Since 9/11, the area immediately south of the White House has been closed for security reasons. Despite lasting nearly a decade, the closure is still “temporary.” But NPS and the United States Secret Service are studying whether or not to make the closure permanent, and how to make the permanent condition meet the requirements of numerous overlapping design standards for the White House area.
At a minimum, we assume this will mean fewer concrete barriers and improved landscaping. But for cyclists, this is an important project, as it takes place in an area of high bicycle usage & at the intersection of 3 major downtown bicycle arteries: E Street, Pennsylvania Ave., and 15th Street.
At the scoping phase, the project team is asking the public what issues should be considered–not yet for a final solution. So we have submitted the following issues:
1. Accessibility to cyclists (the big one);
2. Avoiding spillover that renders external bicycle facilities unsafe or unusable (e.g. blocking of 15th Street cycletrack by vehicles queued for security screening);
3. Provision of bicycle parking for private bicycles and bikeshare bikes;
4. Use of materials that allow for safe and comfortable bicycle travel (e.g. avoiding deep cobbles, vertical grates, overly-narrow bollards);
5. Separation of modes to minimize conflicts between cyclists, pedestrians, etc.
If we missed anything, please pass it on to NPS through their project website HERE–and let us know. Scoping comments are accepted until April 22.