« Capital Bikeshare continues to exceed expectations | Main | Mendelson asks about Idaho Stop and Riding outside the bike lane »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

It's a shame that it went down this way. I work at AU and bike up New Mexico pretty much every day. A climbing lane would be a nice amenity and I think it would attract many more cyclists from the nearby neighborhoods. I don't know if this is anti-student/university backlash or just general NIMBYism, but I just don't really get it. Like you, I suspect it's the parking, since there's more than enough space for bikes and cars on New Mexico now.

I find the parking issue to be a canard. The spaces that might be lost are metered spaces for 2 hours. There is usually plenty of parking on neighborhood streets during the day (2 hour zoned), all of 1-2 blocks away. So if anyone is losing parking it's more likely to be visitors from outside the area, not neighbors (who with an RPP would have unlimited parking a block away anyway).

None of the comments suggested the opposition related to AU. Perhaps it was in the background but it did not seem to be motivating the objections.

(btw, same ah who posted summary on ggw)

Thanks, ah. I really appreciated your summary of the meeting and I'm sorry that I couldn't attend. What do you think is driving (hah) the opposition?
With regard to the campus plan, I just saw this timely post at ggw: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/9421/au-students-need-more-quality-on-campus-housing/.
I can't help but think that this is lurking in the background and causing a general anxiety about any changes in the neighborhood.

One of the commissioners told me he thought there was significant resentment that the ANC had not been consulted beforehand and that DDOT presented it as a "this will happen" and did not offer the opportunity for input.

That said, from all the discussion they commissioners seemed to have a visceral adverse reaction to a bike lane with concerns it would somehow diminish safety. I don't think it was more complex than that.

I had written to ANC member Thomas about this back in January. I didn't hear back until Feb 17th. Here's what he said about my thought that a bike lane should be added to NM Ave:

"First let me say thank you for your comments and I will always take it
into consideration. The ANC definitely agrees on bike lanes and the
purpose of them. The reason why the ANC voted against the bike lanes
on New Mexico Ave. was because at the time when the issue came before
the ANC the plans weren't complete. The plans showed bike lanes on New
Mexico Ave. but no where else. The main reason why the ANC voted
against the bike lanes and the major concern we had was because the
bike lane stop at Nebraska in which is a considered a heavy traffic
street. To my knowledge we are still looking into the bike lanes on
New Mexico Ave. we just want it to be safe pathway for bikes, cars and

Are next meeting is schedule for March the 2nd at 7pm at Sibley
Hospital. At the beginning of each meeting we have set aside time for
Community Concerns. Your more then welcome to come in voice your
opinion before the commission.

W. Philip Thomas "

Philip Thomas is also my commissioner and I wrote to him as well and got the same response. Since he said the main problem was the bike lanes stopping at Nebraska Ave, I asked him whether he would prefer they stop before or after Nebraska. He responded: "The main reasons why we voted against the issue was because of safety and the overwelling construction that is about to happen will the AU Campus Plan and Homeland Security."

I get the feeling that the bike lane itself is not really the issue, but it's considered part of the expansion of AU and Homeland Security in the area.

There's not really an "after Nebraska Avenue" (at that point, you're on the campus), so before seems to be the only option. Stopping the lanes 100 feet before the intersection would give cyclists adequate space to merge back in with traffic. Plus, if their trips (like mine) were ending at AU, they could just bike straight into the SIS garage or cross the street with pedestrians at the crosswalk.

Also, once you approach the intersection the terrain is much more flat, so it's entirely feasible to end it short of the intersection.


Was there any discussion about removing those two parking spaces right before the intersection? I feel like those cause more frustration to drivers than any bike lane would. If occupied, they effectively prevent the start of the right turn lane until maybe 50 feet before the intersection.


There was -- one of the Commissioners pointed out those two spaces and had concerns they would be lost. The DDOT rep said that it was a bus stop and there "shouldn't" be any spaces there. Neither of them pursued the factual discrepancy.

For all the talk about congestion at this intersection, I'd bet the ANC would fight the removal of those spaces (even though they're almost certainly used by AU visitors)

BTW, I went to look at the AU campus plan, and the traffic study they did calls for eliminating those two spaces, creating a longer right turn lane, and relocating the bus stop, all to relieve congestion.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader