Capital Bikeshare Expansion Stunted in the National Mall

An article in this month’s Spokes magazine, calls to question a recent debate on installing Capital Bikeshare stations in the capital’s National Mall. Currently, the National Park Service prohibits Capital Bikeshare stations from being placed in the Mall due to federal laws protecting the nature of national parks, the article explains.

Bill Line, a spokesman for the National Park Service explains that the National Mall operates under the regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act, enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Historic Preservation Act, which requires federal agencies to preserve historical federal property as close to its original state as possible.

For a Bikeshare station to be added anywhere near the Mall, the EPA would have to conduct an environmental assessment and review whether such an installation would be harmful to the park’s preservation. And even so, the National Historic Preservation Act may still prevent the bike-share station from installation.

“Although a Bikeshare station would be convenient, it would destroy the nature of what makes the national Mall an American institution in the first place,” Bill Line says in the article.“The National Park Service is an organization that strongly encourages (the) use of mass transit, but Capital Bikeshare wants to place a structure on the National Mall, which (the park service) does not allow under current regulations,” Line said