Bikeshare as Community Benefit?
Here's the thing about Capital Bikeshare: The more stations there are, the more valuable the whole system becomes to its users, since they can access bikes in more places and get closer to where they need to go. The system is beautifully scalable; new stations can go wherever they're wanted. The problem, of course, is paying for them. At $50,000 a piece–which pays for bikes, the rack itself, and the solar set-up–adding new stations isn't cheap.
But some people have money and incentives to add nice things around buildings: Developers. And community organizations have started to ask them to include bikeshare stations in community benefits packages, which is a-OK with the District Department of Transportation. At an ANC 6C planning and zoning committee meeting Wednesday night night, a committee member asked Eric Siegel of the Cohen Companies–which is building a 500-unit residential complex at 250 K Street NW–if he'd be willing to finance a CaBi station on the sidewalk outside the new building. Siegel said he'd take it under consideration, and he should: It's not only a deal sweetener for the surrounding community, it shows the Zoning Commission (from which the company is seeking permission to break the project into two parts) that you're chill with the community. Plus, it's a selling point for prospective tenants. Everybody wins!