- (Photo: DDOT)
Well, that was fast. The National Capital Planning Commission approved bringing five Capital Bikeshare stations to the National Mall on March 1 and two weeks later, the first stations are here. The turnaround is surprisingly fast, considering the National Park Service only came around to the idea late last year. The time for waiting and wondering is now mostly over though. The first two bikeshare stations have been installed on the National Mall — at 14th and Jefferson SW and on Ohio Drive near the MLK Memorial, according to the District Department of Transportation.
John Lisle, spokesperson for DDOT, told me the city hopes to install the next three stations "within the next few weeks."
The other stations will be located near the Smithsonian Metro, at the Jefferson Monument, and at the FDR Memorial. The city also has plans to install more than five miles of bike lane in 2012 (find out where here). During the gorgeous warm weather of Wednesday, the year-and-a-half-old Capital Bikeshare set a new record of 6,313 rides in one day. Yesterday the service saw 6,172 rides, another strong number, and one likely to grow as visitors and residents can take advantage of these new stations. Between the warm weather and the season of cherry blossoms, the timing is just right.
Update, 12:45 p.m.: The city just released its own release on the installation and says Capital Bikehshare will have staff on hand during the cherry blossom festival: March 24 and 25; March 31 and April 1; and April 7 and 8, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., according to DDOT. NPS also is hooking bicyclists up with some more bike parking between 15th and 14th Streets, SW, apparently, as well as at the Jefferson Memorial. DDOT director Terry Bellamy notes that these two stations brings the total up to 151.