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Keep Our City Moving by Bike: Attend a MoveDC Meeting This Month

The U.S. Census just released data from its 2012 American Community Survey. One of the notable results? D.C. is biking a lot more.movedc-bikefacilities

The bicycle commuter rate jumped from 3.2 percent in 2011 to 4.1 percent in 2012. That’s a 28 percent increase in just one year. How did D.C. increase bike commuting by a full percentage point in such a short period of time? The city government made bicycling a transportation priority and followed through with it: There has been investment in 60-plus miles of bike lanes, a few miles cycle tracks, new trails, hundreds of bike racks, a full youth and adult education program, the launch of Capital Bikeshare, and much more. The 2005 Bicycle Master Plan set aggressive goals for the city, including an increase the rate of bicycle commuting from 1 percent in 2000 to 5 percent in 2015, as well as reducing crashes involving cars and bicycles.

Now we need to think bigger. The District Department of Transportation is currently planning the next 20 years of transportation investments through a process called MoveDC. MoveDC, which we’ve blogged about before, is a technical multi-modal study and public engagement process to set the course for D.C.’s transportation future. The process began with a kickoff event in February, followed by one round of public meetings in April and another in June. The final round of public meetings will be in October.

DDOT will present three general approaches to a future transportation system. The first approach is called “Stay the Course,” which focuses on incremental changes and prioritizes keeping the system in a state of good repair. There is no new funding associated with this plan, and it assumes that current funding levels will stay constant. In this plan, 70 miles of sidepaths and trails, 60 miles of bike lanes, and three miles of cycletracks would be constructed by 2040.

The second approach is dubbed “Get to the Center” and focuses on addressing downtown congestion for all modes: walking, biking, driving, and transit. “Get to the Center” assumes that if the issue of getting into and out of downtown is prioritized, congestion elsewhere in the city will ease. Under the “Get to the Center” plan, DDOT would build 46 miles of sidepaths and trails, 56 miles of cycletracks, and 57 miles of bike lanes by 2040.

The third approach DDOT is proposing is called “Connect the Neighborhoods.” In this plan, DDOT would focus on short-distance travel between neighborhoods with livability being primary driver of investment. The approach would work to increase connectivity, access, and efficiency of travel between neighborhoods and key destinations. For bicycling, DDOT proposes building 39 miles of sidepaths and trails, 74 miles of cycletracks, and 66 miles of bike lanes by 2040.

Which is the best for bicyclists? Clearly, “Stay the Course” will get us more of the same: incremental change such as new bike lanes when a repaving project happens, cycletracks that stop and start, trails that take years to finish. A new approach is needed. DDOT’s planning staff has presented two compelling ideas of how to tackle the transportation issues the city is facing. However, choosing between a focus on commuter traffic in and out of downtown or travel between neighborhoods is a false choice. D.C. has to address both issues while meeting the SustainableDC goal of 50 percent transit mode share and 25 percent walking and biking mode share.

DDOT planners should be commended for presented aggressive goals for new bicycling facility goals to encourage new bicyclists. The final plan must be a hybrid approach that combines the best of both ideas.

Get involved to make that kind of plan happen! There is one final round of public meetings in October to comment on these approaches. Please attend and express your support for bicycling. The dates for the meetings are below with links to RSVP with WABA. DDOT is also collecting feedback via an online survey tool called MetroQuest. Please take 10 minutes and submit your feedback online.

SESSION 1 (tentative)
Mon., Oct. 21, 2013
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Union Station
625 First St. NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
Google Maps
RVSP for this meeting

SESSION 2
Tues., Oct. 22, 2013
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., presentation at 7 p.m.
Benning Neighborhood Library
3935 Benning Road NE
Washington, D.C. 20019
Google Maps
RVSP for this meeting

WEBINAR
Thurs., Oct. 24, 2013
Noon to 1 p.m.
Sign up via www.wemoveDC.org starting Oct. 10

SESSION 3
Sat., Oct. 26, 2013
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
DCUSA Retail Center
Second floor between Target and Best Buy (near escalator and elevator)
3100 14th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
Google Maps
RVSP for this meeting

SESSION 4
Wed., Oct. 30, 2013
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Presentation at 7 p.m.
Petworth Neighborhood Library
4200 Kansas Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20011
Google Maps
RSVP for this meeting

PARTICIPATE ONLINE, ANYTIME
Oct. 1, 2013 through Oct. 30, 2013
Online: Launch MetroQuest

Walking and Biking Rank #1 in First Round of Move DC Workshops

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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.

 

Attend This Week’s MoveDC Ideas That Build Workshops

moveDC logo_RedAre 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 is continuing with a series of public meetings throughout the city. Last week, the “Ideas That Build” workshops came to wards 7 and 8. This week, they’re coming to wards 6 and 1. We encourage you to attend the meetings, especially those closest to your home, to voice your interest in dedicated facilities for bicyclists.

More information can be found on our website and on MoveDC’s website. See a PDF of our suggested talking points here. Details on the workshops are listed below; if you can attend, please RSVP with us here.

Session 3 (Ward 6)
Tues., March 26
6-8 p.m.
Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School multi-purpose room
259 G St. NE

Session 4 (Ward 1)
Thurs., March 28
6-8 p.m.
Woodrow Wilson High School
3950 Chesapeake St. NW

Attend a MoveDC Ideas That Build Workshop in Your Neighborhood

moveDC logo_RedAre 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read: BAC/PAC/DDOT Oversight Hearing Testimony

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.

March 4 BAC Testimony by

Tonight: MoveDC Transportation Public Advisory Committee Meeting

moveDC logo_RedThis 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:

Session 1
Wed., March 20, 6-8 p.m.
Department of Employment Services community room
4058 Minnesota Ave. NE

Session 2
Thurs., March 21, 6-8 p.m.
Matthews Memorial Baptist Church
2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE

Session 3
Tues., March 26, 6-8 p.m.
Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School multi-purpose room
659 G St. NE

Session 4
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.

MoveDC’s Idea Exchange Kicks Off DDOT’s Long-Term Planning Process

2013 02 09 - 4082 - DC - We Move DCSaturday’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.

Follow MoveDC on Twitter and Facebook, and continue to check its website for updates. See more photos from the event in the MoveDC Flickr pool.

 Photo by thisisbossi from the MoveDC Flickr Pool

 

 

 

MoveDC Kicks Off This Saturday

moveDC logo_RedDDOT’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.

Mark Your Calendar: Bike Ambassador Training, Plus Transpo Changes in D.C. and Maryland

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A few things are coming up at our office:

Tomorrow night, Tues., Jan. 15, be trained to be a D.C. bike ambassador. Bike ambassadors reach out to and educate cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers about what it means to ride a bike in the D.C. area. To learn more about what bike ambassadors do and how the program spreads the good word of bicycling, click here. Sign up for bike ambassador orientation here. It’ll run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On Wed., Jan. 23, we’ll host an open house to talk about major transportation planing processes that are about to get underway in D.C. and Maryland. The District’s MoveDC is the city’s first master transportation plan, and the state of Maryland is updating its bicycle and pedestrian master plan. Come to the WABA office from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. to get an understanding of what the plans will mean for cyclists and learn how to testify or present at public meetings. You’ll get to meet fellow cyclists and discuss relevant talking points. Please sign up for the open house here.

Our Adams Morgan office is located at 2599 Ontario Road NW.

Join Us on Jan. 23rd to Discuss Big Plans for Maryland and D.C.

mdot_logoddot_logoTwo of the most important planning processes for the future of biking in our region will be taking place simultaneously this year. Your input, presence, opinions, and comments will be needed to ensure that bike infrastructure is acknowledged and included.

Beginning in February, the District Department of Transportation will begin work on D.C.’s first multimodal transportation plan, called MoveDC. Also, beginning this spring, the Maryland Department of Transportation will begin seeking public input as it updates the state’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan for the first time since 2002.

Both plans present significant opportunities to alter how people get around, and in subsequent posts we’ll provide more detailed information on each. What matters most right now is that both processes are being designed to maximally integrate public input into the planning of our transportation future. While WABA will be actively involved as an organization, it’s also critical that people—like you!—who value biking as a way of getting around and want to see it encouraged in the future participate.

On Wed., Jan. 23, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., we will be hosting an open house at our office in Adams Morgan. This will be a low-key opportunity for people interested in participating in these processes and testifying or presenting at public meetings to meet their fellow bicyclists, review background materials, ask questions, and get a better understanding of what’s going on in D.C. and Maryland.

Changes are coming, and your input is essential. We hope to see you on Jan. 23!

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