I'm going on vacation all week, and there will be no blogging (I know, I blogged on my honeymoon, but this time I mean it). Instead you will get a chance to enjoy Oscar nominated and winning shorts. Why? Because for once, people should enjoy the blog.
Bike to Work Day had a 15% increase in registration region wide over last year--more than 14,600 cyclists total!
WAMU story on DC cycle-tracks "Funding is not as much as an issue as dealing with some of the trade-offs on any given street, especially in downtown where we've done a lot of the easy bike lanes where there was unused space," he said. "When we talk about protection - separation and buffers from cars - and more permanent improvements, it's more a question of planning and consensus building than resources."
If you're wondering about the building going up along the Met Branch Trail at V Street, it's the Carlos Rosario School, a three story public charter school focusing on workforce development. The construction project is scheduled to be completed in mid-August.
University of Maryland students who hand in their commuter parking permits to DOTS can now receive a free bike and a refund worth 25 percent of the permit’s initial cost."The percentage of faculty, staff and students without commuter parking permits has grown to nearly 60 percent — up from less than 20 percent in 2005 — and DOTS officials are hoping to reduce the number even more. DOTS will give a brand-new, $200 Fuji hybrid bike along with a helmet, lights and U-lock to students who pledge to turn in their parking registration and agree to become ineligible for parking during the next academic year...“I want to get more people who don’t bike or who don’t bike regularly to consider it as a transport option,” Malone said. “People have already inquired. … We have 20 bikes, so this is available while supplies last.”Interested students must also take a 30-minute bike safety class with Michael Levengood, bikeUMD bicycle coordinator."
Canal Place in Cumberland is trying to establish a trailhead for the Great Allegheny Passage at the eastern edge of the Western Maryland Railway Station. “We are at mile zero for the towpath. We’re the midway point between Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh. We need a nice trailhead,” The trailhead will include new signs, disabled access, two shelters, bike racks and benches. Ritchie has secured a meeting with CSX officials to try to establish an easement or memorandum of understanding that would allow Canal Place to utilize the railroad bridge that is currently off limits.
"A new map of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail being released on Monday — Earth Day — will show the soon-to-be-finished segment of trail through Keystone Metals in Hays and Sandcastle Waterpark in West Homestead, which will link the riverfront trails around Pittsburgh to the Great Allegheny Passage beyond." Beyond includes Washington, DC.
Americans - and young people in particular - are driving less, biking more and taking more transit for a whole bunch of possible reasons. And, if data out of Cuba can be believed, that should improve health.
The data showed that, during the period of the economic crisis, deaths from cardiovascular disease and adult-onset type 2 diabetes fell by a third and a half, respectively. Strokes declined more modestly, and overall mortality rates went down.
The researchers say that [the “abrupt downward trend” in illness] has more to do with simple weight loss. Cubans, who were walking and bicycling more after their public transportation system collapsed, and eating less (energy intake plunged from about 3,000 calories per day to anywhere between 1,400 and 2,400, and protein consumption dropped by 40 percent). They lost an average of 12 pounds.
On Saturday, the Arlington County Board will vote on a plan to add a cycletrack to Army-Navy Drive. "According to the county staff report, the project would reconfigure 3,300 feet of Army Navy Drive from S. Joyce Street to 12th Street. It would provide shorter and safer pedestrian crossings, improve pedestrian space and construct a separate two-way bicycle track. The redesign is also intended to make room for the future streetcar line."
Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda might stay in a tunnel. "a minor master plan amendment request filed by a property owner last month would offer the cheapest solution to building a station that would link the Purple Line to the Metro subway system and create a tunnel for the Capital Crescent Trail. It would allow the construction of a new tunnel — a separate tunnel — from the one that already exists and it would run under the Apex building and completely avoid the Air Rights building."
VDOT would like your feedback on the Bicycling in Virginia Map. Are you aware of any new trails, bicycle clubs, or other features we should include when we update our map? Have you noticed any typos or errors? If so, please submit your comments
"While advocates .. say more people are biking to work and more businesses have taken steps to make cycling to work easier, Montgomery and Frederick counties still rank below the national rate of commuters who bike to their jobs. About 2,200 people a day cycled to work in Montgomery in 2011, some 0.4 percent of the commuters in the county, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. In Frederick, some 165 daily commuters used bicycles, about 0.1 percent of the total. The national cycling commuting average in 2011 was 0.6 percent."
The reopening of the closed section of the C&O Canal Towpath wasn't just good for trail users, it was good for local businesses too.
"Monique Dykman, 20, of Arnold was riding the bike west on College Drive in a lane against oncoming traffic at 5:15 p.m. last Saturday, the sheriff’s office reports, when the bike collided with the 1995 Dodge Caravan driven by John Smith, 32, of Park Hall. Smith did not require transportation to a hospital for medical treatment."
This article about what it will take to make CitiBike succeed only makes me more confident of it's success. Basically, one time they didn't return their Velib correctly and it was stolen; and also SmartBike was too small. Related story - some business owners are upset about having a bike share station in front of their business. I suspect their tune will change when they see the added foot traffic.
The WeMoveDC Idea Exchange was last Saturday. There is some coverage from the BAC, WABA and GGW.
The Navy Yard section of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is open again. Biking is still not allowed.
Mayor Gray won't rule out a congestion tax. "It's a possibility. I wouldn't rule it out," Gray says. "I haven't considered it yet. I know they do that in London where you can't go into certain areas of the city with a car without paying. But I don't think we're at that point yet." Such a move could really make bicycling a more appealing option to a lot of people.
I failed to mention this from the helmet article yesterday " This session, another bill would open up sidewalks to cyclists to give the road-shy a place to pedal, said Del. Aruna Miller, a Montgomery Democrat. But cyclists oppose that measure, too, in the name of promoting driver awareness of cyclists." Whoa. Did not know about that. Which cyclists oppose making sidewalk cycling legal? Is that a WABA or BikeMaryland position?
"Completion of the last missing piece of a trail network connecting Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., will be celebrated at a June 15 event in West Homestead and at the Point in Downtown Pittsburgh." So I definitely think this should also be celebrated here in DC. Perhaps in Georgetown. I don't know who should organize it (WABA or the C&O Canal group or DDOT or who?) But they didn't just celebrate the Chunnel opening in England.
Why driver's hate cyclists (one theory): they're perceived as rule-breaking free riders "Then along come cyclists, innocently following what they see are the rules of the road, but doing things that drivers aren't allowed to: overtaking queues of cars, moving at well below the speed limit or undertaking on the inside."
Phase I of the Wharf, the SW Waterfront project that includes a new section of the Anacostia Waterfront Trail and other bike-friendly components, announced the approval of its Phase 1 Planned Unit Development (PUD) by the District of Columbia Zoning Commission.
Very old photo of the C&O Canal (and the towpath).
Wearing a facemask while biking in the winter makes you a scofflaw cyclist. You're giving us all a bad name.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) will speak at the Bike Summit.
Today's the shortest day of the year [But don't mention it to him, he's kind of sensitive about it].
New Jersey Avenue redesign is out. It still has bike lanes, but "The corner of K Street and New Jersey Avenue (point C) will no longer get the "innovative" bike lane treatment that routes cyclists next to the crosswalks at corners. Meanwhile, at New York Avenue and New Jersey Avenue, instead of having the tiny islands to route the bike lanes at all 4 corners, there are only 2" And they end one block shorter.
Speed limits are not going up, but traffic fines are going down - and by more than the Mayor asked for. As for speed limits, those that were raised by the Mayor will be going back down.
"Maryland Transit Administration officials on Tuesday unveiled new renderings for the Bethesda station on the Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail planned to connect Bethesda with New Carrollton. The new designs include a five to seven foot sidewalk alongside the light rail through the Wisconsin Avenue tunnel." [See image] I think this is a good compromise. It splits the "trail" into a ped section through the tunnel and a bike and ped section out of it. And it serves as a placeholder for when the buildings are re-developed. [But then, it's possible the sidewalk was originially my idea, so of course I like it]. "Montgomery County is funding a project to re-build a portion of the Capital Crescent Trail alongside the light rail line. The Purple Line project has been hotly contested by some trail advocates."
A husband and wife riding west on Four Mile Run Drive were hit by a truck when its driver lost control, went over the median and struck the cyclists. "The male victim, 63, suffered multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung on his left side....His wife, 61, suffered head trauma and a broken pelvis and remained in critical condition as of 1:45 p.m. Monday at George Washington University Hospital."
Frequent commenter Oboe gets a shout out in a cranky old man article that complains, among other things, that our "Gracious streets have become clogged with bike lanes". Anyone who reads GGW's comments know that Hogwash and goldfish almost always disagree with Alpert.
"Upgrades to the Crystal City Metro station, ranging from signage and bike racks to an expanded pedestrian plaza" will be funded by state transportation dollars that come directly from the state rather than from the NVTC.
At a Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board meeting, citizens were skeptical of Capital Bikeshare's safety. They "questioned whether Montgomery County would be held liable for accidents, why many Bikeshare users in Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Va., don’t use helmets, if there would be enough room on sidewalks for pedestrians and if drunk bar patrons might steal the bikes from docking stations after a night on the town." There are legitimate questions about where the county will find the space needed for the stations - since their sidewalks are more narrow than DC's. "Planned locations now include the Bethesda and Medical Center Metro stations, a number of Woodmont Triangle sidewalks, Bethesda Row posts, a NIH/Suburban Hospital docking station and a stop at Woodmont Avenue and Bethesda Avenue for Capital Crescent Trail access."
Dr Gridlock on Dream Projects for the region "I’d also like to see politicians back new incentives for commuters to use transit or bike. Again, not many ribbons here — unless they’re opening bike lanes, and those can be very controversial if taking space from drivers, so they require some political courage, if not clout."
The Heritage Foundation blames "Costly transit projects and low-value transportation enhancement programs for bicycle and horse trails and roadside transportation museums" for the 33% increase in transportation outlays over the last 10 years. If that were true, there would be a lot more bike parking. They also say these programs "do not improve mobility or relieve traffic congestion" which is demonstrably false.