If you look at previous announcements you can see many lanes carried over from one year to the next. For example, Piney Branch from Missouri to Georgia shows up in 2011 and then in 2012, and then in 2013 and then again in 2014. So, yes, they put more in their plan than they actually get done. Part of this is because of the way bike lanes usually get added. Often it is part of a road repair project. The group at DDOT that repairs roads lets the group at DDOT that does bike lanes know about what work they're going to do. So then the bike lane group puts that stretch of bike lanes on the list. If, then, the road repair does not occur, then the bike lanes do not go in. But that is only some of the times. There are probably several reasons, some better than others, why bike lanes are proposed in the winter and then not installed for years.
A couple of other notes from the Washingtonian article.
Another project listed as “ready to go” is a two-block protected lane on First St., NE, connecting the Metropolitan Branch Trail to street level. (Currently, cyclists must haul their bikes up a staircase to access the trail’s southern end.)
This project will not change the connections to the Met Branch Trail. It's still either the stairs at L Street or the ramp at M Street. In fact, I heard that DDOT may have to postpone the L Street ramp for now. Bristol Property, the owner, is concerned that there's a hazmat issue with the land where and does not want DDOT to take any soil borings which would indefinitely stall the project.
At the top of the list are several 2013 projects, such as the M Street cycletrack and contraflow bike lanes on G and I streets NE. The 1st Street cycletrack between M and K Street will ostensibly be finished this spring
There are a few vocal and well connected neighbors opposing this project because of a loss of a small number of public parking spaces. This stretch of King Street is a neighborhood street with mostly single family homes with driveways. The City of Alexandria observed about 95% of the parking spaces were vacant over a three month period this year. This unused public space should be utilized to make our streets safer for all. Kids should be able to bike to school, residents should be safe walking to the Metro station, and visitors should feel comfortable riding Capital Bikeshare to shop in Old Town.
There is a definite possibility that the vote will go against the bike lanes or be delayed. The opposition is vocal and motivated. Please attend the public meeting and support King Street Traffic Calming!
But this is what lobbyists do: Stand in the way of change that does not wholly benefit them alone.
I'll point out that lobbying one's government is a constitutionally protected right and actually a pretty important part of our democracy. I know lobbyist has a negative connotation, even in this town where many of us know actual lobbyists, but still it's a loaded term and that's why Papp used it instead of "advocate". [Papp, btw, works for the NCSE which sounds like it might do a little lobbying itself].
the design remains a solution crafted by planners, not traffic and safety engineers. It still demonstrates great potential for near misses and collisions.
I love how the designers can't be trusted because they're just "planners" and can't possibly know if it's safe, and then she adds in that it "demonstrates great potential for near misses and collisions" based on what we can only assume is her own, non-traffic or safety engineering estimate. "These people are not experts and as a layman I can tell that the design is flawed."
She also brings out the canard that cyclists were presented as traffic-calming devices and buffers. They were not. Bike lanes are traffic-calming devices and buffers. That is an important difference.
But yes, having officials from organizations with members in the jurisdiction hosting a meeting show up and advocate - publicly - for decision makers to decide one way or another is a sign that "outside organizations are out of control." The nerve of them.
Another letter writer in the same issue, who lives farther up King Street where there is no on-street parking, calls on residents along the street to compromise.
There's also a quote from Tom Walczykowski, president of the Clover-College Park Civic Association calling the bike lanes a total fiasco. Walczykowski is one of the "lobbyists" who showed up at a recent city council meeting to oppose the bike lanes.
Meanwhile, the Alexandria Gazette Packet has a blurb about how Councilman Tim Lovain "says Alexandria should consider a draft policy statement to support initiatives such as permeable pavementand rain gardens" as part of a Green Streets initiative. And it has a letter from Sue Gunter, a nearby resident, in support of the bike lanes. She contradicts all of Papp's claims (except the irrelevant ones about outside lobbyists.)
The city's professional staff recommended the at-issue compromise plan for King Street - which was vetted by a civil engineering firm - after several meetings with residents and after making numerous changes to address their concerns.
Yes, but WHERE do those civil engineers live? I hope they aren't outsiders!
She goes on to point out that bike LANES (not bike riders) have a calming effect and they help get cyclists off the sidewalks.
the argument for civil unions doesn’t force the opposition to enunciate the moral arguments for their opposition and when the moral ground of the opposition is weak that is a strategic failure.
The opposition here would like to focus on the evil outside lobbyists (or the process or the oppositions framing - which they misrepresent), because focusing on the issue at hand - should we give up parking to build bike lanes - and taking the opinion that parking for a few is more important than roads that accommodate all users makes them sound evil. They don't have the moral high ground so they want to change the subject, which - as I see it - is tacit admission that they're wrong.
Although the issue was not on the docket at a city council hearing Saturday, residents took more than two hours of the public comment period to air their views on the matter. Afterward, Mayor Bill Euille called it the longest open microphone session for residents that he could recall.
Deputy City Attorney Chris Spera said residents asked for a direct appeal of the decision to city council earlier this month. In return, city attorneys dug up a rarely used provision of city code — added in 1963 — that allows residents to appeal any decision altering public parking to the traffic and parking board, which in turn sends a recommendation to city council.
Some people continue to pretend that this is about safety
King Street resident Louise Welch is happy officials chose to revisit the debate over bike lanes because she fears the addition would make the road less safe. Advocates and officials, though, advertise bike lanes as a traffic-calming measure.
“We hope that’s not just them appeasing us; I hope it is a real chance to raise our concerns relating to safety and so forth,” Welch said. “[The] road is just too narrow. They’re trying to put something there that doesn’t work.”
Narrowness has nothing to do with it since parking will be removed and a bike lane put in its place.
Though most neighborhood residents have driveways, on-street parking needs to be available, she argued.
“Sometimes my husband needs to be picked up to take him to cardiac rehab when I can’t be there, and [without street parking], the car would sit protruding into traffic,” she said. “Or if I have a contractor come, if they have big trucks, they’d have to park across the street … and carry their equipment or a toilet or something across King Street.”
Temporary parking in the bike lane will be allowed, especially for the situation she's described - though why wouldn't their driveway work for either of those? Regardless, we don't need to leave all that parking for the handful of times that these situations come along. It's incredibly inefficient.
The city traffic and parking board will hold its next meeting February 24.
The long-awaited segment of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that will link the District of Columbia to Maryland will begin construction this spring. Milani Construction LLC of D.C. last month won approval to construct the over-$22-million, four-mile segment that will run from Benning Road in the district to Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Maryland.
In related news, DDOT held a meeting in December on the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI) Transportation Master Plan Update that is scheduled to come out this year. There are several projects in this that are bicycle related. These include the South Capitol Street projects, Suitland Parkway Trail, Virginia Avenue redesign, and of course the Anacostia Riverwalk Trails. The status of these projects and more are listed in this handout.
One new bit of information for me is that the Massachusetts Avenue bridge over the Anacostia is no longer under consideration. I'm not surprised, there was a lot of opposition to this even though it would have only been for bikes, pedestrians, and service and emergency vehicles. It's too bad because it would have been a useful connection.
Another project to note is the Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue Two-Way Widening project which is in the Design phase. From the map it looks like this would impact the area from Suitland Parkway to Alabama Avenue. This is a road that, in the bike plan, is scheduled for bike lanes and definitely needs a climbing lane at the very least. The only reference to this I could find was in the St. Elizabeth's East Traffic and Planning Report. That document notes that the Bike Plan includes bike lanes, but it doesn't include them in this project. Instead it involves
Widening the existing four-lane Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. to include two travel lanes in each direction along with a center two-way left turn lane, and upgraded pedestrian facilities.
If they aren't going to add a climbing lane or bike lanes when they do this project, then they aren't going to add them anytime in the next 20 years. And this seemed like a chance to get some bike lanes in Ward 8.
Residential activists, who were told that Baier was the final authority on the matter, found a 50-year-old city law that allows appeals having to do with parking on city streets.
Baier said Wednesday that the 1963 law discovered by the residents had never before been used, and after the city attorney’s staff examined it, they determined that the bike lane plan should slow down.
“I want to be totally transparent about this,” Baier said. The traffic board could have a public hearing in February, and the plan could go to the City Council at its March 15 meeting, he said.
I should add two caveats. First, these numbers don't include off-road bike trails, like Ward 8's Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, which offers some of the most pleasant biking in town. And second, DDOT doesn't list bike lanes on streets that form the border between two wards as belonging to either ward, and there are 0.59 miles of bike lanes listed separately as being shared by wards 7 and 8—presumably the lane on 25th Street SE and Naylor Road SE. Still, a caveat to that caveat: I've been listing the "grand totals" of bike lanes, which include not only dedicated lanes, but also shared lanes and bus/bike lanes. Looking only at proper bike lanes, the mileage shared by wards 7 and 8 is just 0.32 miles.
There may be some sharrowed lanes, but there is another caveat he leaves out.
The area EOTR was mostly developed after the car came along. This means that the roads were all designed to be the ideal width for car traffic.
Older streets in DC - like on Capitol Hill - were not and thus are not some multiple of 11 feet wide. This means that on Capitol Hill, once they put in auto lanes the road often has a little extra space left over. DDOT has been turning that extra space into bike lanes. On Capitol Hill, they turned a lot of wide one-way, one lane streets into normal one-way, one lane streets with a bike lane. They can't do that EOTR. EOTR, putting in bike lanes means taking out parking or taking out a traffic lane.
So that's the main reason why Ward 8 doesn't have bike lanes. Putting in bike lanes would be a massive fight.
But additionally, CM Barry is probably the least interested in biking. He's not opposed to it or anything, he just doesn't show a lot of interest. I've never seen him at Bike to Work day. He rarely fills his seat on the Bicycle Advisory Council. He doesn't go to oversight hearings or get involved. Every other CM does. So, they're hasn't been a lot of pressure on DDOT. Squeaky wheel gets the bike lanes.
Alexandria announced Wednesday it will hold two more public hearings concerning its plan for bike laneson a segment of King Street after receiving citizen requests to appeal a decision from the city’s transportation director to implement the controversial traffic-calming strategy.
Following a recommendation from City Attorney Jim Banks, the Traffic and Parking Board will then hold a full-fledged hearing on the project on Monday, Feb. 24 as part of a review of Baier’s decision. The board will then make a recommendation to City Council, which will consider the issue at its Saturday, March 15 public hearing.
The city said there is no direct procedure that provides for an appeal, but Banks deemed a section of city code concerning traffic controlling devices applicable in this circumstance.
So, it would be good to have some turnout for these meetings, where possible.