A development proposal for the Takoma Park Metro station is highlighted at GGW. It doesn't seem to show any sign of the Met Branch Trail through the area, even though alternative C3 would pass right through the area. And alternative C1 goes along the side of it.
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 beginning of this month, Mayor Gray submitted a package of 11 bills as part of the Sustainable DC Act of 2013. Included in this is the Transit Benefit Establishment Act of 2013, which would require that employers with 50 or more workers provide their minimum wage-eligible staff with some form of transit benefit. [This] could include the bicycle commuter benefit, if the employer chooses to offer it.
While not perfect, that bill had a lot of promise. But that bill was withdrawn about a month after it was introduced. I've contacted the Mayor and members of the council to find out why, but no one has written me back. So that's disappointing.
On a related note, there are some other bills that are working their way through or have been approved that cyclists might be interested in.
There's the Smoking Restriction Amendment Act of 2013 which became law at the end of 2013. It prohibits smoking at or within 25 feet of any public recreational facility when another person is present (with an exception for smoking at residential property) and it defines a public recreational facility to include trails.
[The budget] adds new money to build two $100 million highway segments, Goshen Road in Gaithersburg and the 8000-foot-long Montrose Parkway East near White Flint, and lets environmental studies for the even more expensive extension of Midcounty Highway continue. But many transit, bike, and pedestrian projects have been delayed.
Bicyclists get a speedup in construction for a bike path on Needwood Road, required under the terms of a state grant. But the money comes from slowing down work to complete the far more important Metropolitan Branch Trail. Bike projects on Bethesda Avenue, Frederick Road, and Seven Locks Road are delayed too.
Metro is aiming to take advantage of some of the boom in development near public transit by finding development partners interested in building on properties it owns near five of its stations: Brookland, Navy Yard, Fort Totten, Grosvenor-Strathmore and Morgan Boulevard.
The Fort Totten development is of some note, as the Metropolitan Branch Trail will pass through the same area. Last I heard (in 2010) it would be "in the form of a 14 foot wide sidepath planned for the west side of 1st Place." You can see it on the drawings in the Post article.
Crews recently completed the foundations and piers that will support the ramp and stairway adjacent to the Metropolitan Branch Trail and CSX railroad tracks. The next step in the construction process is to build the ramp and stairway. This work will continue through January 2014. Please use caution when travelling along the Metropolitan Branch Trail in this area. The project is projected to be completed on time by January 2015.
DDOT was prompted to clarify the status of the trail after D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) wrote a letter to the agency, asking why so little progress has been made for the past three years.
The issue is not money.
When construction eventually begins, DDOT has funding programmed into its budget to finish the eight-foot-wide trail within Washington,
The biggest unresolved issue remains property conflicts near the Fort Totten Metro station: the Met Branch Trail would sneak around a municipal trash transfer station, privately owned railroad tracks and concrete factory, onto National Park Service property and around land owned by Metro.
“I hesitate to put a timeline on the actual construction of the trail just because… we don't know all the answers about what's going to be needed to be done,” said Sam Zimbabwe, DDOT’s policy, planning, and sustainability director, who said there is no schedule to begin design work at this time. Design work is expected to take about one year before any construction could begin.
Land-use negotiations are still ongoing, Zimbabwe said.
The building will also have an elevated park open to the public, which a landscape architect is currently designing, Cohen says. "We're talking about a water feature and other features up there to activate it and make sure it's not just looking pretty."
What would be great is if this park could be accessed directly from the MBT with a bridge over L Street and then an at grade connection to K Street. I doubt that is in the cards, but one can dream.
*the trail actually continues to Union Station on both sides of the track, but it changes to an on-road and on-sidewalk trail at that point.
DDOT filled a lot of potholes, but many were not patched well - and not with cyclists in mind.
On the Fort Totten Metro "Anna Chamberlain, a DDOT transportation planner, talked about how streetscape improvements could calm traffic, making streets around the Metro station more pedestrian- and bike-friendly. DDOT is also working to improve connections to the Metro, as some areas lack clearly defined walking paths. The agency will begin designing a path connecting the Metro to the Metropolitan Branch Trail within the next few months."
Failed to report this earlier. CaBi set new one month records in April and then again in May, with 256,968 trips in month as the new high. Ridership was up 38% from 2012 in April and 31% in May. Though mileage data hasn't been updated since March, it's likely the system had it's 5 millionth mile in June. Trips per bike per month are down only a little from 2012, despite a nearly 40% increase in bikes.
Bicycle related crashes in Farifax County are up 25% from 2011 to 2012. That seems like a lot even if increased cycling is considered. I wonder if it's better reporting. "As part of their study, Fairfax County police also determined about a quarter of the bicyclists were not wearing reflective clothing at the time of their crashes. Police said they're teaming up with private cycling groups to help educate folks on how to properly share the road." OK, but how many of those crashes were at night? And did the bike have reflectors or lights? I often don't wear reflective clothing, and it isn't required by law.