The National Park Service recently made their Preliminary Preferred Alternative for the National Mall available and opened it for comments. This is different from the 2005 Bicycle Parking Plan, and the Mall Transportation study, though it integrates parts of both.
In December 2007 they presented three alternatives. Only one of those (In newsletter three) mentioned bicycles - Alternative C, which focused on "Urban Open Space, Urban Ecology, Recreation and Healthy Lifestyle." This was the alternative WABA endorsed. It mentions among other things:
- More walking/bicycle tours would be provided, and visitors would be told about walking opportunities.
- Provide separate bike and walking trails along the Potomac Riverfront, with trail connections to Rock Creek and East Potomac parks.
- In the Tidal Basin area, redesign roads, parking, and bike / pedestrian trails to reconnect park areas for pedestrians and recreational activities.
- In Pershing park, retain the memorials, but redesign the park; add small commercial kiosks (bike rental, flower stand, newsstand).
All of them would include
What they're now presenting is a new alternative based on all the comments and workshops they've done since then. The plan doesn't actually seem to be available (or, at least I can't find it) only the summary of it in newsletter four. The summary includes.
- Better bicycling facilities would include separate bicycle lanes or routes in some areas (undertaken in cooperation with the city) and bike racks. Park managers would also work with the city to implement compatible sections of its Bicycle Master Plan and bicycle rental program.
- Offsite bike rentals would continue, and connections to other nearby recreation facilities in East Potomac Park, along with trail connections to the waterfront and the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, would be improved.
- A system of separate dedicated bike trails would be constructed to improve bicycling throughout the National Mall.
- The variety of guided tours would be increased, with more multiseason touring opportunities, thematic walking tours, bicycle tours, and multilingual tours.
- Areas would be redesigned to safely differentiate multiple uses (e.g., bicycle lanes to separate riders from vehicles). Measures such as longer street-crossing times, improved crosswalks, special crosswalk paving, midblock crossing points, larger waiting areas, better walkway lighting, and emergency call stations would all enhance pedestrian safety.
- Parking meters would be installed on Madison and Jefferson drives to make parking more available to visitors. [Hear that GGW? They also plan parking meters along Ohio Drive] Visitor transportation, commercial tour bus drop-offs, bicycles, and other wheeled vehicles would be accommodated on Madison and Jefferson drives over the short- to mid-term (10–15 years). A long-term goal for Madison and Jefferson drives would be to improve traffic flow by removing parking for private vehicles to better accommodate bicycling, visitor transit, and pedestrians.
- Roads and parking, along with bicycle and pedestrian circulation, would be redesigned south of Independence Avenue to reconnect park areas and to enhance safety and recreational opportunities. Pedestrian connections would be improved between the Washington Monument grounds and the Tidal Basin, as well as to the Southwest Waterfront and East Potomac Park. A system of separate dedicated bike trails would be constructed to improve bicycling throughout the National Mall.
- The Survey Lodge would be adaptively reused for services and parking for visitors with disabilities, information, exhibits about the building’s history, and possibly recreation equipment rentals (such as bicycles and kites).
- Around the Tidal Basin A system of separate bicycle lanes or trails would be developed.
- A system of separate bicycle lanes or trails would be developed along Ohio Drive and river walks.
- Bicycle lanes or trails would be provided on the Jefferson Memorial Grounds.
So, it sounds like Alternative C and then some. Little mention of parking, but that seems to be coming along anyway. Also no mention of a bike valet plan. What else did they miss?
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