LeDroit Park is getting two Zipcars soon. Though the District auctioned off many of the street spaces reserved for carsharing services like Zipcar, the vast majority of Zipcar’s spaces are actually in private parking lots, driveways, and garages.
Zipcar is always looking for more spaces. If you have a private parking space and would like to rent it to Zipcar, drop them a note online, call their office downtown at (202) 737 4900.
Construction is still moving along at the park on the site of the former Gage-Eckington School. In addition to the dog park, playground equipment, picnic tables, and field, there are two more amenities on their way to the site: bike sharing and car sharing. DDOT’s assistance in integrating both car sharing spaces and its own Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) system is a good example of collaboration between different city agencies.
ZipCar is a subscription service that places cars throughout several cities worldwide and rents the cars to members by the hour. The rental fee includes the cost of gas and insurance and each car has a reserved “home” parking space to which it must be returned at the end of the reservation. These spaces are in public streets, public alleys and in private parking lots and garages.
We occasionally rent ZipCars when we need to haul heavy items or need to travel to transit-inaccessible destinations. This arrangement is far cheaper than owning a car and relieves us of the normal hassles of car ownership, e.g. parking, maintenance, washing, fuel costs, and insurance costs.
CaBi is another subscription service and is a joint venture between DDOT and Arlington County. CaBi bikes are parked at numerous racks throughout DC and Arlington and more are on the way. A member inserts his key into the bike dock and the bike unlocks. The member has 30 minutes to ride the bike for free before returning it to any dock in DC or Arlington. CaBi is perfect for short one-way trips and we routinely use the CaBi station at Seventh and T Streets to commute to work downtown. It’s also useful for occasional trips to Whole Foods or Dupont Circle, which are just minutes away by bike.
Both bike sharing and car sharing benefit residents who don’t even use the services. The existence of these services reduces the pressure to own a car and thus reduces the parking demand placed on our streets. For those who would live car-less regardless of these services, it provides us with two more mobility options located close to home. Bike sharing and car sharing are welcome additions to the park site.
Photo: “Pick a Bike” by M. V. Jantzen