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DDOT’s South Capitol Street Plan Disappoints Cyclists

When the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the $800M South Capitol Street project was first released, Washcycle called it disappointing.  We agree.  While we have few concerns about the replacement Frederick Douglass Bridge itself, the study area surrounding the bridge is filled with opportunities for safety and mobility improvements.  Few will be implemented as part of this “preferred alternative.”

It is especially disappointing to see this new bridge, proposed to connect Ward 6 (which is represented by the DC Council’s champion of livability) and Ward 8 (where WABA has focused its outreach efforts this spring and found receptive potential cyclists deterred from regular ridership primarily by the lack of safe connections to and from the places they need to go), do so little to improve connections from the bridge into neighborhoods, or integrate cycling holistically throughout the study area.

Instead:

  • Sub-par infrastructure is proposed, such as a 13 ft. shared curb lane.
  • On a  portion of New Jersey Ave. that will have 160 ft. of right-of-way, no space can be found for a bike lane.
  • Not a single bike lane, cycletrack, or other designated bicycle space is included.
  • No facility to accommodate cyclist usage is included in the large, multi-lane oval and circle at either end of the bridge.
  • Multi-use paths in Ward 8, included in every build alternative, are removed from the preferred alternative without explanation.
  • Sidewalks and “designated bike routes” without improvement are deemed sufficient connections throughout the area.

Please take a moment to EMAIL THE PROJECT TEAM BY CLICKING HERE prior to the closing of the EIS comment period to express your support for better bicycling facilities as part of the preferred alternative.  And please forward this link to your friends and fellow cyclists who may wish to weigh in on the project and its impact on cycling in the District and region.

WABA’s full comments can be found below.

South Capitol Street Feis Response

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] The South Capitol Bridge FEIS was released, and we gathered over 300 commenters expressing concerns and seeking improvements. [...]

  2. [...] Last night, Councilmember Tommy Wells hosted an evening bike ride through parts of Southeast to explore the planned South Capitol Bridge Project.  WABA joined CM Wells, representatives from the DC Bicycle Advisory Council, DDOT’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Program, DDOT’s new head engineer, and many community members.  Discussions centered around the traffic circle (to be built on the southeast side of the bridge) and the traffic oval (to be built on the northwest side) and access to the bridge from Anacostia via Howard Rd. & Firth Sterling Rd.  If you have not already done so, take a minute to read WABA’s complete comments on the project. [...]

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