Likes Likes:  8
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
ELITE ELITE:  0
Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 27 of 27

Thread: Whatever happened to Alexandria's bikeshare expansion?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Living in the world
    Posts
    482
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bkingva View Post
    A new update from Alexandria city staff (via Mayor Wilson's office):



    This raises all sorts of questions, especially since July will mark the second anniversary of the city selecting eight of the 10 new locations after months of collecting the public's input.

    1) Has the city of Alexandria ever offered a public explanation for why it and VDOT have been unable to resolve their three-year-long dispute about the city's 2016 CaBi RFP and contract, its alleged noncompliance with federal requirements and what it would take to qualify it for federal funding? (VDOT's qualms don't appear to be shared by DDOT, which was part of the same 2016 RFP but keeps merrily adding new Bikeshare stations throughout D.C.) Has this ever been discussed in any public forum? If not, why not?

    2) Will VDOT really let the Alexandria "ride" the Falls Church contract? The department was not so positive about this when city staff was talking about it last summer, and since then VDOT has been insisting that the 10 new sites be subject to a federal environmental review.

    3) Is the city really proposing that once it finally acquires the new stations, it will then wait months before installing anything, until it has been nearly THREE YEARS after selecting the sites and telling the public they were coming?

    4) So when would the city begin the next round of selecting sites for future expansion? Will that also take three years?
    I suspect someone in the bowels of the bureaucracy who opposes bikeshare is "slow walking" contract negotiations, but I'm cynical that way..

  2. Likes Judd liked this post
  3. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    20
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewdane View Post
    I suspect someone in the bowels of the bureaucracy who opposes bikeshare is "slow walking" contract negotiations, but I'm cynical that way..
    I kind of suspect that someone in the city staff may have made an honest mistake in 2016, perhaps based on bad info from VDOT or just a lack of understanding of the federal requirements, and that since then VDOT's attitude has been "No soup for you." It's just mystifying that three years later they haven't resolved it.

    Which is why I have been wondering how much the mayor, council or even traffic board members have been briefed on this. In the few public discussions that I have witnessed on this topic or been a part of, I get the impression that this is a sore subject for staff members and they would rather not talk about it. But meanwhile they're now proposing a 2020 install date.

    Seriously, the Potomac Yard metro station might be built first.
    Last edited by bkingva; 06-04-2019 at 06:25 AM.

  4. #23
    Judd's Avatar
    Judd is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    3,607
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bkingva View Post
    I kind of suspect that someone in the city staff may have made an honest mistake in 2016, perhaps based on bad info from VDOT or just a lack of understanding of the federal requirements, and that since then VDOT's attitude has been "No soup for you." It's just mystifying that three years later they haven't resolved it.

    Which is why I have been wondering how much the mayor, council or even traffic board members have been briefed on this. In the few public discussions that I have witnessed on this topic or been a part of, I get the impression that this is a sore subject for staff members and they would rather not talk about it. But meanwhile they're now proposing a 2020 install date.

    Seriously, the Potomac Yard metro station might be built first.
    My understanding is that it was a VDOT issue and that it is also impacting Arlington.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #24
    Judd's Avatar
    Judd is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    3,607
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewdane View Post
    I suspect someone in the bowels of the bureaucracy who opposes bikeshare is "slow walking" contract negotiations, but I'm cynical that way..
    Itís unfair to malign the public servants who are working to expand Bikeshare and suggest mal intent.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    20
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    My understanding is that it was a VDOT issue and that it is also impacting Arlington.
    Arlington may have been impacted because it was one of the multiple jurisdictions included in the RFP and contract that Alexandria issued in 2016, along with DC, Montgomery County and I think Fairfax County. VDOT has claimed that the RFP didn't meet federal standards, but if that were the case it seems weird that only some of the jurisdictions are being held up.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    20
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Just to keep everyone updated, this is the latest from city staff. Essentially, it's looking like no installation until 2020 (at the earliest), but Alexandria is still hoping to get VDOT's approval to be able to use the city of Falls Church's CaBi contract in order to purchase the Bikeshare bikes and equipment while qualifying for federal funding. For now, the city has not actually applied for the federal funding or issued any orders to procure the equipment, but it is hoping to speed up the next round of Bikeshare expansion once this one is finished:

    In response to your questions about Capital Bikeshare Expansion, I been working hard to rectify the issues we faced with contracting and procurement due to certain clauses that came up during the long process of procurement and contracting. We've made recent advances in learning that another jurisdiction was able to work out the contracting issues and have been working with our purchasing department. The process also does not solely lie with the City as paperwork and process requirements must be approved through the Virginia Department of Transportation in order to use federal funds to buy the stations. After the paperwork is satisfied and we are able to purchase the stations, it usually takes about six months for the stations to be constructed and shipped to us to be ready for installation. To make up for this backlog, our goal is to order all of the stations set for the expansion as well as a number for the next round of expansion so that the timeline between identification, outreach, approval, and installation for the next round is less than it has been in the past two years.

    I understand this process has been frustrating for the public that were hoping to see the stations in sooner than the current timeline. Staff is working hard on a number of projects, and Bikeshare expansion is one that we have been trying to accomplish over the past two years.
    In response to my followup questions:

    We don't foresee any issues with riding the Falls Church contract, since they've been able to get through the process and use grant funding for the process. Before we're able to fully know the extent of procurement hoops we have to jump through, we are trying to get through the other list of paperwork with VDOT before getting into procurement and contracting. I don't want to bore you with the details of all of the documents, but we're working through them piece by piece as efficiently as possible and asking VDOT to do the same.

    As far as the installation timeline, we'l have to see when we get the paperwork finished and when the stations come in to determine when we can or would install. We'll make the call closer to that timeline to see what makes the most sense. I certainly understand your urging to install them as soon as possible.
    In a subsequent conversation I had with staff at VDOT's Local Assistance Division in Fairfax, they made it clear that they have not yet signed off on the idea of Alexandria making use of a contract issued by Falls Church and aren't yet sure what the central office in Richmond will think about that. Right now the department is still waiting for Alexandria to submit all the paperwork needed to satisfy the federal environmental permitting requirements, although the environmental permitting will presumably not be hard to obtain given that this project doesn't involve any construction (besides the fact that it involves solar-powered equipment enabling human-powered transportation).

    This is just me reading between lots of line, but I get the impression that while this two-year-long delay originated with miscommunication between VDOT and the city about the federal requirements, the department also doesn't quite know what to do with this multi-state, multi-jurisdiction bikeshare system that doesn't resemble the smaller ones that exist in Richmond and Norfolk. Meanwhile District DOT in D.C. is putting in so many new CaBi stations so fast that it's generating neighborhood squabbles about where to place them (a problem that Alexandrians can only envy).

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    20
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Also, even though it's not on the agenda, Alexandria's Complete Streets staff plans to give a brief update on this project to the city Traffic & Parking Board at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 22, in the city council chambers at 301 King Street.

    This will be two years minus two days after the same board approved the new bikeshare locations. Will someone bring a cake?

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •