Back in October, I mentioned the plans that Toole Design was putting together for DDOT the Capitol Riverfront BID on possible configurations for M St, SE/SW. Of the four being considered, the BAC facility committee preferred the cycle track (so-called Montreal Style) and it appears that this is the one being proposed. JDLand has a post on a briefing of the project given to the Capitol Riverfront BID.
the main recommendations are:
- Configure the two curb lanes on M Street as "cycle tracks" with flexible posts, a temporary measure suggested because of the "unknowns" of any future streetcar implementations along M Street. There would also be a widening of the sidewalks between Half streets SE and SW, moving the cycle track onto the widened sidewalk, because this area is where the "most intense traffic on the corridor occurs."
- Eliminate all parking along M Street at all hours, though "after a period of evaluation it may be appropriate to allow parking adjacent to the cycle track if it is desired."
- Move all transit stops to the far sides of intersections, where buses and bikes can more easily cross and where buses can still pick up and drop off passengers at a curb rather than on street level.
- Reconfigure all traffic signals to allow bikes time to get through intersections before vehicle traffic gets a green light (the bikes and the pedestrian "walk" signals would go green first, followed then by the vehicular greens).
The leading pedestrian interval mentioned above would be at least 7 seconds. This design has two options that differ in the separating material. In option 1, it's flexposts; in option 2 it's a surface mounted concrete curb. Option 2 is more expensive.
Unfortunately, the concept drawing is in Appendix B and JDLand doesn't have that up. While the report goes into several options for separating material - including granite curbed islands and planters - they don't recommend the more expensive options because M is likely to be rebuilt when streetcars are built.
Near bus stops, the curb will extend across the cycletrack to the bus/traffic lane. Cyclists will ride up a slight ramp to curb level before dropping back down to street level. Think of a very long speed table - with more gradual ramps. You can see it in the background of this photo.
Between Half SE and Half SW, they recommend incorporating the cycletrack into the sidewalk, possibly with separate light phases for cyclists (and peds).
JDLand also reports on the reception of the plan.
There apparently were some business owners at the BID meeting who were displeased with the plans, centering mainly around the traffic implications of the loss of one lane in each direction, which during rush hour and ballpark events are travel lanes and which are parking for customers/workers/residents/etc. the rest of the time. This could especially be an issue during events at Nationals Park, a scenario which isn't mentioned at all in the feasibility study and which has the Nationals particularly concerned (as apparently voiced by the Nats' Gregory McCarthy at the briefing), since it's not out of the realm of possibility (my words, not theirs) that attendance at the ballpark could rise substantially if the team's fortunes improve, making the backups that are seen when the stadium is sold out--such as during the Red Sox series this summer--considerably worse.
Unlike the Montreal Cycle Track pictured here, I think these would be one way, with one on each side.
Photo by Anirudh Koul