Prior to last month's Performance Oversight Hearing for DDOT, DDOT was asked to provide written responses to council questions. Within these responses was a lot of news of interest to cyclists.
Capital Crescent Trail repaving
DDOT has identified funds for the resurfacing of the Capital Crescent Trail. They're awaiting some basic design information from the National Park Service in order to obligate the federal funding. The trail surface dates back to the 1990's, and resurfacing has been requested by the Rec Trails Committee for some time now.
There was also some infrastructure that DDOT reported completing that has not been talked about much. The bike facilities and traffic calming along Sheriff Road NE was finished and bicycle boulevards on Jenifer Street and 41st Street NW, first discussed in 2013, have been completed as well.
Pennsylvania Ave and 15th Street protected bike lanes may be expanded
As has been widely reported DDOT plans to install 6.85 miles of bike lanes, protected bike lanes (PBL), sharrows, climbing lanes and contraflow lanes. And they plan to study another 4.43 miles of facilities including PBL on the east side of downtown, on Pennsylvania Ave west of the White House and on 15th south of Pennsylvania Ave. In addition, DDOT notes that
Some facilities not listed here may be installed if planning, engagement, and design can be completed.
Though they don't list those projects in the response, at a recent BAC meeting they presented another 17+ miles of on-road bike facilities and 8.47 miles of off-street facilities that are somewhere between "awaiting final approval" and "a twinkle in Mike Goodno's eye."
Protected bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Louisiana Ave NW and Brentwood Parkway
The largest projects on this list include a bike lane on M and L NW connecting the east end of the existing M & L protected bike lanes to the Metropolitan Branch Trail; a protected bike lane on Pennsylvania Avenue SE from the Capitol to Barney Circle; a bike lane on Ridge Road SE from East Capitol to Burns Street; a 4 mile long side path along 16th Street NW from Spring Road to the Maryland boundary and another 3.5 mile side path along Massachusetts Avenue NW from Sheridan Circle to the Maryland boundary. Other PBLs would be on Louisiana from Union Station to the Mall, and a continuation of the 6th Street NE PBL along Brentwood Parkway to 9th.
In addition, in 2015-2016 DDOT plans to improve 10 intersections and add bike signals along the existing PBLs on Pennsylvania Ave and 15th Street NW.
DDOT to conduct a Feasibility study for Gateway segment of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
While DDOT was not asked about, and did not report on, all trail projects, they did give an update on some. As previously reported, DDOT has begun preliminary engineering for the northern extension of the Metropolitan Branch Trail from Brookland to Maryland. Preliminary engineering should be completed by early 2016. DDOT has completed the 30% design of the Rock Creek Park Trail, and is currently procuring a consultant for the completion of the design. Final design is expected by the end of 2015 with construction in 2016 or 2017. The Gateway Segment of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, which would connect the Fort Lincoln neighborhood to the Kenilworth Segment near New York Avenue, is not funded for planning, design, or construction at this time, but DDOT will explore this segment by conducting a feasibility study. Construction of the Kenilworth Segment of the trail is currently on track to be completed in the spring of 2016.
Bike parking and CaBi expansion
DDOT has been trying to keep up with bicycle parking and bikeshare demands. They learned of 4 damaged racks in 2014 while installing roughly 300 racks, for a net increase of 296 racks. This is in addition to several hundred racks installed by some of the Business Improvement Districts. They plan to add up to 40 additional CaBi stations, depending on the availability of equipment
Bicycle collisions up 32% in 2014 compared to prior years
DDOT also provided data on bicycle and pedestrian collisions.
The number of cyclists involved in collisions, as well as pedestrians and total collisions are all up substantially in 2014. It's hard to know how much of that is due to more exposure and how much is due to other factors like better reporting or the unintended consequences of Obamacare.
Also, I get how there can be more cyclists in collisions than cyclist collisions (driver hits three cyclists) as there were in 2014, but not how the opposite can be true, as there were in the two earlier years. Not unless a cyclists is crashing into multiple cars and people and those are each counted as a separate crash.
DC is a slaughterhouse for young trees
A mostly unrelated, but shocking-if-true fact included in this report was about tree plantings:
In FY13 the survival rate of newly planted trees was 2.03% and in FY 2014 it was 2.79%.
That's insanely low. I think you had a better chance of surviving the Hiroshima bombing. Did they accidentally report the mortality rate? According to a study in New York City
Prior analyses of street trees planted by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation between 1999 and 2003 (n=45,094) found 91.3% of those trees were alive after two years and 8.7% were either standing dead or missing completely. Using a site assessment tool, a randomly selected sample of 13,405 of these trees was surveyed throughout the City of New York during the summers of 2006 and 2007. Overall, 74.3% of the sample trees were alive when surveyed and the remainder were either standing dead or missing.
Those numbers just can't be right.