Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sign up now for Wiehle Station bike room - Update: 28 FEB 2014

Photo by David Madison
Fairfax County DOT recently sent out over 130 information packets on the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station bike room to cyclists who requested them by filling out a form on the bike room page or by calling 703-877-5766. The packet includes a membership application for the bike room, membership agreement, the fee schedule, and a list of frequently asked questions.

A special introductory rate is available until March 1. Those who requested the info packet will need to send in their applications soon. The county has indicated they will give some leeway on the March 1 deadline to those who requested a packet earlier but only received it in the past week (especially now that opening date is likely in the June/July timeframe).
Wiehle-Reston East Station Bikeroom
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q) What is a Bikeroom?
In order to encourage people to bicycle, Fairfax County is making improvements to bicycle parking Countywide at our park and ride lots, Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Stations, our transit transfer facilities, and our new Silver Line Metrorail Stations. The Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station incorporates Fairfax County’s first enclosed, secure bicycle parking facility. Modeled after WMATA’s Bike&Ride concept, the bike room provides over 200 bicycle parking spaces adjacent located adjacent to the Station’s transit platform and kiss and ride area. Members will be able to access the room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This bike room is equipped with both vertical (space-saver style) racks, our standard floor mounted inverted “U” racks, an area designated for over-sized bicycles, two fixit stations including an air pump, and benches, just in case you need a rest or to change your shoes.

Q) How do I become a member?
First, you’ll need to complete an application form, sign a member’s agreement, and submit payment. Start by contacting the FairfaxCounty Department of Transportation (FCDOT) and requesting an application package. You can also download the necessary forms from our webpage.

Q) How much does membership cost?
Cheaper than a Segway tour around the Capital! Fairfax County offers both half year and annual memberships. Yearly membership rates are $60, plus a $15 one-time non-refundable processing fee. The 6 month membership is 40.00 plus a $l5.00 one-time non-refundable processing fee.

Q) How will it work?
Your membership gets you one electronic access device (key fob) and three registration decals. The key fob resembles a small coin, and can be carried on your keychain. Everytime you use the bike room you will need to swipe your key fob in front of the reader at the front door and’re in. Once you’re in, find a rack and lock your bike.’re done!

Q) I own several bikes; can I park more than one?
We know many of you have more than one bike. That’s why we provide three registration decals. As part of your membership package you can register up to three bicycles, so that should be enough for your commuter, road, cargo or recumbent. Remember, all bicycles in the room must have a current room registration sticker on their bike. Place one decal on your bike. We recommend either the seat tube, down tube, or top tube.

Q) Is the bike room secure?
We’ve made every effort to make sure our Bike&Ride facility is safe and secure but everybody has to help and do their part. The room is monitored by security cameras as well as security personnel who will check the room periodcally. We’ve also invested in quality bicycle racks that provide multiple locking options. You can help by...ALWAYS LOCKINGYOUR BIKE. Most bicycle thefts are “thefts of convenience”. Don’t make it easy for someone to steal your bike. Use the appropriate lock and lock it correctly. If you’re not sure about how to lock your bike securely, talk to your local bike shop or visit: Last but not least, DON’T LET OTHERS IN (it’s called tailgating or piggybacking). We all want to be a friend and let our neighbors in but don’t! Like you, all registered users will have their own key fob and should access the room individually. Remember, Fairfax County is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Q) Can I let my friend into the room?
Oh, you didn’t read the previous paragraph, did you? Though you think you are helping others by letting them in the room, please don’t! Besides if they don’t have a registered bike, the bike will be removed. All registered users should use their own fob to access the room. Let’s keep the room safe! NO TAILGATING or PIGGIE BACKING PLEASE.

Q) What if I lose my access key fob?
Let us know as soon as possible. Call the County Bicycle Program at (703) 877-5600 and we will deactivate access key. To maintain room security, we don’t want someone else that isn’t you getting access to the room. We can then re-issue you a new key fob. A replacement key fob will cost you $|0.00.

Q) Do I get a reserved parking space?
No. This is a first come first serve facility but don’t worry, the room can handle over 200 bicycles and can be reconfigured if we need more capacity.

Q) Can I leave my bike overnight?
Yes. We have a lot of reverse commuters and also understand that there may be last minute changes to your commute/’s no fun to ride in torrential rain or surprise snow storm, so no problem. However, if we notice a bike that’s been parked for more than l4 days, we’ll attempt to contact the owner. Unattended bicycles over 30 days will be removed.

Q) Can I leave other bike gear in the room?
We discourage leaving personal belongings in the room but if you do, it should be attached to your bike (e.g. helmet, towel, etc.) Remember; FairfaxCounty is not responsible for lost or stolen items. FYI, we are exploring installing coin operated lockers so you can stow your stuff.

Q) Can I park my moped or scooter in the room?
Good grief no! Neither mopeds, motor scooters, mini bikes, nor bicycles powered with internal combustion engines are permitted within the room. However, the Wiehle-Reston East Station Parking Garage can accommodate these types of vehicles. Electric power assisted bicycles and electric personal assistive mobility devices (e.g. Segway) are welcome.

Q) Are there other County operated bike rooms?
This is Fairfax County’s first, but it won’t be the last. New secure bike rooms are being planned for additional Silver line stations as well as other park and ride facilities countywide. Here’s the best part. As a member, you will able to access any of the County’s Park&Ride facilities for no additional charge.

Q) WMATA hasopened their secure bike room at College Park and adding more at other Metrorail stations. Does my membership include access to those facilities?
Our best answer is, not yet. While we attempted to have one seamless operating system that would allow access to both systems, it just didn’t work. The good news is that we’re still working on it. It’s a mutual goal of both the County and WMATA.

Q) What if need to cancel my membership?
Though we are sad to see you go, we wish you the best! With a simple call we can deactivate your key fob instantly. Please remember to take your bike out of the room before you call. As a momento keep the key fob... you were part of the first of Fairfax County’s bike rooms. Keep in mind the key fob (and your membership) is non-transferable.

Q) Ok, I want to sign up, what do I need to do?
Request a membership package from the Department of Transportation. You can do this either by emailing us at: bicycleprograms@fairfaxcountygov or calling us at 703-877-5600, TTY 7| l The membership package includes an application form, an agreement, and other related information. Submit your completed forms along with payment (checks should be made out to County of Fairfax) to:

FairfaxCounty Department of Transportation
Attention BicycleParkingProgram
4050 Legato Road, Suite 400

Q) | signed up and paid, now what? -
After you send back the application, the signed agreement, with your payment; we’ll send you your activated electronic access (key fob) device, and three bicycle registration stickers. The stickers are numbered and registered to your membership account. Remember, all bicycles in the room must have a current room registration sticker on their bike. Now you are ready to ride. And, remember;

It’s your room. Please keep it clean.
Keep it safe. Do not allow entry to others.
Your key fob is not transferable.
We hope you enjoy the facility!
Update: 28 FEB 2014. We received this note today from Fairfax DOT regarding questions that have arisen regarding the bike room:
We have received several calls and e-mails expressing concerns about a variety of topics related to the bike room contract (the application and agreement).  We hope to answer these questions and concerns with this email.

1.       The bike room will open when the Silver Line opens.  Therefore, your membership will  begin on the day the Silver Line opens.  That will be the date when your contract will begin.  At this time, we have not received an official opening date.  ON THE AGREEMENT FORM,  Please leave the date fields blank.  We will fill them in based on the opening date of the Silver Line.

2.       If you currently do not have a bicycle or you are planning to get a different one that will be parked in the bike room and do not have the model and serial number at this time, you can leave it blank and provide that information to us at a later date.

3.       Please remember that a 1 year membership is $45 ($30 membership fee + one-time $15 key fob activation fee) and a 2 year membership is $75 ($60 membership fee + one-time $15 key fob activation fee). We would also like to remind you that as long as we have you on our list or you send an email by March 1, 2014 you will get the introductory rates.  So if you know of others that are interested, there are still 2 days to get the special rates.

4.       You will receive your key fob within 5 days of the Silver Line and bike room opening. As we said previously, we don’t know when the opening date is yet, so we cannot tell you specifically when to expect to receive the key fob, but will send an email out when we do have a concrete date.

5.       Unfortunately, public access to the bike room will not be possible until the official opening of the Silver Line. However, you will have an opportunity to tour the room and the station as the County will have an open house for the Wiehle-Reston East Station… Details to come.

6.       As a reminder, please make all checks payable to Fairfax County.

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