At the September Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting a representative from the Office of Planning gave a presentation on the proposed recreational space to be built on the downstream piers of the demolished 11th Street Bridge. You can see a very similar presentation to the one given at the BAC meeting here.
The recreation bridge might have more direct connections to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail on both sides. An image shown had ramps going from the bridge directly to those trails. That might be a bit ugly, but very functional.
They showed some other planned and existing facilities that might be good models for what they have planned. These included the Providence RI Pedestrian Bridge, the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge in Nashville, the Pfluger Bridge in Austin, Chelsea Piers in NYC, the Continental Bridge in Dallas and the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga.
They're looking at a public-private partnership to finance the project and one group already wants to sponsor the design competition.
The design competition would start in 2012-13 with a winning design chosen in 2013. Construction could start as early as 2016.
The downstream piers are supposed to get overlooks built on them as part of the current 11th Street Bridge replacement project. The overlooks will extend from the current bike/pedestrian lane (or ATL). When the 11th Street Bridges project kicked off, I asked Gabe Klein if there were any plans to repurpose the upstream bridge piers, since those aren't to be used for anything. So I was surprised when this project planned to use the same downstream piers as the overlooks, because it means that cyclists who are just riding over the bridge will no longer have a view of the river (being between traffic on one side and the recreation area on the other). The reasons for using the downstream piers, we were told, was that it would have less noise because it would be next to slower moving traffic; that the prevailing winds would blow less road exhaust downstream than up and that it would be closer to Poplar Point (which seems pretty weak, since it's a trivial difference).
Other information from the BAC meeting:
- If you want bike racks installed in front of your business, call 311
- Some people at DDOT wanted to know if there was support for banning bikes in the various underpasses in DC (like under Thomas or Dupont Circles). There wasn't. It was unanimously agreed that such a policy was not conducive to complete streets.
- There has long been a leak from the C&O Canal, through the old bridge abutment near the trailhead of the Capital Crescent Trail. DDOT has been looking into tracking down the source and either patching it or rerouting the water.
- The Downtown BID is creating its own bicycle parking plan. They're taking a strategic look at parking - walking every single block as they do so - in the hopes of completing a draft plan this year. They'll be looking at parking meter conversion, recognizing that not every meter makes a good candidate; at best practices elsewhere; and at policies aimed at getting employee parking inside buildings or garages to free up street parking for visitors and customers.