A District Department of Transportation (DDOT) spokesperson confirmed the department will install two new two-bicycle racks in front of the Whitman-Walker Health Center at 1525 14th Street NW “within a few weeks, permits pending.”
Yellow markers indicating where the bike racks will be installed were stenciled onto the sidewalk in front of the health center last week, noted one Twitter user.
Whitman-Walker Health spokesman Shawn Jain says the health center requested the new racks in May.
“There’s about a hundred staff who work in the building, and at least a handful ride their bikes to work,” Jain says. “We also have some patients who’d want to be biking to the health center. We wanted to make sure there was a place for them to park their bikes.”
“Having bike racks in front of our health center fits in with the community health and wellness we want to promote,” Jain added. “Obviously, biking is a great physical activity, both for our patients and our employees.”
Image courtesy of Whitman-Walker; photo by Scott Henrichsen
Community members will be able to weigh in on proposed changes to buses on 16th Street NW at a Citizen Advisory Group meeting tonight.
The meeting, which will be at Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St. NW) will run from 6:30-8 p.m. and is open to the public.
The meeting seeks to add community input to the 16th Street NW transit priority planning study, which began in March and looks at the transit conditions along 16th Street between H Street and Arkansas Avenue .
At the first Citizen Advisory Group meeting in May, community members identified the major problems along the street, one of the busiest corridors for bus traffic in the city. Bus bunching, overcrowded buses, buses passing by stops and traffic congestion were all listed as priority problems along the road.
At tonight’s meeting, citizens will have another chance to identify problems with existing services along the street, as well as give input on possible solutions that the planning study authors have floated. These solutions include bus-specific green lights so buses can get ahead of other traffic, tweaking the timing of buses to prevent overcrowding and adding more buses to the line.
The Department of Transportation plans to have a third Citizen Advisory Group meeting in early fall and is slated to complete their study of transit fixes and alternatives by January 2016.
A stretch of O Street NW that has been closed since 1977 was opened today as a “green street” at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Mayor Muriel Bowser and representatives from the EPA and several district departments.
The street, which runs beside Dunbar High School between 1st and 3rd Streets, was designated a “green street” because it channels stormwater runoff into 33 roadside garden boxes, keeping the water from running into the district’s waterways.
In a brief press conference, Bowser touted the street’s wide walkways and said that it is built to capture thousands of gallons of water during storms.
“We’re here to show people that green streets are livable, this street has wide walkways and they’re sustainable. This street will capture thousands of gallons of stormwater when it rains,” Bowser said.
The project was funded in part by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The trust’s executive director Jana Davis got the biggest applause of the day when she said that the stretch of O Street was indicative of how D.C. serves as a model for the rest of the region when it comes to building environmentally friendly infrastructure.
Also in attendance were Department of Energy and Environment director Tommy Wells, Department of Transportation director Leif Dormsjo, and regional EPA administrator Shawn Garvin. Bowser also used the press conference as a chance to introduce the incoming director of the Department of General Services Chris Weaver, a retired Rear Admiral in the Navy.
In response to a question a recent report alleging a lack of financial oversight in the department, Bowser said that her new appointee is dedicated to cleaning up the department’s finances without losing focus on the department’s goal of expanding environmentally friendly infrastructure projects.
“We are not backing away from investing in green building for our schools and public facilities,” she said, “but we have to find a way to do it in a cost-effective way.”
After Wells emphasized the need to retrofit other streets in the city to better manage stormwater runoff, Mayor Bowser said that green street projects similar to O Street are planned for Minnesota Avenue and 15th Street NW.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Bikeshare today put 30 safety-themed Bikeshare bikes into circulation near Dupont Circle.
The new bikes can be rented from the Bikeshare docks at Massachusetts Avenue and Dupont Circle NW.
The bikes bear custom-made wheels to promote D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate bike fatalities and serious injuries by 2024.
As part of the new initiative, DDOT is asking Capital Bikeshare riders to “Bikeshare their safety stories” by tweeting at the @DCVisionZero Twitter account. Additionally, riders are being asked to report unsafe intersections and roads on DDOT’s Vision Zero Safety Map.
Image via DDOT
Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau urged the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to invest more in protected bike lanes and highlighted several priority areas within her Ward in a letter to the District Department of Transportation sent yesterday.
According to the letter, Nadeau worked with bicycling advocates in Ward 1 to identify areas where bike lanes were needed the most, including protected bike lanes along 15th Street NW between V and Euclid Streets NW, which runs alongside Meridian Hill Park; 14th Street NW, particularly between Florida Avenue and Euclid Street NW; and 11th Street NW, particularly an extension of existing bike lanes to Kansas Avenue NW.
The letter also called for the completion of the Florida Avenue streetscape project between Sherman Avenue and U Street NW, and for DDOT to support the eastern downtown protected bike lane study.
Nadeau emphasized the need for protected bike lanes, saying that they are safer and cause less illegal parking problems.
“Continued investment in bicycle commuting infrastructure will mean less traffic, cleaner air and healthier residents,” she said in the letter. “Prioritization of these projects would address current gaps in the system and would help to make the District and Ward 1 an even better place to live.”
On Tuesday, the city department closed one lane of traffic in each direction on Georgia Avenue NW between Barry Place and Florida Avenue NW.
DDOT says the closures are needed to construct dedicated bus lanes and a streetscape along that stretch of Georgia Avenue. The work also includes the replacement of sidewalks, curb and gutters, sidewalk ramps, mill and overlay of the roadway and new dedicated bus lanes in each direction.
These city expects to complete the project in May of 2016.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will hold a public meeting tonight to present the plans and schedule for its upcoming 15th Street NW safety improvements.
The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will take place at St. Augustine Catholic Church, located at 1419 V Street NW.
The project, which spans approximately .26 miles, includes pavement resurfacing of 15th Street NW and the installation of new traffic signals, streetlights and drainage and bike lanes.
A question and answer session will follow the presentation.
DDOT estimates the work will take roughly two weeks to complete.
Curbside parking and some lanes will be restricted during construction hours, which last from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Photo via Google Street View
From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will repave the two-way bicycle lane on 15th Street NW.
The news was announced at the monthly meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont on Wednesday, July 12. The repaving will be finished by the end of the summer, according to Commissioner Noah Smith, 2B-09, The path runs through Smith’s district.
The bike lanes are in serious need of assistance, with southbound lanes between Massachusetts and K Streets often resembling a washboard.
On his website, Smith adds that there will also be new signs and markings on the path. The news came after the last November’s ANC 2B resolution calling for improvements to the path, and subsequent lobbying of the DC Council.
Smith has also announced that, after ANC prodding, DDOT has agreed to a request to coordinate the pedestrian walk signals through Dupont Circle. It will no longer be necessary for pedestrians to stand on the median between four lanes of traffic when crossing into or out of the circle.
From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.
Congregants of the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church (1518 M Street NW) led the citizens who came out in force last night (Wednesday), May 15, to urge that development of the planned M Street bicycle lane be stopped. The meeting was held at the West End Library, 1101 24th Street, by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT).
Church members were joined in their objections by local businessmen concerned that the bike lanes would reduce their business, and citizens who felt that the project was a waste of taxpayer money. Supporters of the bike lane, although present, seemed smaller in number and less vocal at the meeting.
The strong community feeling seemed to take Mike Goodno, Jim Sebastian, and Sam Zimbabwe, DDOT’s three presenters, by surprise. The audience sat quietly through most of the initial sideshow presentation, which described several studies about the traffic on the existing L Street bike lane and projected design of the M Street lane. Project Manager Goodno said that the installation of the bike segment would be installed over three weeks in August.
Eventually someone interrupted to ask: “Am I to understand that this is a done deal?”
Sam Zimbabwe answered, “In some ways yes, in some ways no.”
After that, the meeting was dedicated to defending the M Street bike lane from suggestions that it be scrapped altogether.
On Wednesday morning, Metropolitan AME Church issued a “call to action” on its Facebook page. It read, in part: “The city is proposing to install bike lanes on M Street from 14th Street to 28th Street. This action will affect parking for church services, especially funerals and Sunday angle parking. We (as a church body) need to submit testimony during the public response period.”
As a result, at least 20 of the 80 people attending the meeting seemed to be members or supporters of the Metropolitan AME Church. They said that the church had not been contacted. DDOT said that they had contacted someone at the church that morning. A claim that DDOT representatives had been to the church years previously to solicit comment were met with incredulity.
One person asked, “Is it open for discussion that you will avoid the 1500 block [of M Street]?” DDOT indicated that it would be difficult or impossible to divert the bike lane around one particular block.
A local businessman also spoke against the bike lanes.
“If you’re talking about eliminating [traffic] lanes, you’re going to have gridlock,” he said. “Every merchant on the block is very concerned. I respectfully think this will be a disaster.”
Another attendee told the businessman he was mistaken.
“Bike trails will increase your business,” he said.
One woman who identified herself as a bike rider and a DC resident said the community was frustrated but a compromise might be reached.
“I don’t know what the urgency is,” she said. “You have not done your due diligence.”
At times the conversation was less the civil. DDOT was always polite to audience members, but sometimes audience members were not polite to each other. On three separate occasions, Zimbabwe had to threaten to stop the meeting altogether.
After the meeting, one pro-bike audience member said that many pro-bike audience members had attended the meeting but had not contributed. She minimized the importance of the protest.
“There are always people like that at these meetings,” she said.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will begin repairing and resurfacing U Street NW between 9th and 14th Streets as part of the U Street NW Streetscape Project. Work is scheduled to begin the week of May 6, weather permitting.
The complete resurfacing will take approximately three weeks to finish.
- Milling away two inches of the old surface from 9th to 14th Street, estimated three days.
- Repairing damaged concrete, about 10 days.
- Paving the roadway with asphalt from 9th to 14th Street, approximately three days.
DDOT says that after the asphalt has been removed, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers should use caution in the area; the roadway will be uneven until the new asphalt surface is in place.
For more information about the U Street NW Streetscape Project, visit their website or contact Chinaka A. Young at chinaka.young[AT]volkert.com.
From David McAuley. Email at david[AT]borderstan.com
A community forum on Sunday parking in the Logan Circle area brought a message from the DC government that “churches must work on off-street parking,” as well as many complaints from the church-going community. The forum was held Wednesday evening, February 27, as part of the monthly meeting of the Community Development Committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F.
As part of a presentation at the beginning of the meeting District Department of Transportation (DDOT) program manager Damon Harvey said that “churches must work on off-street parking.”
He returned to this idea many times while responding to citizen complaints, saying that the DDOT will work with churches to identify possible sites for nearby off-street parking. Harvey said that special parking arrangements for local residents are “a good idea,” but they could possibly be lifted for part of Sunday.
Harvey also pointed out that, after DDOT’s Enhanced Residential Permit Parking (ERPP) program was extended to Logan Circle last year, his office identified 50 new parking spaces in ANC2F for use on Sunday morning. These spaces are on streets that are heavily used during the work week, when parking is forbidden. They are now signposted as usable on Sunday mornings.
The ERPP program reserves one side one a block for cars with resident parking stickers between the hours of 7 am and midnight. The other side of the block is open to visitors for limited amounts of time.
Many members of the public, both church leaders and members of congregations, used the forum to bring their complaints about the state of parking near churches to the attention of the board. Some complained that the Sunday morning hours for the 50 parking spaces were not long enough, as church activity often started early in the morning and went on until the evening. One attributed increased parking problems to recent bicycle-friendly measures, saying that “the bicycle people are very powerful”.
The Rev. Vernon A. Shannon of the John Wesley AME Zion Church (14th and Corcoran Streets NW) testified that cars participating in a funeral at a church had been ticketed because they were double-parked in the bicycle lane on 14th Street, in spite of what Shannon understood to be promises to the contrary. Harvey replied that, while churches could apply for temporary permits for curbside parking for funerals, double-parking in bike lanes was always going to be ticketed.
The Rev. Lane Davenport of the Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes (Massachusetts Avenue and 12th Street NW) called for the full ANC to recommend the lifting of ERPP in the Logan Circle area on Sundays from 7am to 2pm. He characterized the ERPP as “privatizing a public space for residents.”
Wednesday’s Community Forum was the first in a series of three dedicated to discussion on parking issues with input from the public. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 27, and will address the ERPP. The final meeting will be on Wednesday, April 24, and will address visitor parking.
From Allison Acosta. Email her at allison[AT]borderstan.com.
A new report from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) shows that many of the crashes involving injury to pedestrians and cyclists in 2010-2012 took place in Borderstan’s neighborhoods. The DDOT report analyzed the top 5 percent high hazard locations using data from crash reports over the last three years.
Of the 24 hotspots for pedestrian crashes in DDOT’s report, 10 were in the Borderstan area. Four of the most dangerous intersections for cyclists were in our neighborhoods.
The stretch of U Street and Florida Avenue between 6th Street and 18th Street NW seemed to be particularly dangerous, with 15 crashes involving pedestrians and 13 involving cyclists.
The city’s most dangerous intersection was at 14th and U Streets. Pedestrians were struck by vehicles seven times and cyclists six times at this corner, adjacent to the Reeves Center. This corner has long been one of the most hazardous in the city.
DDOT spokesperson Monica Hernandez said the U Street Streetscape project will include work to smooth pavement and sidewalks between 9th and 14th Streets along U Street NW. It will also make the sidewalk on the south side of U Street between 13th and 14th Streets ADA compliant, under the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, the project does not include plans to improve signage or pavement markings at these intersections.
According to the report, the intersection at 18th and Florida Ave has already undergone construction to improve safety and an improved design has been completed for the intersection 13th and K Streets. Improved pavement markings and signage were recommended for several of the other intersections in our area.
On March 13th, Noah Smith (ANC 2B09) plans to introduce a resolution on the recently introduced Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013 at 2B’s ANC meeting. Smith’s amendments will aim to increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in the bill originally introduced by Council members Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells.
From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.
The District’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) started a parking sign pilot program in the ANC2F/Logan area that lengthens restricted hours for visitor parking a couple of months ago.
The program will be extended to Ward 1 over the next few weeks. These restrictions will extend to ANCs 1A, 1B and 1C (ANC 1D opted out of the ERPP program). One side of the street will have RPP restrictions, and the other side will have enhanced restrictions. Most of the U Street corridor is in Ward 1.
The program is referred to as the Enhanced Residential Permit Parking (ERPP) program. It protects parking for neighborhood residents by designating one side of the street as resident only parking from 7 am to 8:30 pm, Monday to Friday.
The new signage for the ERPP program will be posted on blocks with traditional Residential Permit Parking (RPP) in the next few weeks. Crews will be working on an accelerated schedule to install about 2,500 new signs on approximately 550 neighborhood blocks included in the program. The installation will begin on or about November 17.
Due to the U Street NW Streetscape Project, temporary bus stops have been established during the installation of bus concrete pads. The concrete pads were installed on Saturday, November 10. There are three bus stops that have been affected while the installation and curing of the concrete pads in underway, including the following:
1. U Street & Vermont Avenue NW – North side of U Street NW & East side of Vermont Avenue NW. Temporary Stop: North side of U Street & East Side of 10th Street NW.
2. U Street & 11th Street NW – North side of U Street NW & East side of 11th Street NW. Temporary Stop: North side of U Street & East Side of 12th Street NW.
3. U Street & 13th Street NW: North side of U Street NW & East side of 13th Street NW. Temporary Stop: North side of U Street & East Side of 12th Street NW.
The temporary stops will be in place until Friday, November 16. Routes affected are 90, 92, 93, 96 and X3.
More information is available at UStreetProject.com.