DDOT Director Terry Bellamy responds to WABA's charge that the agency is moving too slowly on bike lanes.
This year we have expanded the Capital Bikeshare system and are already planning to add 50 more stations and 500 more bikes next year in the District. That will include the first bikeshare stations on the National Mall. We have expanded our trail network along the Anacostia River and in addition to the new bike lanes installed on 11th Street, SE, Edgewood Street, NE and East Capitol Street, we’ve also installed several miles of sharrows across the city.
Also, I can tell you that we have more than 4 miles of planned bike lanes that are now ready for installation and will be put in as soon as the weather breaks in early spring. That includes:
- Columbia Road, NW between Connecticut Avenue and 16th Street
- 4th Street, SW between Virginia Avenue and I Street
- New York Avenue, NW between 15th Street and 9th Street
- Upshur Street, NW between 8th Street and Rock Creek Church Road
- I Street, SW/SE between 7th Street and New Jersey Avenue
- Tilden Street, NW between Reno Road and Connecticut Avenue
- R Street, NW between Florida Avenue and the Met Branch Trail
That list does not include additional bike lanes planned for 2012 or the crosstown cycletracks that are awaiting the completion of a study of the 15th Street and Pennsylvania lanes.
It is true that in the out years of the Bicycle Master Plan – now that the low hanging fruit has been picked – we are dealing with more complex environments and more constrained scenarios, which can extend the planning and development horizon for adding new lanes. With competing priorities, getting community buy-in for these projects can also be more complicated. That’s not an excuse; it’s the reality we face.
However, I can assure you, my commitment – and Mayor Gray’s commitment – to bicycling and bike lanes has not changed. We might not always move as fast as some would like, but if our progress slows from time to time that is not an indication of shifting priorities, but rather a reflection of the environment we’re working in, and our desire to do it right.
As Mayor Gray announced today, Census Bureau figures show the District is leading the nation in population growth. More and more people are moving here to enjoy the quality of life the city offers. We feel confident our joint effort to make the city more bicycle-friendly is one of the attractions, and we look forward to continuing to work with WABA and the community to gain more ground and make the District an even more desirable place to live, work, play and cycle.
I agree with most of what he's saying except for "that’s not an excuse." It is most definitely an excuse.
Yes. It has gotten harder to add bike lane miles. And everyone I know, knew that it would get harder. That means that if you want to meet the goals in the bike plan, you need to dedicate more resources to it, or move obstacles out of the way. So either the city never actually planned to build 10 miles per year or they've backed off that plan. But you can't argue that your "commitment has not changed" as you note that you are now going to be happy with smaller goals. That's the very definition of changing your commitment.
Just one year ago, DDOT thought it could get to 80 miles of bike lane by 2012. How were they going to do that? Were they just delusional.
Maybe this is our fault. What we thought we had was a commitment to build 10 miles of bike lane per year - or more under the action agenda. What we actually had was a commitment to dedicate a constant amount of manpower and money towards building bike lanes, and if that only gets 5 miles in one year, then that is all there will be. So I guess we can expect even fewer miles of bike lane in the future.
- One upside to the drop in the transit benefit that is sure to happen in January is that it might encourage some more people to walk or bike to work. If the benefit doesn't cover your whole month, you could bike on the nice days to lower cost. Still cheaper than buying a car.