Photo by bryandc2 on Flickr.

Building on the success of Capital Bikeshare in DC and Arlington County, Montgomery County is preparing to submit a grant application to the Maryland DOT to help fund bike sharing in the lower county region. 

The plan for 400 bicycles at 50 stations was presented Tuesday night a public meeting at the County Executive offices in Rockville.

County planning and transportation officials presented proposed station plans for the urban areas of the county. Bike stations are proposed in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Friendship Heights, and other areas along both legs of the Red Line. 

The additional stations will provide connections within those activity centers and to places in the District. 

As a side note, in planning talks, DDOT has agreed to expand bike sharing stations north between the system core and the new clusters in Bethesda, Silver Spring & Takoma Park to help connect the entire system.

The new stations will be in addition to 20 stations being installed in a cluster around the Rockville and Shady Grove Metro stations. The Rockville stations were funded through a Job Access/Reverse Commute grant program.

Montgomery County DOT Director Art Holmes spoke briefly about the expansion of Bikeshare to the county.  He told attendees, “we are very committed to this program”.  Officials cautioned that the bike sharing program is contingent on the awarding of the state grants and may need to be built in phases. 

However, they feel very confident in their grant application.  The Maryland grants are through Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds with a local match of 20% required.

Maps already showed some prospective station locations and attendees were asked to give additional ideas by placing stickers on the maps. If you couldn’t attend the meeting, you can give your feedback using the Capital Bikeshare crowdsourcing map.

Of course, there are siting issues. Consultant to the county, Paul DeMaio of MetroBike, explained requirements for a station. Considerations include access to direct sun, enough space, ownership agreements, access to the station, proximity to bicycle infrastructure, and so on.

If Montgomery receives the grant, they expect to begin installing the Bikeshare stations in Fall/Winter of 2012.

WABA is excited to see bike sharing grow and to see the promotion of bicycle transportation in the region.  We hope to see the needed infrastructure improvements, education offerings and necessary enforcement to make the system a success in the county as we have seen in DC and Arlington.

Cross-posted at Quick Release.