The MoveDC Multi-Modal Long-Range Transportation Plan for DC was released last week, and what can I say except that it's a pretty Big F&**ing Deal. It's not much of a surprise, since it doesn't depart that much from the draft version last November, but it's good news to see a transportation plan from the District be so ambitious with respect to cycling.
I've seen and heard a lot of pessimistic comments about DDOT's ability to follow through on a plan, and there is reason to be skeptical (see: the DDOT Action Agenda), but if you look through the status report on the 2005 Bicycle Master Plan, they've hit quite a few of their targets. Not all of course, and we can argue about whether or not that ambitious enough, but still real progress has been made. And some things that were not in the plan, like bikesharing, have been picked up as well.
The bicycle element of the plan doesn't diverge much, if at all, from what was included in the draft version in November. It also makes a note that it serves as an update to the 2005 Bicycle Master Plan, an update that was much needed. One recurrent theme of the update is more, more, more. More bike facilities, more bike sharing, more parking etc...The bike network of trails, cycletracks and bike lanes will be expanded by nearly 200% to a total of 343 miles over the next 25 years.
Some of the facilities I'm particularly interested in include:
- Converting the unused rail spur EOTR to the Anacostia Rail Trail
- Improvements on and around the TR Bridge, but nothing specific about the downstream path.
- Building the section of the Fort Circle Trail across Rock Creek Park at Military Road
- Two new bike bridges across the Anacostia River, one at Massachusetts and one at the Arboretum/M Street NE
- A trail along the old trolley right-of-way in the Palisades.
- A trail along New York Avenue
- A better connection across a rebuilt Long Bridge
- An extension of the Fort Circle Trail in Ward 8
All infrastructure projects are placed in one of four tiers, and some items above are Tier 4.
The proposed bike facilities maps are pretty intense. As I said in November, it's hard to think of anything they missed. I try to imagine how much people would have freaked out in 2005 if they had proposed this, but one notable thing about this plan is that, thus far, there has been little to no freaking out. The section EOTR of the river looks a lot like my fantasy map, in fact. My entire 4 mile bike commute would be on bike facilities. That seemed unbelievable not so long ago.
Most of the cycletracks are focused in the L'Enfant city, while new bike lanes and trails are more in the outer wards, which makes sense to me.
There are other recommendations about enforcing bike parking regulations; improving difficult intersections like "Dave Thomas", Tenley and L'Enfant Circles; improving accommodations for cyclists in barrier areas like the U.S. Capital Complex; improved crash reporting, training and planning policies; allowing cyclists in some dedicated transit lanes;
The one thing I'm disappointed in (based on a cursory reading only) is that recommendation C.7 which recommends encouraging DC employees to bike commute does not mention the bicycle commuter benefit, which DC employees inexplicably still can not take advantage of.
DDOT has a survey on the MoveDC site about the plan. You should definitely participate in that.