The first Capital Bikeshare station. One of two installed in Crystal City today. The others will be installed over the coming weeks. It took a few hours and a crane to install (Compare that to SmartBike and the months of work behind those orange wood walls). Photo via the Bike-sharing blog. More photos here.
This is off topic a bit, but I just want to make sure that everyone understands that the Michael D. Brown who is running for an at-large council seat is not the same person as Councilmember Michael A. Brown (I-At Large), who ran for mayor in 2006. I don't care if you vote for Brown or Mendelson, I'm just doing my part to clear up the confusion.
VDOT is planning to start work on the Washington Boulevard Bridge - to be renamed the Freedman's Village Bridge - over Columbia Pike in the summer or fall of 2011 (tip ARLnow). They'll be awarding a design/build contract later this year and the project will wrap up in 2015. One part of the project is to widen Columbia Pike under the bridge, which will make more space for pedestrians and cyclists. The outside lanes will be 15 feet wide to accommodate cyclists and there will be a 10' shared-use path on one side and a 7' sidewalk on the other of Columbia Pike will run through the project area. The bridge will also be higher and will have a light well between the eastbound and westbound lanes.
Clearance under the bridge will be increased to 16'-8” to accommodate a
future area streetcar. Columbia Pike will have 11-foot travel lanes (the
outside lanes will be 15 feet to accommodate on-road bicyclists), a
left-turn lane, and a raised median.
Originally bike lanes were planned for Columbia Pike, but perhaps the intersections throughout the interchange made them rethink that.
Back when Mrs.Washcycle was Ms. Not-Washcycle I used to bike through this underpass all the time, as she lived just off the Pike. Wide lanes and more light will be a welcome improvement.
A 9 year old girl was killed yesterday at around 4:30pm while crossing Franconia Road on her bike.
The 9-year-old and two teenage girls had been been riding east on a
bicycle path adjacent to Franconia Road, said Officer Don Gotthard, a
police spokesman. As they approached Cannon Lane, the teenagers crossed
Franconia on their bicycles from north to south, he said.
The 9-year-old tried to cross as well, but was struck by a car in the
westbound lanes of the road, Gotthardt said. She was taken to Inova
Fairfax Hospital, where she died, he said.
The driver was 80 years old and driving a 2004 Mercury sedan. The victim's name is Rebecca Johns, of Alexandria. "Neither speed nor alcohol were factors in the crash, which is under investigation." "The road is residential but busy."
FABB says that no charges were filed against the driver, but I don't know if that means none will.
There's no crosswalk there, but I'm surprised the driver didn't see her, what with two friends having just crossed before her.
Back in December I wrote about this incident wherein a cyclist reported being intentionally hit by a driver who immediately left the scene. Though they had the plate and description of the driver, they were concerned the case wasn't getting enough attention, and was being treated as a hit and run. WABA got involved and the MPD upgraded it to a felony assault.
Since then, members of the 5th District police conducted an investigation, located the driver - Shernetta Hagans, and made an arrest. Meanwhile, the charges were reduced from 'Assault' to 'Leaving the scene -
injury', to 'Leaving the scene - damage'.
She was inadvertently released after her arrest without being arraigned, and three subsequent summons mailed to her address were returned as 'Undeliverable.' According to her Facebook page, she is now at West Virginia State University. Ostensibly because of difficulty locating her, her case has been dismissed.
I'm not sure about the process in cases like this. Was she required to let the authorities know about a change of address? Can they issue a bench warrant for her? Will she be arrested again if she shows up in the system elsewhere? It would be a travesty if she were able to avoid facing these charges simply by moving elsewhere.
Kudos to the MPD for treating this seriously and arresting the driver, but there needs to be a reasonable follow-through to make sure she doesn't just walk away.
This dovetails with the bleg I had last week about how to move along the Mall when it's crowded with pedestrians. The graphic and text is from Just161 on the BikeArlington listserve (and I hope they don't mind my using it, but it's really good). They ask
14th Street Bridge seems the best connection from the Mt. Vernon Trail
and the rest of the great trails in Arlington, TO the eastern side of DC
- Union Station, Gallery Place, the ball park, Capitol Hill, etc. it's
better than beating through pedestrians around on the Mall to get to
the Memorial Bridge. But this connection has major problems,
particularly in the direction from Arlington to DC, from where you come
down off the 14th St. bridge, to where you can pick up better bike
routes on the Mall or in the neighborhoods in SW (Water St., e.g.).
Bikes using the 14th St. Bridge are funneled down one little stretch (in
orange above) where there are tons of pedestrians, and we're boxed in
by highways on one side and the Tidal Basin on the other. Southbound
you can ride in the road, but the cars move much faster than bikes on
East Basin Drive, and northbound your have no choice but to either a)
ride on the sidewalks or b) take a huge long-cut through Hains Point.
Roads in this area are very inhospitable to bikes, and there's not many
I'm guessing this is a major movement bikers want to make in this city, judging from my own (admittedly anecdotal) experience.
This problem could be addressed with a few targeted improvements --
either by expanding east-west bike mobility on the Mall west of 14th
street (Jefferson and Madison, and now PA Ave do this well but only east
of 14th), or by improving bike access around the Jefferson and through
the messy intersection at the yellow star below.
What do you think??
I personally think we'd be best off if we had some dedicated bikeways. One on the Mall from Memorial Bridge to Madison/Jefferson, and one from the George Mason Bridge to Maine Avenue. Neither of these are 100% necessary, you can get by without them, but they would be nice. The problem is that it probably involves NPS approval to make them work.
This is three days old, but let me know if you have a lead on this bike that a reader wrote in about
It was stolen outside 1750 K Street NW (Farragut Sq, I know!). It is so so dear to me, though it is worth maybe $80 in parts.
Over two years ago, I painted and tweaked it until it became the beauty
it is today. It has tremendous sentimental value to me. Take a look
here: http://tweetphoto.com/41562078. It is painted red (no logos) with yellow bullhorn handlebars.
There is a reward involved -- more than the value of the bike. So please please help me if you can!