On Wednesday night Rails-to-Trails with help from WABA and input from DDOT hosted an Active Transportation Town Hall Meeting.
Keith Laughlin, President of RTC spoke first. He talked about RTC and all they've accomplished - 15,000 miles of rail to trail conversions since 1986, help in getting Transportation Enhancements in the Transportation bill, and the addition of $100 million in active transportation for 4 pilot programs in 4 cities. Their goal in the upcoming transportation bill is to double federal investment in trail,s biking and walking to $9 billion over the next six years.
They would like to expand the active transportation program to 48 cities including D.C. with the goal in D.C. being to have every resident live within a mile of a trail.
They went through the litany of advantages to active transportation that we've all heard, and they've done some qualitative and quantitative analysis - thought they only included vague numbers.
Their plan would:
Avoid 70-200 billion miles of driving Use billions fewer gallons of fuel Avoid tens of billions of tons of CO2 Save tens of billions of dollars Increase public health
They included the graph at the right that showed the correlation between increases infacilities and increases in bicycle use.
They had a poll of how Americans would allot funding (37% Roads, 41% Transit and 22% bike/ped) and what really happens (79% roads, 20% transit, 1% bike/ped).
They talked about synergies between bikes and ped with traffic - almost all of DC is in the bicycle 'catch basin' for metro (what Richard Layman calls the bikeshed).
And they advised everyone to join RTC and WABA, sign up for alerts and let your political representatives know that active transportation is a priority for you.
All in all a good little case for more funding.
Jim Sebastian of DDOT talked next about what DDOT would do if they had more money. He showed plans for 2010-16 now as compared to what they would try to do if they got the extra money.
Without (Skipping ped only projects) Metropolitan Branch Trail Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Rock Creek Trail rebuild 50 miles of bike lanes 150 miles of signed bike routes M Street SW/SE cycletrack 15th Street NW cycletrack 100 racks a year Expand to 50 SmartBike stations with 600 bikes Bike education for 5000 students at 8 schools per year Two week enforcement waves per year $100,000 for Smart Streets advertising
With (in addition to everything above) South Capital Street Trail Oxon Run Trail rebuild Fort Circle Trail 50 more miles of bike lanes 50 outdoor maps 10 miles of cycletrack and other innovative street designs 100 more bike racks a year Workplace parking and showers Another bike station
Double the SmartBike program listed above (Full build out as planned now) Double the Bike Education listed above Hire DDOT traffic control officers to enforce bike/ped violations (by all users) full time Another $100,000 for StreetSmart with DC specific ads
In addition he mentioned the projects they're trying to get stimulus funding for - Met Branch Trail, Rhode Island Avenue Bridge, SmartBike and more sidewalks (DC has 100 miles of sidewalk gap apparantly).
This was followed by a Q&A where people mostly asked Jim Sebastian and new Acting DDOT Director Gabe Klein - who showed up as well - questions.
Some highlights. Director Klein was open to the idea of a DC Summer Streets program. Jim Sebastian was reluctant to give any specifics on SmartBike (they met with ClearChannel yesterday) but said expansion should happen this year. The bike station should be finished by the end of March, but no idea on when it will be available for use. The next section of the Met Branch should break ground in March. The intersection of Columbia and 18th should be redesigned soon - and when Eric Gilliland mentioned closing 18th in Adams Morgan on weekend nights it got a big applause. Gabe Klein likes the idea of congestion tolling, but it may be restricted by the Home Rule agreement. DDOT is working on a regional tolling plan which should be more palatable to our overlords in Congress.
So, that's a lot to take in. I hope I didn't miss anything.
Seems that biking, even a lot of it, doesn't allow you to eat anything and everything you want. I'm sorry to be the one to bring you the bad news.
"You're trying to eat 5,000 to 8,000 calories a day," he added.
"That's not so hard if you're eating a Big Mac -- or 12. But you'll pay
for it later. The key is consuming all those calories and eating
healthy, too. For a competitive cyclist looking for an optimum
performance, you need to watch what you eat."
The right timing of meals and the right combination of food and
drink may mean the difference between a podium finish and a spot back
in the pack.
In the past decade, cycling nutrition has become increasingly
scientific. Each professional team relies on doctors and nutritionists
to help its athletes get the most out of their muscles.
"Cyclists definitely need a significant amount of calories, but it's
not just the quantity but where they get those calories," explained
Braun. "Typically, they're eating very large portions very frequently,
and every food they choose packs something into their bodies."
It's not unusual for a pro cyclist to down the whole box of cereal
at breakfast (with fruit and yogurt, too) and four sandwiches for lunch.
Former CIA agent and #3 at the CIA Kyle Foggo was recently convicted of bribery. According to the story:
In court papers, prosecutors describe how Kyle
“Dusty” Foggo was investigated in the late 1980s for punching a
bicyclist in a traffic dispute... In the late 1980s, when Foggo was a young CIA
agent, a foreign government filed a formal diplomatic protest following
a traffic encounter involving Foggo. According to an affidavit from Jim
Olson, a former CIA counterintelligence chief who was Foggo’s
supervisor at an undisclosed location, Foggo’s car was blocking a
bicycle path and an upset cyclist smacked the car’s trunk. Foggo
responded by pushing the man off his bike, punching him in the face and
Foggo claimed the incident was fabricated by local authorities as
part of a shakedown; Olson said he found Foggo’s explanation “entirely
unrealistic and implausible.“ But Olson said he lacked the authority to
interview local police about the incident, and could do nothing more
than refer it to CIA headquarters for possible disciplinary action.
Some MSM coverage of Arlington's proposed bike share program.
The program would encourage one-way rentals intended for trips under
5 miles, with the first 30 minutes given for free. Rides beyond 30
minutes would increase incrementally in cost.
Members also would pay a fee to join the program — about $50 annually or as little as $2 a day.
Ideally the program would have 1,400 bikes to meet a ratio of one bike
per every 150 residents, DeMaio said. But the first phase of the
project calls for about 100 bikes, then adding 100 more each year.
It would begin with bike racks in the Rosslyn-Ballston area, then
expand to Pentagon City and Crystal City with the goal to be countywide
in five years. The program has enough money from a state grant it won
about three years ago to start the first phase, Hamilton said.
Mike Kurec, a local film student, is doing a film on bike commuting. He's looking for someone who's never done bike commuting but is going to start. If you are such a person, or know of one - willing to be interviewed, please contact him at mike(dot)kurec(at)gmail(dot)com