Bike sharing on horizon for Fairfax

|
Photo - The Smithsonian Bikeshare station on the National Mall. The popular bike-sharing system could be expanding to Fairfax County. (Examiner file photo)
The Smithsonian Bikeshare station on the National Mall. The popular bike-sharing system could be expanding to Fairfax County. (Examiner file photo)
Local,Virginia,Transportation,Liz Essley

Capital Bikeshare may be coming to Fairfax County.

Local officials are trying to find a way to test the popular bike program in Reston and later take it to Tysons Corner.

"I am very interested in seeing it happen," said Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, a Democrat whose district includes Reston. "I think it's a possibility in the near future."

Officials say plans for bike sharing are still just being discussed and they aren't sure if a Reston pilot would be plugged into the Capital Bikeshare brand already popular in the District and Arlington. But they said they hope some form of bike system will be in place in time for the opening of Metro's Silver Line at Reston, slated for early 2014.

"The county definitely does want bike sharing," said county spokeswoman Beth Francis. "We don't have funding right now, but it's definitely in the plans."

Montgomery and Prince George's counties and Alexandria are already slated to join the Capital Bikeshare program.

Hudgins toured Arlington's bike facilities last summer. She said she wants to talk to Reston businesses and community members to figure out details such as where to put stations.

She said the county, like Arlington and the District, would search for a private partner for the bike system.

Bicyclist and Reston Bike Club Secretary Barb Lytle said she was excited about the idea.

"Anything bike-related would be great, for me, for the environment, for exercise, for many reasons," she said.

Bike Club Treasurer and Reston resident Ken Thompson member had more reservations.

"I can see it working well in a large metropolitan area, but I'm not sure how it would work here," he said. "I think it's too small."

But Hudgins envisions local employees getting off the Metro, picking up a bike and riding to jobs, as well as workers riding bikes to lunch. She says biking is already popular in the area.

"I think if people can think about the connectivity that already exists here, bikes simply enhance it more, and it becomes a great opportunity. Is it going to be a downtown [D.C.] or an Arlington? Not right away. But I think it has many of the amenities already, in that people are used to pathways here," she said.

lessley@washingtonexaminer.com

View article comments Leave a comment