Building Better and More Accessible Recreation
Excerpt from Justin's September Newsletter
Last fall I wrote about the Resource Allocation Philosophy and Cost Recovery Model which was adopted by the Council to determine how we set fees for our recreation services.
The Policy was designed to improve our cost recovery, but also improve accessibility by increasing financial assistance for those of limited financial means.
Prior to the adoption of the policy, 12% of the costs of Alexandria's recreation services were covered by fees. The national average is 34%. Loudoun County's recovery rate through fees was 63%.
For each service provided in our Parks and Recreation Centers, a tier has been determined. The placement of the service on the tier determines how much users will pay. This policy resulted in the fee schedule that is currently in place.
In order to involve the community in determining how to allocate these scarce resources, the City has set up three workshops. These working meetings will discuss the policy and build consensus around how each service will be aligned.
Please RSVP to attend one of these sessions and help shape the City's policy going forward.
Capital Bikeshare Grows
Late last month, the City's Capital Bikeshare network doubled. The addition of eight new stations in Del Ray and Carlyle showcases the bike sharing public/private partnership that now counts the District of Columbia, Arlington, Montgomery County and Alexandria as members.
The expansion did not come without a full performance review of the existing system, which was originally installed in the Fall of 2012.
The City's Capital Bikeshare system was originally funded using Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. The CMAQ funds now purchase new stations, while the City's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) now fund operations for existing stations.
Public transportation systems of all kinds depend on heavy public subsidies. In Alexandria, the DASH Bus system recovers approximately 30% of its costs from fare box revenue. Original estimates of Capital Bikeshare's performance were expected to be similar. Surprisingly, Alexandria's cost recovery in the first year reached 72% from rentals.
The system has provided a critical, low-cost connectivity option for short trips, used frequently by our residents and visitors alike. Current plans will allow continued expansion over the next few years. Please use this link to suggest station locations.
The new stations that were just recently added were:
- Eisenhower Avenue at Mill Race Lane
- Ballenger Avenue at Dulany Street
- Duke Street at John Carlyle Street
- Mount Vernon Avenue at East Nelson Avenue
- Mount Vernon Avenue at East Del Ray Avenue
- Mount Vernon Avenue at Kennedy Street
- Monroe Avenue at Leslie Avenue
- Potomac Greens Drive at Slater's Lane