Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Case For Not Owning A Bike

Mayor Fenty at the Capitol Bikeshare kickoff.  Credit: DDOT via Washcycle.
This week the largest bike sharing program in the United States was launched right here in Washington, D.C.  Capital Bikeshare means that there are suddenly 1,100 new bikes in D.C. and Arlington, Va., available at 100 bike stations in D.C. and 14 in Arlington.

1,100 bikes. Credit: Capital Bikeshare

The bikes themselves are 3-speeds with a front basket, internal gear hubs, fenders, chainguards, and headlights and taillights that run whenever you are riding.  Because of the step-through design, the bikes fit just about anyone with a little seat adjustment (they have quick release seat posts).

A Bike For The Rest Of Us.  Credit: Capital Bikeshare

So, in D.C. and Arlington, you no longer need to own a bike to get around by bike (not that there's anything wrong with owning bikes).  This comes at a time when D.C. has more and better bike facilities than ever before, including several area bike co-ops, bicycle-specific traffic signals and more bike lanes - even on America's Main Street - Pennsylvania Avenue. There are also many opportunities for multi-modal transportation.

Regional buses can carry up to 2 bikes on the front.  Bikes can go on Metro before or after rush hour on weekdays and anytime on weekends.  Credit: WMATA

Chatting about bike sharing in front of Zipcar, the car sharing company.  Bike sharing and car sharing go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Credit: twitter
This is the future.  Bikes for all of us.

2017 UPDATE 

Bikeshare took another step forward in September 2017 when a number of companies debuted GPS-tracked smart bikes in Washington, D.C.  These so-called "dockless bikes" are not intended as a replacement for the successful Capital Bikeshare program, but as a supplement. It's hard not to be giddy about supply finally catching up with the demand for bikes for the rest of us.


Brent said...

And here I thought this post was going to be about pedestrians. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is amazing. Aren't they worried about theft and vandalism? Such nice practical bikes.