DDOT intends to install the bike lane barriers between 13th and 15th Streets in September, Dormsjo said, finally protecting the entire length of Washington premier downtown cycle track.
“The particular roadway characteristics along Pennsylvania Avenue on the 1300 and 1400 blocks required a little bit more deliberation because we didn’t want to create a false impression for motorists or cyclists,” Dormsjo said. “It wasn’t a straight forward installation like the rest of the blocks.”
But they may start allowing U-turns at the intersections, which makes sense to me.
DDOT has been studying whether to allow U-turns at certain intersections where left turns currently are legal on Pennsylvania Avenue. However, Dormsjo said only recently did his agency learn that allowing U-turns anywhere in the city required a change to the D.C. code.
DDOT may legalize U-turns at 13 ½ Street outside the Wilson Building simultaneous to the installation of the bike lane barriers in September.
And, other good news
DDOT director Leif Dormsjo said the MPD is committed to upgrading its crash reporting to comply with MMUCC standards.
“We’re really thrilled that in the future we are going to get much more granular information,” Dormsjo said. “We are always striving for better information, and one of the limitations in the reporting is there isn’t adequate coverage of pedestrian- and cyclist-related injuries and crashes.”
GGW recently took upon themselves the heroic effort of trying to pin down who on the DC Council does and does not support extending the barriers along the Pennsylvania Avenue protected bike lanes to the two blocks nearest city hall. [The rumor, never substantiated as near as I can tell, is that these two blocks were not included to accommodate the wishes of the council]. During a twitter chat following the article, Councilmember Yvette Alexander wrote:
@zwirnm@ggwash Bikers sometimes don't use the bike lanes and that should be enforced as well!
Oh boy...I'll just note that WABA has invited her along for a ride to show her the value (and limitations?) of bike lanes.
I usually use the bike lanes on Penn, but when it's crowded I sometimes move over into the all-traffic lanes, bike lane traffic is moving too slow, and cars are going slower allowing me to easily keep up.
The DDOT representative to the Bicycle Advisory Council recently announced that DDOT was working with the Architect of the Capitol and the ANC to extend the soon-to-be-completed protected bike lane (PBL) on 1st Street NE from Union Station to the PBL on Pennsylvania NW via Louisiana Avenue NE/NW.
The 1st Street NE PBL extension to Union Station is almost done, with the resurfacing to begin soon (if not already underway) followed by the installation of the concrete blocks similar to those further north. When done, First Street will become a one-way street with a two-way PBL, where now traffic is allowed to go two directions for part of the way. The PBL on this block will be two feet wider (10') than on the sections farther north, as DDOT now views 10' as the minimum for such facilities. There will be a loading zone on the opposite side of the street.
DDOT has been meeting with the AOC, local ANC and Councilmember Allen's staff to discuss extending the PBL further south, along Louisiana Avenue where it would connect to Pennsylvania Avenue via either 1st or 3rd. Discussions are preliminary and no alternatives have been defined yet, but the response has been mostly positive. One potential roadblock is that the design will likely require the removal of parking along Louisiana. Parking is under the purview of the Sergeant at Arms, not the AOC, and they are concerned about the loss of parking. But if all goes well, work could begin next year.
Study on the East End Bikeway, which would install a mile-long north-south bikeway on the east side of downtown, continues. They've collected data on traffic volume, parking, transit use, land use etc...They've also been reaching out to stakeholders, especially churches to address concerns early. They'd like to have a public meeting on it soon, perhaps September, and present alternatives. There will be choices about designs and about which street(s) to use. 4th and 8th have been ruled out, but they may get bike lanes. On other streets the options are a one-way PBL on each side of the street; a bi-directional bikeway on one side or a pair of one-way PBLs on adjacent streets such as 5th and 6th. The aspiration is to have the 30% design completed by the end of the year, with installation to start next spring.
DDOT has only installed about 2 miles of bike lanes so far this year. They've been busy filling small gaps, which are nearly as much work as longer lanes, but with less mileage; but DDOT thinks they're critical pieces which will pay off. They've installed a couple of small bike lane sections on 2nd and 3rd NE near Rhode Island Avenue; bike lane and sharrows on 19th Street NE/SE on Capitol Hill (This was originally to be a complete rebuild of the street, but became restriping only); bike lanes and sharrows on 49th street NE; a pair of one-way bike lanes on Galveston and Forrester Streets SE and one-block sections on 4th and 6th NE near Stanton Park. They plan to do the same thing on 11th and 13th near Lincoln Park too.
Design and community outreach is underway on the north section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail. They're meeting with community groups, taking soil borings near the trash transfer station and the Metro tunnel and working on the 305 design which they hope to complete this year. The stickier sections are the crossing of Riggs Road and the area near the Brookland Metro entrance. They hope to start construction in 2017.
DDOT and DPW are creating a snow clearing plan for bridges for next winter. Last year no one was responsible for the 14th Street Bridge so it wasn't cleared. They are trying to prioritize bridge sidewalks for clearing and then DPW and DDOT are dividing up responsibilities, so that every bridge will eventually get service.
The two-way cycle track ANC 6C formally requested last night would be on Louisiana Avenue, between Columbus Circle NE and Constitution Avenue NW. The bike lanes are intended to bridge the Pennsylvania Avenue NW bike lanes with the 1st Street NE cycle track that is under construction, helping link bike lanes that stretch across the District.
To build the bike lanes, DDOT would need the approval of the Architect of the Capitol. Louisiana Avenue NE between Columbus Circle and North Capitol Street NE has three lanes for congressional staffer parking, one of which needs to go to support the cycle track, the ANC wrote in a letter it approved last night to DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo and Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers.
The FHWA recently released a design guide for protected bike lanes. Streetsblog has an excellent write up on it. In a local nod, the cover photo of the guide is of the L Street protected bike lane (by WABA's own Alex Baca) and there are a few other photos of the M and L lanes as well. It also calls out DDOT for money saving techniques and introducing bike-sharing in 2008.
Municipalities often consider more affordable, temporary materials for their flexibility and ease of installation. Washington, DC, built two of its newer separated bike lanes along L and M Streets NW, using flexible delineator posts and reduced use of green paint in order to save money on implementation while addressing neighborhood concerns about design. The District’s Department of Transportation estimates that separated bike lane construction costs on L Street may have been reduced by upwards of 50% as a result.
It includes a definition of separated bike lanes and some reasons for installing them, as well as some compelling safety data.
The analysis conducted as part of the preparation of this guide studied data from 17 separated bike lane corridors in 8 States (refer to Appendix C). Based on this analysis, separated bike lanes were generally associated with a decrease in total crashes and an increase in total bicycle crashes, however, when accounting for changes in bicycle volumes on facilities that provided sufficient pre- and post-implementation bicycle volume data, the per capita crash rates for cyclists appeared to decrease in most facilities after separated bike lanes were installed. Additionally, the analysis found that increases in bicycle crashes after separated bike lanes were built were especially pronounced at intersections.
Then there's a lot of wonky discussion of design elements, maintenance issues and funding mechanisms - among other things. That the FHWA has come out with such a document is a very positive development.