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If you came to our Walk the Tracks event a few weeks ago, or if you’re interested in seeing the installation of the M Street cycletrack come to completion, please consider attending DDOT’s public meeting on the cycletrack tonight. The agency will present and take comments on the proposed cycletrack, which will provide an eastbound pairing for the existing L Street cycletrack.
The meeting is tonight, Wed., May 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the West End Library, 1101 24th St. NW.
More information can be found here.
On Monday night, WABA hosted “Walk the Tracks,” in which District Department of Transportation staffers showed off to interested parties—from casual cyclists to ANC commissioners to councilmembers—how the forthcoming M Street cycletrack will work.
As an affiliate of Bikes Belong’s Green Lane Project, WABA is able to make its already strong, consistent push for dedicated bike infrastructure even more aggressive. Events like “Walk the Tracks” demonstrate that D.C.’s cyclists, elected officials, and agency staffers are on board with better, safer accommodations for bikes.
The M Street cycletrack, which will provide a westbound pair to the L Street cycletrack, is projected to arrive in August.
In addition to a number of elected officials, like councilmembers Jack Evans and Tommy Wells, DCist, Washingtonian, and WAMU covered “Walk the Tracks.” WAMU has plenty of details about how the cycletrack will look:
The M Street bike lane will share a similar design to its predecessor on L, but officials said it will be safer. For starters, the new bike lane will lie between the sidewalk and parked cars. On L Street, the bike lane is partially wedged between two traffic lanes.
“You will have the three foot separation that provides a little more comfort plus the parking lane adjacent to it. So actually the moving traffic will be 11 feet away from you in the cycle track and it will feel more like a trail,” said Mike Goodno, a bike planner at the District Department of Transportation.
According to DCist, Wells called the M Street cycletrack a “crucial artery.” We at WABA couldn’t agree more, and we look forward to its installation.
On April 9, DDOT’s Transportation Plan Advisory Committee held its second meeting on the District’s Multimodal Long Range Transportation Plan, called Move DC, following the first round of workshops held earlier this spring. The April 9 meeting built on opinions gathered from those workshops and thanks to WABA members’ particpation, bikes and pedestrians were well represented. “Bikes and Peds Everywhere” was at the top of the list as the most in-demand form of transportation, followed by Metrorail, more local transit, car capacity, and fast transit.
In this meeting, TPAC introduced a building block exercise as a tool to encourage dialogue about planning for the city’s transportation future. It works like a sliding tile puzzle of four blocks, where one block is given for day to day management and commitments, and you fill in the three remaining squares as a “choose your own transportation planning adventure.” Options included different modes of transportation as well as allocation of funds for things like “smarter systems” or “low-cost transit.”
Members of the public and TPAC split into groups to collaboratively build a vision of D.C.’s transportation future. What emerged is informative about attitudes towards transportation in the city and where bikes will fit in. There was restrained but passionate debate of cars versus bikes, agreement on the importance of low-cost public transit, and a general consensus for more local transit. No one wanted to take bikes off the chart, and the most widely supported initiative connected to cars was parking management (how to manage parking management is its own issue). Metro had few defenders; attendees were indifferent to taking it off the board when forced to make fast changes.
For both the TPAC group and the public, the top three agreed-upon priorities were “bikes and pedestrians everywhere,” “more local transit,” and “parking management and expansion.”
What wasn’t chosen is also illustrative—”accelerated good repair,” “sustainability and beauty,” and “fast transit.” Either most people feel these could be incorporated into other systems, or have given up on expecting them all together. More abstract concepts like “smarter systems” and connecting the grid didn’t win fans, either.
The final Move DC plan must address regional transit issues, like the 420,454 vehicle commuters coming into the District each day and the 100,000 people expected to move to the area in the next five years. Necessarily, the plan has to focus on how to get commuters out of their cars and onto other forms of transportation.
DDOT is still soliciting feedback during this initial phase, including the building block exercise. I encourage you to give your feedback and support bicycling if you have not already done so. The public input will help shape the alternatives that are developed going forward. DDOT will continue to accept input on this phase until Mon., April 22nd.
The next round of public Move DC workshops will be in early June. Sign up on the official moveDC list to stay in the loop. Please also sign up for the WABA Advocacy Hub email list for notifications on upcoming Move DC actions and other advocacy alerts.
This guest post is written by Christine Driscoll, an associate at Green Strategies and resident of Adams Morgan. She rides a blue Schwinn traveler and the T Street bike lane is her favorite.
Are you a D.C. resident? Do you have thoughts on how you’d like to get around the city over the next twenty years? It’s critical that you get involved with MoveDC, the District Department of Transportation’s long-range planning process for transportation in D.C. MoveDC kicked off with an “Idea Exchange” in early February. Attendees were asked to identify their priorities for transportation, map their routes, and share their desires for D.C.’s transportation future.
The MoveDC process will continue with a series of public meetings in wards 3, 6, 7, and 8. We encourage you to attend the meetings, especially those closest to your home, to voice your interest in dedicated facilities for bicyclists. These meetings, called “Ideas That Build” workshops, begin next Wednesday.
More information can be found on our website and on MoveDC’s website. See a PDF of our suggested talking points here. The dates of the workshops are listed below the jump; if you can attend, please RSVP with us here.
During the oversight hearing for the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and the District Department of Transportation on Mon., March 4, WABA Executive Director Shane Farthing testified on the importance of installing the M Street cycletrack and identifying and prioritizing a cycletrack project to follow M Street, as well as the necessity of completing trail projects like the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.
Read Shane’s testimony below.
This evening, MoveDC is hosting a transportation public advisory committee meeting in the second-floor community room at the Reeves Center (government-issued ID required), 2000 14th St. NW, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A period for public comment is included in the agenda.
MoveDC also has four “Ideas that Build” workshops coming up across the city, all in March. We urge you to attend one or more meetings to make your interest in dedicated bike infrastructure known. Your physical presence is important in this long-range transportation planning process, and we appreciate any effort you can make to come out to MoveDC’s workshops. The dates and locations are as follows:
Wed., March 20, 6-8 p.m.
Department of Employment Services community room
4058 Minnesota Ave. NE
Thurs., March 21, 6-8 p.m.
Matthews Memorial Baptist Church
2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE
Tues., March 26, 6-8 p.m.
Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School multi-purpose room
659 G St. NE
Thurs., March 28, 6-8 p.m.
University of the District of Columbia (tentative)
4200 Connecticut Ave. NW
For continued updates on MoveDC and how you can get involved, keep reading our blog or check this page on our website.
DDOT has released a review of pedestrian and bicycle crash analyses from 2010 until March 2012.
The report analyzes the total number of locations where crashes occurred, and narrows that number to locations with higher crash occurrences. Hazardous intersections are identified as those that featured twelve or more crashes per year, four or more injury crashes per year, and five or more per injuries per year.
Read the PDF below:Read DDOT Data on Pedestrian and Bicycle Crashes
Saturday’s Idea Exchange was the beginning of DDOT’s MoveDC project, a long-term planning process that will determine the future of transportation in D.C. for at least the next 25 years. The event combined public input, appearances by D.C. politicians, and a panel of local urbanist thinkers.
Mayor Vince Gray was vocal in his desires for reduced use of cars in the District, stating that he wished to see 75 percent of trips to be made by bike, mass transit, or on foot. Tommy Wells and Mary Cheh reiterated this commitment to non-car transit modes; Wells especially emphasized the need for better land-use planning in D.C. And in a panel moderated by MoveDC’s Veronica Davis, Brookings Institute’s Chris Leinberger, PolicyLink’s Anita Hairston, and Slate’s Matt Yglesias provided insight to what D.C.’s built environment might look like in the future.
The WeMove team put considerable effort into making the Idea Exchange a fun way to spend a Saturday: Attendees had the opportunity to write down their desires for transportation in D.C. and pin them up, play with street designs, map their commutes on a communal map, and take photobooth pictures to remember the whole thing. Check out the hashtag feed of “ideasmovedc” for Twitter updates from the day, and read Greater Greater Washington’s recap.
No dates for forthcoming public meetings were announced, but once they’re available, we’ll let you know. It’s critical that you stay engaged throughout MoveDC’s planning process. Your presence at public meetings is the single most important way to ensure that the voices of cyclists in D.C. are heard.
Photo by thisisbossi from the MoveDC Flickr Pool
DDOT’s long-range transportation plan for the city, MoveDC, will formally begin this Saturday with an all-day meeting at the Martin Luther King Jr. library. The “idea exchange” will include a welcome address by Mayor Vincent Gray, Councilmember Mary Cheh, and DDOT Director Terry Bellamy; discussions on the future of transportation; and an all-day transportation fair.
The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. at MLK Library, 901 G St. NW, and will run until 3 p.m. See the MoveDC page for more information.
We hope you’ll come out to show the presence of cyclists interested in DDOT’s plans for how people will get around D.C. throughout the next decade. The best thing you can do is show up and ask for improvements for cycling infrastructure that will help not just you, your friends, and your neighbors ride bikes.
At our recent advocacy open house, we advised attendees on bike-specific talking points that will likely be relevant to what’s presented at WeMove. See a PDF of those talking points below, and consider bringing a copy on Saturday.
We’ll continue to provide updates here and on our website about how you can make your voice heard and advocate for the needs of cyclists throughout the MoveDC process, which will run for about 18 months.
Last month, we—and many others—expressed concerns about DDOT’s plans for the South Capitol Bridge after the agency released a video rendering of the project. In response to our concerns, the DDOT Anacostia Watershed Initiative team asked to meet to go over some of the details that were not included in the rendering and to hear our concerns. The team’s message was clear: Designs are still in the early stage and can be improved.
Last night, at a joint meeting of the Bicycle Advisory Council and Pedestrian Advisory Council (with Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Mary Cheh in attendance), DDOT’s bike/ped team and the project’s consultants, from CH2M Hill, presented and sought feedback on their lastest ideas, many of which have been developed or improved since WABA met with DDOT on this project in January.
Most notable, given the project’s scale, is the changed alignment of the bridge from the version included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. That alignment was offset from the current bridge to allow space for the current bridge to open during construction in order to allow tall ships. But the lack of any actual tall ship traffic in recent years means there’s really no need for the bridge to open during construction. So the alignment currently under consideration is parallel to the existing bridge on the downstream side. While this alignment change has little impact on bicyclists on the bridge itself, it does allow for an altered configuration to existing roadways and changes connections, especially on the bridge’s eastern end.
Unfortunately, the connections at each end are similar to what we have seen before: They appear to provide space for monuments rather than to efficiently move urban traffic. There are still large ovals surrounded by more lanes than are probably necessary, even for the anticipated traffic volumes. However, the connections to the ovals have been reimagined, and DDOT has indicated that some sort of bicyclist and pedestrian facilities and connections will be included in the ovals.
We don’t believe that these ovals are the best options, but DDOT seems unwilling to undertake changes that would require a new EIS–especially given that the federal planning and aesthetic interests that pushed the ovals would be present in a repeat process. (The already-completed FEIS is not yet finalized, but should be soon.)
The DDOT team has made great strides with bike facilities and connectivity since our meeting in January. On the bridge, DDOT is planning 16-foot bike/ped pathways on both sides, with horizontal separation of markings or signage to show that one portion is primarily for pedestrians and one is primarily for bicyclists. There is not a change of elevation from the walking portion to the biking portion, allowing for flexible space to handle peak traffic of either bike or pedestrian during busy periods, like ballpark events or morning commutes.
Most importantly, that 16-foot bike/ped pathway will be present around the western oval, with eight feet marked for bicycle use. This commitment from DDOT to ensuring safe space for bicyclists to get around the oval is a significant step, and we look forward to seeing detailed designs and better understanding the signal interactions that will allow cyclists to safely reach either side of the bridge and all connections to the oval.And for those who would prefer to avoid the oval, the new configuration leaves a relatively easy connection along Half Street SW to the bridge.
We’re awaiting further clarification that the connections on the east side of the Anacostia will have similar upgrades, and we look forward to seeing these broad ideas for bicycle safety and access fully designed. In the meantime, we want to commend DDOT for progressing on issues of bicycle connectivity and design in a relatively short time. What we were shown last night, while not perfect, is far better for bicyclists.
See a PDF of the slideshow from last night’s meeting below: