City Paper Widget

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Proposal to Permanently Remove 13th and U Bikeshare Station

At its regular monthly meeting on June 19, the Transportation Committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B/U Street, heard a proposal by development company JBG that would permanently remove the Capital Bikeshare station at 13th and U Streets NW. The committee decided not to take a decision on the proposal this month. Instead, it will solicit community input and discuss it again at its next meeting, scheduled for Thursday, July 17, at 7pm, at the Thurgood Marshall Center (1816 12th Street).

The Rite-Aid as seen from across 13th Street
JBG is getting ready to construct an eight-story building on the southwest corner of 13th and U Street, in a building currently occupied by a Rite-Aid and other tenants. Representatives of JBG told the committee they were "very far along in design" and planned to break ground by the end of the year.

The new building will have 130 apartments and brand-new retail space for the Rite-Aid, who have a 20-year lease on the spot.

In order to get Rite-Aid on board for the renovation, JBG reported, "we had to promise them the nicest Rite-Aid ever."

Temporarily moving the bikeshare station

There is a Capital Bikeshare station on the 13th Street side of the Rite-Aid. During the construction, it will have to move. The committee discussed possibilities for a temporary home for the station.

JBG proposed four destinations for the temporary move, which qualified by virtue of having wider-than-normal sidewalks:
  • In front of the metro entrance on the south side of U Street
  • On the southeast side of 12th Street
  • On the northwest side of 11th Street
  • On the southeast side of 11th Street
See a series of JBG-supplied photos here of the above-listed possible temporary locations for the displaced Capital Bikeshare Station.

The committee unanimously recommended the first option above for the temporary location. ANC1B will probably vote on the recommendation at its next meeting, scheduled for July 10, 7pm, at the Reeves Center (14th and U Streets).

Permanently moving the bikeshare station

The fate of the bikeshare station after the construction is completed was the subject of some discussion. The design favored by JBG puts a small green space, with some trees, bushes, flowers, and grass, in the current bikeshare space. However, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) wants to move the bikeshare station back to the same spot.

"If you don't vote to support the garden, the bike share is staying there," JBG representatives told the committee.

JBG tried to sell the committee on the garden idea, but they could not guarantee they would be able to convince the DC government and/or neighboring property owners to permanently put the bikeshare station in a convenient nearby spot.

"This needs to be vetted by a wider swath of the community," said one committee member.

The motion to revisit the topic next meeting was passed unanimously.

ANC1B's Transportation Committee would like to hear community comment. Email the chair of the committee, Ben Klemens, at bklemens at gmail dot com.

Some of JBG's plans and drawings for the site, including the small green space, are available here.

1 comment:

  1. As a long time resident, new homeowner, and now candidate running for ANC-1B12, I strongly urge and support keeping Capital Bikeshare in my single member district. I also believe it makes the most sense to have this new Bikeshare on the south side of the U Street metro station as a way for commuters to best take advantage of both means of public transportation.

    -John C. Green