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.
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:
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Fairfax Crew Making Rescues in Flooded Texas — Fairfax Fire and Rescue provided an update Thursday of its efforts to help with rescue operations in flood-ravaged southeast Texas. They have helped save six people and two pets from flooded areas, and they have also assisted an owner with accessing and retrieving three more pets. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Last Day to Get Comments In on BikeShare Locations — Comments on plans for 10 new Captial BikeShare stations in Reston, including nine south of the Dulles Toll Road, must be in by close of business today. [Fairfax County Department of Transportation]
Outreach Session on Bikeshare Today — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation plans to bring 10 new locations of Capital Bikeshare to Reston, including nine south of the Dulles Toll Road. A public outreach session on the proposed locations is scheduled for today from 1-5 p.m. at Glade Pool (11550 Glade Drive). [FCDOT]
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As Capital Bikeshare looks toward increasing its presence in Reston, a new app for iPhone and Android is allowing its users to better manage their rides.
The free app, which launched last week, allows users to find a bike, purchase a pass, time their rides to avoid late charges and much more. In a press release, Capital Bikeshare General Manager Eric Gilliland extolled the virtues of the app.
“The new Capital Bikeshare mobile app will open up new possibilities for CaBi riders — providing a convenient and quick way to find a bike or a dock, keep track of exercise, and make it easier to know that you’ve properly docked your bike,” he said. “It’s never been easier to give Capital Bikeshare a try, and we look forward to providing our riders a more seamless experience than ever before.”
Capital Bikeshare launched in Reston last fall, and there are currently 15 stations here. Public outreach sessions are being held throughout August to discuss the addition of 10 new stations south of the Dulles Toll Road. The next is Thursday from 1-5 p.m. at Glade Pool (11550 Glade Drive); another is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Reston Farmers Market in Lake Anne Plaza.
Hook Road Project Info Session — Anyone interested in learning about the Hook Road Recreation Area project and the forming of a working group may attend an information session on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). Email [email protected] for more about serving on the working group. [Reston Association]
Third Outreach Session on Bikeshare Announced — The Virginia Department of Transportation has announced a third public outreach event to gather community input on the proposed sites for Capital Bikeshare expansion in Reston. It will be Saturday, Aug. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Reston Farmers Market. [VDOT]
Aquatics Center To Close for Annual Maintenance — The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) will be closed from Aug. 19 to Sept. 15. It is scheduled to reopen at noon Sept. 16. [Reston Community Center]
County Short-Term Rental Survey Ongoing — Fairfax County is developing regulations to govern the use of short-term rentals (e.g., Airbnb). It is gathering community input through Aug. 31. [Fairfax County/Survey Monkey]
Column: Virginia Should Not Pay for ‘Skins Stadium — Regular ARLnow columnist Peter Rousselot wrote this week about how the costs of bringing a new Washington Redskins home field to Virginia would far outweigh the benefits for taxpayers. [ARLnow]
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation plans to bring 10 new locations of Capital Bikeshare to Reston, including nine south of the Dulles Toll Road.
Phase II of the expansion of Capital Bikeshare to the area is intended to “increase the number of destinations within the system, while also taking advantage of new bike infrastructure in 2017 to make riding safer and more enjoyable for all,” according to FCDOT. Fifteen Capital Bikeshare locations have already been installed in Reston, all in the northern part of the community.
The proposed new locations for Capital Bikeshare stations include Baron Cameron Avenue/Hampton Avenue North, as well as nine in South Reston:
- Soapstone Drive/Sunrise Valley Drive
- Soapstone Drive/South Lakes Drive
- Campus Commons Drive
- South Lakes Village Center
- Hunters Woods Village Center
- Barton Hill Park
- Lake Audubon Pool
- Glade Pool
- Hunters Woods Park
Public outreach events to gather community input on the proposed sites are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 10 at Lake Audubon Pool (2070 Twin Branches Road) and Thursday, Aug 17 at Glade Pool (11550 Glade Drive). Both are slated for 1-5 p.m.
A third outreach session will be held Saturday, Aug. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Reston Farmers Market in Lake Anne Plaza.
Phase II of the Bikeshare project is federally funded, with 10 new stations being paid for by a TAP grant. Because of this, they all must be located in the public right of way. Therefore, FCDOT plans to replace some of the locally funded Phase I stations that are on public rights of way with federally funded stations, and then relocate the Phase I stations to South Reston sites (Campus Commons Drive, South Lakes Village Center and Hunters Woods Village Center) where public right of way is not available.
The Capital Bikeshare’s presence in Reston increased this week with the opening of another location.
Capital Bikeshare celebrated the opening of a new station at Reston Parkway and Spectrum Drive by tweeting a photo and thanking hard-working staff for their work in installing it.
— Capital Bikeshare (@bikeshare) May 9, 2017
The new location was stocked with eight available bikes, plus seven empty slots for returning bikes.
Since its debut in October, Capital Bikeshare has been thriving in Reston. Representatives have reported that usership has been enjoying big numbers since the first nine stations opened. Since then, three more were immediately approved, and just in March, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation approved another 10 locations with funding from a TAP grant (Transportation Alternatives Program).
Studies have shown that Reston users have not only been using the bikeshare to travel to and from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station and local commercial areas, but also to take many “longer, more recreational rides.”
Image courtesy of Capital Bikeshare via Twitter
Giving Back to Emergency Responders — Firefighters from Station 25 presented a certificate to a Reston woman who adopted a fire hydrant in her neighborhood. The woman was involved in a serious motorcycle crash in 1994 and credits emergency crews including fire units with saving her life, and she has loved and supported them ever since. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Guinea Pigs on Twitter Thanks to Local Students — At Ideaventions Academy, a specialized STEM school in Reston, students have built a computer and are using censors to get classroom pets to tweet out randomized messages. You can follow along @PepperNCaramel. [WUSA]
County Map Shows Youth Crash Locations — A map released Thursday by Fairfax County plots the locations of all 1,840 vehicle crashes involving youth drivers (ages 15-20) in 2016. In Reston, locations including Sunrise Valley Drive, the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road, and the intersection of Reston Parkway and Route 7 had the most incidents. [Fairfax County]
Another Capital BikeShare Station Opens — An 11-dock Capital BikeShare location has opened on Town Center Parkway near Sunset Hills Road, at the RTC West complex. [Capital BikeShare/Twitter]
Map courtesy Fairfax County
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.”
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.
Another Capital Bikeshare location recently opened in Reston, this one at the intersection of North Shore Drive and Village Road at Lake Anne.
— Fairfax Connector (@ffxconnector) February 23, 2017
The first nine Capital Bikeshare sites in Reston were unveiled in October. Fifteen in total are planned for the community, with 132 bicycles among them. Along with 14 sites in Tysons, these are the first Bikeshare locations in Fairfax County. There are more than 400 in the entire network.
“We are pleased to have Capital Bikeshare arrive to Lake Anne Plaza,” said Maurisa Potts, public relations representative, on behalf of the Lake Anne Plaza Merchants. “With Lake Anne being the original birthplace of Reston surrounded by so many wonderful trails, it’s great to have this amenity available to Restonians, commuters and local tourists to explore our communities.”
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in January 2016 approved a $1.7 million plan to bring the bikeshare network to the county.
Bikeshare users can rent the bikes for $2 for 30 minutes or $8 for a day. Three-day, 30-day and annual passes can also be purchased.
Could Reston become a transit-oriented community where residents and visitors use bikeshare as another arm of transportation?
That’s what Fairfax County transportation staffers and consultants from Alta Planning and Design are trying to determine. Fairfax County received a grant from Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) Transportation/Land Use Connections (TLC) Technical Assistance Program to study the feasibility of a bikeshare here.
With one of three planned Metrorail Silver Line Stations set to open later this year, new transit-oriented construction planned and thousands of new workers and residents expected to relocate here, Reston seems like a natural fit for two-wheeled transportation.
Charlie Strunk, bicycle coordinator for Fairfax County, said his department has been thinking about a bikeshare in Fairfax since 2009.
“I get calls from Westfield, Chantily, asking when can we get a bikeshare,” Strunk told participants in a community meeting at Lake Anne Elementary on Wednesday. “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.”
Alta Planning + Design, organizers of Capital Bikeshare and others nationwide, is working on the study with the county. They are seeking input from the community to help determine where to put potential bikeshare stations.
They concentrated on a couple of main points on Wednesday:
* Bikeshare is not a recreational system; it is an extension of the transportation grid. Alta’s Fionnuala Quinn showed participants a Capital Bikeshare bike — a sturdy, three-speed bicycle with safety lights that flash when bicycle is in motion — and explained the difference.