The National Park Service is currently seeking comments on proposed alternatives for the future of the National Mall. Input from local cyclists will be critical in ensuring the National Mall of the future will be one that is more bike and pedestrian friendly. You may recall that the NPS recently conducted a transportation study for the National Mall that essentially ignored the needs of cyclists. The latest plan is another opportunity for significant improvements to be made to the walking and biking environment of "America's Front Yard".
As part of the Environmental Impact Study, the NPS has proposed three alternatives that can be combined in a variety of ways. WABA feels that Alternative C, which focuses on open spaces, ecology and recreation, offers the best improvements for cyclists and pedestrians. Among the recommendations of Alternative C are:
1) Creating separated routes for cyclists and pedestrians
2) Upgrading the surfaces of the existing paths along the Mall
3) Improving wayfinding signage for bikes and peds
4) Focusing on improving connections between the Mall and Rock Creek and East Potomac Parks, as well as the southwest waterfront
5) Providing more walking and biking tours and bike rental opportunities
Many of the above recommendations were supported by WABA during the previous Mall transportation study.
In addition to the above, WABA is recommending the following additions to the plan:
1) Add more bike parking to Mall destinations
2) Stripe bike lanes on Madison and Jefferson Drives, which front many of the museums on the Mall
3) Mandate valet bike parking at all major Mall events to help promote non-motorized transportation
4) Install bike lanes on Pennsylvania Ave. As it is currently configured, Pennsylvania Avenue is much too wide for existing traffic volumes. A reduced width would make the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor more conducive to bicycle traffic and improve the overall pedestrian experience.
To see the alternatives and to provide your comments on how you would like the National Mall to look, please go to:
Your comments can be logged at http://www.nps.gov/nationalmall