The Capital Bikeshare network soon could reach out to even more spots in the Tysons area.
At a Fairfax County Board Transportation Committee meeting today (Tuesday), staff went through plans to add new bike share stations throughout Tysons, Vienna and Merrifield, with potential to add them to McLean.
Currently, 30 Capital Bikeshare stations are located in Fairfax County, with 16 in Reston, 13 in Tysons, and one at the West Falls Church Metro station. The most recent Capital Bikeshare station in Tysons was installed in December at the McLean Metro station. On Friday (May 17) a new station is scheduled to activate at Hilton Headquarters (7930 Jones Branch Drive) on the other side of the Jones Branch Connector.
There are 17 proposed locations for new Capital Bikeshare docks in the Tysons area to be launched next year — including docks along the Route 7 corridor between Tysons and Falls Church and the Gallows Road corridor between Tysons and Merrifield.
In Merrifield, three new stations are planned to activate on May 22 at:
- Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station (2700 Gallows Road)
- Halstead Square Dunn Loring Metro Apartments (2729 Merrilee Drive)
- The Mosaic District (Merrifield Cinema Drive)
Six new stations are planned to launch in the area next spring.
A collaborative study for bike share expansion in Vienna was completed in March, and staff said the study recommended expanding the system throughout Vienna and considering a dockless bike share feature sometime in the future.
Along that route, Fairfax County recommends additional stations at:
- Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station (2700 Gallows Road)
- Vienna Metro station (9550 Saintsbury Drive)
- Gallows Road corridor
- Nottoway Park (9537 Courthouse Road)
- Circle Towers (9335 Lee Highway)
The Capital Bikeshare expansion in the study area is planned to be funded from the I-66 Commuter Choice program.
In the Town of Vienna, new bike share locations are proposed at:
- Town Green (144 Maple Avenue E.)
- Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street S.E.)
- Maple Avenue Shopping Center (180 Maple Avenue W.)
- Navy Federal Credit Union (820 Follins Lane)
- 444 Maple Avenue W. (currently a redevelopment project)
Yesterday (Monday), Capital Bikeshare also expanded into Falls Church with 11 stations.
There are few details, but the staff report indicates that future expansion could add the Capital Bikeshare to other areas like McLean.
There are 11 new stations in total, with six located either on Broad Street or within one block of it, according to Falls Church Communications Director Susan Finarelli. Other new stations include one at the West Falls Church Metro and one near a bicycle trail near Tripps Run Creek.
The stations are planned to activate this week for a “soft opening” with an official ribbon-cutting planned Monday (May 13), according to Finarelli.
The stations offer bicycles to rent through a membership and can be ridden to any other Capital Bikeshare station.
“We’re excited to be connecting to the regional network,” said Finarelli.
Finarelli said the opening is planned for 6:30 p.m. at the Capital Bikeshare station between Clare & Don’s Beach Shack and The State Theater on N. Washington Street.
— FallsChurchLife (@FallsChurchLife) May 2, 2019
Map via City of Falls Church
After a pilot phase last fall, battery-powered e-bikes are now a permanent fixture of the Capital Bikeshare fleet in Tysons.
As of 12:30 p.m., there were two e-bikes in Tysons: one at Westpark and Jones Branch Drive, east of Tysons Galleria, and one at Greensboro and Pinnacle Drive east of the Galleria, near The Boro development.
The e-bikes can be tracked on the Capital Bikeshare’s map, with lightning bolt icons showing the presence of an e-bike.
The new bikes can go up to 18 mph and are designed to help with hills. The e-bikes are typically an additional $1 to ride, but the extra fare is being waived for all riders until April 15.
Tysons is now up to 13 stations, with new stations added just north of Tysons Galleria and at the McLean Metro station in the last few months.
Image via Capital Bikeshare
Fairfax is eyeing bikeshare expansion along Route 123 from Tysons to Fairfax City, and Vienna is right in the middle.
At last night’s (Monday) Vienna Town Council meeting, Zan Frackelton, a transportation planner with Toole Design, updated the Town Council on an ongoing feasibility study considering whether bikeshare will work for Vienna and other localities along the corridor. The study is a collaboration between the Town of Vienna, George Mason University, and both Fairfax County and City.
Frackelton said Vienna’s relatively flat topography and a sprinkling of bike infrastructure make it a conducive to hosting a bikeshare system.
“We believe bikeshare is feasible in this area, but it requires some supporting actions,” said Frackelton, “such as ongoing improvements to the bicycle network to ensure people using this system have safe places to ride and reviewing policies as needed related to bicycling.”
While the red and gold Capital Bikeshare is the leading contender to fill the Vienna gap, Frackelton said it was also worth noting that the bikeshare market is becoming increasingly crowded with options, including the increasingly popular electric scooters.
“[Capital Bikeshare] is ideal for short, one-way trips,” said Frackelton. “But other systems are coming onto the scene, like dockless bikeshare and scooters, where you start your trip using an app and end where you want.”
However, Frackelton said Capital Bikeshare was the most logical choice for Vienna. With the expansion of the Capital Bikeshare in surrounding localities like Tysons and Reston, Frackelton also said Vienna was a logical next step for the Capital Bikeshare.
If Vienna does decide to go with electric scooters or e-bikes, which Capital Bikeshare is beginning to offer, Frackelton said the town will also have to consider new policies governing use of such devices. While Frackelton said the town could consider moving to dockless vehicles in the future, Frackelton said there’s not enough space on local roads to support that yet.
Among concerns raised by the Town Council was speeding on trails, which is not typically a concern for bicyclists but a potential problem if local bicycle trails become saturated with electric bicycles and scooters.
Town Council members also noted concerns that many of the late-night scootering in Washington, D.C. was done without lights or reflective gear that makes them difficult to see for cars. Frackelton said the study would look into these concerns as the study continues.
Frackelton said Fairfax County is planning to move forward with grant applications for funding for Capital Bikeshare stations and begin finalizing locations in 2019.
The bike infrastructure in Tysons is still in a transitional state, with plenty of opportunities to add to and improve existing bike routes in the area.
One big win for cycling in Tyson was the addition of Capital Bikeshare stations near Metro stations and business hubs in 2016.
There are now nearly a dozen Capital Bikeshare stations around Tysons, up from the original 8. Meanwhile, a pilot program recently added powered e-bikes to the local CaBi fleet.
So where are the current bikeshare stations in Tysons? The system map lists the following 11 stations:
- Towers Crescent Dr & Tysons One Pl
- Tysons One Pl & Chain Bridge Rd
- Tysons Corner Station
- Westpark & Jones Branch Dr
- Greensboro & International Dr
- Greensboro & Pinnacle Dr
- Westpark Dr & Leesburg Pike
- Westpark & Park Run Dr
- Spring Hill Metro
- Tysons West Transit Center
- Jones Branch & Westbranch Dr
Photo via Capital Bikeshare