Capital Bikeshare Shuffle – New Hampshire and U Street to 17th and T St, NW

Former location at New Hampshire and U St, NW

Dear PoPville,

Any idea why Capital Bikeshare moved its station from 16th and U to 17th an T? It’s only two blocks but the new station is in the street (the old location was on the sidewalk) and it took up two parking spaces. I’m all for DC doing everything it can to become more bike friendly and love seeing Bikeshare expand. It’s just too bad that they took two spots away in an already tricky neighborhood for parking. Any ideas?

My guess is that the previous location on the sidewalk didn’t allow enough room for a wheelchair to pass? Anyone else know the reason for the move?

New location on T Street between 17th and New Hampshire

56 Comment

  • “It’s just too bad that they took two spots away in an already tricky neighborhood for parking.”

    You do realize that the more people can rely on things like biking, buses, and train, the less likely they will be to have cars… thus making parking easier overall. I live in this neighborhood, and it’s a little crazy to have a car if you can’t afford a spot anyway.

    • Not a very helpful contribution. Should we not work on good planning while we all wait for the utopia of a world without cars?

      • Urban Planners are moving to a world without cars-the reduction of parking spots is not without intention. Planners want people to use other modes of transportation, including lobbying for urban businesses to stop subsidizing parking for employees and to focus on other transportation benefits.

        • Exactly right. This then offers local, state, and federal governments more control over your comings and goings if you have less freedom to simply get in your car and go.

          • Oh, they can have my car…when they pry it FROM MY COLD, DEAD, HANDS!

            Dude, wait, what?

          • It makes me laugh that people like this guy actually exist!

            The government is out to get you! Keep fighting the good fight! Haha.

          • Since you seem interested – there’s a wonderful wooden shack in rural Michigan I can recommend to you perfect for you. You realize that your federal, state, and local tax dollars fund road construction and maintenance (as well as subsidize gasoline) at a huge cost to taxpayers, correct? But I suppose that doesn’t infringe on your freedom at all?

        • “Urban planners” seeking to reduce car usage by eliminating 2 parking spaces on public streets are clearly too stupid to be taken seriously by anyone.

    • While having a car in DC isn’t perfect, I don’t consider it a luxury. My husband is in the military and has to drive to base – I guess we shouldn’t live in the neighborhood…? Niiice. And helpful!

  • I’m flustered. 16th and U was the most used station in the system, rendering it almost useless to residents nearby. When I saw the new station being put in at 17th and T, I thought they were adding a new station to bear some of the load. I don’t get why they’d remove the 16th and U station altogether – we desperately need more capacity. The small number of additional spots isn’t enough, there ought to be two stations there to handle the demand.

    • 100% agreed. I was so excited to see they’d finally put in a new, much needed station at that location, only to be dismayed to find out it was a relocation. 16th and U is my closest bikeshare and is often empty by 8am. I hope Bikeshare will reopen 16th and U AND keep this location as well.

    • 16th/U was never the most used station. I know in situations like this it always feels like you’re the one who has it the worst. But you don’t. I promise.

      For example, in terms of overall trips it’s 8th overall. It has half the trips of Dupont. It actually has turnover throughout the day. It’s really not the worst station in the system, it’s not even close.

      And the station moved one whole block and expanded 8 docks. If Alta/DDOT is using the expansion as a pretense to not add another station nearby then you have a complaint. But the next round of new stations hasn’t been announced so this is just whining for the sake of whining.

    • Ok, my first question is where do you get the information on which stations are most heavily used? I’d love to look over the numbers. Second, a station with only 10 or so bike racks that gets replenished only once or twice per day will, of course, show less usage than a station with closer to 30 racks that gets replensihed a few times in a day. If there aren’t any bikes to be taken, nobody takes a bike from that station. I have written to CaBi customer support before asking them to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE both increase the number of bikes at the Georgia Ave./New Hampshire Ave. station AND to replenish the bikes more often. That station is almost always empty and it’s making me reconsider renewing my membership as it’s the closest station to my house. Thankfully it’s by a metro station so I have that alternative, but it seems silly to me that it’s such a small bike station at a major intersection and transit hub.

  • “any ideas?” don’t drive, ride a bike… problem solved.

    • Please. Get over your bike-loving self. As a pedestrian, I’ve almost been hit on countless occasions by entitled bikers who don’t follow traffic laws or yield to pedestrians who are attempting to cross the street. I haven’t had a car in 8 years, but I don’t feel that this gives me the right to begrudge those in the city who do and who want to park on the street near their respective residences. Come on.

      • well I haven’t had a car for 12 years and I do feel it gives me the right to begrudge those who have cars. screw you, car owners! you make the city suck!

      • As a pedestrian and a biker I’ve almost been hit by countless entitled and willfully negligent drivers. We can and should debate the results of when each of these two groups breaks the law. Look up deaths by bike strikes versus deaths by auto strikes. It’s not even close. I think it’s happened one time in DC (last year in Chinatown) in the last five years. I can’t even tell you how many times I hear of auto hit and runs on a weekly basis. There’s simply no denying drivers break the law far more often and with far more serious ramifications. DC should be doing everything it can to discourage driving. I live two blocks from this station and have a car I desperately want to be rid of. It’s a pain in the ass to move it for street cleaning–especially when everyone knows this is more about generating revenue through tickets and tows than actually cleaning the streets–but I don’t begrudge bike share one bit for removing capacity for two cars to add capacity for dozens of bikes.

    • Great, can you get me a new job that doesn’t require a car? Or one where I don’t need to travel to multiple places in the suburbs. I lived without a car in DC for 18 years. Then my circumstances changed. Get over yourself, bikes can’t go everywhere. People who are handicapped, work in distant locations, have to haul goods for their jobs need cars. It’s great to rely on transit and bikes, but welcome to the real world where that is not always possible.

  • The previous location left too narrow of a walkway and needed to be moved. It was to be relocated into the street directly in front of the 16th and U location and expanded. the ANC shot down losing two parking spaces there, so an alternative location that could fit a larger station was found.

  • They moved it on the street so that it is directly in the Bike Lane. In the future as the city adds Bike Lanes throughout the city they will be moving more docking stations into the street. Bikes are supposed to be rode on the street not sidewalks.

    • Would LOVE for this to be enforced. I’m all for cycling, but come on. It’s getting worse. Ticket people – we have bike lanes for a reason. Or get off your bike and walk it on the sidewalk.

      • This comes up a lot, so I’ll repeat it again:

        biking on the sidewalk is legal outside of the central business district. It’s legal to bike on the sidewalk around this station. Smart? no, but perfectly legal.

        • The past two Saturday’s I’ve had a car yell at me to get on the sidewalk on 9th st around R/T going south on a Bikeshare. It was nice to stop right next to them at the next red light.

  • Ask your ANC Commissioner, Ramona Estrada. He was quoted in the Dupont Current recently about this, kowtowing to auto interests. He seemed more interested in securing parking spots (probably for people from Virginia) then he did about ensuring DC residents have adequate access to capital bike share.

    When are we going to get rid of this guy?!

    • Here here. How does a purported representative of this pedestrian-oriented neighborhood get off valuing two parking spaces (as reported in the Current) over an oversized CaBi dock?

  • It’s only 2 parking spots. Far more people will use bikeshare and walk on the sidewalk then will be able to park. If you don’t like it then buy a parking spot rather than counting on nondrivers to subsidize your parking with free or below market rate parking.

    • I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Bikeshare hasn’t been awesome – in fact, sounds like there is increased demand in this particular location. And moving things for handicapped access is certainly the right decision. Just seems foolish to not try to find solutions where bikes can be available without further limiting spaces. If it were strictly an issue of the number of people who benfit, why wouldn’t all stations be in the street? Obviously more people benefit from the bikes as opposed to a single vehicle. But that’s not how good urban policy is made.

    • “counting on nondrivers to subsidize your parking with free or below market rate parking”
      I see good arguments on both sides of this debate, but to argue that non-drivers are subsidizing parking for those with cars is a bit silly. It’s about as silly as stating that those drivers are subsiding the sidewalks their not using. We all help pay for the infrastructure (or lack thereof) in this town – bike paths, parking spots, and sidewalks.

      • *they’re not*

        • Or the fact that money I paid in federal gas tax went to buying these things in the first place.

          If people want to jump the shark and only “pay” for what they use, transit and bike share fans costs are going to increase ~500%. That nice subsidized 75 dollar membership to bikeshare just went to 375 a year. Your morning metro ride went from $3 bucks to 15 each way. Still wanna play the “waa, cars don’t pay their way” game?

          People can harp on cars all day long, but atleast cars pay nearly 50% of the cost to build and maintain the nations roads via excise taxes, tolls etc.

          Drivers in VA are directly paying for half (3 billion) of the silver line expansion via road tolls, on a toll road that had already been paid for via tolls.

          When was the last time a bikeshare membership or a metro fare paid for road improvements?

          • +1 (and I haven’t owned a car for 8 years and am a bikeshare member)

          • This is a myth perpetrated by sprawl advocates. Gas taxes pay for federal highways. Not bicycle infrastructure or the metro, or local roads.

          • I agree with your overall point – a smart transportation policy combines lots of modes, and we all benefit from them, even the ones we don’t directly use. That said, your numbers are wildly exaggerated. Cabi has a fare recovery ratio of 97%, and Metrorail has a fare recovery ratio of 62%. Roads are subsidized more than either of those modes.

          • If everything was actually paying for itself, the gas tax would be in the $2 dollar range at the federal level. A good portion of our military spending would be unnecessary if we used 2 million less barrels of oil every day.

            Furthurmore, it is true that the gas tax covers half of what gets spent, but what we are spending is wildly inadaquete even to just maintain the status quo. To maintain our roads at current levels, we should be spending more like $150-200 billion a year, not the ~50billion that gets spent.

            So currently gas tax brings in ~$25 billion, to actually cover upkeep costs, it should be bringing in 6-8 times what it currently is. That puts it at $1.10 to $1.46 just to maintain. Not to mention all of the other externalities related to driving. This analysis completely ignores expensive effects of a sedentary car based lifestyle, like obesity, also ignoring the pollution effects etc.

            If the gas tax was $2 right now, and gas was $5.80 instead of $4.00, transit all of a sudden is WAY closer to breaking even, due to the massive increase in people using it. Get some facts before just spewing

          • 1. The federal gas tax isn’t nearly high enough to pay for the roads, let alone bike infrastructure.
            2. The fare to operating cost ratio is higher for WMATA than almost in almost any other North American city. By your own estimate is greater than the gas tax to road spending ratio.
            3. Roads require maintenance because of damage due to automobiles. Even the lightest cars weigh 20 times what a person on a bike weighs. They should have to pay for the damage they cause.
            4. Yes everything gets subsidized to a degree but cars are big and the land the parking spots are on is worth $40,000 – $60,0000 in that area. The benefits of free or reduced price parking go to only a few people. That’s why I don’t like that subsidy. There are plenty of parking garages in the area if it is truly a priority for people. They may be able to rent a spot for as little as $250 per month.

  • could it be to provide a more evenly distributed load? the move makes it another block from the recently expanded 14th and V location…

  • Ideally, Capital Bikeshare stations could/should be added or moved without changing the existing number of parking spaces.

    In high-density neighborhoods where the number of residents/visitors with cars exceeds the number of street parking spaces, I don’t think people can really assume that they’re necessarily going to be able to find a nearby space when they want one. You can work with your councilmember to ease some of the parking pressure — like making certain blocks limited to RPP all the time — but that still doesn’t mean there’s going to be enough street parking for everyone who wants it.

    If you need a car in order to get to your work, a neighborhood like this might not be a good idea unless you’re willing to rent or buy off-street parking.

    • I think eliminating street cleaning on some streets would go a long way toward helping the parking congestion around here. I’ve seen a few streets (Belmont and Crescent, and 17th between Crescent and Kalorama) up 16th a few blocks don’t have street cleaning and they don’t appear to be in any worse shape that parts of 17th with street cleaning. This is really about ticket revenue for the city. Half the time I see street cleaners rolling down the street they leave plenty of trash in their wake. I live a block from this station and moving my car every Monday and Tuesday is an unnecessary inconvenience when the streets are still littered with trash.

      • I always thought street cleaning was a great way to prevent people from storing inoperable or rarely used vehicles on the road. It does a fairly good job of removing glass and nails from the road too. Overall, doesn’t it help people who need to park?

  • The bike dock may have been moved because DDOT will eventually be re-doing U Street with wider sidewalks, bike lanes, new lighting, etc., like they are just finishing up on 18th Street in Adams a Mo. I think the project will run from 18th up to Florida and will reduce the lanes and remove some parking. To back up some of the comments regarding parking….it’s definitely not a priority any longer with the city.

  • Ya know, I was just thinking it’s been a while since we’ve had an argument about who sucks more—bikers, walkers, or drivers. Thank god for this post so I can get my fix!

  • Isn’t the obvious solution to this “problem” for everyone to register their car in Maryland and just double park in front of a church?

  • I think the most important consideration here is that there just aren’t enough stations to meet demand. The 16& U dock used to fill all the time and so did the 14 & V dock. Both are at the bottom of the hill from Columbia heights, on very popular cyclist routes. By moving this dock, there’s going to be less coverage in this heavily residential neighborhood, and 14&V will be full more often, and it reduces the usefulness of cabi in the area. We need more docks, not replacement docks, and we need more efficient and timely movement of bikes from the area to other places with empty docks.

  • May I add that, as a biker, I find it far better to have the station on T Street where there is far less traffic than at the intersection of 16th and U, which does have bike lanes but has far FAR more vehicular and pedestrian traffic than 17th and T. The 16th and U location seemed poorly planned from a safety perspective.

  • The bike station was moved because ANC2B objected to moving the station into the street at 16th and U. Under CaBi’s original proposal, they would have expanded the station by only 4 docks while removing three parking spaces. Relocating the station to T Street was a compromise that eliminated one less parking space and allowed the station to expand by 8 docks. It was the right move.

    However, I do wish that CaBi would have put in a second station instead of relocating the first one. Demand in this area is far outpacing supply. In addition, CaBi hasn’t even completed the first round of expansions in DC that were supposed to be completed last year, including a station at 16th and Euclid that would have alleviated pressure from the stations on U Street.

  • I’m not renewing my bikeshare because this stop is just unusable. The statistics show how the dock is almost always completely empty or completely full but even those numbers don’t include the lost uses by those who have given up. Knowing that I won’t be able to park means I don’t even bother taking a bike on the way home.

  • Besides being able to increase the number of docks (to 23! hear that? 23 people get to use that space instead of two), the new location also offers better sun. CaBi is solar powered, and as the photo indicates the previous location was frequently shaded by a tree.

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