Merrifield Design and Station Layout
MINIMUM SYSTEM SIZE
NACTO has found that bikeshare system usage increases exponentially with station density. Ideally, bikeshare stations should be no further apart than a 5 minute walk or 1,000 feet. Using this criteria, 28 stations would be expected per square mile. Because of the distance people are willing to walk remains unchanged by neighborhood type, NACTO advises that stations should simply be smaller in less dense areas, instead of spreading stations further apart.
According to Alta Planning’s Reston feasibility study, a system of 10 stations provides an effective mix of trip origins and destinations to justify the cost of operations. (See Figure 14, Figure 15).
It is important to note that Fairfax County fire code require a 4’ clearance between fire hydrants and plantings and other obstructions.
QUALITATIVE EVALUATION CRITERIA
To arrive at the recommended station locations, a two-part evaluation method was used to determine where conditions are best for bikeshare. Three initial factors were analyzed when determining the potential of bikeshare in this area compared to other areas in Fairfax County: current population and employment density, as well as existing transport infrastructure (including mass transit options and bike-friendly infrastructure). We then used a similar analysis to identify prime locations for bikeshare in the study area and at a higher resolution. However, the recent development in Merrifield means that available data does not entirely reflect reality. Because of those limitations on current data, we fol-lowed up by selecting and evaluating sites based on qualitative criteria.
These factors, and their supporting variables, were chosen after review of Merrifield comprehensive plans, the 2016 Capital Bikeshare Member Survey, and academic literature.
Based on the regression model and qualitative analysis of the existing conditions, sites were selected, graded, and ranked. Bikeshare tends to be most successful where there are a variety and density of land uses. Therefore, the bikeshare qualitative analysis was created by taking into consideration various factors including, higher intensity residential uses, employment centers, various retail and community attractions, topography, roadway design, bicycle infrastructure, traffic conditions, and visibility of the site.
The methodology includes a point scoring system; potential sites were graded from low, medium, and high on each of these variables. Locations most suitable for bikeshare have the highest ratings. Exceptions are made to connect the Inova Fairfax Hospital campus with the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metrorail Station because these factors were not weighted in our analysis. Ease of access to the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metrorail Station connects members to other destinations in the region, and the Inova Fair-fax Hospital with its unparalleled employment density in the study area of over 5,700 employees. Figure 16 shows displays how many high, medium, and low marks each site earned using our previously mentioned qualitative criteria.
Properties recently redeveloped with a mix of higher density residential use and retail represent opportu-nities for bikeshare. Due to ongoing development in the area, we envision the Merrifield expansion of Cap-ital Bikeshare to be implemented in two phases. Phase one will target the areas most conducive to bikeshare, and will consist of the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metrorail Station and the Mosaic District; as well as the Inova Fairfax Hospital, a major regional employer. Phase two will expand the system north across Interstate 66 as well as provide infill stations in residential neighborhoods. We anticipate that phase one can be built immediately with existing funding and infrastructure. Phase two may be completed at a later date, or implemented piecemeal as resources become available.
Phase one will consist of ten stations. The first of these will be a 15-dock station located at the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metrorail Station, while the rest of the proposed stations should be the more economical 12-dock stations. The second of these stations will be located across Gallows Road, ideally next to the office buildings on Park Tower Drive, where it would be visible to both nearby residents and office workers. This office complex houses to many regional employers, including the Transportation Security Administration and Lockheed Martin. We envision that this station will serve these employers as well as the residences located east of Gallows Road, in addition to providing extra capacity for riders travelling to and from the Dunn Loring station. The third and fourth stations of phase one will be located at Avenir Park and Halstead Square, respectively. We envision that these stations will serve the residential and mixed use areas south of the Metrorail station, but north of Mosaic proper. Stations five and six will be located in the core of the Mosaic District. Station five will be located at District Avenue and Strawberry Lane, and is intended to be the District’s primary station. Station six will be located at the southern end of the Mosaic District, at Dis-trict Avenue and Penny Lane. It is intended that this station will serve the residences of Mosaic. Station seven will be located east of Gallows Road, on Gatehouse Road near the intersection with Telstar Court. This will serve the businesses and residential developments located east of Mosaic, including the Inova Health System and Fairfax County Public Schools offices and High Pointe at Jefferson Park. The eighth sta-tion will be on Willow Oaks Corporate Drive. Stations nine and ten will be centered around the Inova Fair-fax Hospital, with one located at the green garage and main entrance, and the other located at the blue garage. These will allow employees of the hospital who live in the adjacent neighborhoods to commute without need for a car. Please see the adjacent map for locations of these stations.
Through several site visits, we have determined exact locations for our phase one stations. For several of these stations, we have developed multiple siting alternatives. These alternatives are outlined below:
1. West Halstead (Halstead Square Rd and Merrilee Drive) in front of Village Yoga
2. East Halstead (Halstead Square Rd and Gallows Road). This would necessitate a station at Avenir Park
1. On Strawberry Ln in front of Target
2. On the south side of Strawberry Ln at Yates Way. This would possibly necessitate moving a lamp post.
Station 1: Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metrorail Station
We envision this station to be located in space currently occupied by public bike racks immediately west of the metro station entrance. These bike racks can either be removed entirely or relocated.
Station 2: Park Tower
This station is intended to not only provide additional capacity to the Dunn Loring Metrorail station, but also to serve the offices and apartments located east of Gallows Road. We envision this station to be located on the south side plaza bulb out of 2650 Park Tower Drive.
Station 3: Avenir Park
This is an optional station, and dependent on the location of the station at Halstead Square. We believe this station will only be necessary if the Halstead East option is chosen. If constructed, it will re-quire paving a strip of grass between the curb and sidewalk along Prosperity Avenue just west of the intersection with Merilee Drive and Avenir Place.
Station 4A: Halstead West
This station is one of two alternatives to serve Halstead Square. This station would be located on the sidewalk in front of Village Yoga. If this station was constructed, we do not believe the station at Avenir Park would be necessary.
Station 4B: Halstead East (Preferred)
This station would be located just east of the intersection of Halstead Square Road and Mia’s Way, be-tween the curb and the face of building. If this station were to be built, we believe it would require a station at Avenir Park.
Station 5A: Strawberry Lane and District Avenue (Preferred)
This station is intended to be the core station for the Mosaic District. We intend that it will be located on the sidewalk in front of Target.
Station 5B: Alternative Mosaic District Station
If the location in front of Target is unsuitable, this station could be moved further east towards the intersection of Strawberry Lane and Yates Way. We envision that this station would take the place of two parallel parking spaces on Strawberry Lane.
Station 6: District Avenue and Penny Lane
This will be the second station for the Mosaic District, serving residences and businesses towards the southern end. We envision this station to be located on the sidewalk of the property under construction on parcels F and G1. Based on examination of approved plans, we believe the plaza facing the southern end of District Avenue is of adequate size for a bikeshare station.
Station 7: Gatehouse Road
We envision this station to serve residential communities such as High Pointe at Jefferson Park and the office buildings located east of Gallows Road. We have concluded that the best location for this station is in the street right of way west of Telstar Court, marked off with flexi-posts.
Station 8: Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
This station will also serve the Willows Oaks Office Buildings , the Extended Stay America, and the residents at Amberleigh Apartments south of Willow Oaks Corporate Drive. We envision that this station would sit on the north side of Willow Oaks Corporate Drive.
Station 9: Inova Fairfax Hospital Blue Garage
This will be one of two stations serving Inova Fairfax Hospital. It will be located just off Gallows Road, and would require paving a patch of green space next to an existing sidewalk on the service road south of the Blue Garage.
Station 10: Inova Fairfax Hospital Main Entrance
This will be the second station serving the hospital, and the last station in phase one. We envision that this station will be located slightly west of the main hospital entrance in the street right of way, be-tween a curb bulb out and the entrance to the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute.
Due to funding constraints limiting the system size, we did not conduct advanced siting or design for phase two. However, we envision further expansion of the Merrifield Bikeshare system will follow these recommendations. We envision that a future phase two will consist of seven stations. The first station will be located at the intersection of Gallows Road and the W&OD Trail, providing a layover point for those wishing to travel from Tysons to Merrifield via bikeshare. Station two will be located at the Dunn Loring Swim Club, the other at the intersection of Cottage Street and Bowling Green Drive. Station three will be located at Prosperity Flats, serving this development as well as future development west of Gallows Road. This station will also entail removing the concrete median on Prosperity Avenue where it intersects with Dorr Avenue to facilitate bicycle travel. Station four will be located on Hartland Road between Prescott Drive and Prosperity Forest Drive. This station will serve businesses such as Integration Technologies Group, MicroSystems Automation Group, and the apartment complexes east of Gallows Road. Station five will be located at the intersection of Hilltop Road and Prosperity Avenue. Station five can be built should future development in this area call for it, but may also serve several shops and industries in the immediate area. Station six will be located at the Merrifield Community Services Board offices located just south of Arlington Boulevard. The Merrifield CSB provides mental health services to the Merrifield area and Fairfax County. Station seven is intended to be located at Anderson Drive and Gallows road, serving the apartment complex just north of Inova Fairfax Hospital.
Each station will follow the standard Capital Bikeshare design, which is for a self contained bicycle rack and kiosk powered by solar panels. Each station will be sited to ensure maximum visibility and pedestrian accessibility, and also to ensure adequate sunlight.