The capture and subsequent killing of Osama bin Laden late Sunday was news that shook many in America. Hundreds of D.C. citizens and visitors converged on the White House. However, with the hour being so late, it was hard to get there — buses are few to come by late at night and the metro closes around midnight on Sundays. However, the people in D.C. had a new transportation choice — Capital Bike Share. Capital Bikeshare tweeted, “There were 558 bike rentals between 10pm – 2am last night. During the same time frame last weekend: 105.”
According to the Washington Post, people who were at the gathering were also surprised by how many red Capital Bike Share bikes they saw in front of the White House. They wrote, “Stephen Miller joined the spontaneous celebration at the White House. Although he rode his own bike, he was struck by the number of red Capital Bikeshare bikes he saw as he headed downtown from his home in Mount Pleasant. Miller shot a Twitpic of more than a dozen parked near the celebration.”
Nothing about the evening was predictable, but it certainly was interesting to see this unexpected role for public bikes unfold – and if you look carefully at news footage of the crowds gathering outside the White House, you can see the tell-tale blinky lights in the background!
Andy Clarke was appointed to the position of Executive Director in April of 2004 after successfully leading efforts to create, interpret and implement the various transportation programs that are available to improve conditions for bicycling and walking as the League’s State and Local Advocacy Director. Before joining the League in February 2003, Clarke was on contract to provide technical assistance to the highly regarded Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center on site at the Federal Highway Administration. He is on the Board of Directors for America Bikes, and a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals.