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DDOT selects Capital Bikeshare locations

DDOT has announced a preliminary set of locations for its 100 Capital Bikeshare stations (via TheWashCycle):

I'm glad 17th and Corcoran made the list. Are the ones near you in locations you might use?

They're relatively clustered toward downtown. That's probably the right decision, as bike sharing stations increase in value the more there are nearby. Creating areas with a high density of stations will maximize the usefulness of the initial investment.

Where stations are farther out, they should meet a specific travel need, like the ones at Tenleytown, Van Ness, and AU which would serve AU students getting to and from campus and the Metro. Ditto Georgetown University and Georgetown Law. Stations in Mount Pleasant and Adams Morgan will help residents there get to nearby Metros and visitors get to the local businesses.

All of DC's universities, including those mentioned plus Howard, GW and Catholic, could improve transportation for students even more by funding a couple stations elsewhere on their own campuses.

I'm a little surprised there isn't another station on the east side of Logan Circle, near Howard University, or right at the U Street or Petworth Metro. Of course, they had to prioritize and also had to find space. I'd also move the one at 18th and R to 18th and S to be closer to the commercial strip there, but perhaps there wasn't a suitable space, or a lot of people right at 18th and R said they'd use one there in the survey.

One seemed to get on the Mall, at 3rd in front of the Capitol, despite reported NPS opposition to stations. Maybe this is Architect of the Capitol land? There are also stations by L'Enfant Plaza and Smithsonian Metros, but the Park Service ought to be funding stations at the Washington Monument and the Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, WWII, and Marine Corps memorials at the very least.

What are your reactions?

Update: There is one at the east entrance to U Street Metro. Google Maps does a bit of a disservice with the placement of the Metro station symbols, which misled a few commenters about whether bikes will be next to stations.

Update 2: DDOT has apparently been reading your comments and is listening. Stations have appeared at Howard University and Farragut Square, two conspicuous omissions early on. You can see some of the changes by comparing the above map with BeyondDC's screen capture of the central DC area earlier this morning.

Update 3: DDOT said that the map isn't final and they're still making adjustments.

Update 4: The final map is up. The one embedded above now reflects the official locations.

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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First off: One is near my house at Stadium-Armory, so that's pretty awesome for me.

Secondly, and more importantly, it would be nice if the National Park Service got onboard with this. Or, for that matter, was responsive at all. A reliable bike share program on the Mall and among the Monuments could revolutionize how people see DC.

by TimK on Jul 20, 2010 8:20 am • linkreport

I find it curious that, while there's a dozen or so stations east of the Anacostia, there are only 3 north of New York Ave and east of North Capitol. And none at all along or north of Military Rd.

by Froggie on Jul 20, 2010 8:26 am • linkreport

I'm happy to see one at 13th and Mass. It'd be nice if they included Glover Park though. That seems like quite an oversight. I know many of those people rely on the D2 bus and it could use a bit of extra help.

by inlogan on Jul 20, 2010 8:30 am • linkreport

I like the location at the Petworth and other libraries. Does anyone know what the relationship is between the new stations and the Smartbike ones? It seems some of the current Smartbike spots will get the new stations but some are skipped.

by Chip on Jul 20, 2010 8:34 am • linkreport

Froggie: Things are pretty spread out north of Military and northeast of NY Ave and North Capitol (except right around Brookland and RI Ave Metros). I can see how SmartBike locations wouldn't serve as many people, and it's hard to get the critical mass density.

In the future, it'd be great for there to be stations lining an extended Capitol Crescent Trail, and for more stations up and down Georgia Ave especially along with a streetcar.

Chip: Ah, that's why that was the location at Petworth. Libraries make a lot of sense.

I thought DDOT said all existing SmartBike stations would stay, but a few might need to be moved a bit because these stations are solar powered and some spots don't get enough sun.

by David Alpert on Jul 20, 2010 8:37 am • linkreport

Regarding more stations - remember that DDOT is partnering with the region for a TIGER II application to double the size of DC's Capital Bikeshare fleet/stations. WashCycle has some of the details, as well as the other jurisdictions that have signed on to the regional grant application:

by Alex B. on Jul 20, 2010 8:44 am • linkreport

I like how dense it is downtown, but it is a little oddly inconsistent. There are three stations within a block of the Wilson Building, yet none within two blocks of Farragut Square. Even if they keep the old station at Farragut it seems like there should be more stations along Eye St. Particularly if that street gets a bike lane.

by Reid on Jul 20, 2010 8:51 am • linkreport

I count 13 in Northeast. I'm surprised that Gallaudet only has one station, and the NY Ave Metro has none (lots of TOD going in directly adjacent to the station). A H & Benning NE station would also make sense, as it's right next to the Safeway, a future streetcar station, and also borders H St's restaurant district.

Although I get that it's not the densest area, Capitol Hill really does seem to get shafted here, especially compared to the areas around Columbia Heights, which presumably have similar levels of density.

by andrew on Jul 20, 2010 8:54 am • linkreport

there are 4 within a block of the wilson building. a little bit of overkill, methinks.

there really should be stations at the starburst (H, 15th, Bladensburg, Maryland, and Florida) and further up on Rhode Island (near 20th—the downtown Woodridge commercial area).

those two locations would really help increase connectivity for businesses in those areas.

by IMGoph on Jul 20, 2010 8:55 am • linkreport

There definitely needs to be one at the starburst - 11th really isn't far enough East on H. I'd also love to see one near the Arboretum: since biking is permitted in the Arboretum, folks who maybe aren't confident enough cyclists to get there by bike could take a bus, hop on a CaBi just outside the gates and enjoy a putter through the grounds without having to cycle the automotive wasteland of New York ave (or the lesser wasteland of Bladensburg).

by Lucre on Jul 20, 2010 9:26 am • linkreport

Lucre: very good point about the arboretum! i hadn't thought of that, but advertising available bikes could be a good way to get more people out there to visit!

by IMGoph on Jul 20, 2010 9:27 am • linkreport

I agree that there could be more on the Hill, and especially around Farragut Square. There is one station less than a block from the southern entrance to the NY Ave Metro, though - right where all the dense residential buildings in NoMa are going up (and where the entrance to the Harris Teeter will be).

I'd love to see a station closer to the RI Metro, though, especially with the MBT running up that way and the new development going in there. Same for the Shaw-Howard station, which has a library of its own going up right now.

by The AMT on Jul 20, 2010 9:31 am • linkreport

Why does Shaw Metro station get left out? 2 of the longest, continuous east/west bike lanes in the city are on Q and R streets, but there is a huge hole in the system right around the intersections of 5th, 6th and 7th and Q & R.

Is our brand new library not nice enough to rate a station?

by Chris R on Jul 20, 2010 9:34 am • linkreport

There is a station very close to the North entrance at Shaw-Howard, just up at 7th and T.

by Alex B. on Jul 20, 2010 9:38 am • linkreport

Really a tragedy that there aren't more stations on the Mall. Stations at the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and Washington Monument would really help make that area more connected and more inviting. Don't know if that's bureaucratic infighting or shortsightedness on behalf of the NPS, but it's really a shame. Hopefully this will be an area of expansion in the future.

Also, does anyone know why some are so far from their related Metro stops? It seems like the stations at Brookland, Rhode Island, and NY Ave are all slightly too far from the Metro. Wouldn't it make sense to have the bike stations right on top of the Metro, especially in less dense areas, or no?

As a whole though, this looks great. Even as someone who gets around on his own bike, I could see myself using this.

by Dan on Jul 20, 2010 9:45 am • linkreport

it's a real shame that NPS is so short-sighted about this (well, and damn near everything else when it comes to running urban parks).

by IMGoph on Jul 20, 2010 9:48 am • linkreport

Columbia Heights/Park View/Petworth has far too few locations. Are we being avoided intentionally? There are no stations east of 14th, south of Rock Creek Church or north of U Street. (And there should be at least one more in between the stations at Irving and U Streets.) None on Georgia Ave between Kansas and Florida Aves? What about the new Bruce-Monroe temporary park? No stations at Howard University? Meridian Hill Park? And what about one at the Washington Hospital Center, for those going for routine check-ups, to visit loved ones in the hospital, etc.?

This is inadequate. I'm not arguing for anywhere near the level of density as in downtown, but if there are no stations in our neighborhood - one of the most bike friendly in the city - we can't really use it.

by Patrick on Jul 20, 2010 9:48 am • linkreport

I'd also like to see these right outside Shaw and U street stations. That's the one thing I have thought was missing in the current SmartBike system (Which I use and love)

by Carrie U Street on Jul 20, 2010 9:50 am • linkreport

There isn't one near the Cleveland Park commercial strip. In fact, I'd argue that the one at the Van Ness Metro is not anywhere near as necessary as one at the Cleveland Park commercial strip.

I guess I'm slightly biased (I live on Connecticut a little north of the commercial strip). But it really sucks that I'll have to go to either Van Ness or the Zoo to get a bike. I probably won't buy a membership.

by Tim on Jul 20, 2010 9:58 am • linkreport

Disappointed to see there isn't one at the NE library branch on 7th Street, or at least at Stanton Park.

by Chris on Jul 20, 2010 9:59 am • linkreport

There is one at U Street and 10th St/Vermont Ave. That is right at the 10th Street entrance to the U Street station.
So, the station is covered.

by Adam on Jul 20, 2010 10:02 am • linkreport

@Alex B - Sure there is also one at the Convention Center as well but at .9 between those 2 stations that seems to far apart. My question is why they wouldn't split the difference and have one station in between those two, on top of a Metro stop, next to a new library and conveniently on 2 of the longest e/w bike lanes in the city?
West of 14th on R there is a station almost every block.

Despite my filling out the Capitol bike survey with the south entrance of Shaw/Howard as a destination/origin it didn't make the 1st cut.

How long do we have to wait for more stations? As far as I could tell the Tiger application is just for more bikes?

by Chris R on Jul 20, 2010 10:03 am • linkreport

Oo! Thanks, Adam! How did I not see that? Wonderful! I'll be able to bike from my house right to the metro.

by Carrie U Street on Jul 20, 2010 10:04 am • linkreport

It seems odd that Howard doesn't have a station and Gallaudet does. So give every university a station except the HBCU? (Even big bear coffee shop got its own.)

I would move one up to banneker rec center or on georgia closer to HU. The other thing is that there is an HU dorm on euclid and 16th, that I would imagine could be a popular spot, if marketed, to students going back and forth forth from the main campus -- not to mention meridian hill park being a big recreational spot, and harris teeter right off 16th near there.

by norb on Jul 20, 2010 10:13 am • linkreport

The Farragut Square gap is a huge omission. That will have to be fixed in the next round of expansion, if not sooner.

by BeyondDC on Jul 20, 2010 10:16 am • linkreport

Nothing in the west end and only 3 in georgetown?

by charlie on Jul 20, 2010 10:20 am • linkreport

It's a good start and looks to me to do a pretty good job of helping connect the green/yellow line to the red line. I plan on using the bikes at U Street metro (where I live) to get to the dupont metro for my commute to Van Ness every morning. I think this will cut a good 15 minutes from my commute time each way.

Anyone else planning on a regular route?

by Mike on Jul 20, 2010 11:04 am • linkreport

I agree with all the comments suggesting additional locations, but we need to keep in mind that DDOT had to limit themselves to 100. They probably could move one at the Wilson Building over to Farragut Square, but to really get all the locations people said are missing, DDOT will need to get the TIGER grant to expand the system substantially.

by David Alpert on Jul 20, 2010 11:08 am • linkreport

What do you all think of the feasibility of neigborhood sponsorship for new stations? So for instance, if people in capitol hill don't think they have enough they can get together to raise a set amount of money (maybe the cost of initial placement and a year's upkeep) and if within that year enough people use the station to justify it's placement the initial investors would get thier money back, and if it isn't used as much then a people who wanted a bike rack get one at their own expense.

by Mike on Jul 20, 2010 11:10 am • linkreport

Agree with you David that decisions had to be made, and one popped up at Howard University since this morning, so that's good news.

Columbia Heights is still nearly stationless, and there are several stations elsewhere that seem so tightly packed as to be redundant. 15/P and 14/Rhode Island? 9/G and 8/F? 14/H, 14/G and 15/New York?

by Patrick on Jul 20, 2010 11:20 am • linkreport

Don't know if this is an update, but there appears to be one at the NE corner of Farragut Square.

I imagine this has been covered before, but when are these anticipated to be up and running?

by Steven Yates on Jul 20, 2010 11:35 am • linkreport

I'm surprised they're *not* starting with Rosslyn-Courthouse-Ballston in Arlington. There are a good number of people in Pentagon City-Crystal City-Potomac Yard, but I don't see those areas as being very bike friendly (yet).

by Fabian on Jul 20, 2010 11:46 am • linkreport


The Crystal City BID is paying for much of the initial system start-up, hence they are the starting location.

by Alex B. on Jul 20, 2010 11:52 am • linkreport

>when are these anticipated to be up and running?

"Fall 2010"

>I'm surprised they're *not* starting with Rosslyn-Courthouse-Ballston in Arlington.

The Crystal City BID is paying for a good chunk of Arlington's 100-some bikes, which is why they're starting there.

by BeyondDC on Jul 20, 2010 11:52 am • linkreport

Some of the missing locations noted above are on the map - perhaps added later? Petworth Metro, a Fairmont/Georgia Ave station for Howard, Farragut Square...

by Stefanie on Jul 20, 2010 12:12 pm • linkreport

Aha. The NY Ave Metro location has inched slightly closer to the Metro entrance, and is now in front of the Harris Teeter (instead of being across the street). I'm still not quite sure why they don't inch it further down the block, and put it in the plaza next to the station entrance.

Still none at the H/Benning Starburst. The Eckington Pl station has been wisely moved a block north of Florida Ave. Not sure how many users that station will get, but it's a much safer location than previously.

Otherwise, the tweaks are good!

by andrew on Jul 20, 2010 12:15 pm • linkreport

They probably would have put it by the station entrance, but from what I understand, that's reserved for mini-van parking.

(sorry, couldn't resist...)

by Chris on Jul 20, 2010 12:17 pm • linkreport

There really should be more locations in Georgetown and Glover Park. The only ones are at Wisconsin and M and at Georgetown University campus; there should be at least one or two more along upper Wisconsin, to serve those neighborhoods east of Wisconsin yet west of Dupont. Book Hill Park, Montrose Park, and/or Rose Park would all be good locations.

by Kathy on Jul 20, 2010 12:17 pm • linkreport

Still nothing in West End.

You've got a major playing field, a lot of residences, and a supermarket (trader joes).

There is a very nice spot right at M and 26th and in the triangle by L and 25th.

by charlie on Jul 20, 2010 12:21 pm • linkreport

Thrilled to see this and agree with the many placements. I hope the future expansions will include additional areas in upper NW such as Forest Hills (Politics and Prose), Cleveland Park (both Conn Ave and Wisc Ave) and Chevy Chase, DC.

The connectivity between AU, the Tenley metro and the AU law school is great. It would be good to add Friendship Heights to the mix in a future phase as well.

by Andrew on Jul 20, 2010 12:32 pm • linkreport

Very encouraging, although future expansion should probably put a station at Nats Park.

by Dan Miller on Jul 20, 2010 12:47 pm • linkreport

Ugh, the Southwest station moved a block further from my apartment as of this morning. I'm planning on using this system extensively so that I can stop riding my $800 road bike for transportation purposes everywhere and cracking the rims on potholes, but having to walk 4 big blocks to get the bike is going to make my commute longer...bummer. Why can't the station be on M Street?!?

by Tracy on Jul 20, 2010 3:41 pm • linkreport

It's going to be more expensive than SmartBike: $80 a year or $30 a month. Right now it's only $40 a year and you don't have to pay for time using the bike.

by Carrie U street on Jul 20, 2010 3:53 pm • linkreport


As a fellow Southwester, I agree with you. It should be right next to the Metro. M St is closer to most of the destinations around there (as well as also being closer to my apartment).

by Steven Yates on Jul 20, 2010 3:59 pm • linkreport

I agree with Carrie U-why the jump in fees? $80/yr plus a rental charge for any time over 30 mins seems a little steep to me. And I can't find anywhere what that over 30 mins fee will be. Smartbike was $40/yr and you could have the bike out for 3 hours. Anyone have the scoop?

by gina on Jul 20, 2010 4:08 pm • linkreport

Talking of expensive, I just saw on the link DDOT posted to Facebook that it's going to be $5/30 minutes to rent the bikes (no mention of the membership cost, or of the idea of the first half hour being free). I'm re-thinking whether I will use the system at's more expensive than Zipcar!

by Tracy on Jul 20, 2010 4:29 pm • linkreport

I think a lot of people are missing the point of how this is supposed to work. It's free for 30 minute because it's designed to have you pick up a bike, ride to another station and return it, do your errand or task, then pick up a new bike to go back to the start which begins a new 30 minute clock. It's not for checking out a bike for a few hours to run errannds. That would require you to lock it up anyway. This is why it's important to have stations every few blocks.

by inlogan on Jul 20, 2010 5:02 pm • linkreport

I think we get the point of quick trip use-however at $80/year I think that's a little high. More than the $40/year, $50, even $60...but $80. That's a lot IMHO.

by gina on Jul 20, 2010 6:05 pm • linkreport

gina, fees went up because they think that's what the market will bear. Their long term plan is to have fees cover operation costs. With Smartbike, they had so few stations that they had to set the price low, but now they have a more valuable product. In other words, $40 got you access to 9 other stations, but now $80 gets you access to 112 other stations. The old system offered 100 possible trips (from any station to any other) then new one offers 12769 possible trips. Isn't that worth twice the fee? I think most people will find it is.

by David C on Jul 20, 2010 10:49 pm • linkreport

gina, fees went up because they think that's what the market will bear.

Ah, yes, the kind of logic that brought us Metrorail....

by guez on Sep 27, 2010 7:40 am • linkreport

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