Thankfully, Richard Layman got a quote into one of these AAA "war on drivers" stories about why red light cameras should be supported. “On my bicycle I’ve been hit by a car running a red light,” says Richard Layman, a transportation blogger.
Wouldn't it be great to have a complete 27 mile "bicycle beltway" around DC? On March 16, compete in a fun bicycle race or be a cheering spectator as contestants pedal up "Big Stinky," the steep unpleasant detour that bypasses the still-unfinished section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Join BicycleSPACE in encouraging DDOT to finish the trail! Come out in your best costume and festoon the finish line with chalked encouragement, or race up the detour for fame and glory (not to mention the Golden Garbage Pail). Costumes! Prizes! Excitement! Infamy! Don't miss it!
When: Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Where: Fort Totten Transfer Station 4900 John McCormack Dr NE, Washington, DC 20011 Washington, DC 20011
WABA wants DDOT to install the M Street cycle track this spring. At a recent facilities committee meeting, DDOT said that M Street was still in design and that the design could be finished in May.
Ronnie Kweller makes the case for enhanced residential parking. The question really is, can the city afford to provide very cheap parking to every resident who wants It? And then I guess we should ask, should it? Ronnie Kweller might be better off investing in a zipcar membership and getting rid of her car. Or she can rent a parking space in the neighborhood for $250/month.
Photo - French Cardinal Phillipe Barbarin rides his bicycle in St. Peter's Square after a meeting at the Vatican. [But not everyone is young enough to bike to work, and some people have to look nice when they get there.]
Some advocates think a bike fee may make sense. I would argue that cyclists already pay a sales tax on all their bicycle, accessory and service purchases. And sales taxes go to paying for infrastructure. So cyclists already pay a bike fee. The question is, should they pay a larger one.
At this link, check out the photo of the "Rough Riding Contest" at Meridian Hill in 1895. It's a bunch of cyclists on penny farthings. I think I see the next Dandies and Quaintrelles ride theme. Seriously, I want to know more about this, and does anyone know where the actual photo can be found?
It's funny I was just in a conversation yesterday about this issue (in advance of the Bike Summit). At AASHTO’s annual Washington conference, DOT Secretary Ray Lahood said that U.S. DOT was getting into the business of issuing its own design standards, instead of simply accepting the AASHTO guidelines. "Cycling advocates have long criticized the AASHTO guide, and the FHWA’s adherence to it, since even the most recent version doesn’t incorporate the latest thinking in bicycle and pedestrian safety treatments." They will still work with AASHTO, but they should also get more input from NACTO which has it's own set of standards (Which CaBi GM Eric Gilliland helped develop). This has the potential to be an enormous win for cyclists and cycling.
On February 28th, Montgomery County Planning Staff plans to give the Planning Board a briefing on the Purple Line, Capital Crescent Trail, and Silver
Spring Green Trail Projects. That briefing will cover several issues of interest to cyclists.
1. Perhaps most relevant is that no one really knows how the state will pay for any of it, and thus whether or not it will be built. The Preliminary Engineering phase of the Purple Line will wrap up this summer.
At that time the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will issue a Record of
Decision (ROD), which signals formal federal approval of the Final Environmental Impact Statement
(FEIS). The current schedule is to start final design in fall 2013, start construction in 2015, and to begin
service in 2020. This is contingent upon securing funding. A recent cost estimate for the Purple Line
estimated a capital cost of $2.2 billion (year of expenditure). The project is proposed to be funded
evenly by the state (50%) and the federal government (50%), but the state does not currently have a
2. As reported previously, if the Purple Line is built, the Air Rights Tunnel will no longer be open to cyclists, but cyclists will be able to walk along a 5-7 foot sidewalk and exit through the Woodmont Plaza walkway.
3. Because of this, MCDOT hired consultants to design a surface alignment for the trail. They expect to complete Phase I of this by late summer 2013. There are still issues to work out.
Council requested that the project team consider a protected signal phase for pedestrian and bicycle
crossing of MD 355, and consideration of a left turn prohibition for eastbound Bethesda Avenue at MD
355. Businesses and the Town of Chevy Chase oppose the turn prohibition. MCDOT has developed a
potential signal phasing concept that provides for a protected portion for the trail crossing within the
signal cycle, while maintaining the left turn movement. The project team is also working to find the proper method to handle crossings for the intersection of Bethesda Avenue and Woodmont Avenue,
which is proving to be a challenge based on traffic and pedestrian movements at that location.
4. But, it's noteworthy that they haven't given up on keeping the trail in A tunnel, even if it doesn't remain in this tunnel
The Planning Departments work program includes an update to the Bethesda CBD Sector Plan starting
in April 2014 and Planning staff has asked MTA to determine whether a new tunnel crossing for the
trail beneath the Apex Building, Wisconsin Avenue, and the Air Rights Building is feasible, and if so, to
identify the location and spatial requirements of the tunnel so that it can be considered as part of the
Sector Plan update.
5. Until they determine the future of any tunnel, they can't determine the need for the easements they required the Woodmont East development to provide for the trail.
6. Original designs included trail connections to East-West highway and an at-grade crossing of the tracks, but these were pulled for safety reasons. But lately, MTA has developed concepts for a direct connection to Lynn Drive with an underpass below the train. "MTA presented both concepts to the Town of Chevy Chase Mitigation Advisory
Group on January 23, 2013 and is awaiting a formal response...Planning staff has concerns with both options."
7. They've redesigned the Silver Spring Transit Center so that there is "no longer a conflict area between cyclists using the Capital Crescent Trail and transit
patrons traveling between the second level of the transit center and the Purple Line." You can see how it passes above street level but below the purple line in the images below.
8. In addition to the Capital Crescent Trail, the Purple Line also shares right-of-way with the Silver Spring Green Trail. The Green Trail between Whole Foods and Sligo Creek was delayed to accommodate Purple Line planning. "The Silver Spring Green Trail will ultimately be constructed in conjunction with the Purple Line."
The cross section requirements of the Purple Line require more width than was originally anticipated in
the 2003 Silver Spring Green Trail plan. Therefore, it is not possible to continue both a sidewalk and a
shared-use path to Sligo Creek Parkway without severely impacting residences. Instead, MTA is
proposing to provide a minimum 8-foot shared use path and a minimum 5-foot landscaped panel. The
County Council and Planning Board have adopted this recommendation as part of the Purple Line
Functional Plan. Bicycle advocates have stated that if the sidewalk is eliminated, the shared-use path
should be 10-foot-wide at a minimum, per AASHTO recommendations.
Staff believes that there is room for a 10 foot wide trail with a 5 foot buffer from the road and 2 feet of shy space from the retaining wall.
In addition, the intersection of Wayne Ave and Cedar Street is particularly problematic for cyclists (see
Exhibit 17). Crossing Cedar Street requires cyclists to make four right angle turns, negotiate four ramps,
cross a street, and avoid pedestrians. This does not create an experience that matches the importance of this trail. And because of this, it is likely that many cyclists will ride against traffic in Wayne Avenue to
cross Cedar Street. While there is limited right-of-way available to better accommodate the trail
crossing, there may be some space along the frontage of #801 Wayne Ave. It appears that the stairs to
this building were constructed in the public right-of-way. If the stairs were removed, it may be possible
to shift the trail away from the road and to improve the crossing. This issue will need to be evaluated in
greater detail to better understand if and how the staircase was approved in the public right-of-way. If
this encroachment was not approved, the County could consider removing it, which might allow the trail
to be shifted away from the road and provide a better crossing
9. Though the right-of-way needed on Arliss Street - where bike lanes are planned - is wider than the existing right-of-way, the extra feet will be found and the bike lanes are still planned.
"During the 2013 National Bike Summit, March 4-6, Capital Bikeshare will have additional corrals at its regular station at H and 8th Streets (just two blocks from the Summit hotel). That means you can pick up a CaBi at any location in the city and ride it to the Summit — without having to worry about the bike docks being full. Capitol Bikeshare will have valets there ready to take your bike and point you in the right direction."
There were some losses in the Virginia legislature this year, including a bill that allows localities to put stop signs or lights on trails where the intersect roads, but there was one win with a bill that will make texting while driving a primary offense and raise the penalty. Both those bills now go before the Governor.
A letter writer to Dr. Gridlock warns other pedestrians about speeding cyclists on the sidewalk. Dr. G adds "Conditions aren’t as bad for pedestrians as they were in the heyday of the bicycle messenger, but walkers still need to be very aware of their surroundings. As Wahl points out, it’s not paranoid to look behind you."
Bicycling advocate and Montgomery County Planning Board member Casey Anderson is also the spokesman for Marylanders Against Gun Violence. But has he watched every episode of Smallville?
"In fact, Marylanders enjoy bicycling for many reasons and at many levels of expertise, and some, including me, even do so on occasion simply to feel the joy of the wind in their hair."
DDOT is rolling out more Leading Pedestrian Interval intersections. "Leading pedestrian intervals are already in place at 14th Street and U Street N.W., which had nine crashes involving a cyclist and seven more involving pedestrians between 2010 and March 2012, " If the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013 passes, they would become Leading Pedestrian (and Bicyclist) Intervals.
Do you like drinking wine while riding around in a pedicab? Well, not only is it a new Olympic sport but also a groupon.
"The Catonsville Short Line Trail between Maiden Choice Lane and Paradise Ave. will be resurfaced with a crush and run (CR6) gravel surface beginning on February 25, 2013."
Changes at Ft. Myer dealing with access go into effect today. "The Wright Gate, located at the intersection of North Meade Street and Marshall Drive, will now close to visitors from 6 to 11 p.m. each day. During those hours, only those holding Department of Defense identification will be able to use that gate." This is in response to budget issues that arise from no longer allowing private security guards to man the gates. Hatfield Gate and Henderson Hall Gate will remain open, so cyclists may be able to go around the south side of the cemetery and fort if they are coming home late.
Frederick, MD has apporved creation of a new Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. "The committee is a more permanent version of the ad hoc committee created in 2010, which helped Frederick earn the bronze-level designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community last year from the League of American Bicyclists."
A British couple who were biking around the world and blogging about it were killed in a crash in Thailand. They were hit by a pickup truck in a province east of Bangkok, Thai police said Monday. "Thai Police Lt. Col. Supachai Luangsukcharoen said Monday that investigators found their bodies, their bicycles and their belongings scattered along a roadside, along with a pickup truck that crashed between some trees. Supachai said the truck driver, 25-year-old Worapong Sangkhawat, was seriously injured in the crash. He told police his truck hit the cyclists as he was reaching down to pick up a cap from the vehicle’s floor, Supachai said.The driver has been released on bail and faces charges of causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail."