The Action Agenda that DDOT released this week is the most positive new document to come out of DDOT since the Master Bike Plan. It includes initiatives that should help make streets safer for cyclists like (emphasis mine). It features five Core Values each with several polices. Under the Sustainable Living, the first Core Value is to "Make walking the mode of choice for trips of less than one mile and biking the mode of choice for trips of less than three miles." Implementing the recommendations of the Bicycle Master Plan and Pedestrian Master Plan are only part of the plan to get there. They also want to
• Transform the DC bike-share system into a substantive transit option with 100 stations and 1,000 bicycles.
• Set aside 5% of the capital budget each year as a core program for pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
• Quadruple the lane miles of separated cycle facilities.
• Formally adopt bike boxes for bicyclist safety at intersections into DC standards and implement them in at least 100 locations.
• Repurpose on-street parking spaces for bicycle parking in at least 25 locations.
• Add four more bike stations.
• Increase marketing and private sector promotion of non-motorized modes.
• Improve the District travel-demand model to capture non-motorized trips.
• Update and expand the Bicycle Master Plan for the next decade.
• Support non-vehicular travel and unique place-making in the public space.
Yes. That just happened. Turns out that the goal is to more than double bicycle mode share by 2012 from levels in 2009 (2.3% to 5%).* And by 2012 they aspire to double bike lane mileage to 80 miles, have 0 bike fatalities and reduce crashes from 335 to 250.
But on-street facilities are only part of the solution. The fourth policy is to "encourage development projects that promote and support non-auto mobility"
• Partner with developers to ensure private sector implementation of transportation demand management (TDM) strategies.
• Require convenient, covered, and secure bicycle parking in new development; require building owners to allow bicycle access.
• Support zoning code updates that expand bicycle parking and amenity requirements and implement vehicle parking maximums where feasible.
• Meet the challenges of a 21st century urban DOT by incorporating a new administration—the Progressive Transportation Services Administration—that will focus on non-auto mobility.
In the 6th Policy they suggest moving toward fourth generation bike sharing - one card gets you on Metro, bike sharing, car sharing and pays for parking meters. [Factoid: DDOT’s bike-sharing program has 1,200 members who use the system for an average of 90 trips per day. The average rental time is 27 minutes.] In the Firm Foundation section they mention regional bike sharing.
But wait, there's more. Many other policies would make the roads safer or more fun for cyclists, like (emphasis mine)
-- Train bus and taxi drivers on pedestrian and bicycle laws and safety.
-- Pursue legislation requiring that new drivers receive bicycle and pedestrian education before obtaining a driver's license.
-- Develop and expand the annual Feet in the Street event, whereby the city closes select streets to vehicle traffic and allows full bicycle, pedestrian, and retail use.
-- Expand the enforcement powers of traffic control officers and school crossing guards.
-- Consider lowering speed limits on local roads.
-- Reduce speeding on local and collector streets. Ensure appropriate traffic speeds on all roads. Pilot lowering speeds below 25 mph on select local streets.
-- Implement traffic calming studies citywide.
-- Continue and build upon regional campaigns such as Smooth Operator, the annual effort to curb aggressive driving.
-- Improve safety at the top 50 high-crash intersections.
-- Expand mobile photo enforcement to work zones.
If they pull half of this off, it'll start to look a lot like Portland around here. Very exciting stuff. It's like our DMV has grown up into a real Transportation Department.*Who's a transportation blog now DCMud?