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College Park Receives Long Awaited Bike Sharing Grants

Capital Bike share

Last Tuesday, College Park received the good news that it has been awarded the long awaited BikeShare grant from the State of Maryland.

College Park was one of the first seven winners of State’s new Maryland Bikeshare Program grants to help Maryland communities plan, establish or expand bikeshare programs. The total value of the grant is $2.5 million. College Park will potentially receive $350,000 of the grant.

The winners of grants to implement bikesharing systems are: Baltimore City, Montgomery County and joint partners with University of Maryland at College Park and the City of College Park. The winners of grants for feasibility studies of potential bikeshare stations are: Frederick City, Howard County and joint partners with Prince George’s County and the City of Greenbelt.

The grant-winning projects include both feasibility studies for several jurisdictions and actual implementation and opening of bikeshare stations for others that are further along in the planning and design process. The winners are divided into two categories – funding to implement a bikeshare facility and funding for a feasibility study to determine potential bikeshare station locations.

The Bikeshare Grant Program is funded through the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program and will cover 80 percent of the total project cost. Local jurisdictions are required to pay a 20 percent match.

By announcing the grant, Govt. O’Malley’s office said “Bikesharing allows Marylanders an affordable option for short-distance trips as an alternative to public transportation, driving or walking. By getting out and taking a bike ride, we also learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, help reduce the impact on the land, improve our fitness and well-being, and enhance our quality of life.”

According to the grant application, the following stations were proposed:
1. Regents Drive parking garage
2. Stamp Student Union
3. McKeldin Library
4. Eppley Recreation Center
5. College Park Metro Station
6. Downtown near the Knox Road and U.S. Route 1 intersection,
7. The Varsity student apartments
8. the Hollywood Shopping Center.

The grant application proposed a total of 64 bikes will be available part of the network.

With the announcement of the grant, I’m sure City residents will be engaged in a lively debate on where exactly the grant money should be spent to build BikeShare stations.

I came across this interesting BiCycle Bug’s Blog, that asks for more diverse locations of bicycle stations. In terms of the proposed Hollywood station, it writes:

There will be a station at the Hollywood Shopping Center. This location by itself is great. It contains both a MOM’s and REI and can be reached by the Trolley Trail and Rhode Island Ave bike lanes. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a hike from the other locations (2.5 miles to UMD and 3.0 miles to the College Park metro bikeshare station). Because of this, officials seem to have added the final proposed station at Greenbelt Road and University Blvd solely for the purpose of being a leap-frog station and not as its own destination.

Please also see also a map here showing some proposed locations I took from the post above.

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