Montgomery County’s leap into Capital Bikeshare seems to be picking up steam, and one property owner hopes to take advantage of the momentum.
The Chevy Chase Land Company is offering to pay for a new docking station, bicycles and installation of a Bikeshare facility at its 8401 Connecticut Avenue office building that backs up to the Capital Crescent Trail.
In a letter to County Executive Isiah Leggett, Chevy Chase Land Company Vice President Miti Figueredo described the developer’s goals as two-fold. First, the Land Company wants to fill in “a critical gap” in the Bikeshare network about half-way between downtown Bethesda and downtown Silver Spring along the Trail.
The Land Company also hopes “to begin the transition toward a more multi-modal neighborhood,” as it gets closer to redeveloping the Chevy Chase Lake East shopping center into a mixed-use community with about 600 new residential units.
“Bikeshare will be an important amenity for new and existing residents alike, and will reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips in and out of the area,” Figueredo wrote.
The County Council approved the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan in July 2013, which cleared the way for redevelopment of the area. Permitting for some of that redevelopment will not be allowed until construction starts on the Purple Line, which will include a Chevy Chase Lake station next to the 8401 building.
The Land Company is the only business so far to fund Capital Bikeshare stations in Montgomery County. Figueredo said the Land Company spent $112,000 to install the stations near its office buildings at the Friendship Heights Metro and near the Bethesda Metro at Montgomery Avenue and East Lane.
According to first quarter 2014 trip data, those stations have been the most used of the network in downtown Bethesda and Chevy Chase. Montgomery County has since installed a Bikeshare station in the Bethesda Metro Plaza and plans to install one at the Medical Center Metro in the next few weeks.
Figueredo said the cost to buy and install a 19-dock Bikeshare station with 10 bikes is about $54,000. In the letter, Figueredo asks for Leggett’s help in starting the process as soon as possible. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation operates the Bikeshare program in Montgomery County.