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"When slaves built our church, they were not thinking about bike lanes" is how the first comment started.

They also probably didn't have in mind a church membership that commuted to worship from outside the district.

Isn't it ironic that a tax-exempt organization with many members residing in Maryland - and thus not paying taxing to DC either - expects DC to give preference to it's needs over that of it's own citizens?

In a nutshell you have the true sense of entitlement that the suburbs have come to expect when it comes to DC.

40 years ago when I was a kid growing up in DC I remember we had a lot of animosity directed at the white suburbanites who came into our neighborhood and took up all the parking for certain events.

Times have changed in DC.

Its hard to have much sympathy for people who decided to pay their taxes and vote somewhere else, but want special free parking.

"I'm tired of hearing about the church" says a cyclist as he stands up and approaches the church representative speaking up front.


"If the kids went to church they wouldn't have asthma." says a church member after hearing a story about children in the hospital not being able to breathe the polluted air.

There was a lot of mumbling in the crowd. People commenting that there's more than one business on that street, that the church has been there for 100's of years, etc...

I'm glad I attended. It was an interesting scene.

Hard to feel much sympathy for those who do not bother to keep themselves informed and then whine that they did not know about the project.

I work across the street from them and I'm debating walking over and saying something.

Where do I begin? If they're worried about the cycletrack making things inconvenient then where is their venom for President Obama when the road is blocked off every other month as he hosts a fundraiser at the little hotel at 16th and M? Yes, it's fully blocked off.

Second, no cyclists, really? I don't typically go down M except maybe once or twice a month (walking to lunch is a different story), but I see people going down ALL THE TIME. For them to say otherwise is just a lie and they know it.

Third, their funeral processions wait on the SOUTHBOUND side of M St. Often this is a problem because drivers are trying to turn left into the parking garage sort of behind Carribou Coffee here.

Fourth, what angled parking?! There is no angled parking on M St where the church is. Perhaps they're doing this on weekends (I try to avoid the office on Sundays), but the parking is parralel here. Honestly, they could still have the parking on M outside of the bike lane WITHOUT A PROBLEM on weekends. It's not that busy in this stretch for vehicles because they would have to come off Thomas Circle to get here so more go down to K St I think.

Fifth, senior citizens crossing the road is a problem, really? The church is halfway down the block from 15th and up from 16th. So they're either saying that they're worried about jaywalking congregants or that miracously they have not been able to cross at crosswalks before. The easier solution that would appease them (not that they deserve it) is to simply put a crosswalk where their church is jutting across M (similar to the one in front of VA off 15th Cycletrack, I think it's technically called Vermont there).

Ok, I'm clearly ranting too much. Now I just need to debate if I say something to the church. It's frustrating being their neighbor and then hearing them indirectly trash me. Wish I had been there to say something.

T, they are apparently allowed to use angled parking on Sundays.

I think the City should be able to design something that works for Sundays. I suspect Sundays mornings are one of the times the cycletrack is least used anyways. Throw them a bone here, and remove a major block of opponents.

Nicely captured.

1) It's a truism that "nobody's ever heard about this!" if the speaker hasn't been personally served with a notice of a plan. At least twice.

2) You couldn't pay me enough to be the public face of DDOT (or any other DOT public hearing rep.). Sam did an admirable job and showed extraordinary restraint at times.

3) Yes, Crikey7, nobody tries to get around DC on Sundays. It's far more important that 30 people don't have to walk 30 more feet. Jesus forgives, but he sure doesn't walk.

Crikey7, I think that's basically the plan and I can live with it. The fight over church parking has already been lost.

MB, I agree. It's got to be toughest part of the job. You have to remain polite and even deferential as people upset because they feel they've been treated unfairly and without respect, treat you unfairly and without respect.

It's called politics.

Interesting with the angled parking. I don't think i've ever been into work on Sunday mornings or at least the one or two times I did, I paid zero attention to the church.

And to the other point about Sundays--yah, there is basically no one on this section of M on Sundays. It's the church and people staying at the Madison or Westin that walk down M to Carribou.

I expect most commuting cyclists wouldn't have any problem with the cycle track being used for parking on Sundays. Many bikes lanes around the city are currently used that way by other churches.

But how would DDOT handle the issue with the pylons? Perhaps they would not install them on the block at all?

We know that when there is no physical barrier to keep cars out of the track cars WILL use the track. So in order to facilitate Sunday parking we may end up crippling the track the other 6 days of the week.

Also keep in mind that many beginning cyclists* do not want to ride on the road ever. They want to ride on a path, sidewalk, maybe bike lane or cycle track. Furthermore many of these cyclists wont ride when traffic is heavy. Sunday would be the perfect time except ...

* for example- say you have an eight year old to whom you are introducing urban riding. The perfect time to do so would be Sunday mornings - except the very facilities you pay for have been re-purposed.

Thanks for this comprehensive summary; and thanks to the commentors who pointed out how well our DDOT reps kept their composure. It was an enfuriating spectacle, but it sounds like there is possible work-around with regards to the church parking. What's mroe troubling is the business sentiment that reduced lanes for parking and/or car traffic would be a "disaster" for the businesses on M street. Why on earth would you start a business on a major urban throughway within walking distance of a metro stop and then complain that you couldn't get enough business because of congestion and lack of parking? If I were a business owner on M st I'd be planning a major summer initiative welcoming bikers, and I'd be working to secure as much bike parking out front as possible because, as we've seen with the streetscaping on 18th street--when you take out parking and increase bike and pedestrian friendliness, businesses thrive.

Finally! The strip clubs and churches find common ground. And we have the lowly bicycle to thank.

Your latest comment Jeff got me to thinking the solution if the church can't just put up with it (honestly, I think they're huffing and puffing over absolutely nothing--they're the only traffic on the road on Sundays), is perhaps to cut into the sidewalk some. It would drastically increase the price, but the sidewalks are exceedingly wide and probably don't need to be that wide. You could easily shave off two feet on the southbound (Church) side. In fact, I think this will solve the Church's problems, but probably infuriate them even more.

I'm so sick of church goers feeling entitled to plentiful free parking on Sunday mornings. Just because you go to church doesn't mean you have the right to park for free on top of a bike facility. Your holiness does not trump the safety of others. Chuch goers should have to abide by the same rules as everyone else. What about the atheists? They want free parking too!

""Is DC becoming a church-unfriendly place?" she asked."

If by "unfriendly" you mean "treated the same as everyone else", then I really hope so.

Wow, this has race, religion, class, city vs. suburb and and bike vs. car! Is there some way we can work guns, illegal immigrants, vaccines and autism in?

^^^
If you can get all that in Smedley I'd like the option for the next Netflix series.

But work on the sex angle first!

"When slaves built our church, they were not thinking about bike lanes" is how the first comment started.

I'm pretty sure they weren't thinking about cars, either.

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