by nomabid

Washington, D.C., September 29, 2009 – Resembling a sleek bike helmet, DC’s first multi-tasking bike station opened at Union Station Friday. Cyclist enthusiasts and local officials thronged the glass structure as Mayor Adrian Fenty, DDOT Director Gabe Klein and Councilmember Tommy Wells lauded the team and the symbolic influence of the station.

“This is not just a facility, but a testament to the type of green transportation the District embodies. We are very proud to be part of this ribbon cutting ceremony today,” said Mayor Adrian Fenty. The bikestation is the first of its kind on the East coast, although six models exist in California and Seattle.

“This new architecturally striking facility serves as a symbol that bicycling is a legitimate form of transportation,” said DDOT Director Gabe Klein. The District is ranked first on the East Coast and sixth in the nation for commuters who bike to work, Klein said. The station is the beginning of a much larger effort to improve cycling, multi-modal and pedestrian facilities District-wide, he said. “DDOT continues to be committed to all modes of transportation, understanding each one’s importance to a healthy transportation system.”

NoMa leaders continue to emphasize cycling and other transit options, as the neighborhood becomes one of the District’s most bike-friendly, intermodal areas. As construction progresses on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, which will connect Silver Spring and Union Station, the Bikestation is an important catalyst for drawing even more cyclists to the area. Visit http://www.metbranchtrail.com for DDOT updates on the trail, or join commuters biking down the trail each Monday in October (http://bit.ly/fCIH8).

“This Bikestation is an important amenity for NoMa, especially for the hundreds of residents moving to the area next year,” said NoMa BID President Liz Price. “With so many cycling and multi-modal options here, NoMa is becoming a truly healthy neighborhood.”

The Bikestation, located on the west side of Union Station, will offer bike parking, rentals, repairs and retail accessories for both members and non-members. Memberships and 24/7 access are handled by the Bikestation Coalition, a national network of similar bike parking facilities. Interested cyclists can register at http://www.bikestation.com. Memberships are available at $96 per year, $30 a month or $1 per day purchased in packs of ten, plus a $20 annual administration fee. Non-members can access bike parking during staff hours for $2 per day. Bike and Roll Washington DC, a local bike rental company, will operate the center and provide the rentals, repairs, retail, and daily parking. Visit http://www.bikeandroll.com for more information. The $3 million station (plus $1 million for site improvements) was funded by the Federal Highway Administration and DDOT. It will hold 130 bikes, and was designed by KGP Design Studio and Parsons Transportation.

For photos of the event, visit our Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nomabid/

NoMa is a mixed-use neighborhood north of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. In 2007-2008, private developers invested over $1 billion in the 35-block area covered by the NoMa BID, and have plans to develop more than 20 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space 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.

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