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Share your thoughts on Bikeshare

Bikesharing programs have been a mainstay in some European cities, including tourist-clogged ones liked the District: Find yourself in a part of town you don't often frequent, and want to get home? No problem. Pick up to nearest public bike, pedal home and after the one-way trip, just drop the bike off at a sharing location near your house, where someone else will later check out the wheels.

Now DC is set to unveil its own program, Capital Bikeshare, but the usefulness of the program in this city will depend on strategically located sharepoints. Where, exactly, will you be able to pick up or drop off one of the thousand-plus bikes? That's a question you can help answer.

The District Department of Transportation is soliciting feedback from residents online using an interactive map that asks you to pinpoint the origins and destinations of trips you might find yourself making, especially those where existing transit might not fit the bill.

To help ensure that lower-income wards get a fair shake, computers at city libraries are highlighting the site. (Sylvia Brown, an ANC commissioner, took to Twitter to encourage those east of the Anacostia River, where some areas lack Metro access and bikes could be an alternative, to make their voices heard.)

Of course, the citizen feedback is only a starting point: DDOT held a vote to determine a name for the service, and the citizens of our nation's capital chose "George," a tribute to the country's founder. In decidedly undemocratic fashion, the department chose instead a runner-up, the plain but descriptive Capital Bikeshare.

The city has recently put a focus on biking, including adding bike lanes to roads, and tourists might also find bike rentals a good way to take in the city between the monuments. But to be successful, the pickup and dropoff spots will have to be located in areas that facilitate common, short, in-town trips, perhaps on routes that aren't well-served by Metro, whether it's getting to Georgetown from downtown, or a far-flung residential neighborhood to a transit center.

A one-day pass will be $5, while a yearly one will be $80. (Read more details.)

What do you think--what will it take for the program to be successful? For what kind of a trip would you consider the bikesharing program?

By Luke Rosiak  | June 18, 2010; 5:16 PM ET
Categories:  Biking  | Tags:  Capital Bikeshare, DDOT  
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If they want it to be successful, they can start by not overruling the voters. :)

Posted by: DOEJN | June 18, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

In fairness to DC, the name "George" is already in use in the DC area for a transit operation run by the City of Falls Church, so opting for a different name is not unreasonable.

I did not click any of the links, but the question this post raises in my mind is how this relates to the bike-sharing project that DC set up downtown maybe two years ago. (What they really need is a location at the ballpark so that people can ride to a game and drop off the bikes there without being dinged for a late fee.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | June 19, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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