The final report for the Rock Creek East II Livability Study is out and it recommends traffic calming as well as an expanded bicycle network to address safety issues and discontinuity in the existing bicycle facilities. But adding bicycle lanes is - in some cases - going to require removing parking, which is always politically difficult.
Of the dedicated bicycle facilities in the study area, 14th Street is the only corridor that has a continuous connection through the study area. Other than this, there are no dedicated facilities west of Kansas and Georgia Avenues. Many of the streets in the study area feature limited rights-of-way and do not readily fit two bicycle lanes in their cross-sections without removal of on-street parking.
Many participants expressed general concern over the impacts to parking with the implementation of bicycle and traffic calming facilities.
The primary losses of parking associated with recommendations are anticipated to be for the bicycle lanes along Kansas Avenue between Spring Road and Georgia Avenue and for the sidewalk extension along Blagden Avenue
Nonetheless, the study recommendations included five project types, of which one is bicycle network expansion
Bicycle System Expansions that extend the current bicycle network. This includes a mix of a variety of bicycle facilities, including bicycle boulevards, bicycle lanes, and contraflow bicycle lanes. In some locations, the type of bicycle facility is not yet known, and would require further study.
For extending the Bicycle Network, the report calls for extending current routes west of Georgia Avenue and creating a north-south alternative to Georgia Avenue along 8th Streeet. It also gives more clarity - though not perfect - on what is meant by a "bicycle boulevard".
The study recommends several bicycle facilities: bicycle lanes, contraflow bicycle lanes, and bicycle boulevards. Some study recommendations need further study to determine the most appropriate type of bicycle facility.
A bicycle boulevard, as implemented in the District, are streets that are already well-suited for bicycling (usually local street functional classification), that seek to attract bicyclists to the route by adding pavement markings, enhanced signage and wayfinding, and other treatments. The streets identified for potential bicycle boulevard treatment should be analyzed for speed and volume of motor vehicle traffic.
Bicycle boulevards can usually be implemented with no impacts to parking. However, they are sometimes enhanced with traffic calming devices to enhance bicycle and overall transportation safety. If this is necessary, it may result in the loss of some parking spaces. This will be determined in the design phase
The proposed bicycle network and projects hasn't changed any from that presented in August, but there are now redesigns of Grant and Sherman Circle. Draft concepts of the former includes bike lanes and the latter, a separated bike facility
There's also a rendering of Sherman Circle which would be redesigned as a 'Dutch Roundabout'.
There is also a proposal for an extension of Shepherd Street as a Multi-Use Path, though elsewhere they say it is for pedestrians.
This recommendation is for a short connection from the present dead-end of Shepherd Street west of 14th Street to the forthcoming Rock Creek Trail branch under planning and design by the National Park Service. This would formalize an existing pedestrian path that is visibly evident and help to improve access to Rock Creek Park.
Other Recommended projects include
- Enhancements to crossing at 16th/Blagden intersection to allow safer pedestrian and bike access to Blagden; studying feasibility of a HAWK signal
- Bike boxes and added crosswalks at Kansas/4th/ Hamilton
- Reconfigure radii and crossings at Piney Branch/Arkansas, potentially combining with NPS efforts on trail construction. At a minimum this can be achieved with paint and flex post installation for a shorter-term treatment