City Makes Another Bid for Bike-Share, with Help from the War of 1812
City hopes third time is a charm for bike-sharing.
After two failed attempts to secure funding for a bike-share program, the city is turning to the War of 1812.
College Park will be applying for a grant through the Maryland Heritage Areas of Authority (MHAA), which is offering funding for projects that "preserve, enhance and promote" the cultural heritage of the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area. This year, the MHAA is especially inclined to award funding to projects related to the War of 1812 and the Battle of Bladensburg, since they will be holding an event to commemorate the bicentennial of the battle next year, said city planning director Terry Schum.
"What does a bike-share program have to do with the War of 1812?" you ask. "What better way to get to the event than by bike?" the city's planning department answers.
On Tuesday, the city council voted 6-2 to apply for the grant, which requires the city to pony up matching funds in the amount of $66,000. If the grant is awarded, the city will have a total of $136,000 with which to install the stations (the amount matched, plus $4,000 matched in-kind). There will be three stations in total, to be located at the College Park Metro, City Hall and the Hollywood Commercial District, and each station will hold four bikes.
The city plans to use money allocated from various other projects to cobble together the $66,000 -- specifically, $10,000 from the Varsity, $31,000 from the Domain, and $25,000 of funds previously pledged for a regional bike-share program through the Metropolitan Washington Council of Goverment's (MWCOG) Tiger II grant, which the city did not get.
The program would build on the existing Capital Bikeshare program already implemented in D.C. and Arlington.