Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bikesharing in Tysons?

Is bike sharing in Tysons feasible? That is the subject of a presentation to the Tysons Bike Group by Charlie Denney of Alta Planning & Design that is scheduled for next Tuesday, March 6 at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Tysons from noon to 1pm. If you're interested in attended send a message to

Charlie Denney of Alta Planning at the
Tysons West station.
Most people cannot imagine bicycling in Tysons. There are a few people who currently bike to work there; either those who are comfortable riding most conditions, or those for whom bicycling is their only option. In order for more people to be willing to ride in a place like Tysons, and for bike sharing to be a possible option, better riding conditions are needed.

The Tysons Bicycle Master Plan contains recommendations for many on- and off-road bike facilities. Bike sharing is also recommended in Phase 2: 2012-2016 - "As the core of Tysons Corner begins redeveloping, implement priority on-street, and off-street bicycle facilities. Improve bicycle access within and from the surrounding communities. Install high-tech Bicycle Sharing infrastructure and launch encouragement programs like 'Bike-to- Lunch' and 'Bicycle-Friendly Employer A wards.'" Unfortunately the plan has not even been presented to the Planning Commission or the Board of Supervisors, and we're already into Phase 2 recommendations.

Shopper bike racks at Tysons Corner Center
Today we took Charlie on a tour of Tysons to check out riding conditions and view progress on the Silver Line Metro stations and some of the development that is occurring. That's Charlie above in front of the Tysons West station under construction, with the Sheraton in the background.

We rode by three of the four future station locations and got a feel for bike access to the stations. Tysons isn't flat. To cycle from most of the stations to interior locations will require pedaling uphill. Electric-assist bikes would make bike sharing more feasible for many people although there are few electric-assist bike share systems currently in place (see The Bike-sharing Blog for info on Japanese systems that use electric-assist).

On the left are some of the custom "shopper" bike racks that are scattered around the Tysons Corner Center.

It was a beautiful day to tour Tysons on bikes. The kind of day when you think anything is possible, even having a successful bike sharing system in Tysons.

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