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Gray's Sustainable DC Order and biking

The Sustainable DC Plan that Mayor Gray initiated back in 2011 to make the District into the healthiest, greenest, most livable city in the nation over the next 20 years has had several byproducts such as the Sustainable DC omnibus legislation that requires large employers to offer transit benefits to their employees (which could include bike benefits).

Another piece to spin out of the plan is the Sustainable DC Mayor's Order, 

The Mayor’s Order established 10 interagency Task Forces, each focused on a distinct area of sustainability, such as Green Affordable Housing, Green Jobs, Healthy Food Access, or Building Energy Performance. Each Task Force was asked to develop proposed actions and map out the potential regulatory, legislative, and cost implications of those actions, and to recommend for further consideration or implementation those that passed muster.

Those Task Forces have completed their work and their final reports are now available. The bike relevant recommendations are that:

  • The DPR and DGS align capital and operating budget requests for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure with Move DC and DDOT’s trail and bicycle infrastructure development schedule. Parks near new trails and bike lanes should receive trail connections and infrastructure such as bike racks.

  • Affordable housing site design requirements should include visible, easily accessible secured bicycle parking or onsite bike share facilities to encourage more bike use

And of course, the Plan itself recommended expanding bikeshare in DC by another 200 stations, expanding the formal trail network and creating a 100 mile bike lane network.

Dew Drop Inn, to be located along the Met Branch Trail, to open this year

The Dew Drop Inn, a tavern similar too and owned by the owners of Wonderland, plans to open in the space above the soon-to-close Chocolate City Brewery, right alongside the Met Branch Trail. The Post reports that

In what appears to be a coincidence, the owners of Wonderland Ballroomtold POPville this morning of plans to open a bar called the Dew Drop Inn on the second floor of the Chocolate City Brewery building near Eighth and Franklin streets NE. When I spoke to Wonderland owner Matthew McGovern, who also owns the Chocolate City/Dew Drop Inn building, he said the two announcements are unrelated.

"I'm the landlord, but I don't know what's happening [with the downstairs]. The question is whether it will be a retail space or continue to be a non-retail space," he said.

The Dew Drop Inn, however, is a sure thing. McGovern described it as "a neighborhood bar with a simple menu – not too unlike Wonderland. We're not trying to do a whole new concept."

McGovern said the Dew Drop Inn is looking for a late spring or early summer opening date. "It totally depends on licensing at this point. We're pretty much ready to go … If things go well with [D.C.'s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration], it could be sooner."

The Circle of Life, or something...

DDOT presents new designs for Southeast Boulevard/L Street SE/Barney Circle

DDOT has been planning to convert the highway stub from 11th Street SE to Barney Circle with a "boulevard" that would include a bike path since before the 11th Street Bridge project began. And despite the reopening of an interim road in its place, they still are. 

From a biking perspective, the changing designs have largely been a non-issue. In early 2013, they held a scoping meeting and the rough vision included sidepaths along the boulevard and new possible connections between Hill East and the Anacosita. The concepts presented 6 months later, placed a sidepath along the boulevard, a bike path in the center of Barney Circle and sidepaths around the ouside of it, and provided new bike crossings at 13th, 14th and 15th Street SE; but that design was unpopular because of the road design. In July of this year, the office of planning came out with its own concepts that kept all of these features, though one concept had none of the connects and some had connections at 16th as well. In addition the new designs looked greener with more park-like space. 

Fast forward to this fall and the office of planning has released progress designs (a better presentation is here). These designs show three concepts. All include a bike path along the entire boulevard, sometimes in the middle and sometimes on the river side; a Barney Circle with a bike path in the middle and sidepaths on the outside; connections between Hill East and the river at 13th, 14th and 15th; and (now) green-painted bike lanes as visible in the illustrative rendering above. In two concepts, 16th connects to Southeast Boulevard, but not to the Anacostia. 

For cyclists, Concept C might be the most different, but the center path and its frequent road crossings will be less appealing than L Street or the path along the river side for through-cyclists. 

LStreetAConcept A places buildings between L Street and SE Blvd. 




Concept B consolidates the lanes of SE Blvd and L Street into a new L Street, with the buildings in what would be the median. It also keeps a new connection at 16th Street.




Concept C replaces the buildings in the median with a park, has a SE Blvd separate from L Street like in Concept A, and keeps the 16th Street connection from B. It also has differently styled connections down to M Street.

All the concepts would connect at 13th and M to a new bike/ped only Virginia Ave SE from M Street to the waterfront. It also appears that there is another connection through the to-be-built 1333 M Street SE development. 

In the meantime, DDOT is planning to reopen the "interim" Southeast Blvd, which doesn't appear to have any bike lanes, sidewalks or paths. 

Chocolate City Brewery, located along the Met Branch trail, is closing

By the end of the year

We will remain open for our regular Growler Hours both Saturdays December, 20th and 27th, as well as a couple TBA weekday nights approaching New Years Eve.

Our latest and sadly, last brew is in the tank, a New Brew: a heavily hopped Black IPA named GoodBye.P.A.- w/ Citra and Galaxy Hops and a strong roasted malt backbone.

Be sure to swing by, say farewell, pick up some Growlers of the last Cornerstone Copper Ale, Cerveza Nacional Black Lager and our swan song GoodBye.P.A.

Watkins park light display

Watkins park light display


California plates


Florida Avenue reconstruction to include bike lanes

Late next year, DDOT plans to perform a complete reconstruction of the two blocks of Florida Avenue between U Street and Barry Place. In addition to pedestrian, stormwater, traffic signal and utility improvements, the project will add bike lanes. Depending on how accurate a 2012 presentation on the area is, the design will include bike lanes on Vermont between Florida and V, bike boxes on Florida at Vermont, and and a combination of bike lanes and sharrowed lanes on Florida Avenue and Sherman. Combined with the work at Florida and 15th, it should lead to bike lanes on the entirety of Florida Avenue between 9th and 15th. Right now the project is awaiting ROW acquisition and won't go out to bid until June, with construction scheduled to start in October and end in May 2016.

DDOT has been planning to improve this part of Florida Avenue for over a decade now. A couple of plans, the 2004 Duke Plan and the 2007 Great Streets plan, had designs for this area which included among other things, reconnecting W and Bryant Streets and adding a traffic circle in at the intersection of Florida and Sherman Avenue. Those items do not appear to be a part of this reconstruction project. A more modest redesign was on the table in 2008, but that did not include bike lanes and it appears that the work was never done. 

In 2011, DDOT presented 3 options for redesigning the area, which by 2012 they'd narrowed down to one. In the 2011 design, you can see that one option included bike lanes on Florida and on 9th, but those were later dropped. 

image from

One of the 2011 designs, via GreaterGreaterWashington (south is to the left)

The only image included in the Ward 1 update is for Green Infrastructure improvements, and doesn't show striping. But it does look similar to the 2012 plan, so it appears that much of the design will remain the same.


If the 2012 plan is followed, then 9th between U and V will have sharrows. Florida between V and Vermont will have southbound sharrows and northbound bike lane. Between Vermont and W, Florida will have a northbound bike lane and combination of a bike lane and sharrows in the southbound direction. None of these bike lanes will be next to parking, and the northbound section shown above will be separated from most traffic by a landscaped median (though parking and a traffic lane will also be east of the median too). North of W, the bike lane will be painted green to Sherman Avenue and placed between the turning lane and the thru traffic lane. The bike lane/sharrow combination will then continue to Barry Place. Bike lanes will also be added to Sherman between Florida and Barry Place. 

15th Street Safety Improvement project work to start in February


DDOT intends to rebuild one block of 15th Street from V Street to W Street, with a complete redesign of the 15th, W, New Hampshire and Florida intersection. This does not include extending the cycletrack up the hill to Euclid, though that should follow soon, one would hope. Construction bids for the project were due in October, and DDOT plans to award the contract this month. Work will start in February, with completion scheduled for next October.

Currently the cycltrack ends at V Street, with bike lanes on 15th, New Hampshire, V and W. North of W, 15th has two bike lanes, both going (oddly enough) in the same direction. 

After work is done, the 15th street cycletrack will be extended to W (and past it a little) along the west side of the road and then protected by granite parking blocks and traffic islands (not exactly what is shown in the image above, but close). The existing bike lane on the east side will be replace by sharrows. I'm not sure how cyclists will proceed north of W, but the cycletrack is shown continuing for the first few feet (15th goes left to right in the image below, W goes up and down and Florida/New Hamsphire is the diagonal).

Bike lanes will be added to Florida Ave, with cyclists moving through the intersection from the right-hand side of the road, to the middle of the road (guided by sharrows) to connect with the existing bike lanes on New Hampshire Ave.


Bulbouts at every intersection should slow car traffic (and make for shorter crossing distances for pedestrians) and cyclists will find bike boxes at every stop line. The new intersection also adds bioretention and drainage space (where currently there is pavement) and a more ADA compliant design.

Georgia Avenue Bus/Bike Lane now out for bid

As soon as next week, DDOT will award a contract to create Dedicated Bus/Bike lanes for a couple of blocks on Georgia Avenue between Florida Avenue and Barry Place. Like the old bus/bike lanes downtown these will be on the outside lanes and will not be physically separated from the other lanes, but this time it appears that the lanes will be wider and painted a different color. 


The drawing notes say that all the parking meters will be removed, but they don't say whether any new bike parking will be added to make up for that. 

There will be improvements made to the sidewalks, bus shelters and other street furniture too.

The contract will be award this month, with work to start in February and finish next December.

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail keeps chugging along

The Riverfront on the Anacostia project on the former Florida Rock site recently got a permit to build it's first building and the accompaning section of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail (#18 on the map below) and they broke ground earlier this week. 

Work is already underway on the Kenilworth Section (#9) and the Southwest Waterfront (#17). The Mall Connection (#2) will be substationally completed by the Virginia Avenue Rail Tunnel project.

That will leave only the National Arboretum (#8), Oxon Run (#14) South Capitol Street Bridge (#15), Buzzard Point (#16) and the rest of Florida Rock. All of those are in some state of planning or design. This thing might actually be finished before RFK is torn down and that section has to be rebuilt.  image from

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