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CaBi bikes waiting for repair

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Another photo from my tour. These are all the bikes waiting for repair (and some of the Capital Bixi bikes mixed in too). Many of these are tires that need to be changed, and the mechanism that prevent wheel theft apparantly make that so onerous that they need to come into the shop. This is not an unusual number to have in the shop at any time I was told. 

Cannibalizing Capital Bixi

Last month I got a chance to tour the Capital Bikeshare warehouse. Readers will recall that at the July Bicycle Advisory Council meeting, DDOT announced that they had procured 10 more stations and that they would be installed by the end of the month, so I was surprised when I saw so many stations still sitting in the warehouse. You can see the bases and towers in the photo below.

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Since then, DDOT has more widely announced the additional stations and included a map of where they're to be placed.

In the above photo you can see the TELUS ad on the dock facing the camera. That's because, as has now been widely reported, these pieces of hardware came from Ottawa, which had a deal with Telus.

Below are the rows of docks awaiting disbursement throughout the area. It's taking much longer than a month to place all of these stations, and some of these have been sitting at the warehouse since January I was told (which would mean they predate the Ottawa deal), but it's good to see that equipment is ready for placement. Adding more stations downtown will go a long way to providing better service to current users and will make rebalancing much easier. 

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One nice thing about reusing the Capital Bixi bikes is that they're already red, so that Alta doesn't have to strip off all the paint. They are, however, a slightly different shade, so you'll be able to spot the immigrant bikes amidst the natives. 

Of course, the next batch of CaBi bikes could be even more different than these are. 

the manufacturer of the software and circuitry for our Capital Bikeshare stations has committed to producing an all-new, enhanced bikeshare station that will work seamlessly with our existing system. We haven’t yet had a chance to test this new station, and cannot commit to a larger-scale expansion of Capital Bikeshare in the District until we are fully satisfied that this new hardware meets or exceeds our requirements. However, our hope is that by Spring 2015, we will be announcing the arrival of 40 or more new stations that will bring Capital Bikeshare to many more DC residents, workers, and destinations.

I hope they steal some ideas from other bikeshare companies. Things like GPS and more basket-like baskets.

2nd annual boundary stones bike ride - September 20th, 2014

Are you a history buff? Biking enthusiast? Regular old adventure seeker? Join us Saturday, September 20th for a bike ride around the oldest federal monuments, the DC boundary stones.

The 2nd annual event is bound* to be bigger and better than the first!

You can ride 1, 2, 3 or all 4 sides of the DC perimeter. Last year we started at the East stone (check out last year’s route), and many people only completed the first side, so this year we will start where they left off: the South stone, in Old Town Alexandria.

Meet at the Jones Point Lighthouse at 9am.

Boundary Stone Public House will once again be sponsoring the ride with t-shirts and beer specials after the ride.

Mark your calendars and check the Facebook event for details!

DC wins TIGER VI grant for Long Bridge; could pay off for cyclists

The US DOT announced the winners of 72 TIGER  (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery)  grants on Friday and DC won one for the Long Bridge NEPA documentation. It's a $2.8 million grant for project planning. From the fact sheet:

TIGER funding will be used to complete a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study for the long-term replacement of the Long Bridge over the Potomac River.

Though the fact sheet focuses 100% on railroad enhancement, nearly half of the Long Bridge study proposals (for which it appears the website is dead) included bicycle facilities on a new bridge. 

Sunday Video: The real video from that song from the Metro video

This comes via Dr. Gridlock. The ad produced by WMATA to promote the opening of the Silver Line used a song entitled "Escapee" by an Austrailan band named "Architecture in Helisinki." The real video for the song is a bit enigmatic to me, but it does feature a kid on a bike (and someone stealing a bike, or something?) Anyway enjoy.

Architecture in Helsinki - Escapee from Architecture in Helsinki on Vimeo.

Maryland TIGER grant will widen Route 175, add bike facilities and trail

Maryland is reportedly getting a TIGER grant to wide Route 175 where it passes through Fort Meade. 

Work along Route 175 between Disney and Reece Roads will widen the road to six lanes, as well as adding sidewalks, on-road bicycle facilities in widened right lanes and a multiuse hiker-biker trail. 

The trail will go farther south than that via another project

The state has already approved $27.9 million to improve the intersections of Route 175 at Reece Road and Mapes Road in Odenton. That work will include stormwater improvements, new turn lanes, a raised median and a hiker/biker trail. 

It appears the project will add 5' bike lanes and a 10' hiker/biker path along the south side of Rotue 175.

Make biking cuter - Kidical Mass DC and Arlington meet! THIS Sunday

There are those times in life when two forces rocket towards each other, only to meet in the middle with an incredible explosion of AWESOME CUTENESS and CUPCAKES. On Sunday, September 14th, the incredible adorability of Kidical Mass Arlington will cross the bridge and join forces with the amazing delightfulness of Kidical Mass DC to ... circle the Washington Monument. And eat cupcakes. It will be awesome.

When: Sunday, September 14, 10:00am (roll out 10:15am)

Meet & End:

Arlington:  LBJ Grove, on the Pentagon side of the wooden bridge  (Right by the Columbia Island Marina)

Parking: Either in the Columbia Island Marina / LBJ Memorial parking lot, accessible from the southbound GW Parkway OR in the LBJ Grove Parking lot accessible from Boundary Channel Drive on the Pentagon Reservation.

DC:  Stanton Park on Capitol Hill (West side, about where the Google Maps dot is)

More info at  kidicalmassarl.blogspot.com  and kidicalmassdc.blogspot.com .

Bids for next phase of Three Notch Trail come in high

St. Mary's County solicited bids to build Phae IV of the Three Notch Trail, an expansion that would lengthen the norther piece of the rail trail to 11 miles. The lowest bid was larger than the amount of money the county had available

The commissioners approved moving $415,766 from other recreation and parks projects on Tuesday and Loewe said he is seeking another $353,240 in additional grants to cover the shortfall.

While funds were moved at Tuesday’s commissioner meeting, the low bidder was not granted the contract yet as the Maryland State Highway Administration needs to concur with the changes.

The low bid was 35 percent higher than the project engineer’s estimate, Loewe told the commissioners.

So it looks like work on this is likely to continue anyway. 

Catania and Bowser debate biking

OK, it was 3 years ago, but still it reportedly happened. Here's what they were debating

 

Maryland 2015 Bikeways Grants Announced

The Maryland Bikeways Program provides technical assistance and grant support for a wide range of bicycle network development activities. The Program builds connections to work, school, shopping and transit using local roads and shared-use paths.

The full list of 2015 grant recipients is here. In the DC area, there are

  • Capitol Heights Chamber Ave Green and Complete Street construction. ($225,000)

  • Folly Branch Stream Valley Park Connector Trail. ($200,000) 

    This new trail will connect the existing Lakeview Trail (located south of MD 450) with the western terminus of the WB&A Trail on the north side of MD 450 via a new 8-foot wide paved trail, boardwalk and bridge over the Folly Branch. 

    This trail will cross under MD 450 through an existing box culvert. A 6-foot wide spur trail will lead from the culvert to the Vista Gardens Marketplace, providing a convenient way for residents to access the shopping center. 

    Construction is slated to begin late 2014 and the trail will be completed in 2015. 

  • Installation of shared lane markings and bike route signs on 9 roads in College Park. ($71,524)

  • On-road bike route signing and wayfinding connecting to Metro access routes in Montgomery County. ($31,767)

  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail On-Road Bicycle Route signage in Prince George's County. ($30,000)

  • Shared Lane Markings on Through-City Routes in Rockville. ($33,950)
  • Laurel city will receive $200,000 in construction money to build a shared-use pathway along Van Dusen Road, which is between Route 1 and Interstate 95, where it connects with the Intercounty Connector. 

And though outside my WAMPA* coverage area, 

  • B&A Trail to Broadneck connector design. ($44,000)

*Washington, Arlington, Montgomery, PG, Alexandria

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