The Ad Hoc Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Committee will hold its seventh meeting on Monday, June 8, from 7 pm to 9. This meeting will be held at City Hall, Room 3008 (3rd Floor), 301 King Street. This meeting will focus on the pedestrian case study areas and pedestrian strategies. The meeting is open to the public.
It's not as bad as it sounds, as the plan has been updated many times since 1978, with the last one in 2005 - the same year DC updated theirs.
The plan will focus on developing a high-quality / low-stress bicycle network, bringing bicycle recommendations in line with industry best practices, and consolidating all bicycle recommendations into a single plan for the first time since 1978. An emphasis will be placed on evaluating newer facilities, such as separated bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, and bicycle boulevards, as well as secure bicycle storage facilities. The planning process will provide ample opportunities for the community to get involved and offer feedback. Check out the Bicycle Planning web page to learn more.
On April 1, 2015 the Planning Department began working on a subset of the Bicycle Master Plan, focusing on the area surrounding Phase 1 of the planned Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) to facilitate access from the surrounding communities to the future transit stations . This effort will ensure coordination and compatibility with the Corridor Cities Transitway, the Life Science Center Loop ( an off-road loop trail currently under design by the Planning Department), and development projects. The study area for this early effort is shown in the map below.
You can watch the full video of the April meeting (over an hour long) below:
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host a public meeting tonight from 7-9pm to take questions and comments on proposed changes to the East Capitol Street and Benning Road intersection in Ward 7.
The intersection of East Capitol Street, Benning Road, Texas Avenue and Central Avenue is a busy and complex intersection in the District. From 2008 to 2010, there were 102 traffic crashes that injured 54 people, including 8 pedestrians. DDOT began a planning study in 2011 to look at safety and access changes to the intersection and the larger corridor. At this meeting, DDOT will present about proposed changes, present the planning study information and proposals for review.
The meeting will be at the Metropolitan Police Department Sixth District Community Room, 100 42nd Street, NE
The National Capital Planning Commission developed a federal Urban Design Element of the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital. The proposed Element will establish new policies and combine existing policies about design and physical character into a unified section.
The Commission released the draft Urban Design Element on May 11, 2015 for a public comment period through July 9, 2015.
The draft doesn't include too much about biking.Under subsection B2 "Natural Setting: The Topographic Bowl, Waterways, and their Extents", there is a policy suggestion that
[The federal government should] Recognize the contribution of Rock Creek Park, Anacostia Parks, and the Fort Circle Parks in reinforcing the natural setting and character of the nation’s capital. In particular: Complete multi-purpose trails connecting the Fort Circle Parks, and those within the parks along the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers....
And then in the "Integrating Federal Buildings and Campuses within the Surrounding Community" subsection there is another policy that:
[The federal government should] Provide access to, or connections through, campuses, building yards, plazas, or courtyards for local and regional trails, bikeways, pedestrian ways or open space networks where possible. Agencies should explore programming these areas with publicly accessible amenities such as art installations and/or farmers markets.
And other policies are a little more vague about cycling, such as
[The federal government should] Design pedestrian and vehicular entrances or any physical gateways to federal campuses and buildings to be as inviting and as accessible as possible.
"Vehicular" could (does? should?) refer to bicycle access, but it would be better if it made that explicit.
But there are a few omissions in my opinion.
Under urban design and security, it mentions how "Permanent closure of streets or sidewalks within right-of-ways established by the L’Enfant Plan should be prohibited" without including multi-use paths, which it should do. Same thing for the policy on temporary closures.
Most importantly, I'd like to see a policy under the "Integrating Federal Buildings and Campuses within the Surrounding Community" that mentions how federal building should encourage green commuting, specifically with the addition of bike parking and shower facilities.
Comments are being accepted here and the open house is June 1, 6-8pm at the District Architecture Center, 421 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC.
The Ad Hoc Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Committee will hold its sixth meeting on Thursday, May 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. This meeting will be held at Cora Kelly Center, Multipurpose Room, 25 West Reed Avenue. This meeting will focus on the proposed bicycle network for the east side of Alexandria, project prioritization criteria, and pedestrian case study areas A walking tour will also be held prior to the meeting, starting at 6 p.m. If you are interested in taking part in the walking tour, please contact Steve Sindiong at the information below.
The update of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan will include an evaluation of existing conditions, issues, constraints and needs, as well as a review of existing policies, goals and objectives. Pedestrian and bicycle projects will be identified, along with future Capital Bikeshare station locations, and strategies to implement the plan. The role of the Advisory Committee is to provide guidance to City staff on the update to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan and the development of Complete Streets Design Guidelines.
The meeting is open to the public. The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. To request a reasonable accommodation, e-mailGeralyn.Taylor@alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.4084, Virginia Relay 711.
Arlington has released a new Draft Sector Plan for Rosslyn, and among other things it recommends adding more bike-share stations, more "dedicated bike lanes and bike routes offering priority access to the regional trail system", protected bike lanes and new bike paths.
Many roads would be changed from one-way to two way and go on road diets to reallocate right-of-way for wider pedestrian and/or bicycle facilities where feasible. One-way cycletracks would be added to N. Fort Myer Drive between 18th and Wilson; and to N. Lynn between 19th and Wilson. Two-way cycletracks would be added to Wilson between Lynn and Arlington Ridge Road. Wilson would also get bike lanes from Ft. Myer to Lynn, and 19th would get them from Ft, Myer to Moore. Protected bike lanes would be on N. Nash from 19th to Wilson.
Arlington Ridge Road would be changed into an esplanade with a multi-use path on one side and a possible service lane below.
18th Street would be extended to the esplanade, and a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over Interstate 66 and the George Washington Memorial Parkway will extend from the Esplanade at 18th Street to the Mount Vernon Trail near Theodore Roosevelt Island. Part of 18th would be for cyclists and pedestrians only.
The plan also calls for a study of the costs and feasibility for construction of a Custis Trail underpass of Lynn Street in the Rosslyn Circle area and a safe, inviting, accessible pedestrian and bicycle path connection to the downstream sidewalk of the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge.
The plan also calls for marked bike travel paths through intersections, bike boxes, or separate stop bar locations for vehicles and bikes; wayfinding signage; bike parking and secure bike parking; and expansion of CaBi.
I'm getting this out a few days late, but on Monday the MoCo Planning Department held a kick-off meeting for the update to the Bicycle Master Plan.
Planners will work from April 2015 until July 1, 2015 on developing a high-quality bicycle network that facilitates access to the planned Corridor Cities Transitway stations from the surrounding communities and ensures coordination and compatibility with the Life Science Center Loop, an off-road trail currently under design by the Planning Department. The goal is to develop a regional bicycle network plan for the Greater Seneca Science Corridor area to maximize the effectiveness of transportation systems currently being planned, and to coordinate these efforts with the City of Rockville and City of Gaithersburg.
Review a map of the Montgomery County Bicycle Master Plan CCT Phase 1 Corridor special focus area.
Starting July 1, 2015, the comprehensive update to the Bikeways Master Plan will be launched to consider the County’s complete bicycle networks and recommendations for access and mobility. The planning process will provide ample opportunities for the community to get involved and offer feedback. Check out the Bicycle Planning web page to learn more.
The Weekly Standard had a column yesterday critical of transportation investments made in anything other than roads. While it starts out criticizing Metro for the recent fire, that while tragic and avoidable does nothing to undermine the fact that transit is far safer than driving, they also turn their ire towards bicycling.
And yet we Washingtonians are encouraged to use mass transit as much as possible....Or ride a bike. Even though less than 5 percent of area residents bicycle to work, there are now 69 miles of city bike lanes, with more on the way. The section of M Street by our office had long carried two or three lanes of car traffic. With bike lanes plus parking rules in effect, it’s partly down to one. Rush-hour can be unbearable.
This is a pretty commonly repeated criticism of biking "Only a few people bike commute, why do we invest so much in biking?" And it is flawed in numerous ways.
First of all they didn't include enough information to solve the word problem (Is 69 miles too much?). We would need to know how many miles of road DC has. The number is about 1500 miles and about 4000 lane miles. So cyclists-only space is either under-represented (4.6%) or very under-represented (1.7%). But then, of course, that's just a linear measure, if you want to talk about square footage, you basically have to cut the percentage set aside for cyclists in half, because bike lanes are usually half as wide as traffic lanes.
But wait, there's more. It's true that only 4.5% of DC residents commute by bike, but then only 38.9% commute by car. Another 38.5% use transit, 13.6% walk and 4.4% work from home. If we assume that about 1/3 of all transit users ride the bus, then only 69.8% of all commuters are using the roads and sidewalks (bus, car, bike, taxi, motorcycle, walk, other). If we want to apportion that space by mode share, cyclists would get 6.4% of the space, pedestrians would get 19.5% and then 18.4% of the roadway would be reserved for bus-only lanes. Is the Weekly Standard prepared to call for 735 miles of bus-only lanes and 256 miles of bike lanes in DC (because that's the logical conclusion)? That would be awesome.
Of course, the whole exercise is silly. Cyclists can use most of the roadway (over 90% I'd guess) and so can drivers and buses. I don't think each DC road needs 20% of the space set aside for pedestrians either. And then the average percentage of bikes or cars or buses on the road in DC is probably different from the DC resident mode share. In other words, it's all very complicated, and no one likely knows if cyclists or motorists are getting their "fair share" of the roadway and certainly not the Weekly Standard writers or readers.
But the real problem is that an appeal to the fairness of road-space allocation misses the whole point of transportation. The point is not to be fair to people due to mode choices, it's to allow people to move around in a way that meets the community's goals. Fairness does have a place in planning when talking about transportation equity and making sure we have a system that works for everyone regardless of income or physical abilities. (Y'know what transportation mode works really well for the poor?). But even that is only one concern. Transportation planning should also consider congestion, public health, choice, environmental impact and sustainability, land use planning, cost, livability and more. The Weekly Standard writers probably know that when all these other goals are accounted for driving will lose, so they instead appeal to fairness, and even that they have to fudge to get the answer they want.
Or perhaps the Weekly Standard believes that it has won the argument by showing how few people bike and how much space is allocated to them. If so, they've actually demonstrated that they don't understand the complexity of the issue they're writing about. It can't be boiled down to two numbers, that's for sure, and anyone who thinks it can is a fool.
Back in the summer of 2013, M-NCPPC hosted a pair of meetings to discuss an update/amendment to the Countywide Park Trails Plan. The update was to address the fact that the 15 year old plan hadn't been able to take advantage of the modern mapping and GIS technology at the time and that population projections had changed. This resulted in several trails (they identified at least 20) that were planned in areas where environmental constraints or land-ownership issues represented a significant barrier. The amendment was meant to produce a more realistic plan that better served residents, protected the environment and used every dollar more wisely.
At the time they were proposing moving from the corridor based plan seen below...
To a loops and links concept, consisting of four countywide "hybrid" (both paved and unpaved) recreational loops connected to county, state and federal trails via "links" and then joined with major bikeways.
They were supposed to present a Staff Draft of the Plan to the Montgomery County Planning Board last year, but that has been delayed to spring/summer of 2015*. Currently the schedule presented to the Montgomery County Bicycle Action Group shows that they're writing the plan now, with outreach and briefings scheduled this winter and fall, ending with a briefing to the County Council PHED in the summer.
*In fact as of Feb 4th, the website for the project hadn't been updated since the summer of 2013 - even though the page says it was updated in November 2014 - with it still talking about "this winter" and "this past June" when really it's talking about Winter 2013-2014 and June 2013.