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Thread: College Park staff recommend non-CaBi bikeshare system

  1. #11
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    5-6 miles on a CaBi is enough to discourage a lot of people. I think 2-4 miles is probably peak - too far to quickly walk, but close enough for a casual ride.

    Hopefully MD improves the bike infrastructure in the next few years and joins up with CaBi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PotomacCyclist View Post
    FYI - Bixi went bankrupt, not Alta. Bixi was a supplier/contractor for Alta. I don't believe Alta was ever in any immediate danger of going bankrupt. But Alta did sell off their bikeshare division to REQX. That was renamed Motivate.

    I biked around College Park last week, for the first time ever. Doesn't the University have over 37,000 students (undergrad and grad) plus more than 9,000 staff? 46,000+ people concentrated in a geographically small city, with most of them under the age of 30. That would seem to be enough to support a CaBi outpost. Wouldn't it?

    I know the Purple Line is supposed to include a paved trail extension between Bethesda and downtown Silver Spring. Are there plans to have any bike trails along the Purple Line east of Silver Spring, into College Park? It's a bit of a hike. Most casual cyclists should be able to handle that distance (about 5-6 miles?), but it might just be far enough where most people wouldn't bike the trip. I'd also guess that most people wouldn't bike from College Park to downtown DC, especially on a slower CaBi bike. Are there are any really popular bike traffic routes in the general area, other than within the main campus, and between the campus and the Metro station? Is there a lot of bike traffic between the campus and Greenbelt?

    I'll be interested to hear how successful the Zagster program is, and whether CP and UMD decide to join CaBi in a few years (in place of or in complement to the Zagster program).
    46,000 people, not all of whom live on campus (or even anywhere near it—grad students may show up from Australia once a year), etc. The population of CP is usually estimated at around 30k, and, given that the city stretches for about four miles along Rhode Island Avenue, not necessarily that small. Most plans for Bikeshare tend to concentrate around downtown and the campus, with an outpost by the Metro, maybe some in Old Town or Calvert Hills when the Cafritz development goes in; not much if anything north of MD-193/Greenbelt Road, save perhaps at Greenbelt Metro, about three miles and change from the Stamp Union by bike.

    Plans for the Purple Line Trail, last I heard, was to run it the entire length of the line. This is part of the reason why, despite being the most deadly intersection in the county, we're not trying to make the University Boulevard/Riggs Road intersection from Hell in Adelphi less lethal—it's going to be ripped up during Purple Line construction, and a bike path put in. Ditto trying to forge connections between the NEBranch and Sligo Creek, which would connect College Park to Silver Spring and Takoma, where many students live and work. Of course, Governor Hogan has cut funding for the project pretty drastically, insisting that "unnecessary" features be cut...

    To be perfectly honest, I'm not optimistic.

    As far as popular bike routes—HECK YEAH! I mean, I'm one of many people who commutes from CP to DC (or vice versa) every day, and, as so many people who did the Cider Ride discovered, there's some really nice infrastructure in my part of the world. Granted, once you're out of the ATHA, it all just suddenly seems to die—heck, even within the area, you go from "really great!" to "nuttin" each time you cross a jurisdictional boundary (I usually cross about nine on my way in to work)—but in CP alone, we have the Indian Creek, Paint Branch, Trolly, and NEBranch trails, plus bike lanes, signposting, speed humps, and planning for more bike and pedestrian infrastructure and initiatives.

    Campus to the Metro? Down the hill, cross US1 take Trolly Trail south, left to Metro. Mile and a half from the Stamp, IIRC. Cake.

    CP to Greenbelt? Eff That Noise. The most direct route, 193, is best undertaken if you hate the idea of continued existence. Even the racers at Greenbelt Park will take back ways to avoid it. Usually, you either take the sidewalk, your own personal back way, or dismount and walk through Greenbelt Metro.

    And thanks for catching my Subsidiary Error.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brünř Moore View Post
    46,000 people, not all of whom live on campus (or even anywhere near it—grad students may show up from Australia once a year), etc. The population of CP is usually estimated at around 30k, and, given that the city stretches for about four miles along Rhode Island Avenue, not necessarily that small. Most plans for Bikeshare tend to concentrate around downtown and the campus, with an outpost by the Metro, maybe some in Old Town or Calvert Hills when the Cafritz development goes in; not much if anything north of MD-193/Greenbelt Road, save perhaps at Greenbelt Metro, about three miles and change from the Stamp Union by bike.

    Plans for the Purple Line Trail, last I heard, was to run it the entire length of the line. This is part of the reason why, despite being the most deadly intersection in the county, we're not trying to make the University Boulevard/Riggs Road intersection from Hell in Adelphi less lethal—it's going to be ripped up during Purple Line construction, and a bike path put in. Ditto trying to forge connections between the NEBranch and Sligo Creek, which would connect College Park to Silver Spring and Takoma, where many students live and work. Of course, Governor Hogan has cut funding for the project pretty drastically, insisting that "unnecessary" features be cut...

    To be perfectly honest, I'm not optimistic.

    As far as popular bike routes—HECK YEAH! I mean, I'm one of many people who commutes from CP to DC (or vice versa) every day, and, as so many people who did the Cider Ride discovered, there's some really nice infrastructure in my part of the world. Granted, once you're out of the ATHA, it all just suddenly seems to die—heck, even within the area, you go from "really great!" to "nuttin" each time you cross a jurisdictional boundary (I usually cross about nine on my way in to work)—but in CP alone, we have the Indian Creek, Paint Branch, Trolly, and NEBranch trails, plus bike lanes, signposting, speed humps, and planning for more bike and pedestrian infrastructure and initiatives.

    Campus to the Metro? Down the hill, cross US1 take Trolly Trail south, left to Metro. Mile and a half from the Stamp, IIRC. Cake.

    CP to Greenbelt? Eff That Noise. The most direct route, 193, is best undertaken if you hate the idea of continued existence. Even the racers at Greenbelt Park will take back ways to avoid it. Usually, you either take the sidewalk, your own personal back way, or dismount and walk through Greenbelt Metro.

    And thanks for catching my Subsidiary Error.
    Every time I go back for football games, I'm amazed as the painted bike sharrows on 193 when I park. Are people really riding on 193? It doesn't seem to have changed much from my time as a student and so I tend to think that's basically a death wish.

    The other place I could some utility for the bikeshare is up by Cherry Hill. At least when I went there, a lot of people lived there off-campus. I think there was a path that connected at some point to the one that runs behind the Xfinity Center near the creek, but I'm not positive.

    West of the campus toward Langley Park, I can only guess people cut those back roads? Then again, I don't think a ton of people lived off that direction. Shoot, the original Ledos isn't even there anymore.

  5. #14
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    On Jan. 12, the College Park council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Maryland regarding the proposed joint bikeshare program.

    http://www.collegeparkmd.gov/documen...s/011216RM.pdf


    According to the blog of one of the councilmembers, the current plan is to have 14 bike stations. The University will install 7 stations and the City will install 7.

    Two of those stations would be located in north College Park, "one at the end of Lackawanna Street near the [Greenbelt] Metro, and the other at the MoM/REI shopping complex [Hollywood Shopping Center]."

    The parties selected Zagster as the bikeshare operator (not Motivate, which operates Capital Bikeshare and systems elsewhere). They have proposed a three-year term.

    http://www.collegeparkmd.gov/documen...s/011216RM.pdf


    ------

    I don't think a formal contract with Zagster has been signed yet. The city council minutes from January only include the MOU with UMD with nothing about Zagster. Zagster doesn't list College Park on its website yet. (They do show a small bikeshare system in a single building in Bethesda. Membership for that system is limited to residents of the Bainbridge building, 18 years and older.)

    Earlier articles about College Park bikeshare had also mentioned having a station at the Hollywood Shopping Center.

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    Someone had mentioned earlier that the Zagster system could be a temporary one, until CP/UMD were certain that the CaBi supply problems were resolved. They may also be waiting to see if a contract with Motivate would be less expensive in the future (adjusted for inflation). One issue with CaBi is that Motivate would have to dedicate rebalancing resources for CP. They might not be able to share rebalancing vans and staff used in other local jurisdictions because the CP system would be isolated from the other CaBi areas. I don't know how much that would change over the next three years. Maybe if Zagster proves to be very popular and demand for bikeshare memberships is great enough, then a CaBi deal would make more sense with a standalone CP/UMD network.

    The Rockville/Shady Grove bike station network is also isolated from the rest of the CaBi network. They have 21 stations there. But they are also using a different program to help fund that group of stations, one designed to help lower-income workers commute to work, school or job training.

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    I've ridden around College Park a few times this winter. It would definitely be more convenient with a bikeshare system there. Since I don't feel like biking all the way from Arlington to College Park, I've taken Metro most of the way. During the week, there's a prohibition on bikes between 7-10 am and 4-7 pm. (No limits on weekends.) That limits my schedule significantly if I want to use Metro and my personal bike. If CP/UMD had bikeshare, I could use that and not worry about the Metro bike rules. I don't know how much I'll bike up there after this winter, but I'll probably head back up there at some point. It's a nice campus and it's always good to see new sights on a ride. (The MVT is nice too, but there's no novelty for me with that ride now.)

    Once the CP/UMD bikeshare system is running, I would consider signing on as an occasional member. Some of the other Zagster systems have hourly, monthly and annual memberships. The hourly deal doesn't make a lot of sense unless you're only going to ride once, for less than an hour. With the small Zagster system in Cleveland for example, it costs $3/hr up to $24/day (and extra fees for keeping the bike more than 24 hrs). Monthly is $15 with the first hr of each ride included. Then $3/hr after that first hr per trip. Yearly is $75 with the first hr of each ride included and the same per-trip fees as monthly members after the first hr. (Cleveland is planning to install a larger bikeshare system this year with CycleHop. I don't know if they will retain the Zagster system. Zagster still operates smaller systems in the Boston area, alongside the larger Motivate-operated Hubway system.)

    Zagster bikes are locked with a regular U lock. I believe that once you sign up, you receive a code on your phone. That lets you open up a box that contains the key to the U lock. Then you use that key and lock during the trip if you make any stops. When you finish, you have to return to a Zagster station and return the key. As most people know, a U lock is better than a cable lock but it can still be easily defeated. CaBi/Bixi locking mechanisms seem much tougher to defeat. There are some CaBi bike thefts but I think the numbers are fairly low (and some of those thefts might be due to improper docking, leaving the bike unlocked at the station).

    That system also means that you need to have a mobile phone to use Zagster. But 90% (or more) of U.S. adults now own a mobile phone. 64% of U.S. adults own a smartphone. Other possible limiter to bikeshare membership is having a credit card. About 75% of U.S. adults have a credit card. About 92% of adults have a bank account. (The bank acct issue is one possible reason why bikeshare use is lower East of the River in DC. But another reason might be all the hills there. I rode around some of the neighborhoods there recently. Those hills can be fairly tough, especially on a heavy CaBi bike. Certainly tough enough to deter almost all casual cyclists from riding in certain areas.)

    http://zagster.com/cleveland/
    Last edited by PotomacCyclist; 02-17-2016 at 01:35 AM.

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