Alexandria Considers Bikeshare Pilot Program | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Alexandria Considers Bikeshare Pilot Program

Play associated audio
Capital Bikeshare station in Arlington, Va.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/36871124@N04/5038492031/
Capital Bikeshare station in Arlington, Va.

Wheeling into the Firehook coffee shop in Old Town Alexandria, Arlington bicycle enthusiast Allan Reiter says Alexandria should join Capital Bikeshare -- the service that allows paying members to borrow bicycles. He says he's not worried about criticism that the $400,000 program would be a waste of money.

"Of course it costs. But they were saying that about bike paths 10 or 20 years ago and look how popular they are up and down the Mount Vernon Trail and all around the Washington area. In fact, this area is becoming a lot like Seattle," he says.

Old Town resident Poul Hertel says the city should put the brakes on Capital Bikeshare.

"To spend so much money on so few bikes for so few people seems to be ill-advised given that there are needs elsewhere that are much more pressing," Hertel says.

The pilot program now under consideration would put 54 bicycles at six stations. The cost of the first year could be financed with money from a federal grant.

Alexandria would join a contract originally created between Arlington and Oregon-based Alta Bicycle Share, which operates the system. The District of Columbia later joined Arlington's contract. Now, Alexandria is taking a look at doing the same.

"Alexandria has a very strong bicycling community and potential demand for bicycling facilities," says Alexandria bicycle coordinator Carrie Sanders.

Critics say the program has yet to break even. But Alexandria Transportation Director Rich Baier says lots of government services don't make a profit.

"If you look at recycling, you look at transit, neither of those are self-supporting. So these services, which are necessary components to urban life, are not self-sufficient either," Baier says.

The city manager is expected to make a decision this summer.

Michael Pope also reports for Northern Virginia's Connection Newspapers.

NPR

Do Touch The Artwork At Prado's Exhibit For The Blind

The renowned Spanish museum has made 3-D copies of some of its most iconic works to allow blind people to feel them.

NPR

Game For Ancient Grain: Palestinians Find Freekeh Again

The young, roasted form of wheat has been eaten in the Middle East for millennia. But over time many Palestinians replaced it with rice. Now it's becoming a nutritious, native food worthy of pride.
NPR

Canada Cuts Down On Red Tape. Could It Work In The U.S.?

Canada says it's the first country with a law that eliminates one regulation for every new measure that's adopted. The One-for-One Rule is designed to ease the burden on businesses.
WAMU 88.5

New Transit App 'Split' Pushes User To Share The Backseat

A new entrant into the growing world of on-demand transportation apps in the District uses sustainability as its pitch — with users sharing the ride with others going the same direction.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.