Next Wednesday, March 2, join Fairfax County’s bike program for a kick-off meeting about its Vienna Metrorail Bicycle Access Study. This is your opportunity to make it even easier to get to the station on a bike.
On March 2nd, from 6:00-8:00 pm, in the Oakton High School cafeteria, Fairfax bike planners will will introduce the public to this planning project and gather feedback on existing conditions, concerns, and ideas to improve bicycling in the area. The study will look at ways to improve bicycle access to the Vienna Metrorail Station on Nutley Street, Virginia Center Boulevard, Country Creek Road, and Sutton Road. The meeting includes a presentation and a breakout session to gather feedback on areas of concern, ideas for improvements, and overall goals for bicycling in this area. We hope you can attend and help make our station more bike-friendly.
The project is funded through the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ (MWCOG) 2016 Transportation and Land Use Connection (TLC) Grant Program. Hopefully, we will see more projects coming through the TLC program since it is through studies like these that the region can advance the projects identified in Metro’s Station Area Strategic Investment plan and make progress toward achieving Metro’s strategic goal to connect communities and move us closer to the bicycle access goals our Board established in 2011.
We all know improving station access is good. But, how do we rank access projects relative to each other? Step 1: Ridership
In our recent post, we gave you an overview of our Station Access Investment Strategy project. We’ve identified 1,000s of recommendations for new pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure near our Metrorail stations and need a way to prioritize them. After some thought, we’ve come up with a number of potential criteria. In this post, we’ll discuss those that deal with ridership.
Map of the Southern Ave walk shed from July 2014 Post on Ridership Potential from New Ped./ Bike Projects
Once again, one of key concepts we’ve been telling you about in recent months is that by improving access to stations we can grow ridership. For stations with relatively small walk sheds, we’ll conduct a detailed analysis of what happens to the walk shed when the proposed projects are built. For example, add a sidewalk at Cheverly and the walk shed will grow by X%. We will then look at the amount of households and jobs in the newly connected area and, using some methods we’ve shown you in other posts, calculate the potential ridership gained by the new project. The higher the potential ridership gain, the better the project scores.
But, we also want to understand the value of a new project to a part of the station that is already connected to the network and how this could relate back to ridership. To do this, we’ve come up some other metrics. They include: Read more…
Improving walk and bike access is a cost effective way to increase ridership and improve the efficiency of the Metrorail network. Where are these improvements needed and how should we (as a region) prioritize them?
What projects might increase the size of the walk shed of the Landover Metrorail station?
In a number of earlier posts starting last summer, we’ve discussed the concept of walk sheds and explored the relationship between walkability, land use, and Metrorail ridership. One conclusion of this effort: grow the size of the walk shed and you’ll grow ridership.
Generally, we only have control over what happens on our own property. While we have made great strides in identifying and prioritizing bike/ped access improvements on our own property, increasing the size of the walk sheds requires coordination with state or local agencies who own, plan, design and construct roads, sidewalks and pathways near our stations. We know that in order to have a larger impact on walk and bike access, we need to cast a wider net and identify projects that are up to one mile from our station entrance. We have created a plan — the Station Access Investment Strategy — to highlight some of these projects as priorities for our local partners to use as they develop their capital improvement plans. Read more…
On May 12, 2015, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) convened an event to bring together Federal, State, regional, and local transportation officials and local stakeholders for an on-the-ground bike-ped safety assessment at the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station.
Wiehle-Reston East: one mile bikeshed and 1/2 mile walkshed
The assessment was one of 50+ that have been occurring around the nation as part of U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s “Safer People Safer Streets” campaign to improve bike-ped safety across the country. These assessments have been led by many of the US DOT agencies and operating administrations, namely: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Each of these agencies is participating in the effort to improve bicycling and pedestrian safety, and each has particular roles and responsibilities in this effort.
The primary goal of these assessments is to:
- facilitate relationship-building between employees of different jurisdictions who share responsibility for creating safer streets;
- engage practitioners who typically focus on pedestrian and bicycle safety, as well as those who do not; and
- focus on locations that have non-motorized safety challenges.
The assessment kicked-off with remarks from Deputy Secretary, Victor Mendez, who stressed the importance of agency coordination in ensuring bicycle and pedestrian safety on America’s streets, later blogging about the event on US DOT’s FastLane blog. Metro’s Director of Planning, Shyam Kannan, also gave remarks that highlighted the importance of station connectivity for increasing Metrorail ridership. Other VIPs from Fairfax County, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and local community/advocacy groups spoke to the participants as well about the importance of the day’s events to keeping our residents safe as they travel. Read more…
Bike to Work Day is tomorrow, Friday, May 15. Roll by, say hello, and pick up free goodies at a Metro-hosted pitstop.
Click to register for Bike to Work Day!
Register now for free at www.biketoworkmetrodc.org and enter your pitstop as East Falls Church, Fort Totten, or College Park-U of Md. Metro will be distributing t-shirts, maps, free goodies, and information on using bikes with Metro. In addition, Metro Transit Police will also be at East Falls Church, Fort Totten, College Park-U of Md., King St-Old Town, and Braddock Road Metrorail stations from 7:00 – 9:00 am to distribute FREE U-Locks when you trade in a less secure lock (e.g. chain or cable lock) and register your bike with MTPD!
If biking from home to work isn’t an option for you, make Bike to Metro part of your commute. You can park your bike at any Metrorail station or a bus stop, and complete your journey using Metro. You can also take your bike with you on Metrobus at any time, as our entire bus fleet is equipped with bike racks that can carry 2 bikes on each bus. Or bring your bike on a Metrorail train at anytime except 7-10 am and 4-7 pm.
The three Metro-hosted pitstops at Bike to Work Day 2015 are:
See you out there!
Fairfax County seeks input from bike-and-ride commuters.
As we have discussed previously, safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle access is critical to Metro’s success, and WMATA works closely with local jurisdictions to find ways to improve conditions for customers arriving on foot or bike. Compared with the high expense of building more parking garages for park-and-ride customers, investing in better walking and biking infrastructure is an incredibly cost-effective way of attracting Metro customers. On Metro station property, WMATA is making investments such as bike parking and path improvements. On the public streets beyond, our local and state partners are installing their own new facilities for people walking/biking to the station. Read more…
Demand for bicycle parking at the new McLean Station exceeded capacity in the Silver Line’s first few weeks, so Metro has already added more racks.
When Metro planners learned that bike racks were not prominent in the Silver Line station designs (completed by our partners in Virginia), Metro fought hard to make sure that bike racks were planned for and installed at the stations. And that’s good news, indeed, because by August, nearly all of the bike racks were full at McLean station. Recognizing this need, Metro added space for 20 more bicycles (10 racks) at the station. The new racks bring the total capacity for bikes to 72 on racks. Bike lockers are still available at McLean, too.
Increasing bike access to the Silver Line is a good sign for ridership, revenue, and station access. Metro will keep an eye on utilization this fall and add capacity where needed.
Nearly full bike racks at McLean station on the Silver Line a few weeks ago, before Metro added more racks.
Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 16th, and this year Metro is hosting three pitstops at Metrorail stations. Bike to Metro and Metro to Work! Register now.
If biking all the way to work sounds a bit daunting this year, Bike to Metro and Metro to Work! Leave your bike at a Metrorail station or a bus stop.
Metro is hosting three pitstops at Metrorail stations, where we’ll be distributing t-shirts, maps, information about parking your bike, bikes on bus, locker rentals, and of course – free goodies. In addition, Metro Transit Police will be at all three pitstops distributing free U-locks to cyclists who register their bikes. We’ll even have a “bike rack demonstration” bus so you can try using the bike rack on buses.
Register now at www.biketoworkmetrodc.org, and enter your pitstop as one of the stations above!
Improving pedestrian connectivity takes cars off the road at a formidable clip – rivaling the power of all of the region’s planned roadway additions and “last mile” transit connections. Cheaply and quickly.
This post is part two of a three-part series.
The data is finally in, and we now know that walkable station areas result in fewer motorized trips, fewer miles driven, fewer cars owned, and fewer hours spent traveling. And when we improve the pedestrian and bicycle access and connectivity to Metrorail station areas, ridership goes up, putting a major dent in congestion by taking trips off the roadways. Earlier, we discussed what it means to build walkable station areas and research shows the tremendous benefits to the region of making this a priority.
First, our data confirms that when walking access to transit is improved, transit ridership goes up – way up. In the 2040 Regional Transit System Plan (RTSP), we stress tested TPB’s transportation model to improve walkability to the transit network and saw huge increases in transit linked trips. These trips go up by about 10% region-wide and we get an increase in transit mode share for all regional trips by 0.5%. That’s over and above the roughly one percent increase in mode share we anticipate occurring as a result of building the entirety of the CLRP, an impact about half that of constructing all of that transit.
Source: Regional Transit System Plan
On-Street Bike Parking in Buenos Aires. Photo by the author.
I spotted this cool on-street bike rack in the trendy Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. It says “One car = ten bikes”. It’s a very cool, visual way of providing bicycle parking in a neighborhood with narrow sidewalks and heavy pedestrian activity that also educates the driving public on the efficiency of travel by bicycle and the need for on-street bike infrastructure.
Metro’s planners recognize that bike parking is a really efficient use of space and a cost-effective way for us to provide alternatives for how our riders get to our stations. Read more about Metro’s bike parking efforts on PlanItMetro.
Editor’s note: we have been made aware that this bike rack design is very similar to or perhaps based on a bike rack design by a company called Cyclehoop. Congrats to Cyclehoop for such an innovative and educational design.