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Thread: Whatever happened to Alexandria's bikeshare expansion?

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    Default Whatever happened to Alexandria's bikeshare expansion?

    I'm wondering if anybody has any insights into whatever happened to the 10-station CaBi expansion that the city Traffic & Parking Board approved over a year ago. (I guess it's 11 stations including one near Port City Brewery.) This city website says the expansion was "currently planned for the Spring 2018," as does this October 2017 Washington Post story. The Post also reported that Alexandria "has funds for 50 stations through 2020, but officials say they will evaluate bike-sharing needs next year before proceeding."

    I've been pestering various city officials and council candidates about the issue, and all anyone has been able to do is send me a statement from the Complete Streets program that some unexplained difficulties had arisen. But they hope to be able to report "good news" soon.

    The station I'm most interested in is the one in the Potomac Yard shopping center, which is a popular destination that lacks any stations in reasonable walking distance. (I live across the street from it and pretty much have a 15-minute walk to get to any CaBi bikes -- for example, if I wanted to bike to Del Ray, I first have to walk to Del Ray to get a bike.) But having more stations throughout the city would exponentially increase the usefulness of the entire network, the way it has in Arlington.

    Does anybody know what the holdup is?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkingva View Post
    I'm wondering if anybody has any insights into whatever happened to the 10-station CaBi expansion that the city Traffic & Parking Board approved over a year ago. (I guess it's 11 stations including one near Port City Brewery.) This city website says the expansion was "currently planned for the Spring 2018," as does this October 2017 Washington Post story. The Post also reported that Alexandria "has funds for 50 stations through 2020, but officials say they will evaluate bike-sharing needs next year before proceeding."

    I've been pestering various city officials and council candidates about the issue, and all anyone has been able to do is send me a statement from the Complete Streets program that some unexplained difficulties had arisen. But they hope to be able to report "good news" soon.

    The station I'm most interested in is the one in the Potomac Yard shopping center, which is a popular destination that lacks any stations in reasonable walking distance. (I live across the street from it and pretty much have a 15-minute walk to get to any CaBi bikes -- for example, if I wanted to bike to Del Ray, I first have to walk to Del Ray to get a bike.) But having more stations throughout the city would exponentially increase the usefulness of the entire network, the way it has in Arlington.

    Does anybody know what the holdup is?
    My understanding is that a MOU had expired that had to be redone. It is currently working its way through various government entities for approval. I would guess that we won’t see any new stations until next spring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyKane50 View Post
    My understanding is that a MOU had expired that had to be redone. It is currently working its way through various government entities for approval. I would guess that we won’t see any new stations until next spring.
    For the CaBi stations, I've heard a very vague "acquisition issue."

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    I would also note that Complete Streets staff has been short handed for some of this period, so that may be slowing the process down.

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    Thank you, everyone, for the insights. But it is disappointing to hear that nearly two years could go by between the city approving new stations and actually building a single one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkingva View Post
    Thank you, everyone, for the insights. But it is disappointing to hear that nearly two years could go by between the city approving new stations and actually building a single one of them.
    It is indeed frustrating that non went in this year, especially since the expansion would put stations in western Alexandria where there's currently none. I'm excited about the prospect of being able to ride a CaBi to Port City in particular.

    IIRC, Darren Buck said at an earlier BPAC meeting that staff was going to do a fresh survey for the next set of stations after this year's were installed.

    Also, bikingva, I don't think I've met you. If you're interested in what's going on (and working to improve) walking and biking in Alexandria, you should come to Alexandria BPAC meetings which are the second Monday of each month from 7-9 p.m. at the Bradlee Safeway.

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    I would love to come -- I just recently moved to the city from Arlington but was interested in learning more about the lay of the land here, including who does what. I did notice that BPAC's website has more updates about what T&ES is doing than T&ES' website does.


    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Also, bikingva, I don't think I've met you. If you're interested in what's going on (and working to improve) walking and biking in Alexandria, you should come to Alexandria BPAC meetings which are the second Monday of each month from 7-9 p.m. at the Bradlee Safeway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkingva View Post
    I would love to come -- I just recently moved to the city from Arlington but was interested in learning more about the lay of the land here, including who does what. I did notice that BPAC's website has more updates about what T&ES is doing than T&ES' website does.
    I'm an Arlingtonian, but still a member of BPAC. It's a great group of people. I enjoy volunteering at the bike rodeos we hold. I've learned something new at every meeting. City T&ES and police staff provide a brief at every meeting and we have a great collaborative relationship.

    Hope to see you at the next meeting.

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    Finally, the city has updated its page on the CaBi expansion for the first time since very early this year. Unfortunately, the newly updated page confirms that no expansion will take place until 2019, and it adds a cryptic note that "The City is currently working to secure grant funding to purchase these stations."

    I'm truly perplexed, because as noted above city officials told the Washington Post over a year ago that this expansion would take place in the spring of 2018, and that the money existed for these 11 additional stations and more.

    And, of course, if it really takes up to 2 years to install additional stations *after* the city has approved them, that really bodes ill for additional expansions in part of the city that remain woefully underserved.

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