by nomabid
Washington, D.C., September 23, 2008… The District of Columbia Department of Transportation has begun construction on a new $4 million Bicycle Transit Facility at Union Station in Washington, D.C., the NoMa (north of Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C.) Business Improvement District (BID) announced today. Scheduled to open in spring of 2009, the “Bike Station” will offer secure bicycle parking, rentals, repairs, and accessories in a contemporary 1,700 square foot building on the west end of the historic train station, near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and 1st Street, N.E.This distinctive glass structure will initially accommodate about 150 bikes. Nominal fees will be charged for parking and other services; memberships will provide discounted rates and 24/7 access to the Bike Station.

To accommodate construction, DDOT is closing First Street, N.E. between Massachusetts Avenue and G Street, N.E. for about two months beginning Tuesday, September 23. DDOT personnel will be onsite to redirect vehicular traffic; pedestrian traffic will not be affected.

The Bike Station will be the first of its kind on the East Coast. Similar ones have been built in Chicago, Seattle, and California, as cities throughout the U.S. take steps to encourage bicycle transportation. New York City, for example, hopes to triple bicycle usage by 2020. Facilities in Europe, Japan, and other international locations provide parking for thousands of bikes.

“As the District moves toward completion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail through NoMa, the Bike Station at Union Station will bring us even closer to our vision of creating a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly neighborhood,” said Elizabeth Price, President of the NoMa BID. “Bicycle transportation, with all its environmental and health benefits, will soon become a viable way to travel in and around NoMa and other parts of the city.”

NoMa is an emerging mixed-use neighborhood north of the U.S. Capitol and Union Station in Washington, D.C. Private developers have invested over $1 billion in 2007–2008 alone, with plans to develop more than 20 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space in the 35-block area covered by the NoMa BID over the next 10 years. For more information about the BID, including an interactive development map, see the BID Web site at https://www.nomabid.org.