“The expansion gives many more people in Reston easy access to bike share stations, like the one…at the South Gate Community Center,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “They especially provide more access south of the Dulles toll road where it is needed.”
The newest installation more than doubles the number of stations in Reston, which had 16 existing locations.
The Capital Bikeshare program originally launched in Reston in 2016. By 2019, the area saw 7,800 bike-share trips, though the COVID-19 pandemic led to a dip in rides in 2020, when there were only 4,400 trips.
“2021 Bikeshare trips are rebounding, and the people are already riding bikes from the newly installed locations,” according to Alcorn.
Among the new locations, the bicycles on Seahawk Drive and Ridge Heights Road have been getting the most use. The Southgate Community Center is getting lots of use as well, landing in the top four most-used of the new sites.
Alcorn did note that the program is still working on choosing ideal locations.
“This is a work in progress,” he said. “This is something we’re learning as we go, and frankly, as people in the community make their choices on where to use these things and when to use them we will adapt and support accordingly.”
Capital Bikeshare locations are chosen with specific criteria in mind. In order to host a new Bikeshare station, a site should be:
- A trip generator — a place that people will be traveling to and from
- A community center or shopping center
- In or near development density
- In proximity to transit for those who want to bike from home to their transit to work
- An equitable location to serve those who want to bike but may not have a bicycle of their own
- In a sunny spot for the solar panels
Alcorn also mentioned that most stations are put on the street in existing public parking spots to save time and money in creating the location.
Fairfax County is already working on another expansion in the Vienna and Merrifield area.
“The future is bright for Capital Bikeshare in Fairfax County,” Alcorn said. “The system throughout the National Capital region has more than 600 locations so far. We are going to continue to expand Bikeshare in the county with planned, grant-funded locations in the Providence District and building on what we have in the Merrifield area in Tysons. This program is one way that Fairfax County is innovating to find new ways for people to get around.”
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will start installing 19 new stations throughout Reston in early July, FCDOT spokesperson Robin Geiger told Reston Now.
Previously expected to take place in early 2020, the expansion was stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will more than double the size of the bicycle-sharing service in the area, which currently has 16 operating stations.
“We did have significant production delays as a result of the pandemic, affecting both bicycles and stations,” Geiger said. “…More information about the installation will be coming this summer.”
- Baron Cameron Avenue and North Hampton Avenue
- Becontree Lane and Goldenrain Court
- Fairway Drive and Hook Road
- Golf Course Square and Golf Course Drive
- Green Range Drive and Glade Drive
- Inlet Court and Wiehle Drive
- Lake Newport Road and Autumn Ridge Circle
- Links Drive and Wedge Drive
- North Village Road and Park Garden Lane
- Olde Crafts Drive and Cartwright Place
- Reston Parkway and Bennington Woods Road
- Ridge Heights Road and Owl Cove Lane
- Ridge Heights Road and Seahawks Drive
- Ring Road and North Shore Drive
- Soapstone Drive Convenience Center
- South Gate Community Center
- South Lakes Drive and Reston Parkway
- Vantage Hill Road & Wainwright Drive
- Wainwright Drive and North Shore Drive
Geiger says Fairfax County is still considering adding a station at Reston Community Center’s Hunter Woods facility, but that location could not be included in this phase because federal funding can’t support projects on private property.
The county joined Bikeshare in 2016, concentrating the 17 initial stations in Reston and Tysons to support Metro’s newly opened Silver Line Phase 1.
According to Geiger, the service was doing well prior to the pandemic, particularly in Merrifield, which was the site of its most recent expansion. Merrifield and Vienna are now slated to get 10 more stations.
Like other transportation services, though, Bikeshare saw a significant drop in usage due to COVID-19, with both ridership and membership taking hits as people limited travel and many started working from home.
“At its worst, early in the pandemic membership was around 20% of ridership when compared to past years,” Geiger said by email. “Most of the lost trips were by annual members who were commuting by bicycle.”
Fairfax County saw a 50% decrease in Bikeshare riders in 2020 overall compared to 2019.
Geiger says ridership levels did start to pick back up last summer, primarily from non-members, meaning people who were utilizing the service for a single trip or day instead of getting an ongoing subscription.
“Usage patterns systemwide changed as well, with fewer trips to Metro stations, but more to recreational locations, and grocery stores,” she said.
With the upcoming Bikeshare expansion, county officials hope to see a resurgence in usage as people return to public spaces and communal activities. One such activity could be coming to Reston, thanks to the impending bicycle stations.
“We plan to have an event celebrating the installation sometime this summer, probably in August,” Geiger said.
Reston Association to Host Listening Session — RA is hosting a listening session for the Hunters Woods/Dogwood District today (Monday) via Zoom. Th meeting begins at 7 p.m. [Reston Association]
Capital Bikeshare Celebrates 10 Years — “DC’s Capital Bikeshare marks its 10th birthday this Sunday, September 20. Along with iPads and electric car charging stations which also turn 10 this year, they’ve changed the possibilities for how many of us work and play.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Fairfax County Park Authority Celebrates 70 Years — “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Fairfax County Park Authority, and activities are planned from now through next June to mark our 70 Years of Excellence.” [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Bikeshare in Reston is set to get a boost by early 2020.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation plans to install 21 new stations in Reston. The stations, which are currently in the design phase, will connect denser residential neighborhoods with transit and aim to improve access to retail, community resources, and recreational opportunities, according to the county.
The program is funded by a $1 million federal grant. All stations are expected to be installed by the end of next year.
- Green Range Drive & Glade Drive
- Charterhouse Circle & Glade Drive
- Olde Crafts Drive & Cartwright Place
- Ridge Heights Road & Seahawks Drive
- Baron Cameron Avenue & North Hampton Avenue
- Wainwright Drive & North Shore Drive
- Fairway Drive & Hook Road
- South Gate Community Center
- Links Drive & Wedge Drive
- North Village Drive & Park Garden Lane
- Great Owl Drive & Great Owl Circle
- Lake Newport Rd & Autumn Ridge Circle
- Reston Parkway & Bennington Woods Road
- Vantage Hill Road & Wainwright Drive
- Inlet Court & Wiehle Drive
- Ring Road & North Shore Drive
- South Lakes Dr & Reston Parkway
- Golf Course Square & Golf Course Drive
- Soapstone Drive Convenience Center
- Ridge Heights & Owls Cove Lane
- Becontree Lane & Goldenrain Court
County transportation officials are also looking into the possibility of adding a bike share station at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods.
As of last year, the stations at Wiehe-Reston Metro East and the Reston Town Center Transit Station were the most popular. Although ridership saw a dip earlier this year, the opening of phase two of the Silver Line is expected to boost ridership.
Capital Bikeshare ridership has dipped in Reston this year.
Between January and August, bicyclists took 11,476 — 4,705 fewer trips than last year’s total. Ridership dipped ever so slightly between 2017 and 2018 — decreasing by 222 total trips.
The data are presented in the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s latest status report. The status update will be discussed on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisor’s meeting today (Tuesday).
Currently, there are 16 stations in Reston. Staff are currently finalizing the locations of the second phase of stations in Reston, which would add more than 20 stations to the area. Most of the stations will be located outside Reston’s transit areas, according to the county.
Fairfax County residents can try transit and go car-free with a free $50 Smart Trip Card to use on transit or parking at county Metrorail parking garages to residents. In order to receive the gift card, residents must complete an online survey. Social media users can also share photos of their “smart commuting” experience on the FCODT’s Facebook for a chance to win a free Echo Dot.
Other regional and statewide partners are also offering other promotions:
- The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit is giving away a year of free transit service from a transit operator in the state, as well as a pair of round-trip tickets aboard Amtrak’s Northeast Regional.
- A program by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is hosting car free days from Sept. 21-23. Participants will receive a $30 gift certificate from Nift and will be entered in a raffle for prizes like sports and museum tickets, Capital Bikeshare memberships and gift certificates for food and groceries.
“The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is invested in improving the infrastructure and resources to give commuters choices to get to work or get around town. Fairfax County invites residents to try some of these options during Try Transit Week and Car Free Days to build better commuting habits that will benefit us personally and globally today and well into the future,” according to FCDOT.
Fairfax County officials have called Capital Bikeshare in Reston a success since the program was launched in 2016.
Now, the county plans to install 10 stations by next spring.
At a Fairfax County Board Transportation Committee meeting yesterday (May 14), staff discussed plans to expand the program throughout Reston, Tysons, Vienna and Merrifield.
The 16 stations already in Reston are used more frequently than the 13 in Tysons, according to county data.
Staff have been hesitant to pinpoint exact locations of the stations, but did release a list of possible sites during yesterday’s meeting:
- Baron Cameron Avenue
- North Shore Drive corridor
- Glade Drive corridor
- Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
- Discussions are also underway to fund even more stations in the Reston and Herndon Transit Station Areas.
Overall, bikeshare use in the county increase by 3.3 percent between 2017 and 2018. The county is also now seeing more bicyclists use the bikes for trips beyond Wiehle-Reston East in Reston.
Fox Mill Road Closure Rescheduled – The closure, which was originally planned for this week, has been pushed to next week from Monday, May 20 to Thursday, May 23. After that weekend, the road will close against from Tuesday, May 28 to Thursday, May 30. Closures are in effect from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday. [Virginia Department of Transportation]
Walking through Selling Your Home in Reston — Shellie Calloway, a Reston Association staff member who works on covenants, walks members through the process dictated by the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act. Requirements include RA’s disclosure packet. [Reston Today]
Big Capital Bikeshare Growth Planned — “A recently completed study of the potential for bikeshare in an area largely along Virginia Route 123 from Tysons through Vienna, the City of Fairfax and the George Mason University area recommends expanding Capital Bikeshare into most of that corridor, with future consideration of dockless options particularly in lower density areas.” [WTOP]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
The county has logged roughly 16,000 trips every year since the program began in Reston and as more stations are added to the network, that number is expected to increase dramatically over the next several years. Stations in Tysons Corner are also seeing dramatic increases in utilization, especially as more corporate sponsors come on board to back new stations.
Most of Reston’s new stations are planned in south Reston. Exact locations will not be disclosed until the county finalizes places with state transportation officials, according to the county. The corridors at North Shore Drive, Baron Cameron Avenue, South Lakes drive and Glade Drive are likely candidates.
Chris Wells, the county’s bicycle and pedestrian program manager, said that the new stations will help transform the program by expanding their use beyond a quick ride to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station or Reston Town Center.
When a new station was added near Lake Anne, trips indicate that people used the bikes to run errands and pick up groceries at Harris Teeter in Spectrum Center. Wells says this suggest the functionality of the bikes is changing in the suburban community.
So far, the station at Wiehle-Reston East Metro tops all others with 4,743 annual trips last year. The RTC station came in second with 2,650 annual trips. The station at Sunset Hills Road and Isaac Newton Square brings in 1,782 annual trips, according to county data.
The county is considering moving the station at Reston Regional Library — the least popular station with just 16 trips last year — to another site until construction of Reston Town Center North is completed. The newest station and the only one south of the toll road is at Campus Commons.
A pilot program launched last year to bring battery-operated bikes to Reston was also successful, Wells said. Nearly 500 new electric bikes will be added to the Maryland, Virginia and DC network over the next few months.
Overall, utilization dipped slightly last year due to construction at Wiehle-Reston East, Wells said. He hopes to more people using bikeshare in Reston as the network becomes more connected.
“As there are places to go, we expect utilization to get even better organically.”
A little over two years after Capital Bikeshare launched in Fairfax County, the program is planning to expand across Reston. But details on where the new stations, which were proposed last year, are pending.
According to Nicole Wynands, Bicycle Program Manager for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, the bike-share expansion is planned for late 2019 or early 2020.
“We are still working on the exact locations,” said Wynands, “but additional stations are planned to be added in both North and South Reston.”
A list of sites in Reston had been proposed last year, but Wynands said further study found some of the sites did not meet federal criteria for grant funding.
“The previously proposed stations [were] a concept proposal which [is] always subject to final engineering,” said Wynands. “We have since conducted surveys and developed preliminary design concepts. As the expansion is funded through a federal grant, each location has to meet a long list of criteria stipulated by federal requirements, state requirements and operator requirements. The surveys revealed that some of the originally proposed stations did not meet all siting criteria, so alternative sites are being considered.”
Additionally, Wynands said sites are being reconsidered based on proximity to new bike trails built through Reston over the last year.
“We will be able to announce the new station locations after we have received all needed permits,” said Wynands. “We are still planning on adding up to 11 new stations in Reston”
At its busiest, typically during June, Wynands said there were 1,861 trips starting or ending in Reston. Capital Bikeshare also recently implemented a pilot project to add new battery-operated bikes to Reston. The program will continue through the end of the month.
Wynands said the most popular stations in Reston are the ones at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, followed by the Reston Town Center Transit Station and the Sunset Hill Road/Isaac Newton Square Station.
“The system is designed primarily to cover the first and last mile between the origin/destination and transit,” said Wynands. “This is evident in the popularity of the bike share station at Wiehle Metro, which serves both as an origin and a destination for commuters in the morning and afternoon, as people working near Reston Town Center are arriving by Metro and continuing their trip to Reston Town Center via the W&OD, while at the same time Reston Town Center residents commute via the W&OD to the Metro station to continue their trip to Tysons, Arlington or DC.”
The station with the lowest use is at North Shore and Cameron Crescent, a station which primarily serves as an overflow to the busy Lake Anne station down the hill at North Shore and Village Road.
According to Wynands, the system is continuing to grow in ridership, with a seven percent year-over-over growth recorded thus far.
“It takes a few years for a new system to establish itself, and we expect additional growth through the expansions as we will serve additional riders and destinations.”
New black, battery-operated bikes are coming to Reston’s Capital Bikeshare fleet tomorrow (September 5) through a pilot program by Fairfax County Government.
Roughly 80 bikes will be added to Reston and Tysons Capital Bikeshare locations through a program called Capital Bikeshares Plus. The new pedal-assist bicycles, called e-bikes, allow users to get a small boost and make it easier to pedal uphill and across longer distances.
“With the pedal assist feature of e-bikes, shared active mobility will be accessible to a greater variety of riders,” said Fairfax County Bicycle Program Manager Nicole Wynands. “We hope that e-bikes will open the door for more Fairfax County residents and visitors to enjoy the many benefits of getting around by bicycle.”
The new bikes are black and marked with a lightning bolt symbol in the Capital Bikeshare app. But unlike traditional bikes, the e-bikes must be powered on before the start of the trip. Current Capital Bikeshare members can use the bikes at no additional charge.
The pilot program will run through November. County officials expect they will “integrate seamlessly” with the existing Capital Bikeshare system in the county.
Photo via Capital Bikeshare
Capital savings — Fairfax County residents can save 50 percent off their annual capital bikeshare membership. Members must be county residents and have new memberships. [Fairfax County Government]
Opinion: unfair treatment — An opinion piece alleges that the Fairfax County library system treats Friends groups, including the Friends of Reston Library, unfairly. [InsideNOVA]
‘Take a Break’ concert tonight — In this week’s “Take a Break” concert, Bad Influence brings audiences blues and roots. The concert at Lake Anne Plaza is open to all ages. [Reston Community Center]
Soaring to national heights — Austin Miller, a pole vaulter from Herndon, placed eighth at the 2018 USA Track & Field outdoor championships. [The Connection]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
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:
Dominion Rates Going Down as of Today –The net impact of the changes for the monthly bill for the typical Dominion Energy residential customer is a decrease of 1.1 percent, lowering the typical bill from $117.20 to $115.65, which is 30 cents lower than in February 2015. [Dominion Energy]
Bechtel Selected to Complete Georgia Nuclear Plant Expansion — Bechtel has been chosen by Georgia Power to complete construction of a two-reactor expansion of a nuclear power plant near Augusta, Georgia. These will be the first new units built in the U.S. in the last three decades. [Markets Insider]
King, Browns Finish Preseason Undefeated — Deon King, a South Lakes High School graduate, recorded one tackle Thursday night as the Cleveland Browns shut out the Chicago Bears, 25-0. The Browns finish the preseason with a 4-0 record. In the four games, King recorded nine tackles (including seven solo) and a fumble recovery. ESPN’s roster projection has him making the cut and being part of the 53-man regular-season squad. [ESPN]
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]