The majority of people (66%) in the DC area approve of "Washington D.C.'s effort to increase the number of bicycle lanes on major roads." Only 26% Disapporve. Oddly support was lower in DC than in Maryland and Virginia. But that may be because bike lanes had much lower support (57% as opposed to 71%) among African-Americans. Still, there wasn't a single group that didn't approve by a wide margin. In addition, local residents think
Post article on reduced congestion barely mentions biking "Although 75 percent of area commuters get there by car, the survey revealed that commuters are open to alternatives. By about 2 to 1, there was a preference for options other than roads. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they approve of the District’s expansion of the bike lane network."
In April, "street markings and signs on the 9th Street S. and 12th Street S. side of the bike boulevards" that parallel Columbia Pike were to be placed in "late Spring." Now they're saying "in the next 6 weeks."
the Montgomery County Planning Board approved construction of the North Branch Hiker Biker Trail. It will go from Lake Frank in Rock Creek Regional Park to Bowie Mill Park on Bowie Mill Road, connecting to the ICC Trail along the way. Future extensions will take the trail into Olney. A developer of a residential subdivision is building part of the trail on that land. It will be placed on the 2015-2020 capital improvement plan, meaning that it should be built by 2020. See map below.
"The only thing standing between where we are and the kind of infrastructure in Arlington and DC is the will to act....But in many ways, the true highlight of the trip was our meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)"
Good article on CitiBike. I like this "could one use my iPhone’s speaker to tell me which bike stations have empty docks as I approach my destination?"
"There's no direct translation for randonnée (pronounced ran-don-NAY) — it can mean a long outing or trip, or a ramble in the countryside. For its practitioners, called randonneurs, it's easier to define the event by what it isn't: a race. There are time limits, which means riders can't go too slowly — but they also can't go too quickly."
Arlington Boulevard, South Side Trail Extension Study - Extending the east side/south side Arlington Blvd trail to Washington Boulevard and continuing the trail south along Washington Boulevard to 2nd Street S. and Columbia Pike was deemed infeasible by the study, so funding was shifted to the west/north side of Arlington Blvd. An extension to Columbia Pike along Washington Blvd is in design with construction planned for 2014.
Boundary Channel Bridge Underpass Trails - A trail to Boundary drive was constructed as part of the Humpback Bridge Project, but completion was halted due to DOD security concerns. Possible construction of roundabout interchange at I-395 and Boundary Drive in conjunction with the Long Bridge Park aquatics center could provide a DOD-acceptable trail connection.
Crystal Drive and Potomac Ave. Bike Lanes - Crystal Drive bike
lanes to be extended in 2013
S. Joyce Street Bike Lanes from Columbia Pike to 15th Street - Bike lanes
from Army Navy Dr. to 15th St complete as part of FHWA project under I-395, which will be completed in January 2013.
Old Jefferson Davis Highway Bike Lanes - First phase
implemented along Long Bridge Drive in 2012.
Extension to Boundary Drive will be done in conjunction with Phase II of the Long Bridge Park project.
Route 110 South Trail Paving - Project requires a complete reconstruction of trail, new highway ramp crossings and a retaining
wall. This project is currently at 50% engineering, with design to be completed in 2014, followed by the NPS required Environmental Assessment (EA)
Washington Blvd. Trail – West Side Trail- Phase I completed in
(0.3 mile) Phase II currently being redesigned
to reduce tree canopy impact. Approximately at 90% design. Construction planned
Columbia Pike Parallel Bike Routes - Designed as “bike
boulevards”. First implementation planned for 2013.
Pentagon Area Trail - DOD security concerns have forced the project off of the Pentagon Reservation, so it has been re-envisioned as the Army Navy
Drive/Joyce Street cycle track project. Phase I design, including provisions for
streetcar, will occur in FY 2013-2014 with construction in 2015.
W&OD Crossing at Columbia Pike - Designed as at-grade
intersection improvements. In 2013 construction queue.
Arlington Boulevard Trail Renovation - Sections between
Irving & Filmore Streets under design or in queue for construction.
Four Mile Run and W&OD Trail Connector -North and south
approaches partially rebuilt in 2011. Requires bridge replacement to complete. Design planned for FY2014.
Four Mile Run Bridge - Currently under
design. Source of construction funding
needs to be identified.
Potomac Yard – Four Mile run Trail Connector - Currently under
design. Railroad viaduct to be
demolished in 2013.
Rosslyn Circle Area Improvements - Tunnel - West Bound lane reduction and
other safety improvements approved by VDOT at 50% design, but tunnel is not included in the Rosslyn Circle
proposal. Short-term elements
Washington Boulevard Sidewalk Upgrade - Route 110 overpass
being redesigned by VDOT. Complete
corridor requires VDOT & DoD approvals.
W&OD Trail Crossing at Lee Highway - Ramps and trail
alignments to be revised in 2013. Signal
modifications also under consideration.
15th and 16th Streets N. Bicycle Route - On bike network
map. Possible future bike boulevard.
15th Street S. Bicycle Lanes - Bike lanes marked
Hayes St. to Eads St. Eads St to Crystal
18th Street S. Bicycle Lanes - Partially complete. Bell St. to Crystal Drive incomplete.
Fairfax Drive Bike Lanes - Arlington Boulevard
RSTP enhancement study will address bike facilities.
Fairfax Drive Bicycle Route - Possible uphill bike
lane to be marked after completion of Route 50/Courthouse Rd interchange
Kirkwood Road Bike Lanes - To be evaluated in
Military Road Sharrows - To be implemented
after Five-Points project. 2014.
N. George Mason Drive Bicycle Lanes or Sharrows - Bike lanes and sharrows
added in 2012.
N. Pershing Drive Bicycle Route - Placed on
bike map in 2011. Possible upgrade to bike lanes with “nub shaving”.
S. Courthouse Road Bicycle Lanes or Sharrows - Active project. To be
S. Lynn Street /S. Arlington Ridge Road Bicycle Lanes - Uphill bike lane to
be incorporated into next paving
Virginia Square–Cherrydale Bicycle Route - To be implemented
after installation of HAWK signal on Washington Blvd. at Nelson St.
N. 26th Street Bicycle Boulevard - Added to bike network
in 2013 map revision.
N. Harrison Street Bicycle Boulevard - Continuity
improvements planned for 2013.
Washington Boulevard Wide Curb Lanes/Sharrows - Bike lanes
implemented between Westover and N. Harrison St. in 2012
N. Carlin Springs Road Bicycle Lanes - Bike lanes and
sharrows implemented in 2012. Southward extension pending bridge rebuild.
I really wish DDOT could update its list of projects regularly and make it publicly available as Arlington does.
It's a shame about the Pentagon Ares Trail. That project is described as "an on‐ and off‐street bikeway to link Columbia Pike at S. Rolfe
Street with Southgate Road, the Pentagon, and Boundary Drive. At Boundary
Drive, a connection would be made to the trail and underpass [Humpback Bridge stub] that
leads to the Mount Vernon Trail and the 14th Street Bridge. The project would
provide a safer and more direct route for commuting through federal property]. It really is unfortunate that they've deemed a bicycle and pedestrian trail a security concern. Maybe someday we'll be more hardy again.
You can see my latest post on the Green Lane project here. It's on the extended 15th Street cycletrack. And you can also check out this post on making a good neighborhood greenway, which is relevant for the discussion of what to do with Eye Street SE/SW.
So am I the only one who had to evacuate to the basement at work due to tornadoes? The funny thing is we're doing a launch rehersal focused on anomalies and so now we can check that contingency off the list. Lots of "how did you pull that off" jokes directed at the simulation director.
The optimal M Street (and Eye Street) design probably isn't even one of the options here. As oboe might point out, there is some extra space (scraps) and they're letting transit, bikes and peds fight over it. Instead, they should accept that maximizing transportation through there might mean taking some space from autos.
An interview with Bethesda native Rich Roll (not to be confused with a rickroll) one of only two people to complete five Ironman triathlons on five Hawaiian islands in under a week. He's also one of the 25 fittest men in the world (Paul Ryan is the other 24).
Counter-intuitively, Philadelphia has more cyclists and fewer crashes. We could probably argue over which caused the other (did safety lead to more cyclists, or more cyclists to safety), but really, why fight?
MAP-21, the new federal transportation bill, may have less money for biking and peds, but it is targeted more at cities.
This is your usual Level 1, "cyclists are a menace" editorial. I like how current behavior is labelled a "recipe for disaster" followed by a sentence pointing out that it isn't actually a disaster. Perhaps people modified the recipe. Anyway, Ockershausen calls for cyclists to be licensed, required to wear helmets and follow the same laws as automobile drivers, as appropriate. She'll be happy to know that 1/3 of her wishlist is done. This is all followed with a lot of erroneous helmet data. She adds "It's time for cyclists to be held accountable in the same way motorists are." Done. Cyclists are basically not held accountable, just like drivers.
This presentation about Arlington's Capitol Improvement Program has a lot of information about transit projects, at least one cool photo of the excavations done to build the new elevators at Rosslyn Metro and the first look at the new, stylish Clarendon metro plaza that I've seen. In addition there are some updates on cycling projects. Highlights:
The Boundary Channel Drive Interchange, which should create a new connection across the GW Parkway, will begin federally-required Interchange Modification Study in FY 2013
Construction of the Columbia Pike parallel bike boulevards will begin at the western end in 2013
Army-Navy Drive Two-Way Cycletrack funding
Potomac Yard/FMR Trail Connection funding
CaBi expansion to Shirlington and Columbia Pike in FY 2013/14
Colored bike lanes in Pentagon City
Bicycle parking at Clarendon Metro
Bicycle parking at Ballston Metro
The removal of the last 2500 parking meters by 2016
MAP-21 (the new federal transportation bill) will no longer mandate that money be spent on biking. So the advocacy push moves to the states - and DC. Spokes (page 20) contacted Maryland, DC and Virginia officials to see what they planned to do starting Oct 1. So far, all three plan to keep their Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator, continue funding Recreation Trails Programs and fund Transportation Enhancement programs.
It's official: treating red lights as stop signs, and stop signs as yield signs is ethical - even when not legal. [An ethisist says so]. The column also has a local tidbit " Uninterrupted motion, gliding silently and swiftly, is a joy. It’s why I ride. And it’s why Stephen G. Breyer says he rides, sometimes to work at the Supreme Court: “The advantages? Exercise, no parking problems, gas prices, it’s fun. An automobile is expensive. You have to find a place to park and it’s not fun. So why not ride a bicycle? I recommend it.” I don’t know if he runs red lights. I hope so." BTWD speaker!
Many MoCo neighborhoods are closing their street grid to reduce traffic. This is a bad idea, and bad for cyclists who would like to avoid traffic sewers. A better option is to "turn streets like Ellsworth Drive into "neighborhood greenways," also known as "bike boulevards," designed to give people on foot or bike priority over drivers. That's sort of what currently exists on Second Avenue between 16th and Spring streets in Silver Spring, which allows bikes and buses during rush hour, but not cars. And if we're going to turn a street into a dead-end, we should at least make it passable for pedestrians and bicyclists, like on Middleton Lane near downtown Bethesda."
Real estate executive Mark Schneider, a man who was "instrumental in the development of Heinz Field, PNC Park and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh died Sunday from injuries he sustained after crashing his bicycle near Thurmont" two weekends ago during a 100 mile charity ride. "Schneider was at the rear of a group of nine riders near the 8300 block of Ramsburg Road when he took a left turn down a hill and lost control of his bicycle."
On Saturday, the Arlington County Board \approved a $2.4-billion, 10-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Most of the press about this has related to the streetcar element of this, but worry not, for there are several bicycle projects included as well. The CIP includes capital investments (pdf) for Fiscal Years 2013-2022.
Some of these projects will be paid for with General Obligation (GO) Bonds, which have to approved by voters this fall. There are 4 referendum to be voted on totally $153 million.
GO Bond Projects
One of the four referenda is the $31.9 million Transportation referenda. Of it $254,000 will go to BikeArlington for FY 2013.
The BikeArlington program makes physical enhancements to Arlington's bicycle infrastructure, including trails and streets. The intent of the program is to complete the bicycle network, making the network safe to use, providing intuitive and easy to understand wayfinding and traffic control. The program provides safe and convenient bike parking and ultimately increase the number riders and their riding frequency to make bicycle usage a more significant travel mode. The program funds five types of projects: new construction of multi-use trails; trail renovations and safety improvements; expansion of bike lanes and other on-street facilities; installation of bike parking; and bike network wayfinding. Projects range is scale from small intersection adjustments and spot fixes to 1/2 mile segments of new trails. The program coordinates with the Neighborhood Conservation (NC) program, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Transportation Engineering & Operations (TE&O) to achieve multiple long term infrastructure and operational goals that span multiple departments and constituencies.
BikeArlington will also recieve $200,000 from car decal fees, $10,000 from transportation capital funds and $500,000 from federal funding. The program also has $2.808 million in previously approved funding to work with as well.
$2.5 million in GO Bond money will go the Boundary Channel Drive Interchange project in 2013. This will, among other things, create "critical bike and pedestrian connections" from Crystal City to the Mount Vernon Trail. I'm not sure if this is the bridge from Long Bridge Park or finding a way to connect to the dead-end trail from the Humpback Bridge's southern underpass. Regardless, it's funded through the next 3 fiscal years. Bike lanes are already being installed on Long Bridge Drive as part of an ongoing project.
Another $30,000 of the GO Bond money will go to the Potomac Yard/Four Mile Run Trail Connection which "will provide an ADA compliant shared use trail of approximately 250 feet traversing the steep grade between Potomac Yard and the Four Mile Run trail, below. Project will necessarily require significant grading and retaining walls." $786,000, much of it federal funding, is budgeted for this over the next 3 years.
Projects that don't need GO Bond funding
Capital Bikeshare will recieve $200,000 from car decal fees and use $1.243 million in previously approved funding in FY 2013 for expansion and operations, but then the budget drops as no more expansion is planned. The program will continue to use $200k in decal fee revenue and another $200k in state and federal funding to keep the program running.
The Columbia Pike Streets project will include parallel bike routes on 9th St. S. and 12th St. S. ("Bike Boulevards"). Design is scheduled to be complete in fall 2013, with construction to start the following spring and end in summer of 2017.
The Crystal City Streets Network Program is designed to bring and support multi-modal transportation in Crystal City. "Projects include revised and new roadway alignments, improved intersection geometry, two-way traffic patterns, updated traffic signals, bike lanes, new signage and striping, utility undergrounding, accessible clear zone sidewalks and crosswalks, new street lights, street trees, and modern transit shelter facilities. Project locations include Crystal Drive, Clark Bell Street, 12th Street, 18th Street, 23rd Street, and 27th Street." Funding is planned for FY13-18. There is also a program to expand capacity at the Crystal City Metro Station that includes more bike parking in both phases (FY13 and FY15-16).
Bike lanes are also included in the Rosslyn-Ballston Arterial Streets Improvement projects, and bike parking to address increasing bicycle mode share is "anticipated" as part of a modification of the Ballston Metrorail Station. It's funded over the next 10 years.
Army-Navy Drive will be put on a road diet that will allow for the addition of a two-way cycle-track on the south side of the ROW. The project is funded from FY13-FY17.
There's also Maintenance Capital (MC) money that is used to maintain trails.
the Transportation MC program coordinates with the Parks MC program on the maintenance of bicycle and pedestrian trails, since roughly half of the off-road bicycle network is outside park boundaries, and the off-street bicycle network investments must be jointly coordinated with the on-street bicycle network and pavement marking priorities
This includes $273,000 in car decal fee money for the Custis Trail in 2016 for design and construction for milling and paving, asphalt repair, drainage and site furnishings.
Felix Salmon has a new post on Capital Bikeshare and the unbanked. You can sign up for CaBi with a debit card and they will put in place an installment plan for the annual membership - available to everyone.
The draft Maryland Avenue SW plan has been released for comment. The plan looks very preliminary, but the preferred section looks like a bicycle boulevard and the rendering has more bicyclist in the roads than cars. Another image (page 3-11) shows it as just a bike trail, with wide sidewalks along the side. If you bike in that area of town you should comment by February 3rd. A woonerf, bike boulevard or trail would be great. More so if it tied in to the Long Bridge bike path that is surely not going to happen.
At a forum on the delayed Mechanicsville, MD section of the Three Notch Trail, 48 people were in support of the trail and only 3 were not. One person did make the "trails bring crime" argument, but that didn't appear to get any traction. So much for claims of strong opposition.
Golden, CO is suing the federal government for giving away rights to land that Golden wants to build a bike trail on. The feds want to build a tollway on the land.
Not much new out there, so my only link today is from this Economist article that I failed to link to before and is nearly three months old. The article is about how America is unsafe for cyclists - when compared to certain European cities, and the reason is that safety is taken less seriously.
Had Mr Wang been commuting on a busy bike route in Amsterdam, Copenhagen or Berlin, his unprotected exposure to instruments of death—namely, any vehicle moving at 20mph or more—would be nearly nil. These cities have knitted together networks for everyday travel by bike. To start with, motor vehicles allowed near cyclists are subject to “traffic calming”. They must slow down to about 19mph, a speed that, in case of collision, kills less than 5%. Police strictly enforce these speed limits with hefty fines. Repeat offenders lose their licenses.
This is different than the situation in DC. The speed limit here is higher, especially outside the city. We have a less extensive bike network. The speed limit is not strictly enforced. And no one loses their license.
Recently Muriel Bowser and Tommy Wells introduced a bill to lower the speed limit to 15mph on neighborhood streets in DC. AAA Mid-Atlantic's John Townsend called this speed "not humanly possible", which is ridiculous, but it is true that cars that have automatic transmission have difficulty managing that speed. Emissions go up and wear increases. And since most people in America drive automatic transmission, that is something to consider. I addition, speed limits are already ignored and mostly unenforced. In such an environment a lower limit will have little effect.
Perhaps a better solution can be found.
What if there were a law that allowed neighborhoods to formally request a livable street (aka road diet) - as they now do for speed humps. Once a request is approved, the road would be "re-zoned" as a "slow neighborhood street." The next time DDOT did a major repair or repainting it would include a combination of narrowed travel lanes, bike lanes, bumpouts, etc... that would make the design speed of the road less than 25mph.
Bowser and Wells should be credited for their proposal, but I think it can be made better - even if the changes will be slower.
Going back to the Economist article, the other thing we need are more cycletracks.
In much of northern Europe, cyclists commute on lanes that are protected from cars by concrete buffers, rows of trees or parked cars. At busy crossroads, bicycle-activated traffic lights let cyclists cross first. Traffic laws discriminate in favour of people on bikes.