On a beautiful Wednesday made for a bike ride, the City of Alexandria kicked up the kickstand and officially launched its Capital Bikeshare pilot program.
Mayor Bill Euille said the program, which currently includes eight bike rental stations in and around Old Town, fits right in with Alexandria’s transportation vision that prioritizes “moving people over moving cars.”
Plus, noted Deputy City Manager Tom Gates, the program “adds a certain measure of ‘coolness’ to the city.”
Capital Bikeshare has put more than 1,600 bikes on the road in Arlington County and Washington, D.C. in the last three years. More than 175 stations are now available, with more on the way.
Many Alexandria residents have asked for expansion of the program into neighborhoods such as Del Ray, according to director of the city’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, Rich Baier.
He said the city is working with the Virginia Department of Transportation to convert some state road funds into monies that could be used to help expand the Bikeshare program. The city has also identified some grant opportunities to bolster Bikeshare, he told Patch.
Baier said the next group of expansions would be considered in Del Ray, Arlandria and the Carlyle area.
Jonathan Krall, who heads the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, told the audience gathered in Market Square that Bikeshare will help small businesses in the area.
He said studies have shown that bicyclists are more apt to stop and shop similar to pedestrians walking by a store.
Transportation Commission Chairman Kevin Posey, who attended the event, said the commission plans to hold a meeting in November to address the issue of bike facilities throughout the city, such as bike lanes and sharrows.
Current Capital Bikeshare station locations in Alexandria are as follows:
- King Street-Old Town Metro
- Braddock Road Metro
- Corner of Prince Street and S. Union Street
- Corner of King Street and N. Royal Street
- Corner of King Street and S. Patrick Street
- Corner of Commerce Street and S. Fayette Street
- Near The Henry at Pendleton and N. Henry streets
- Near Trader Joe’s at the intersection of Pendleton and N. St. Asaph streets