One cyclist left their Go-getter bike bag on their bike while they visited the Library of Congress and House office buildings. Capitol Police treated it as a bomb threat and mutilated it. "I couldn’t help myself and I said holy crap that’s a $150 bag. They offered me no sympathy and told me I shouldn’t leave a bag on the bike near the Capitol buildings or anywhere around DC." So if you're coming to the bike summit this week, keep that in mind.
If the Purple Line, and thus the extended CCT, is built, there will be less development along it in the Chevy Chase Lake area. In the image below, you can see the trail and it's bridge over Conn Ave on the north side of the Purple Line. And, in other Purple Line/CCT news, silver spring trails explains why the project doesn't need a Health Impact Assessment.
At a recent Alexandria Traffic Board Hearing, T&ES staff requested approval to remove one car parking space on King Street to allow for the installation of a bike corral with space for 8 bikes. "T&ES staff has coordinated with the Old Town Civic Association and key businesses located at
the intersection of King Street and Union Street. None of the businesses that were contacted
posed an objection to the removal of the parking space, and many noted that they believed the
additional bicycle parking would bring more business to their establishments."
Council Staff on the need for automatic points in car collisions with cyclists: "Currently, there is no fine or penalty for a driver who collides with a bicyclist. If a driver collides with a cyclist as a result of violating traffic laws, e.g. failure to yield, the driver is only cited for the underlying infraction. Certain traffic offenses against pedestrians are currently singled out for enhanced penalties where the same offenses against bicycles are treated identically to an offense between two cars. While it is often desirable to treat cars and bikes equally under the law, the vulnerability of cyclists to collisions with cars warrants increased penalties. This bill is necessary in order to create more severe penalties for drivers who hit cyclists and to eliminate ambiguity surrounding who should be cited for which violations in the event of a collision. Under current District law, hitting a cyclist does not amount to an offense beyond any other moving violation that led to the collision. With respect to cyclists, the practice of citing drivers for the infraction that caused the accident is insufficient for several reasons. MPD has a questionable history when it comes to properly citing drivers involved in accidents with cyclists. In some instances MPD ticketed the cyclist who was hit by a car, even though hitting a cyclist would seem to be a prima facie violation of the 3-foot passing requirement. Additionally, even when MPD does properly cite a driver who hits a cyclist, the penalty may be minimal. District law already has a citable offense for colliding with a pedestrian. This amendment would simply put cyclists on par with other vulnerable road users."
I think I missed this article when it came out. There's nothing new in it if you follow the blog, but it's a pretty good summary of the status and recent history of bicycle transportation in DC.
Richard Layman disagrees with the analysis of "why cyclists enrage drivers" from BBC futures. While I agree with him that drivers aren't morally superior, I do think that part of the explanation is that cyclists break rules that drivers hold above the law - like cutting in line (even though that isn't really what's happening) and not running red lights from a stop. It's the "rules" that cyclists break that make them angry, even when not an actual law or rule (like riding in the street or on the sidewalk). But other violations, like riding without a headlight, almost never seem to get mentioned, even though it's much more dangerous.
Starting this week, a long stretch of the W&OD trail ( from Shirlington in Arlington County, all the way to the western town limit of Herndon in Fairfax County) will be open for extended hours - from 5am to 9pm - as part of a pilot program.
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.
Driving in the District is a high-price hassle: burning gasoline while stuck in traffic, feeding hungry parking meters and now tracking the ever-watchful traffic cameras waiting to make you pay up if you slip up.
I know. What's with all the enforcement right? They act like speeding's illegal or deadly or something. In trying to keep me from killing people, they're killing my buzz, and isn't that a crime too?
If it seems like city leaders want to get cars off the road in the nation's capital, that's because they do.
Newsflash. So does everyone else. Everyone wants to reduce congestion and pollution from the smallest town to the U.N [Oh no Agenda 21!]. Has it occurred to you that you wouldn't be "burning gasoline while stuck in traffic" if there were fewer cars on the road. "I want a solution to congestion, but it better not involve less traffic!"
Newcomer mistakes DC's goal to create "a city where residents and visitors won't need a car" with a war on cars. DC is interested in giving drivers other options. Only in car-happy America would that be a "war on cars." It reminds me a bit of the line from the film Jacob's Ladder.
So, if you're frightened of dying and... you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.
If you want to hang on to your car and driving, then you see a war on cars; but if you drive because there is no better option, you see a city trying to help you live a life with more choices.
And yes, the city wants to raise the cost of parking and even driving to reduce congestion and improve parking availability.
"One of the ways to manage a scarce resource is to use price as a signal," she said.
Gosh that sounds a lot like economics. As does this
Facing scarce parking, commuters could pay even more for new "performance-based" parking spaces with prices that fluctuate with demand
Isn't that how things should be? You always hear people saying "If I ran my business like the government I'd be bankrupt" or something, but once government does run things like a business, well that's just greed.
"Zero tolerance" anti-idling zones could bring in new revenue to the city when drivers are caught with engines running at a standstill.
And 100% tolerance anti-idling zones would cause pollution, traffic congestion and illegal behavior. I know which one I choose. If Newcomer thinks the law is bad, then he should say so, but asking for less enforcement of a law you support just doesn't make sense. How much tolerance should we have on this?
"Motorists are seen as the ATM machines of the District of Columbia, but they're the unwelcome ATM machines," said Lon Anderson, AAA Mid-Atlantic's managing director of government and public affairs.
First of all, the M in ATM stands for machine. So saying ATM machine is saying Automatic Teller Machine Machine. Second, an ATM gives you your money, not someone elses, so it's a bad analogy. Third, motorists are seen as customers in our city, and as customers they have to pay for the services they use (mostly parking). Some motorists are also seen as law-breakers on account of them breaking the law, so they're being fined. Again, how much enforcement of a law you support is the right amount?
Already, the city has found ways to make large sums of money off motorists
I suspect that if you added up all the revenue from motorists and all the costs, that DC would still be losing money on motorists. He throws up a bunch of numbers for how much DC brings in on parking and violations (and then double counts some of it by mentioning unpaid tickets, fines and fees - which isn't actually money DC has made). Most of the money comes from violations. So this isn't a war on cars, it's aw enforcement. Is enforcing good laws bad?
Those who are able to afford driving in the District might find it more difficult to find a place to park: The city is weighing making the creation of parking spaces optional for developers in some downtown areas.
I don't want to have to pay for parking, someone else should do that. Why isn't a parking minimum a "war on business owners" or a "war on homeowners," since it makes owning a business or home more expensive?
Some Adams Morgan residents are upset over a new development because the city might let the builder get away with providing seven fewer parking spaces than typically required.
"Parking is incredibly difficult anywhere in Adams Morgan," said Mindy Moretti, a former advisory neighborhood commissioner.
Wow. She does sound upset. The way that she stated a fact and all. I guess I'll just take your word for it that some are upset. Some people are always upset about something.
Under the mayor's Sustainable D.C. plan, the city wants 50 percent of commutes by its residents to take place on public transportation and another 25 percent by bike.
25% does sound like a lot then. Unfortunately for Newcomer and his crack team of editors, 25% is the precentage goal for those who commute by bike AND walking. Most of that will probably be walking as is true now (10%), so that's a pretty big flaw.
Bike lanes -- D.C. has about 56 miles of them -- are popping up around the city, which often means less room on the road for cars.
Actually it rarely means less room for cars. Usually no lanes or parking is removed. But so what if it is? Is there really no space on the roads for bike lanes? [Newcomer makes this bit of research a two-fer, by the way, as he has a second article that came out at the same time about how DC has invested, and plans to continue to invest, in bike lanes and green lanes.]
Even the photo that accompanies the story is flawed. It shows a cherry-picked moment when there is a line of cars but no bikes. But it shows a spot where the number of traffic lanes is exactly the same as it was before the bike lanes went in. The space on the left is a turn lane for cars. And adding to that, we can see that after the intersection, the road is pretty clear. This isn't a photo of traffic congestion; it's a shot of cars stopped at a traffic light.
So let's see, Newcomer seems to be asking for
1. No congestion
2. No parking fees
3. No traffic enforcement
4. No congestion fee - which is pretty much the only proven way to reduce congestion
5. Heavily regulated parking policy for buildings
In other words, an impossible - and irresponsible - laundry list of items to provide.
The WeMoveDC Idea Exchange was last Saturday. There is some coverage from the BAC, WABA and GGW.
The Navy Yard section of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is open again. Biking is still not allowed.
Mayor Gray won't rule out a congestion tax. "It's a possibility. I wouldn't rule it out," Gray says. "I haven't considered it yet. I know they do that in London where you can't go into certain areas of the city with a car without paying. But I don't think we're at that point yet." Such a move could really make bicycling a more appealing option to a lot of people.
I failed to mention this from the helmet article yesterday " This session, another bill would open up sidewalks to cyclists to give the road-shy a place to pedal, said Del. Aruna Miller, a Montgomery Democrat. But cyclists oppose that measure, too, in the name of promoting driver awareness of cyclists." Whoa. Did not know about that. Which cyclists oppose making sidewalk cycling legal? Is that a WABA or BikeMaryland position?
"Completion of the last missing piece of a trail network connecting Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., will be celebrated at a June 15 event in West Homestead and at the Point in Downtown Pittsburgh." So I definitely think this should also be celebrated here in DC. Perhaps in Georgetown. I don't know who should organize it (WABA or the C&O Canal group or DDOT or who?) But they didn't just celebrate the Chunnel opening in England.
Why driver's hate cyclists (one theory): they're perceived as rule-breaking free riders "Then along come cyclists, innocently following what they see are the rules of the road, but doing things that drivers aren't allowed to: overtaking queues of cars, moving at well below the speed limit or undertaking on the inside."
Good morning. If you aren't doing anything a little after 1:00pm today, you can watch my satellite launch over on NASA TV. Blogging might be light for awhile.
See, even without the three foot law it's hard to pass without inadvertently crossing the yellow line.
Developers broke ground on Fenwick Station in Silver Spring. The building will back up to the future Capital Crescent Trail extension (should the Purple Line ever be funded) and will include a Capital Bikeshare station. Until the Purple Line work ends, it will also include a temporary walking and biking trail that will ultimately connect to the planned Capital Crescent Trail.
The Cafritz-Riverdale Park-Trolley Trail project continues to make changes.
CaBi serves as an example of how going big can often succeed where going small (SmartBike) did not. [Lesson for high speed rail?]
Part of Chris Dorner's rambling manifesto: "Cyclist, I have no problem sharing the road with you. But, at least go the fucking speed limit posted or get off the road!!! That is a feasible request. Livestrong you fraudulent assholes."
PG County presents the Southern Green Line Station Area Plan. "The site most likely to see revitalization in the short term is near the Naylor Road station, Gore said, where State Highway Administration officials appear ready to move forward with a “streetscape” plan to improve pedestrian and bicycle access. "
Yesterday I was riding my bike and a driver pulled up next to me at a red light when I kind of thought they should wait behind me, but otherwise I didn't think much of it until he rolled down his window. "Oh brother, here it comes," I thought to myself. And then he asked "Would you like me to ride behind you for the next few blocks for safety?" It was really very nice. Unnecessary, but gracious. Good cycling moment. So I gave him the finger (I'm joking)*
This, in Old Town "A local resident was lurking on the corner, harassing and physically assaulting any cyclist who did not happen to put their foot down and come to a complete stop at the intersection. The resident was jumping out in front of cyclists in a dangerous and aggressive — as well as illegal — manner. The police arrived, but the resident went into hiding after changing his clothes. Seeing the officer coming, he would not answer his door when the officer knocked."
"The existing Southgate Road would be realigned to the western edge of
the Navy Annex site to maintain appropriate access to Joint Base
Myer-Henderson Hall, while directly linking the Navy Annex site to the
existing Arlington National Cemetery grounds. Engineering and design
work must be completed to determine the exact location for a realigned
Columbia Pike and the parties must work out the exact acreage and
parcels to be exchanged."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pentagon, VDOT is taking public comment on a proposed design for the reconstruction of the Washington Blvd bridge over 110. "it
includes a 14-foot shared-use path on the east side, and an
eight-foot sidewalk on the west side. Not only is the trail side
widened, but there is a physical barrier added between the path and car
traffic. The VDOT project page doesn't mention it, but I believe the
"lengthening" of the bridge mentioned will also help provide additional
space for the long-mired 110 trail." [See image above] I used to bike
this route all the time, and this will be a big improvement.
“Five years ago, I don’t think businesspeople were even thinking about
bikes as a part of business. Today it’s definitely part of the
discussion.” He notes that Accenture recently relocated their Boston
and Washington, D.C. offices from suburbs to the city to offer
employees better opportunities for biking, walking, and transit....Leinberger marvels at how bicycles are changing Washington, D.C.,
where he lives. “Bikes have been a critical part of D.C.’s turnaround.
They are putting in protected bike lanes, which does a lot more to
encourage riding than just a white line of paint between people and a
one-ton vehicle.” Ellen Jones, director of D.C.’s Downtown Business Improvement
District, agrees. “It’s just crazy how biking has taken off here,
especially the new bikeshare system which a lot of people are using
for commuting,” she said. We spoke after she returned from an
appointment with managers of a high-tech company wanting to rent an
old warehouse downtown. “A lot of their employees bike to work and they
were concerned about whether they could easily get their bicycles
upstairs. When bicycling is part of the final decision on where a
company relocates, then we know its impact.”
New Obama Chief of Staff might be a bike commuter. "The 6-foot-3 McDonough often plays basketball with the president and,
Bloomberg notes, he usually rode his bike from his home in Tacoma Park,
Md., to work until a recent accident."
Another story on DDOT's new Douglass Bridge plan. Nothing really new here.
*I once asked my British roommate what was the weirdest thing she'd noticed about Americans that she didn't expect and she said it was that immediately after making a joke like this, they say "nah, just kidding" or something. Brits, she claimed, never do this.