Fairfax bikeshare, someday?
No definite plans yet, but the county has already contacted bikeshare vendors. They haven't decided on joining Capital Bikeshare, but they call the CaBi option "a very attractive one."
It's a good idea, though I wonder if it can really be connected to the existing CaBi infrastructure. Perhaps better to plant the seed in Tysons or Reston and see if it can grow from there. It would require a firm hand, I think. As we've seen even in this forum, people don't quite understand the importance of the network effect on the success of bike sharing, and end up demanding stations in front of their houses (regardless of whether it fits into the topology).
Even if Fairfax decided it didn't care to integrate its bikeshare into the existing network, and was meant solely to be part of the urbanizing of Tyson's and/or Reston or whatever, is there a reason for FFX County or Alta to NOT go with CaBi? Seems like using an existing local system with a large membership base located close by would simplify and encourage use, especially among people who would be inclined to metro out there and CaBi from the mall to the Galleria or whatever.
Originally Posted by Mark Blacknell
I could see some limited ways it would be useful in Fairfax County, like those already mentioned (Reston, Tysons). I could possibly see it for short, popular trips that aren't otherwise easily accessible by public transit -- such as between Vienna metro station and the Maple Avenue corridor in Vienna (my hesitation there is that it involves some hills that would be tough on a CaBi, and the lack of anywhere else to go with the network -- Maple Avenue itself isn't real bikeable for the novice cyclist).
Here's my way outside of the box idea about where bikeshare would be most welcome and most used -- put a station every mile or so on the W&OD.
I agree that CaBi should be the option to beat, notwithstanding their recent growing pains.
Fairfax would probably follow Arlington's strategy of grouping the first stations near Metro stations and other locations within easy cycling distance from the stations. So the initial network could be narrowly restricted to the Tysons and Reston stations and vicinity.
Arlington plans to extend its network along Lee Highway, out to East Falls Church, if adequate funding can be found. (Maybe through advertising.) If this is the case, and maybe if Falls Church added a few within their city limits, then any Fairfax system would tie into the Arlington network. No word on when the Lee Highway stations could come online.
East Falls Church is close to the W&OD. The W&OD could help to form the spine of a bike network in the East Falls Church, Falls Church, Tysons, Merrifield/Mosaic District area. Too bad there isn't a raised bike route network in and around Tysons, like the one in the Netherlands (or was that Denmark?), hovering above the congested car roads.
CaBi would make the most sense, even with the publicized supply issues. Maybe Fairfax is just exploring all options and trying to negotiate a better arrangement by talking with other potential partners.
Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC
By the way, I added most of the pins on the CaBi crowdsourcing map for the Tysons area last year. I hope they follow my station recommendations to the exact inch.
I can see a CaBi Pod being set up around Vienna, Reston, Herndon, maybe even GMU, FFX city, etc, but with docks set up more far apart than in DC, Alexandria, or ARL, you might have to extend the free use times to 45-60 minutes. Hard to get more than a 2-3 miles in hilly Fairfax on a CaBi in under 30 minutes. separate time structures may make a system other than Cabi make more sense.
GMU is already planning to set up a non-CaBi bikeshare system in the near future.
GMU's system has been up and running for a while now. They just had the "official" launch recently, I think. It's an interesting system that is more free-form without centralized docking stations. Tyler Orton, the GMU Bike Program Coordinator, was a huge help with putting together FABB's Fairfax Bike Summit.
I agree that it would put Fairfax County in a poor negotiating position to just decide on a vendor in the early planning stages. Better to identify the goals, budget and scope first.