Safety, Educationa and Enforcement Committee:
At this month's BAC meeting the most noticeable change was the presence of an MPD representative. I did not get his name, but he is a senior officer, seems completely well-informed and was active in participating.
He's from the Traffic, Safety and Specialized Enforcement unit - among other things he works with the NHTSA budget for enforcement, which is primarily for alcohol enforcement but also bike/ped enforcement. His unit manages initiatives at branches that deal with specific enforcement (seatbelts, speeding etc...) and makes decisions on where enforcement should happen (based on traffic information). He seems like a good fit.
Oxon Run Trail rebuild is maybe 2 years away, with 1 year to design and 1 to build.
The Suitland Parkway Trail is not in the works, but it is on the list. DDOT wants to work with MD on this upgrade and are waiting on them, but they won't wait forever. In the meantime, DDOT is going to put up more signs to help cyclist get from the South Capital Street Bridge to the Suitland Parkway Trail.
There is some bad news on the 11th Street bridges. Unfortunately, there will be no bike lanes on the local bridge, as was once planned, so that will mean biking on the 16 foot wide sidewalk or in the traffic lanes. I hadn't noticed this in last year's design, but on the east side, the sidewalk doesn't connect directly to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Instead users will have to go all the way to the MLK Ave & Good Hope Road intersection before turning back to the river. (see poorly drawn red line below). It's a design/build contract, so DDOT is hoping to they can still get a more direct link.
The Facilities committee sent a letter to DDOT about bike racks that were removed during streetscape work, but then not replaced. They're considering another letter to DCRA to complaint that many new buildings are getting a certificate of occupancy without the 5% bike parking that is required by law. Even after the certificate is given they still need to meet the requirements, but it is easier to get it done in the beginning.
Discussed the existing DDOT Director's order for Complete Streets and whether a law was necessary. The order is only within DDOT and could be changed by any director. But a law would apply to other agencies, even though they don't have much to do with roads. It would also be more difficult to ignore or change.
The also mentioned modifing the anti-assault bill to remove the "attempt to distract" as an offense.
Mike Goodno and James Cheeks attended a one-week study tour of bicycling design best practices in the Netherlands. Some interesting facts include
- everytime the Dutch rebuild a road, they remove parking from one side of the road and put in a bike lane. People complain, but it's done anyway. But there is more off-street parking there than here.
- Car ownership is expensive - parking, license, cars, gas - all expensive.
- There is no in-school driver training. But there is bike training - every child, every year - and certification in "traffic village" - fake cities where kids can bike safely under real conditions.
- Lots of pedicabs, especially in Amsterdam.
- They met a self-described car advocate. He still bikes more than 50% of the time. But he wants to grade separate roads so that he can drive faster.