Here's a letter from one opponent that appeared on the New Hill East listserv:
I am writing this email to address the issues we have with the DC Bikeshare placement of bikes on the triangle area directly in front of our homes. Please understand, we are not against the Bikeshare program, just this location. We are, and many of our neighbors on adjacent blocks are, concerned about the use of this triangle for this purpose. We hope you can understand our concerns. Below we have also addressed two alternative locations that better mitigate or deal with the concerns discussed below.
This is our primary concern. As residents of this block we are constantly under the threat of aggressive drivers, mostly but not all, from Maryland. As you may know, the Massachusetts Ave portion (right side of the triangle) is a single lane of traffic. The only parking available to residents, guests, restaurant patrons and Lincoln Park families have are street parking on the residential side of the street. Frequently, if not daily, we are harassed by speeding drivers trying to make the light. Drivers do not allow us the time to parallel park, often honking horns or trying to squeeze by.
Cars frequently misread the stop lights as the timing and structure of these lights are not your standard intersection. Oncoming traffic from Mass Ave (heading west) does not have the same green light as east bound traffic. Traffic turning north on 13th from East Capitol leg (left side of triangle) is not green the entire time the east bound Mass Ave traffic has a green light (resulting in frustrated drivers again, trying to weave in and out traffic to get to that single lane of Mass Ave east bound traffic. Frequently, especially with Virginia drivers, cars make a left on red, from East Capitol leg onto 13th street. While left on red, from a one-way street onto a one-way street is legal in Virginia, it is not in DC.
We have asked for traffic calming features and have been promised solutions this year, twice with deadlines missed and nothing ever done.
We sadly report one to two dogs killed or injured each year. We recently had a 70 year old neighbor on 12th street get hit by a car and seriously injured. The near misses we currently endure to dogs and their owners, kids, families and strollers are unacceptable. We feel adding bikes to this triangle would only further add chaos to this intersection and would hate to see a biker injured or killed or even hit a pedestrian or child trying to avoid the traffic. As you know, a bike ride starting from that triangle MUST cross a busy road just to make it to safety.
I tend to belive that a little chaos will slow drivers down and make things safer, but I'm not sure how having a bike share station that will be used around 50 times a day will actually cause chaos. Nor do I see why a cyclist MUST cross a busy road to get to safety. Merging into East Capitol of Mass Avenue seems pretty safe. What does this person think is "safety".
You should also be aware that the reason for this and the other triangle being bricked over was to remove the visual impediments drivers face from trees.
That was probably a mistake.
Recently we have had discussions on the tree boxes at East Capitol and Kentucky Ave. The city has cut down any trees planted either by city workers or residents as they have impaired driver’s vision and have resulted in near misses. We were told there would not be signage at the Bikeshare locations to create a visual impairment. As you can all see, this is not the case and a large 9 foot sign would create a visual block for approaching traffic.
Some of our neighbors have expressed concern their children would be tempted to run out to the shiny red bikes in front of their home right into oncoming traffic. As a destination for children to play, and the increasingly large number of parents who drive their kids to the park, this is a concern.
Finally, we should point out tractor trailers, trying to turn left onto 13th street and heading east bound on East Capitol, frequently use part of the triangle to make the turn onto 13th street. The bikes would clearly be in danger of being hit during these maneuvers.
I'm pretty sure that's illegal. Should we be coddling this?
We feel these issues can be easily addressed by using either of the two alternative locations we propose.
We were told trash cans would be placed by the bike locations to deal with the issue of casual riders having paper and plastic bottle trash either beginning or ending their rides. As far as we can see, no trash cans are placed by any bike sharing locations. It has taken a concerted effort by our neighbors to actively stop and confront pedestrians who just drop their trash on the sidewalks and tree boxes. While we still get beer bottles and soda bottles in our flower beds and tree boxes, we have made progress. People are simply unwilling to walk to the trash containers at the nearby bus stops or in Lincoln Park. We feel this can be easily addressed by using either of the two alternative locations we propose.
"People bring trash. We don't want trash so we don't want people."
Quality of Life
We were told vans will be stopping by the bike locations every two to four hours to perform maintenance or rebalance the bike inventory. In addition we were told they simply block traffic for a short time to carry out this function if the bikes don’t have parking spaces adjacent to their curb. This will disrupt and cause further aggression as well as inconvenience anyone coming into the neighborhood. Having a Bikeshare setup with the ability of the maintenance crews to not block 100% of the traffic is a much better idea.
The additional noise from cars honking horns or from the increased traffic is not something anyone wants outside their bedroom windows. We know of no other location with this placement right in front of residential area.
There are plenty actually
Destination for drivers to park and ride. As we have seen with Metro stops, people drive their cars to the metro and then take the subway. This allows residents to avoid parking garages and still park within our zone. It was suggested that the same will happen with DC Bike share as long as there is ample parking around these locations. In addition, the city employee we spoke with also suggested this would be great for Lincoln Park to have it as a destination for people to arrive and then bike the city. While that sounds great, having the bikes in that destination or other location would be better. The last thing any of us need is the inability to park or have guests park close to our homes because of “destination riders” using our limited parking spaces. While no one is guaranteed parking in front of our homes, and frequently we have to park a block or three away, it is a safety concern for late night returning residents.
"People bring cars. We don't want cars, so we don't want people."
We have proposed two locations for the DC Bikeshare – both would involve solving most, if not all these concerns. The most obvious would be to place the bikes in the park. As a recreational facility, with great visibility, this would be perfect. Unfortunately the park service likes to give long term concession agreements to any vendors (DC collects money for the bikes and that is only allowed by authorized vendors on park property). Since the White House has obtained and exception to this rule for the DC Bikeshare program on park property adjacent to the White House, there is a possibility this could be done. We are actively lobbying congress to help with this issue.
Another novel idea we have is to use a lane of road on the east side of the park. As you may know, the park lane of 13th street from the East Capitol cut off to the light where East Capitol starts again (1/2 way up the east side of the park) used to be residential parking. While no one can explain why it was removed and cannot be returned as residential parking, we suggest they use that lane. It is on DC property, not park service, can have barrier posts installed just as they have done on 15th Street NW between Rhode Island Ave and U Streets, and it will not impact traffic at all. Currently the lane is not used by oncoming traffic until it passes the center of the park. This solution was found to be “interesting” by the DC DOT. Trash cans are on the adjacent sidewalk, bikers can start or end their trips in a safe environment. We hope this would work out if the park is not available.
I don't see how the second solution solves the "problems" they mention, it only moves them to someone else's front door.