On Nov 3rd, WABA is hosting the Regional Call to Action summit. "We need your help in shaping the future of bicycling in DC, Maryland and Virginia region. The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is hosting a regional Call to Action Summit on November 3, 2011 at the Waterview Conference Center in Arlington, VA. The one day summit will be a culmination of weeks of local meetings in all six jurisdictions that WABA represents and it will include a presentation of a plan for the the next five years of advocacy for the region." The speakers are listed here.
And one last one: On in November there are 4 Purple Line open houses - which would also discuss the future Capital Crescent Trail I presume.
Streetsblog - at Rail~lvolution - has some facts on DC biking. "According to a CaBi survey, 40 percent of its members reported a reduction in their use of transit." and "Already the [Union Station Bike Station] has 200 members and an average of 35 trips per day."
Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails announced that construction of Phases II and III of the Tobacco Heritage Trail will begin soon. About 20 miles of the trail has been built or is under construction thus far, but when done the trail will consist of 160 miles of trail in Central Virginia.
Candidates for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Braddock District, include bikes or trails in their statements to the Gazette.
John C. Cook: "TRAFFIC/INFRASTRUCTURE:...There are additional needs for parks, libraries, trails, and other county buildings."
Janet S. Oleszek: "TRAFFIC/INFRASTRUCTURE: Long term we need to be focused on modes of transportation other than cars. To that end ... Land use decisions need to consider public transit and pedestrian and/or bicycling routes. One simple solution for Braddock residents is to link the Burke VRE station to the over 75 miles of bike and pedestrian trails that exist within a 3-mile radius of the station."
Carey C. Campbell: "Greatly expanded rail should be accompanied by bike lanes, and pedestrian friendly communities. The new bike rental program that is so successful in Washington D.C. and Arlington must be expanded across Fairfax County."
Eloquent argument for stronger distracted driving laws "In Dubai, traffic accidents fell 20 per cent from average rates on the days BlackBerry users were unable to use its messaging service."
A meeting to design the extension the Paint Branch Trail from Cherry Hill Road to Fairland Park is scheduled for September 14, 2011 at 7pm. The meeting will be held at the Beltsville Community Center, 3900 Sellman Road.
The Supreme Court will be hearing a case on strip searches following arrest, including one person arrested for riding a bicycle without an audible bell.
Roll Call is unware that Union Station already has a Bicycle Transit Center. "The [Columbus Plaza] project will widen Massachusetts Avenue Northeast, expand pedestrian traffic islands, redesign lane widths, modify traffic signals and install bicycle lanes and a Bicycle Transit Center at the southern terminal of the Metropolitan Branch Trail, among other things."
Two local news reports on WABA's anti-harassment law (which CMs Graham, Barry and Evans all support) are below. On the one hand, Fox spends a lot of time missing the real story, on the other WUSA interviews some...let's say non-experts.
Despite the talk of "war" between drivers and cyclists, don't forget that DC is so bicycle friendly that going car free is easy. “You don’t have to keep a car,” said Carroll, who takes Metro to work most days but walks the 2.4 miles occasionally on a nice day. “I love that the city is becoming more pedestrian-friendly and more bicycle-friendly. I can rent a bike and ride downhill all the way from work. I haven’t yet, but I’m going to.”
GOOD spotlights DC's "new" Bikestation in their Good Design Daily feature.
A call to give a cycling a human face. I like some of the ideas, even if I find them a bit naive. I think the opening, fake quote is unfortunate as is the reference to "blowing through lights without slowing down" which never actually happens, but otherwise I think the article has some good intentions. One of the comments calls for a regular "Ask a Cyclist" column, an idea which I like.
As part of a deal to close a section of Lincoln Street in Bethesda, Suburban Hospital would be expected to "maintain pedestrian and bicycle paths in that area." This is across the street from the Bethesda Trolley Trail
Alice Swanson's mother will attend today's hearing on bicycle and pedestrian safety in DC.
Two years after Montgomery College built a fence that limited bicycle and pedestrian access to a path used by nearby residents, the College Gardens Civic Association has met with school officials and plans to meet with the Rockville City Council to get the path opened.
Maillot Jaune: An author suggests that London replace its freight fleet with bicycles. The truth is, bicycles (and their three-wheeled cousins) are already a major piece of the freight puzzle all over the world.
Podium - IKEA gave 12,400 employees a free bicycle for the holidays. "We hope this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport." Except they don't call them bicycles. They call them Fforonags.
Maillot Vert: From the East Coast Greenway: "For years, the ECG has left Richmond (southbound) by crossing the James River on Manchester Bridge - narrow, sewer grates, merging traffic. Not optimal by any stretch of the imagination. However, we will shortly be improving the route by using a bike-ped span suspended beneath the Robert E. Lee Bridge (US Rt 1), which drops you on Belle Isle (a beautiful park in the river; it was used as a prison during the Civil War) to use the paths found there, which link to calmer streets on the south side of the river."
Maillot a Pois Rouge: Esquire has a long profile on Janette Sadik-Kahn and her efforts to change New York City as part of a series on the 16 geniuses that give them hope. Millions of New Yorkers love the new plazas and walking spaces and bike lanes. But millions of car drivers are pissed off. And that manifested itself in a City Council hearing on bike lanes.
Maillot Blanc: An Italian driver whose license had been revoked and who was driving under the influence or marijauna hit a group of cyclists, killing 8 of them and injuring 4 others. Meanwhile, an Indianapolis women who hit and killed a police officer on a bicycle because she was paying attention to her kids is asking that her case be dismissed because the police have been uncooperative with her information requests.
Lanterne Rouge: The Cal Park Tunnel, an 1100 foot tunnel in Marin County, CA opened. The bicycle and pedestrian portion of the tunnel is 12 feet wide and divided by a wall from the train portion. It has an arched ceiling 12 to 13 feet high. A 2002 county study predicted that 800 to 1,000 bike riders and pedestrians would use the path daily.
#10 Connecting the 14th Street Bridge - Work continues on the Humpback Bridge rebuild. It was originally to be completed in February 2010, but now won't be finished until Spring 2011. Once it's completed two underpasses will allow cyclists to get to the other side in the area of the Boundary Channel. On the Virginia side Arlington is studying how to connect to the underpass. Work also began on Phase I of Long Bridge Park, but it will be a long time before a bridge connects it to the Mount Vernon Trail. Phase I is to be completed in Summer 2011. "Environmental remediation work within the park is expected to be concluded by the end of November 2010. The sub-grades for Field "A" and for the parking lot are nearly complete and the parking lot is expected to be paved by the end of October. Sanitary and water system work continues on Old Jefferson Davis Highway and is causing the road to be reduced to one travel lane at times. This work is expected to continue throughout the fall. Construction of footings and wall foundations for the esplanade, various site walls, the plinths and buildings is in progress. The galvanized steel wall adjacent to the esplanade is being erected. Footings for sports field lights are being installed."
#12 Chain Bridge - The bridge was repaved this year, but I don't know if that meant any improvement for cyclists.
#3 Shepherd Branch - The spur that went to St. Elizabeths has been turned into a construction access road, but when the project is done, the plan is to make it into an access road with a parallel bike trail.
#6 Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail - Work is currently underway in Calvert County on a section of this trail. "The Chesapeake Beach Rail Trail is well under way with several piles driven and framing complete on the most western channel crossing. Paving on the land section started in September." Funding is from state TE money.
#11 Three Notch Trail - Ground was broken last summer on Phase V. It should be completed summer of 2011. Here's a slideshow of the trail. The status of the other phases at groundbreaking were:
* Phase III: This two mile section, from the Wildewood development south to the Wal-Mart shopping Center, is being constructed primarily by private developers; South Plaza, Wildewood, and Wal-Mart have completed sections along their development frontage.
* Phase IV - Phase IV-A from Wal-Mart to Chancellor’s Run Road in California is nearly complete. Phase IV-B from Chancellor’s Run Road to Pegg Road will be coordinated with the future construction of FDR Boulevard, a community roadway project.
* Phase VI - from MD Route 5 to MD Route 236 in Mechanicsville is planned for design in FY11 and construction in FY14.
* Other Phases: Phases VII, VIII and IX, from Wildewood north to Baggett Park, are planned for FY15 and beyond as future funding permits.
The Washington Post has a lengthy article today about the District's bike program and the success it's been having.
According to census data, the number of Washington residents who commute to work by bicycle has nearly doubled to 2.2 percent over the past 10 years. Official hourly "bike counts" conducted by the Transportation Department suggest much of that growth has occurred since 2007. An average of 72 bicycles now pass 18 designated counting stations during an average "peak hour."
Jordan said that mini-bicycle backups are becoming the norm during the morning rush hour on routes such as 14th Street NW.
Many outdoor bike racks downtown are at capacity during the day, a scenario that replays itself at night at racks near some popular bars in Northwest. And officials say they are stunned by the immediate popularity of Capital Bikeshare, a network of 1,100 communal red bicycles scattered around the District and Arlington for residents and tourists.
The story runs with the usual theme that the reason Fenty and Williams supported biking was because they're both avid cyclist, when the more likely reason is the one I emphasized below.
With Williams and Fenty both avid cyclists - the former mayor recreationally and the current one competitively - the District has undertaken one of the most ambitious efforts in the country to promote the use of bicycles.
Fenty, a triathlete who can peddle 40 kilometers, which is about 25 miles, in little more than a hour, aggressively moved to implement the plan, believing it was a key linchpin in his effort to make the District a "world-class city." Similar to his drive to build turf athletic fields for students and $500,000 dog parks, Fenty tested transportation officials ability to build top-flight bicycle amenities.
It's a bit lazy to say that Fenty supports bike facilities because he rides a bike. He also walks and runs, but that is never mentioned when discussing pedestrian improvements. He drives most of the time, but that isn't mentioned. Does he have a dog? Is that why he supports dog parks? Never mentioned.
Anyway, there is more about the recent history of DDOT and biking, including the bike plan, bike lanes, the Bike Station and Capital Bikeshare; and how that is getting the "Interested but Concerned" onto bikes in DC
The bike lanes convinced Liz Casey and Mary Kirby, both 23, to test their luck Saturday at biking from U Street to the Mall, the first time either had ridden in the city.
"I've lived here four years, and I think the city is petrifying to bike in, so I am pretty scared," said Casey, who moved to District from Pittsburgh. "But we heard 15th Street had a bike lane, so we are going to use that.
On Capital Bikeshare Gabe Klein makes a strong statement for the program and there is a lot of good news.
Jim Sebastian, director of the Transportation Department's Bicycle and Pedestrian program, said the system has 4,700 annual members, a number growing by "30 to 40 a day."
Officials had estimated 6,800 members by the end of August, prompting them to begin plans to expand the program in the coming months.
"It's absolutely plausible to have 10,000 bikes in 10 years," Klein said.
It ends with the theory that supporting bike facilities may have cost Fenty the election (which I personally don't subscribe to) as well as a quote from George R. Clark, chairman of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City. He claims that because "In some places where (the bike-sharing stations) ended up, the first anyone found out about it was when they were put there," that this is a sign of poor communication by DDOT.
I don't doubt that people didn't know, but that isn't necessarily a sign of bad communication. One of my neighbors was unaware that the Old Naval Hospital was being remodeled even though it has been ongoing for several months now and the building is only a few blocks away. People get busy and not everyone cares that much about these things. But DDOT certainly tried to make the locations known, while not wating time. After the announcement of bike sharing in the spring, they held a contest to name the system, asked residents to suggest locations, and announced the planned locations a couple of months before it opened. They even went to some ANC meetings.
Did they really need to canvas every house to let them know that a bikeshare station would be a few blocks away? There has been very little protest about the locations. What would a resident do if they knew a station was forthcoming? In only two cases that I know of did anyone even oppose them. What has a resident lost by having one installed without being personally informed? They can moved in a few hours.
Because Capital Bikeshare is such a wild success, the Committee of 100 has to find something else to criticize, and the fallback position of those with no valid criticism is process. But that Capital Bikeshare was a failure because they didn't preadvertise the locations well enough is not a criticism anyone else shares.
"I now can get around anywhere without a car," Vale said after he dropped off a bike at the Dupont Circle docking station. "This is what makes D.C. great."
From a TBD article about Silver Spring Park in Fenton Village
To make up for the remaining public space requirement, developers will give $152,728 to Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning to pay for a bike station at Gene Lynch Urban Park, which is adjacent to the Silver Spring Transit Center.
Follow the Mount Vernon Trail from the finish line in Crystal City to
Old Town Alexandria. This 4.5 mile extension takes you past National
Airport to the heart of Alexandria, where you can enjoy the beauty and
the history of Old Town Alexandria.
Do you need an added incentive to bike to Alexandria? Come to the
Snack Shak (located on the Alexandria Waterfront in the Torpedo Factory
Food Pavilion, 5 Cameron Street) between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Show your
Bike DC rider ID and get giveaways provided by the City of Alexandria
and a FREE fresh squeezed juice and a cookie! Supplies are limited.
Alexandria also has a new Waterfront plan, but the "continuous path" along the waterfront appears to be just for pedestrians, since the only drawing with someone with a bike is of someone walking their bike. Which is OK, because Union Street works fine.
Cynthia McKinney, six term Member of Congress and 2008 Green Party
nominee for President, is riding her bike as part of an unsupported group ride from San Francisco to DC. No need to clean up yet, they won't get here until September.
This is getting boring. Another new building that will encourage residents to bike.
the developer has agreed to provide a $50 SmartTrip card and subsidize
membership fees for either a SmartBike
or Zip Car
membership for each unit upon move-in. Because of the site's proximity
to the metro, below-grade parking will provide precisely 34 bicycle
spaces (don't even try getting a 35th bike in there) and 17 car spaces,
according to the zoning application.
Michael Dresser continues to cover sharing the road in his Getting There blog. One post includes a letter from a woman who's husband was killed in a hit-and-run crash and the other from a man stating that Baltimore is worse for cyclists than Texas. (I have to agree with one commenter that Austin, at least, is a pretty great place to bike). (via GGW)
Baltimore's City Paper has an article lamenting the town's lack of a dedicated bike advocacy group (One Less Car is really state-oriented).
Just look at the respective fronts of Baltimore's Penn Station and
D.C.'s Union Station. Here, we have a set of racks sitting out of the
way next to a parking lot; Union Station offers a full-on bike transit
center, with lockers, storage, changing rooms, bike rentals, and even a
repair shop. Note that the center, along with a large percentage of
bicycle improvements nationwide, is funded in large part by federal
dollars. That is to say that the money is out there for the taking, it's
just a matter of having the wherewithal to grab it. Or, to put it into
even sharper terms, you, the Baltimore taxpayer, are paying for other
cities' bad-ass bicycle programs.
CNN has an article with a take on the conflict between cyclists and drivers over space, money and rights to the road.
"The roads were made for cars," KTAR-FM radio guest host John Hook said
in Phoenix, Arizona, last month. "And bicyclists share the road, but
sometimes they think they own the road." [WC: Unlike drivers, who KNOW they own the road?]