000 each. Each bike station would house about 20 bikes, said Wright.

“[Bikeshare] is a crucial element in making Reston more transit-oriented and more urban,” says Wright. “If people decided to do it, pretty well situated in Reston to putting in bikeshare and making it easier for everyone.  I think it is key going to be be huge in changing people’s minds about biking.”

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