Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Developer-sponsored Capital Bikeshare station rejected in Takoma

Thanks to the Wash Cycle for pointing out this passage from The Atlantic Cities' piece on developers sponsoring Bikeshare stations:

The builders of a planned apartment complex in D.C.’s Takoma neighborhood also say their offer to sponsor a station was rejected by officials who felt the location was too far off the beaten path.

Since there are only so many apartment complexes in the planning stages in Takoma, I assume this passage refers to the developers of either Ecco Park or the proposed development on Spring Place NW.

I understand why Bikeshare would be hesitant to slap a station in Takoma without building up other nearby sites as well, as Bikeshare needs several stations built relatively close to each other in order to be useable. But I'm sorry to hear that the developers' proposal was dismissed seemingly without considering that Bikeshare will soon be expanding to Montgomery County's Red Line stations. It will be in everyone's best interest for Bikeshare to set up in Takoma, Brightwood, and the rest of Ward 4 in order to provide connections between Montgomery County and the rest of the District. Taking the developers up on their offer seems like it would be good planning for the future.

Update: ANC4B02 Commissioner Sara Green just confirmed that the article is referring to the Spring Place development. She went on to say, "You get to Spring Place by driving down Blair Road (toward the Takoma Metro Station) and making a left on Chestnut just after the light at Piney Branch. Spring Place is the first and only right." If you can follow that, you'll understand that the development is indeed slightly inconvenient to Takoma's main commercial area. I assume the location of that specific development is what turned Bikeshare off, but I've asked them to clarify.

Update 2: Bruce Levin, one of the developers of the Spring Place building, confirms that DDOT is concerned about Spring Place's lack of visibility, at least at this time: "The location is less than ideal as compared to more visible locations at or around the (Metro) station. This could certainly change at a later date. The next and most important step will be to work with DDOT to complete the design of the trail between Spring Place and Cedar, secure funding and complete this section."


  1. Sara Green is giving you complicated driving directions, but wasn't the Met Branch Trail supposed to connect to Blair Road along the embankment on the west side of the Metro tracks? The Bikeshare station would have been right on the trail, once the trail is constructed.