Smart Bike Expansion

In mid March DDOT announced that they would be expanding the Smartbike program from 10 stations to 50 stations.

“We are already seeing that the vast amount of usage is commuting,” DDOT Director Gabe Klein tells WTOP. “This will be a pretty drastic expansion of the program, and this is what we set out to do when we launched it.”

“You want the bike stations to be relatively close together so that if a rack is full, you can ride to another one and drop it off,” says DDOT spokesperson John Lisle. “We will fan out from the center of the city in concentric circles.”

With the focus on expansion of the program at the city center the Mount Vernon Triangle and surrounding area may have a chance to land one of the new 40 stations. John Thompson recently posted on the MVSNA blog about this possibility and has been in direct contact with Jim Sebastian of DDOT.

I think there is near unanimity that the Mount Vernon Square/Conv Center metro station should land a station in this round of expansion. Could an additional station also be supported? If so, where?

SmartBike_DC - 29

Farragut Square station from flickr user Pedal_Power_Pete

In the long run, after streetscape improvements, K Street seems like a great eventual destination for a station. However present day only the streetscape along City Vista is complete and could support a station this summer. I struggle to identify the perfect location at City Vista. Considering the wide plaza area in front of Busboys is slated for a very large art installation I don’t see it as an option. You could make a case for the area in front on Safeway on L Street.

After mulling it over myself I think the best option is to stay on Mass Ave. My choices would be the pocket park at 5th and I or Chinatown Park. DDOT cited that Smartbikes have been utilized heavily for commuting. These parks are in locations with marginally more residential density and greater proximity to office buildings. Additionally, Mass Ave being much closer to build out and featuring more complete streetscapes could serve as a less chaotic location for bicycles.

What are your thoughts?

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  1. 1

    John Thompson says

    In speaking with Renee Childers with MVT CID, there is a lot of potential for a 5th & K location on the NW corner, across the street from Busboys & Poets (south sidewalk that runs along Stuart's parking lot). Another potential location is at 5th & L across the street from the Safeway entrance (where the large triangular brick sidewalk is on the N side of Stuart's parking lot).