Capital Bikeshare, the highly successful bike sharing system launched in the District six years ago, continues to grow. More than 350 stations and 3,000 of the little red bikes serve cyclists in the District, Arlington, Alexandria and Montgomery County.
The great paradox with this service, one of the first in the nation, is the slow arrival of Fairfax County. It wasn’t until this past January that the Board of Supervisors approved funding for 212 bicycles and 26 stations in Reston and Tysons. The county still does not have a presence on the CaBi website.
Meanwhile, Montgomery County has dozens of Capital Bikeshare stations and has reached as far away as Rockville. By way of comparison, Rockville is twice the distance from downtown Washington as the Huntington Metro Station in southeast Fairfax County.
In the county’s defense, Huntington does not have the density of Reston and Tysons. But its walk scores approach the 60s and should continue to grow. As the last station on the Yellow Line, Huntington makes for a good candidate for a new CaBi station. There’s plenty of room and the station is a woodsy gateway to the Richmond Highway corridor. Carlyle and National Harbor, highlighted this week in Christopher Leinberger’s report on Walkable Urbanism, are both a short ride away.
In fact, Huntington was one of the stations studied in a 2010 report published by PlanItMetro. A bevy of recommendations were made).
Fairfax County planners and leaders have taken a very active role in embracing New Urbanism methods. They now need to take more of a pro-active leadership role in establishing Capital Bikeshare not only in the center of the county but also south of Alexandria.
If you are a cyclist or a prospective one, and would like to provide the county with feedback, try the following (Many thanks to “Citizen” at Greater Greater Washington for this info).
- Send emails to County officials and planning agencies.
- Add suggestions to the Capital Bikeshare crowdsourcing map.
I noticed a handful of folks have already started, including this one.
At roughly this location, there is surprisingly high density. There are three high rise residential/commercial mixed-use buildings (River Towers) and acres of garden style condominiums (Belle View Condominiums.) This would be a GREAT location for a bikeshare station (especially if a complementary one is installed at Huntington Metro Station) as it is located very near the Mount Vernon trail, and would greatly improve access/connectivity between Old Town and this area.
Huntington’s surrounding topography has such great potential for cyclists. On the topside, one has great views of Alexandria and the growing Carlyle neighborhood. A trail behind the former Metro Transit Police (District II) Headquarters building invites cyclists to explore and provides a shady retreat. Running past the northern edge of Mount Eagle Park, it leads to a zig zagging trail that will put you into the adjacent neighborhood. This route provides a fun and safer alternative to getting to points eastward.
When Roberta and I arrived here in Groveton in 1995, the number of cyclists here was small. The numbers have steadily increased, and if and when Capital Bikeshare arrives in this part of the county, we'll see even more rolling down the roads.