Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tell Capital Bikeshare where more stations should go

Capital Bikeshare, the DC bike sharing service that started last year, is a great service.

However, there are some capacity issues, especially in the mornings (no bikes in Columbia Heights, full stations downtown) and in the evenings (the opposite problem.) That means it can be tough to find bikes and tough to drop them off -- i.e. dock-blocking. Since we're uphill from downtown, that problem makes sense, but it can be an issue even when it's not rush hour. A few times I've had to ride to numerous stations to drop off my bike.

The CaBi folks recognize this, and want your help telling them where new stations should go. They've launched a web map where you can add your suggestions for new locations and comments on others' suggestions, including a thumbs-up and thumbs-down option. Pretty cool stuff. I voted for more on 11th Street in our neighborhood, for example, to take advantage of the bike lanes, and in the gaps in areas downtown, like Thomas Circle. But don't take my word for it, vote yourself!

Of course, part of that is a problem with a lack of vans to transport the bikes back and forth, which they're tried to address with reverse rider rewards, but more stations should help.

So vote! And tell us in the comments where you think there should be more stations.

6 comments:

Jamie said...

I really don't get why someone would use CABI for regular commutes. Unless your office really doesn't have a facility for locking your bike somewhere, why bother?

It's somewhere between lazy and stupid. Lazy, because the only reason I can think to do it is so you don't have to get your bike in and out of your house/office at each end.

Stupid, since unless your'e really lucky, you'll have to walk some distance at each end, and maybe not find a bike there.

Anyhoo I guess it happens, so maybe there's something I really don't get. But if I lived and worked in CABI territory I'd just buy a beater for 50 bucks and be done with it.

beatledud said...

The Woodner, with over a 1000 units and DC's largest apartment building, this would get a lot of use. And since I live on 16th across from the Woodner, I'd certainly sign up finally and use it regularly.

MrTinDC said...

Yes, please vote for the proposed additional Columbia Heights docking stations! I voted for all in the area.

I use CaBi for my daily Columbia Heights to downtown commute. Reasons I prefer it to buying my own bike:

-No need to carry a lock or worry about theft
-My workplace doesn't allow brining bikes up to our offices, parking garage is dark, dirty, and not secure
-Sometimes it rains in the morning but not in the afternoon, and vice versa, so I can ride one way and take Metro the other (I prefer not to ride in rain or snow).
-No worries about pumping up the tires, adjusting gears, replacing brake pads, getting a flat.
-No worries about someone stealing your seat, or other components, even if you've locked the frame and wheels up correctly.
-Saves greatly on storage space in my condo; bikes are very awkward to store and a pain to carry upstairs. That front tire also tends to scuff up the walls.
-Finally, the excitement and comradery of participating in a new, shared transportation system is a good feeling!

I have but a short walk at either end, am getting fresh air and exercise, avoid taking the crowded Metro when weather is nice, and all for $75/year. Hardly stupid or lazy!

Brian said...

I really don't get why someone would use the Metro for regular commutes. Unless your office really doesn't have a facility for parking your car somewhere, why bother?

It's somewhere between lazy and stupid. Lazy, because the only reason I can think to do it is so you don't have to get your car in and out of a parking space at each end.

Stupid, since unless your'e really lucky, you'll have to walk some distance at each end, and maybe have to wait for a train.

Anyhoo I guess it happens, so maybe there's something I really don't get. But if I lived and worked in Metro territory I'd just buy a beater for 500 bucks and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

Funny, "stupid and lazy" are precisely the words I would use to describe an ignorant and uninformed comment meant to disparage one of the most efficient, effective and healthy modes of transportation in this city.

Omar said...

Lazy, maybe, but smart. You don't have to worry about your bike getting stolen, and if the weather changes you can take a different way home. And I'm not sure what's lazy about biking no matter which way you choose to go to work.

In any case, I voted for locations at the Banneker Pool, Howard Bookstore, and the triangle between the Hospital and where Park View/Pleasant Plains begins at Irving & Park. There's a bike lane there that goes around the reservoir, and it's a good transfer point for the H buses after they're done with their loop through the hospitals.

I also tried to find ones around town that would be useful. The West End of Georgetown near Key Bridge and Roosevelt Island are ones that spring to mind as I write this—good for recreational rides. And I put in a humorous vote for the one at Saxby's Coffee.