The City of Falls Church hopes to join Capital Bikeshare in 2017. But first, it needs the money to make it happen.
The City of Falls Church has applied to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) for $2 million that would go toward buying and installing up to 16 stations.
NVTA is the infrastructure agency that gives Northern Virginia the ability to raise and spend its own money on what it thinks is most important. Next Thursday (June 9), NVTA will consider the Bikeshare funding along with a slate of other FY2017 program requests.
A 13-dock station, the expected size in Falls Church, has an up-front cost of approximately $50,000. Falls Church expects to supplement its NVTA grant with developer contributions, Falls Church principal planner Paul Stoddard said in an email to the Falls Church News-Press.
Falls Church has also applied to a different agency, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), for $850,000 to fully fund the first three years of operating expenses. NVTC is responsible for planning and funding Northern Virginia transit. It will consider Falls Church’s request tonight.
Both agencies have shown they can be be swayed by public comment in favor of or against projects. The City of Falls Church has produced a flyer informing residents how to weigh in with the NVTA and NVTC.
Bikeshare would be part of Falls Church’s expanding bicycle network
Last July, Falls Church adopted a new Bicycle Master Plan, which identified a city-wide network of existing bike and future bike routes, established a “Request a Rack” bicycle parking program, and specified that Falls Church wants to join Capital Bikeshare.
Now, city staff are working to implement the plan. So far, the city has gotten the Request a Rack program up and running, and is refreshing routes on Park Avenue, South Maple Avenue-Little Falls Street, and Cherry Street-E. Columbia Street.
As part of its Bicycle Master Plan, Falls Church has also identified three priority corridors for the initial Bikeshare network: the Broad Street corridor, Washington Street corridor, and W&OD Trail. Bikeshare would provide an easy and cheap way to get to the East Falls Church and West Falls Church Metro stations.
The plan identifies a fourth corridor, Roosevelt Boulevard, as a priority for future expansion, providing a last-mile connection to Metro for thousands of residents.
Today, nearby Arlington has 84 stations, and Fairfax will roll out its first Bikeshare stations later this year.
If you live in Northern Virginia, you can tell NVTA and NVTC you support Bikeshare funding for Falls Church via this Coalition for Smarter Growth action.