Much has changed in the landscape of Tysons and people’s travel habits since Capital Bikeshare first pulled into town in 2016.
As a result, Fairfax County plans to relocate some of the bicycle-sharing company’s 15 established stations in the area to new spots that better accommodate Tysons’ growing residential population and the rise of remote work accelerated by the pandemic.
“When Tysons wasn’t as urbanized as it is today…we didn’t have a lot of choice but to essentially go into office parks,” said Zachary DesJardins, the county’s acting active transportation manager. “As you might imagine, during the pandemic, those areas have not done very well. People just aren’t going to the office very much.”
As part of a larger expansion of its Bikeshare network, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation has proposed installing 14 new stations in Tysons, including three that would be relocations of existing stations.
Detailed in a virtual public meeting on Dec. 5, the sites being suggested are mostly near housing or other areas with the density to generate more trips. For instance, stations by grocery stores have done well during the pandemic, according to DesJardins, so one could go on Silver Hill Drive, down the street from The Boro’s Whole Foods.
The availability of infrastructure to support Bikeshare is also a consideration. A space has opened up at the Greensboro Metro station for the first time with the completion of a concrete pad six months ago, and FCDOT wants to put a station at Old Meadow Road and Cathy Lane to take advantage of the recently opened pedestrian bridge over I-495.
Elsewhere in the Providence District, the county plans to add four more stations in Merrifield, including one in a garage at the Mosaic District, and five in the Vienna Metro station area, which will connect to the network that Fairfax City is expected to introduce next summer.
The expansion is being funded by a federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant for 12 stations and electric bicycles and a Northern Virginia Transportation Commission grant for nine stations and classic bicycles. Local funds will be used to move the existing stations in Tysons.
Combined with plans for Bikeshare in the Franconia District, DesJardins said the county will purchase a total of 95 electric bicycles with the federal grant in anticipation of Capital Bikeshare phasing out its current black e-bikes in August 2023.
Currently provided for free, e-bikes make up 6% of the county’s network but are used for 15% of trips, according to FCDOT. Unlike Capital Bikeshare’s traditional bicycles, they can be locked into standard, public bicycle racks.
The county is eyeing new e-bikes a lock, reflective materials and GPS that could be used to track them if they’re stolen, DesJardins said. They cost four times more to buy than a traditional bicycle and are more expensive to operate, but FCDOT says the expenses will be covered by the federal grant and user fees, respectively.
“I’m personally very excited about the e-bikes,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said. “As you said, hills make difficult the use of regular bikes for most of us, so that’s a great addition.”
FCDOT is accepting public feedback on the proposed new Bikeshare stations until 5 p.m. Friday (Dec. 16).
Comments can be submitted online, by mail (FCDOT, Capital Bikeshare Program, 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033), email to email@example.com, and by phone at 703-877-5600.
Fairfax County is adding seven Capital Bikeshare electric bicycle stations in the Franconia District, splitting them between the Franconia/Springfield Metro station and the Huntington transit station area.
Last week, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) held a public meeting where it laid out its plan for the expansion of the Capital Bikeshare program in the Franconia District.
The goal is to add seven stations in the Franconia District and one at the Huntington Metro south entrance that would technically be in the Mount Vernon District. The stations are scheduled to be installed starting next year and into 2024.
“When you need to get from Point A to Point B with more than two feet but less than four wheels, borrowing a bicycle in might be your answer,” the Fairfax County Department of Transportation said on its website.
All the stations would have e-bikes, as opposed to classic bicycles, due to demand. While currently only 6% of its Capital Bikeshare fleet are e-bikes, they make up 15% of total trips, according to FCDOT. E-bikes can also be locked to any public bicycle rack.
The proposed locations of the stations include four near the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and three in and around the Jefferson Manor neighborhood.
The suggested station locations are:
- Fairhaven Avenue & Monticello Road
- N Kings Highway & Fort Drive
- Poag Street & S Kings Highway
- Franconia/Springfield Metrorail North
- Seatrend Way & Andrew Matthew Terrace
- Charles Arrington Drive & Manchester Lakes Drive
- Metro Park Drive & Walker Lane
These exact locations are not set in stone, however.
“All locations are subject to input from the community and our elected officials and could change as a result,” FCDOT spokesperson Robin Geiger told FFXnow.
Each station is slated to cost about $55,000. That includes the station itself, installation, and six e-bikes. The county plans to acquire its own e-bikes to ensure “future e-bike service after contractor-provided e-bikes begin phasing out in August 2023,” according to staff.
E-bikes are significantly more expensive than classic bikes, but rider fees and grants will cover operating costs.
A Northern Virginia Transportation Commission grant will pay for the four stations at the Metro, while a federal grant for underserved communities will finance the other three stations.
Fairfax Country currently has more than 50 Capital Bikeshare stations but is working on doubling that. Beyond the seven coming to the Franconia District, 21 additional locations are being added in the Providence District as well.
Over the past year, Reston has also gotten an additional 19 stations.
Residents can weigh in with input and comments about the Capital Bikeshare plan and proposed locations in the Franconia District through Dec. 16.
Fairfax County might soon expand its Capital Bikeshare network beyond the Silver Line corridor.
The county’s transportation department has proposed adding 28 new stations, including seven in the Franconia District and 21 additional locations in the Providence District.
This will be the rental bicycle-sharing system’s first foray into the Franconia District, where the Fairfax County Department of Transportation plans to install four stations near the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and three near the Huntington Metro station.
FCDOT will discuss its proposal in a virtual meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
Expansion Plans for Capital Bikeshare in Fairfax County!
Virtual Public Meeting, Thursday, December 1, 7 p.m.
Virtual Public Meeting, Monday, December 5, 6 p.m.
Details: https://t.co/1XaTLXPp6P pic.twitter.com/8K9Wmzw3dn
— Fairfax Connector (@ffxconnector) November 28, 2022
The county hopes to fund the Franconia station sites with a Commuter Choice grant that it’s requesting from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, while the Huntington sites will be covered by federal money secured by Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.
“The opportunity to install stations near the Huntington Metrorail Station is due to the County working with our Congressional delegation to secure federal support to expand Capital Bikeshare to underserved populations in the County,” FCDOT said in a news release. “…Residents who qualify for certain state or federal assistance programs may be eligible for CaBi’s Capital Bikeshare for All equity program, which offers unlimited 60-minute rides with an annual membership of just $5.”
The department will also hold a virtual meeting this coming Monday (Dec. 5) to share an update on its plans to expand Bikeshare in the Tysons area, including to the Vienna area and West Falls Church.
There are currently 30 Bikeshare stations in Tysons and Merrifield after the recent addition of a location at Hartland Road and Harte Place.
According to FCDOT’s Bikeshare webpage, proposed new locations in Providence include:
- Circle Woods Drive and Lee Highway
- Gatehouse Road and Telestar Court
- Hilltop Road & Willowmere Drive
- Kingsbridge Drive and Draper Drive
- Mission Square Drive
- Mosaic District garage
- Prosperity Flats
- Providence Community Center
- Vienna Metro South Entrance
“Since Fairfax County launched Capital Bikeshare in Tysons in 2016, recently completed residential and commercial developments have provided new opportunities to better serve residents and visitors by moving some existing Capital Bikeshare stations to be closer to those types of properties,” FCDOT said.
The Providence District expansion is being funded by a combination of county money and outside grants.
In addition to answering questions at the meetings, county staff will accept comments on the proposed expansions by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (703-877-5600) and mail (FCDOT, Capital Bikeshare Program, 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033) until 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16.
The county also has Bikeshare stations in Reston, where a new one was installed at North Shore and Wainwright drives this fall. Two additional stations are expected at the now-open Reston Town Center Metro station.
A new bikesharing station is coming soon to Reston.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation plans to install a Capital Bikeshare station at the corner of North Shore Drive and Wainwright Drive within the next six months.
The county will repurpose two parking spaces for the station, which provides a first and last-mile option to the Silver Line, Reston Town Center and other locations, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said yesterday (Wednesday) in his latest newsletter.
Two additional stations will also be installed at the end of October at the entrances of the Reston Town Center Metro Station.
Overall, the county has 54 Capital Bikeshare stations dispersed throughout Merrifield, Reston and Tysons. Work is underway to expand the system.
The program launched in October 2016 in an effort to make bicycling more accessible to the community.
Options for users include a single trip — which is $1 per every unlock of a bicycle — as well as a 24-hour pass, which is $8 per day, and an annual membership of roughly $8 per month.
The proposed Seneca Assemblage townhouse development could bring a number of enhancements to the transportation network in Tysons East.
With a rezoning application currently under review by Fairfax County, developer Toll Brothers envisions 48 townhouses, including eight workforce dwelling units, on a 3.8-acre site between La Salle and Seneca avenues, just west of the Dulles Toll Road.
The plan has been tweaked from an initial proposal submitted in September that called for 52 townhouses to replace the 13 standalone, single-family houses currently on the property. The developer now intends to keep one of the houses — labeled Unit 49 in the plan — whose owners want to stay, according to a county staff report published today (Thursday).
“The inclusion of Unit 49 allows the streetscape on La Salle Ave to be extended from the proposed [single-family attached] units all the way to Point Park,” staff wrote, referring to one of two potential public parks.
The 0.2-acre Point Park will be located on the southern end of the development near Magarity Road and could feature an open lawn, kids’ play equipment, bicycle racks, benches, a pet waste station, and other amenities.
The other public park, dubbed Buena Vista Park, will front some of the townhouses in lieu of a street, providing an 8-foot-wide sidewalk and seating areas with benches. Seneca Assemblage residents will also have access to private Courtyard Park at the center of the site with pedestrian paths, a turf lawn, a shade pergola, and bicycle racks.
The proposed streetscape for La Salle Avenue, Seneca Avenue, and a new Buena Vista Road connecting the two on the site’s northern end includes 6 to 8-foot-wide sidewalks and 8-foot landscape panels.
Toll Brothers initially designated Buena Vista Road as private, but the developer has now committed to designing and constructing the street within the project limits as a public road, with two 10-foot-wide travel lanes and an 8-foot-wide parking lane, according to a draft of proffers dated June 14.
As part of the proffer conditions negotiated with the county, the developer has also agreed to provide “a comprehensive walkway system” throughout the property and a painted crosswalk across Magarity Road at the Pimmit Drive intersection, pending approval by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Read More