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I remember hearing during the contentious meeting at the West End library that the diagonal parking accommodation has only been in place for 4 years. Is that your recollection also? In that case, there may be an easy template for how the church operated before the diagonal parking.

I'm going to take a different approach to this with these two statements:

1) is the issue more of transparency and influence - the church used it to get what it wanted (sort of)

2) are cyclists focusing on what didn't happen instead of what did?

3) others may use the church action as a template for the future erosion of bike infrastructure.

I don't like how this all went down, losing this section of cycle track, but part of me understands that it's not the end of the world.

This is an issue of the use of political capital. The church used it and now bicyclists must decide if one block is worthy of its use. The risk is that we alienate a segment of the population that hasn't been particularly vocal against bicycling. Is it possible to look at this DDOT change as a future benefit for the next bike infrastructure project? In exchange for this loss, maybe it can be used as a rally cry for extending the 15th cycle track to the Tidal basin or a better solution to eliminate U-turns on Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

What I don't want to see is that elements in both camps make this a racial or a religious issue when it actually boils down to votes.

If bicyclists feel that using its political capital for this is wise, okay, fine. However, I'm not sure of the long-term benefit.

Randall M is making a good point. Is it worth the political capital. I'd register our disapproval, and follow up with studies that track injuries, usage etc.

I don't think its worth any political capital, because I think the die is cast. Two reversals is only going to make everyone angry. When was the last time you heard of two reversals even?

But I'm not sure that complaining about this, making our case and highlighting the unreasonableness of the opposition expends capital. I think it might even gain us some.

It's bad process, but not terrible results. We have to be able to distinguish between those two.

Register the objection on the correct grounds and move on to the next issue, having armed drones patrol the MBT.

If you want to concede and move on how about extracting something in return? I propose getting a commitment of zero tolerance for parking in the bike lane from the city.

After all one of the benefits of protected tracks over bike lanes is making it difficult for cars to park there.

Maybe we could even get the city to enforce this restriction in other parts of the city. My daily commute uses several bike lanes and i find that at least half the blocks have one or more parked cars in the lanes.

Words like "balanced approach" are the sort of double-speak that people use when political influence is being wielded.

Randall, it's more that this exposes just how few votes cyclists can actually swing - given a choice between DC's "bike lobby" (including those millions of bikeshare rides, the bike rental and tourist industry, the bicycle businesses, all the progressive bike-friendly workplaces, and folks who just like to ride) and one church, nobody thought there was value in risking good relations with the church. Cyclists on the other hand...

If the latest configuration doesn't change - and the chances for change already look dim - DDOT will have traded a single protected cycletrack for two segments. Not the end of the world, but not the world we were hoping to live in either. And if we DON'T treat it like a dream deferred, where will we draw the line next time? Where will they?

its not that cyclists voters are unimportant in general. The question is, are they important to the Mayor, in a four candidate race? Is it more likely that he will win over cyclists (many of whom are young, educated, and among those unenthused about the recent "scandals") away from Wells, or that by siding with MAME he can hold onto votes that might go to Bowser?

Rev. Braxton's quote cracks me up. It removes parking and a travel lane! But if we were parking in the travel lane, wouldn't that have the same effect? (On one, if not two lanes given the angle they park at?)

As for the use of political capital, I would argue if you allow one church to bully you and bend the DDOT rules to their favor then what's stopping anyone else (business, well off homeowner, cabs, businesses, etc)? You don't have to necessarily win the fight, but you have make those observing realize it's a fight so they think about whether it's worth it for them to engage you in the future.

Taking it a step too far would be staging a slow ride down M Street during the leadup to congregations. You would infurtiate the church and make your point, but arguably at a cost to a bunch of people who didn't really care one way or the other.

T: Gotta listen to the audio of Rev. Braxton to get the full effect of how high his head is up in his... clouds. No connection at all with the worldly concerns of people who actually need to use that street for its intended purpose.

The mayor's decision seems to suggest that a) he's probably going to run and b) the political calculus shown supports his perception that the church, and those associated with them, are best connected and will likely generate votes. That calculus may be a little old, but it probably still works.

I'm not even going to blame the Mayor on this. If there is anyone to blame, DDOT could have foreseen some of this and fixed it before the May meeting at the West End Library. This is all water under the bridge.

While bicyclists should be upset, I mean I am, I'm not sure it's beneficial to agonize over this loss or expect a change in the outcome. As washcycle says, that die is cast.

I'd like this to be a teachable moment, I'd like the hyperbole on both sides to change to bridge bridge building. I'd like to see the church and cyclists celebrate the opening of the cycle track / lane this fall. We may not agree with the church on the particulars of lave vs cycle track. One the lane is in, however, cyclists can demonstrate, in person, the benefits of a track over lanes. Perhaps we can go on a ride with it's members and show them personally - working with the church to change its opinion. After all, its paint and bollards.

The point is, there are much bigger issues that we could use our capital on: gaps in bikeshare, the deplorable conditions along the Suitland Parkway trail, a crosstown bike route uptown or finishing the MetBranch Trail. If bicyclists were a tenth as concerned about those issues and used its political capital in those places, we'd be one step closer to having a continuous integrated bicycle transportation system.

As for use of bicyclists political capital, I disagree that it would cost nothing if we push this.

The people that we could alienate are those who go to church, those helped by the church and African Americans. I've talked to people across the spectrum - those in the administration and in the church - some feel that bike lanes illustrate the impact of gentrification and the pushing of a particular agenda. Their feelings may not be rational but this is what they have conveyed. I don't want bicycling in anyway associated with "the G word".

Does it mean that we give up and never put down another lane? No. It does mean that the bicycling community has to me more inclusive and understanding of concerns of others. This cycle track issue is a setback but it could also be an opportunity to work more closely with people in areas that are resistant to bike infrastructure.

The gentrification debate is stoked by gossip columnists like Courtland Malloy who have nothing better to write about. They have conceived of a whole conspiracy on par with the level of the birthers conspiracy about Pres. Obama. Although you raise an interesting point--it's surprising Courtland hasn't wandered the 100 feet from his desk to the church yet.

These megachurchs became powerful--for better or for worse--by using clout, not by seeking out teachable moments. Let's see Rev. Braxton out joining cyclists on M Street. I'll take him for a spin on the city's cycletracks at lunch one day and even treat him to lunch nearby. Standing offer and we can meet out front of his church. But it won't happen because he won't do it.

It's nice to think if we kowtow to these folks then maybe they will help us say complete the MBT, but we both know that will never happen.

So your choice is really to simply let the church have it's way without a voice of opposition (and only embolden them and others more) or say something. In the end of the day, with a contentious election coming up, we will lose, but we won't be marked as an easy target.

Great points, T.

Although it's much more complicated than race, people gravitate to the racial components of gentrification. The way to dispel it is through positive and continuous interaction. I think something positive can come of this, if we all keep our heads and focus.

By the way if it's any indication of the political capital of churches, most elected officials have been pretty quiet about M street since last Wednesday. Not saying stop trying, just saying the silence it kind of loud. Contact your Council member.

1. WABA offered to meet with the church to talk. Thats hardly being confrontational. IIUC the church declined. I'm not sure that promises much for bridge building

2. The most important destination for cyclists is downtown, with its high concentration of workplaces (as well as other amenities) and its also an intimidating place for the interested but concerned to ride without protected infrastructure. Im not sure the other projects Randall mentions are as important as this.

Randall M. is on target. And my best hope is that Gray can see the opportunity to say "I agree that cycling safety is important, and that's why we are not only going to build M Street, but we're also going to build lanes and trails in Wards 5, 7, and 8 where there are gaps or missing infrastructure so everyone in the city can bicycle safely, and meet my 2032 goal of 75% of trips being made by biking, walking, and transit."

-Drops the mike, walks offstage.

I don't think the Mayor's actions demonstrate he is going to run. Its just as likely that he is trying to shore up friends in advance of a criminal trial. My money is that the feds will pull the trigger if he tries to run again, but drop it if he decides to "spend more time with his family"

Vincent Orange for mayor! At least we'll know that City governance is being sold to the highest bidder.

Sometimes I fear we'll not have a decent bike infrastructure in this town until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.

I am of two minds on this fight with Metropolian AME. As a practical political matter, the bikies are not likely to win this one. Nor do I believe there is the slippery slope some worry about. Sure, it is terrible that AME did not weigh in till late although I understand they had plenty of opportunities. Is the DC govt the least bad solution?

So,if I'm riding in the bike lane that should have been a cycletrack,and get doored,can I sue the church because it's their fault the blocked the track? Or in addition to everything else are they immunized from lawsuits?

'they blocked the track'

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