A Capital Bikeshare station should be coming to the National Mall in time for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, after a federal commission gave its final approval on Thursday.
The National Capital Planning Commission unanimously approved adding five stations of the D.C.-Arlington bikesharing system to the area around the National Mall. Last month, the locations won approval from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.
That nearly clears the path for the stations. Now they only need permits from the National Park Service, which has been supportive of the stations.
The stations are seen as first step, opening the way for more stations on the Mall, plus potentially to other park service sites around the region.
But only one of the five stations will be coming to the Mall this spring. The bikesharing system only has enough equipment on hand to have one station in place by the time the cherry blossom bonanza begins, said Chris Holben, the District’s bicycle program specialist in charge of the bikeshare program.
He said they hope to have it up before the first weekend of the festival, March 24, which is just in time for the peak blooms, according to festival organizers' estimates.
Or it could go up earlier. “It will go in as soon as the permit is ready,” he said.
The first rack would go near the Martin Luther King Jr. and Franklin Roosevelt monuments near Ohio Drive and West Basin Drive.
Holben hopes the remaining four stations will be in place for the Fourth of July, another popular time for tourists on the Mall.