The Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, a 175-year-old congregation on M Street between 15th and 16th Streets, has convinced planners to preserve its congregants’ parking spaces on the north side of the street by removing protective bollards from the design, turning a protected cycle track into a regular bike lane for one crosstown block.
“That plan, we felt, would create a major traffic issue when we had special events like funerals and for our worship services and evening programs,” said Reverend Ronald Braxton, who said the compromise represents a “win-win situation” for churchgoers and cyclists. Bicycle boosters are not convinced such design changes are optimal.
But did DDOT think it would cause major traffic issues? Because, frankly I think they know more about traffic than Metropolitan A.M.E. does. If I want to know about sermons or Bible versus should I now call DDOT?
Also win-win is not accurate. It's more like retain status quo-lose. The idea that they've compromised is ridiculous. In a compromise, both sides give up a little. They're giving up nothing.
“They have a couple different concerns. One of them is parking during service on Sunday. Also they have major events such as funerals. We want to make sure we can accommodate the amount of traffic, the amount of buses and the other vehicles that come in for those special events,” he said.
So, allow Sunday parking in the bike lanes and allow them to close a lane for special events and funerals - like every other funeral facility does. Maybe the city should sell them the land in the street - if they're going to get exclusive use of it.
From the Post
The Greater Greater Washington web site published drawings Thursday that looked awfully final, but transportation department spokesman Reggie Sanders told me Thursday the situation is “kind of fluid.”
I was unable to reach anyone at Metropolitan, which is one of the oldest and most storied black congregations in the city and counts among its members many influential folks including D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large). No one picked up the phone in the church office Thursday, and no one was at the church when I dropped by this afternoon.
But you know, they frequently have events that require all the parking everywhere. And they can't believe DDOT didn't get in touch with them before the May meeting.
And the City Paper.
"We’re trying to achieve a win-win between the biking community and the people who attend the church there," says Sanders, referring to the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church. "The church has been around of a long time. There are a lot of people who are elderly, who, you know, it helps them to park in front of the church."
So, get a few young churchmembers to run a valet.
I think we’re talking about more than holding onto parking spaces," says Rev.Ronald Braxton of his church's opposition to the cycletrack. "We also talked about the flow of traffic, the speed of traffic. We talked about pedestrian safety, reducing the lanes of travel. We talked about the narrowness of the street itself."
Again, why is the church talking about this? Are they the Metropolitan A.M.E. or Metropolitan A.A.A? Why is the flow or speed of traffic their concern? Ostensibly it will be slower. Doesn't that add to pedestrian safety?
I did say yesterday that the loss of the cycletrack is not that big of a deal. What is a big deal, as Aaron Weiner put it is
it sets a terrible precedent. If every business owner who fears an inconvenience to his customers, and every homeowner who worries her guests will have a hard time parking, gets to veto a stretch of cycletrack in favor of preserving curbside parking, the city won't get a very effective network of cycletracks.