On a perfect day for a bike ride, Alexandria City Council member Del Pepper took a spin around the plaza in front of City Hall on a brand-new red bike.
Pepper needed a hand from her former colleague, state Del. Rob Krupicka, to unlatch her bike helmet, but she was the only local official willing to hop aboard the ubiquitous fixies after a ceremony welcoming the popular program to town.
Alexandria joined the three-year-old Arlington and D.C.-based bike network about three weeks ago, after eight stations were installed in Old Town. Customers can rent the bikes by the hour, picking them up at one station and dropping off at another. Some 1,670 bikes are available at 175 stations in the area.
Mayor Bill Euille compared the amenity to those available in Paris and London, while Jonathan Krall, chair of the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, said it’s like “having a King’s Dominion ride built into the fabric of our city.”
The city council allocated $186,000 in unspent city transportation funds to pay for the first year’s operating costs. Another $400,000 for capital expenditures comes from federal grants. Although the bikes are now all in Old Town, the city expects to expand to other areas of the city in the coming year.
Those residents who gripe about speeding bicyclists who use the Mount Vernon Trail and then divert into city streets also got a bit of good news. The only bike signal in Virginia has been installed at Washington Street south of Beltway.
The stations are located at
- Prince St / S. Union St
- King St / N. Royal St
- King St / S. Patrick St
- Commerce St / S. Fayette St
- N. Saint Asaph St /Pendleton St
- N. Henry St / Pendleton St
- Braddock Road Metro
- King Street – Old Town Metro