From your blog to the Alexandria City Council's ear. "The developers [of a new Harris Teeter and apartment building in Alexandria] are also giving $40,000 toward either a bike-sharing program or local transportation management"
New IMF Director Christine Lagarde plans to bike to work "Lagarde, once a competitive synchronized swimmer and a member of the French national team, wants to ride her bike to work. She'll bring it with her from Paris." New Bike to Work Day Speaker!
WABA is hosting a discussion on July 19th on what to do if you're in a crash. "Executive Director Shane Farthing and three of the regions top lawyers in representing cyclists in DC, Maryland, and Virginia–Tom Witkop, Bruce Deming, and Peter Baskin–will be available both to assist with the group discussion and to talk one-on-one with cyclists at the end of the program." Farthing, remember, is a lawyer too.
So much information from the Alexandria BPAC meeting. The city doesn't have a bike parking ordinance, Chamblis Crossing project going out to bid soon and more.
The Meade Street Bridge redesign that was presented this week would be a big improvement for cyclists in the Rosslyn area. It would include bike lanes - some of them using colored paint - on Meade, N. Lynn and N. Fort Myer streets, a left turn pocket lane for southbound cyclists heading into Iwo Jima, and bike boxes on N. Fort Myer Drive. In addtion, the ramp from westbound Route 50 would be converted to a square intersection and two traffic signals would be added on either side of the bridge
The trail to the underpass on the DC side of the Humpback Bridge is now paved all the way to the Marina. Techincally it isn't open yet (you can see the cones ahead) but that wasn't stopping people from using it.
A bicyclist at the right place at the right time startled a would-be rapist allowing the victim to escape. "The 23-year-old woman was walking on Montgomery Village Avenue just after midnight Tuesday when police say she noticed someone following her down the sidewalk.The man then dragged the victim into a wooded area as she began to yell and scream. But a bicyclist who was riding by startled the suspect, and the woman was able to escape." Eyes on the street.
On Thursday June 30, 2011, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., Sierra Club members will be standing alongside the Mt. Vernon bike trail in Alexandria, holding several six-foot images of asthma inhalers. Their goal is to raise public awareness of the need for stronger Environmental Protection Agency protections against soot and smog.
Some condo associations are reportedly requiring residents to register and lock their bikes (U-locks only), which has led the Arlington police to report that 300 bikes are stolen in Arlington every year, and they recommend that residents register online at www.arlingtonva.us and always use U-Locks.
The desire line from the northwest side of Memorial bridge to the MVT is so heavily used that NPS didin't bother to block it when putting up this pre-July 4th fencing. They should just make it official and pave it already.
Since the completion of [the other cycletrack] facilities, we have revised plans for L and M Streets to a 50% design, and have commenced studying the existing innovative facilities (including the contraflow lanes on New Hampshire). Throughout the process, DDOT has been in contact with adjacent communities, business improvement districts, major property owners/managers, federal regulatory bodies (CFA, NCPC), regional bodies (WMATA, MWCOG), as well as interested citywide parties (WABA, ANCs, development community).
Transportation Planner Jim Sebastian, who oversees DDOT’s Bicycle Program, says “We are waiting on the completion of our studies of the existing cycletracks on Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th Street, and the analysis of the L & M Street corridors, before making a determination on proceeding with the concepts for cycletracks.” DDOT recognizes the need for an east-west bicycle connection through downtown, but we are obligated to consider the impacts on all users (transit riders, pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, the disabled, businesses, residents, etc.) before making a commitment to proceed.
DDOT must take into account many conflicting interests within our transportation network. It is DDOT’s responsibility to consider the likely effects of any new street configuration, and to come up with a recommendation that balances these competing needs. We encourage the community and their political representatives to analyze the same data and draw their own conclusions. DDOT will commit to making any information relevant to these corridors accessible to all, and to discuss at that time the options on the table.
At the same time, it’s also worth noting that DDOT continues to expand the infrastructure for cycling in the District and plans to install 10 miles of bike lanes across the city this year. “The District is committed to providing a world class bicycling infrastructure,” says Acting Director Terry Bellamy, “And we will continue to work on a balanced and safe implementation plan for our community with our citizens help.”
It happened at around 7:45 a.m., on the 1800 block of Bryant Street, NE, DC Fire/EMS spokesperson, Pete Piringer said.
A 14-year-old girl was trying to cross the street near a crosswalk.
The bicyclist, who wasn't wearing a helmet, crashed into her and was thrown from his bike, officials said.
The bicyclist was taken to the hospital after the crash and was pronounced dead there, officials said.
The girl suffered only minor injuries, officials said.
A pedestrian always has the right of way - even when crossing "near" a crosswalk, but with the girl being a 14-year old I wouldn't be surprised if either party were ultimately at fault. There are bike lanes on 18th.
Arlington County had a meeting last night to discuss their planned expansion of Capital Bikeshare to which about 45 people showed up. They discussed the methodology for choosing the 30 locations, which will include 200 bikes, and the timeline for the expansion itself, as well as discussing bikesharing in general. This was followed by a Q&A session and then small group discussions.
The expansion is currently ongoing and will continue through next year and beyond. In the immediate future, the Courthouse station is ready to go and will be installed in the July/August timeframe. Simultaneously, they will develop a site plan for each of the next 30 stations and this will take several months. If the station is on private land, they'll get an agreement from the owner to place the station and then go before the County Board for approval to modify the property plan. This won't be necessary for stations on public land. They hope to get the approval for all such modifications in the fall, and to extend the sustem to Clarendon around the same time. They'll extend it to Ballston by winter or spring of 2012. Finally, when they're done planning this round in the fall, they'll put together a 6-year bicycle transit plan similar to the recently-completed ART bus transit plan. They also plan to update the paper maps that are in the stations themselves to show all the new stations.
When choosing sites there is a heirarchy of preferred sites.
Publicly owned land that is not part of a right-of-way and won't require removing parking.
Private space - some sidewalks in Arlington are privately owned, and so they would need both owner and County board approval.
On street locations where there is metered parking.
On street where there is residential parking.
Most of the criteria for Arlington is he same as it is for DC:
they need 4 hours of sunlight
A safe location
Preferably next to a bike lane or other facility
Low impact on sightlines
No manhole covers
Preferably near a Metro station or a bus stop
The boom truck needs easy access - no overhead wires or trees
Preferable not on a major street.
For stations on sidewalks they need 6' of clearance and no tree wells.
On the road they want to avoid snow routes, drainage catch basins, placing stations directly in front of private homes, and impacting parking.
If they're replacing metered spaces they prefer locations where they can create new metered spaces not far away. In the plan presented only 6 metered spaces will need to be removed, along with 5 residential spaces and 2 commercial spaces.
You can see the 30 locations they identified here.
They also gave some stats on the system as of 6/15/11
14972 members (1049 in Arlington)
557282 trips (4381 per day in May)
average trip length is 21 minutes
average trip is 1.15 miles
The busiest station in Arlington is 18th and Bell with 34 trips per day
DC is recovering 70-80% of their operating expenses (not bad) but Arlington is only at 50% right now.
Arlington is making $7000-$9000 in revenue a month, but they expect to see that go up.
Each station weighs 4000-5000 lbs and costs between $40,209 and $56,565 depending on size. That includes a $4000 installation fee. The total expansion is more than $1M.
During the question and answer portion, one person asked about the applicability of other cities experiences - which Arlington relied upon - to Arlington where the dense areas are linear rather than in a traditional downtown. Paul DeMaio replied that in Montreal there are several corridors away from the center city that mimic the kind of development that Arlington has.
A couple of users, though one in particular, mostly wanted to complain about current service and their frustration with dockblocking. The one man said that he's missed meetings and ridden far out of his way because of full stations. If he finds an empty dock and can't get a bike, he can adjust, but being stuck with a bike and nowhere to lock is a real inconvenience. And getting extensions to go to another station hardly helps, because those too can be full by the time he arrives. He even brought "out of service" tickets with him (props for the props).
Arlington staff said this should be less of a problem in Arlington than in DC. Tthey were placing their stations closer together than DC does (only 2-3 blocks apart) and Arlington has better diversity of land uses. In DC, they said, you have areas like Columbia Heights with a lot of residents, but few jobs and areas like K Street with a lot of jobs and no residents and that is a big part of the problem. The R-B corridor on the other hand has a good mix of jobs, residents, retail, etc... so it won't be as much of a problem.
Alta was there and they added that they've extended their rebalancing hours to 21 hours a day from 5am-2am and they've added a van. They have few rebalancing problems in Arlington (though one woman disagreed) and there are usually more bikes in Crystal City at the end of the day than at the begining, perhaps because people rode Metro to work but then bike home (where they don't mind being a little sweaty). Bikes from the R-B corridor do go into DC in the morning, but they're easy to replace with bikes from stations in Georgetown. And staff pointed out that DC is adding 30 stations, many of them infill, in the hopes of making more docks available. But the man who was most upset thought they needed to revisit the 2 docks:1 bike ratio and add more docks. Most of his complaints seemed geared toward DC, which left the Arlington staff without much to say. Not only was he complaining to the wrong jurisdiction, but perhaps to the wrong people. If he wants more docks and more bikes, he needs to talk to the District Council and Arlington County Board.
One woman seemed concerned about sidewalk space. Whe wanted to know who decided that only 6' of access space was needed, and was that in compliance with the sector plan, but she never actually voiced an opinion that that wasn't enough. She also wanted to know how many vehicles would be driving around and how big they were.
A few other observations of mine:
They could've used a few ipads for the small group discussions. A lot of time was spent discussing what a location looked like. With an iPad they could pull it up on streetview and see it.
It would be pretty cool if Spotcycle included a station-to-station time esitmator. Based on how long the average trip is it could tell users that getting from station A to station B usually takes 22 minutes (or something)
They showed the How to Use CaBi video which I haven't watche in a while. It tells users to check out the bike, adjust the seat and put on a helmet. Everyone knows you check out the bike last so that you don't waste rental time messing with the seat. Also, Chris Holben looks so stiff and emotionless in the video that I expect him to ask somone if they're Sarah Connor.