At an ANC meeting this week (as reported by GGW), DDOT presented preliminary concepts for the two blocks of 15th Street NW north of U. Currently a bike lane - on the right hand side and opposite the cycletrack - exists on 15th Street.
The new design would extend the cycletrack, still protected by parked cars, along the west side of 15th all the way to Euclid. But the extension might look different - possibly better - than what is south of U
DDOT could just build the cycle track in this intersection along the edge of the roadway, separated with poles, as with the rest of the cycle track today. Other options, though, elevate it up to sidewalk level like many European cities do. The tree boxes would still separate the track from the sidewalk, but then one of a few different curb treatments would divide it from the roadway.
At the meeting, DDOT planner Gabriela Vega said the agency was still weighing the pros and cons of the last three designs' barriers between the cycle track and the parking lane. The barriers in the last three designs all include permeable pavers that allow the ground to absorb more stormwater.
You can see these designs in the image below.
In addition to the more definitive separation between the cycletrack, sidewalk and roadway, you can see that at the intersection, the space at the end of the parking is filled with a stormwater planter.
In addition to the extended cycletrack, the design shows bike boxes at every approach to the "Death Star" intersection and a bike lane on Florida north of W (where currently there is none).
There are two options for how to align the intersection, but for cyclists I don't see much of a difference, though one shows painted bike boxes and the other does not, I think that might be an oversight, not a design difference.
My only concern about this is the possibility of conflict between downhill and uphill cyclists on 15th north of W. Cyclists in one direction could be going very fast, and cyclists in the other might be looking down as they pump their way up the hill. I fear it could be an opportunity for a very bad head-on collision. Perhaps the cycletrack needs to be wider there.
Research shows that urban greening creates activity that drives away crime. And RTC points out that trails create the same kind of activity. Despite this fact, people fear that trails will bring crime.
ANC 5C is meeting tomorrow night and will discuss bike lanes on R Street. At least one commissioner opposes them. Meeting is Thursday, August 4, 2011 from 7pm to 9pm at First New Hope Baptist Church, 1818 3rd Street NE.
After a driver stopped to allow a cyclist to cross the GW Parkway, Park Police pulled him over to warn him not to do that anymore. I guess they've caught all the speeders.
The Meade Street Bridge redesign that was presented this week would be a big improvement for cyclists in the Rosslyn area. It would include bike lanes - some of them using colored paint - on Meade, N. Lynn and N. Fort Myer streets, a left turn pocket lane for southbound cyclists heading into Iwo Jima, and bike boxes on N. Fort Myer Drive. In addtion, the ramp from westbound Route 50 would be converted to a square intersection and two traffic signals would be added on either side of the bridge
Podium: According to Streetsblog, one way the GOP wants to stabilize the highway trust fund is by cutting the funding for bike-ped projects. One way they don't - raise the gas tax.
Podium: San Francisco is getting five green bike boxes. And Kansas City has worked hard to shed it's reputation as the worst bicycling city in America, by adding 42 miles of bike lanes, the city's first sharrows and two new crossings of the Missouri River.
Maillot Vert: Car makers return to their roots by making bicycles. "According to BMW, the idea behind the bikes is “creating outstanding-looking bikes that are associated with BMW cars by their dynamic lines and exceptional performance”. In other words, they want you to feel as if you've bought a BMW motor."
Maillot a Pois Rouge: Because repaving a bike path would damage tree roots, Garden City, ID made that 1.5 mile section a dismount zone and created a 2.5 mile on-road detour. Bike advocates have sued to open the path to biking.
Maillot Blanc: Mapquest, which uses OpenStreetMap for it's data, now includes bike routes.
Lanterne Rouge: Interesting quote about the TSA searches "In relative terms it is the driving experience which has deteriorated, largely because of traffic congestion. Imagine what flying would be like if they were not allowed to charge you a proper price for the experience." Imagine what driving would be like if we could charge a proper price. Speaking of congestion, it's getting worse in China as they turn in their bicycles for cars (via GGW).
Also, a bike thief tried to put a stolen Ghost Bike on to a bus in Portland (where bike commuting is up again). The driver confronted him about it and convinced him to leave it with the bus driver, who then saw that it was returned. "I said one more time, you know what this is? It's a ghost bike a memorial for someone who died. I tried to tell him what it was," said Ferro.
A study released Tuesday night to the City of Austin’s Urban Transportation Commission suggests that experimental traffic devices installed on a few Austin streets last year appear to be keeping cyclists safer.
The Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas worked with city employees in Austin’s Transportation Department to study and collect video data at a number of intersections where a variation of four experimental traffic devices were installed.
The devices were sharrows, or shared lanes between bicycles and cars, signs which say “Bicycles May Use The Full Intersection," colored bicycle lanes and bicycle boxes.
Data collected shows that the sharrows created a five-and-a-half foot cushion between cyclists and parked cars. Research shows it was one foot before the sharrows were installed.
The “Bicycles May Use The Full Lane” signs tested at two locations proved that space between cars and bicycles expanded from two feet to five feet.
Colored bicycle lanes prompted 74-percent of drivers to yield to bicycles. Thirty-eight percent yielded before the lanes were installed.
While bicycle boxes showed positive changes, research also showed that only one out of five cyclists figured out how to use them correctly.
Comments are due today on the 14th Street Transportation and Streetscape Improvements plan, but the options they're considering have nothing to do with biking. Stephen Miller at GGW does a fantastic job of summarizing the presentation, so I won't try to repeat that (Made easier by the fact that I didn't go, and that all that is online is a semi-useless powerpoint presentation and info from the 2008 study. Sigh). Has GGW gotten too powerful when DDOT sends you there to look at their presenations?
Miller notes that there will be bike boxes at U and P Streets, but they won't be colorized, they'll use a stamped faux brick pattern. Also, because there are bulb outs at the bus stops, the bike lane will shift to the left to leave space for buses to the right similar to how a bike lane can shift to the left to avoid a right turn lane.
The design for shifting bike lanes on 14th Street could be problematic because the bike lane would shift to the left side of a general travel lane, instead of a right-turn only lane or bus-only lane. With heavy traffic, cyclists may find it difficult and dangerous to cross to and from the left-hand lane when instructed. This aspect of the plan may require more thought.
It might be better to end the bike lane before the switch and have cyclists merge to take the lane before moving into the left side bike lane. Add signs that read "Cyclists: Take the Lane."
In addition to this, it appears it will extend the bike lane the last couple of blocks north to Florida Ave, and it will likely include more bike parking.