(Updated at 10:28 a.m.) With Metro’s rail system shuttered for the day, many locals were forced to find an alternative route to work.
‘Goods, Not Guns’ — Two Mt. Pleasant residents have started a campaign to encourage local businesses to post signs prohibiting patrons from entering with a hand-gun. The effort is a response to recent court actions that have loosened D.C.’s gun laws. [WAMU]
24-hour diner — Construction on a new 24-hour restaurant called “Olivia’s Diner” is underway at 1120 19th Street NW. The diner advertises fresh-from-scratch food with the philosophy “people come first.” [Borderstan]
Worthy Ambition — Signs for the LeDroit Park-Bloomingdale Heritage Trail are being installed in the neighborhoods. This heritage trail is titled Worthy Ambition, a line from a Paul Laurence Dunbar poem about black achievement in spite of slavery. [Left for Ledroit]
Lyman’s marks 1-year anniversary — The tavern on 14th and Quincy NW celebrated with free pinball and drink specials. [New Columbia Heights]
Park View Transportation Planning — Tonight’s meeting of the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition will focus on issues related to sidewalks, street configuration, bike lanes, trees, and traffic. The meeting will be held at Park View Recreation Center and begins at 7 pm. [Park View DC]
As far as transportation goes, DC often gets a bad rap. Sure, we have the country’s worst drivers, and we may be approaching “metrogeddon” with the 8-month closure of the Dupont Circle southern escalators.
But there’s good news. We also rank among the top U.S. cities in terms of our bicycle and pedestrian programs, according to a study out this week from the Alliance for Biking & Walking.
Of the 51 largest U.S. cities, the District boasts the highest per-capita funding for cycle and pedestrian facilities and education. The report, Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2012 Benchmarking Report, says DC spends approximately $9.82 per resident to promote biking and walking. Nationwide, states spent on average just $2.17.
Not surprisingly, the report identified a virtuous cycle of infrastructure investment, improved safety and increased bike and pedestrian commuting. Among those 51 cities, DC also had:
- the second highest share of commuters who walk to work (after Boston).
- the seventh highest share of commuters who bike to work.
- the second lowest rate of car ownership (after New York).
- The sixth lowest rate of bike/ped fatalities.
In a press release, Mayor Vincent Gray celebrated the news:
I have made it clear I want the District of Columbia to be the most sustainable, walkable city in the nation. It’s great to see where we stand among our peers and that we are making real progress toward that goal.
This report gave me quite a bit to think about. We often hear about drivers acting aggressively towards bikers, or of problems with pedestrians and cars. Getting around in DC is far from perfect, but think about how much worse it must be in other cities. If we are sixth in bike/ped safety (and I still can’t get a car to stop for me at the crosswalk at 14th Street and Wallach Place NW), then what’s it like in Fort Worth, Texas, which ranks 51, or Phoenix (#48) or even San Diego (#23)?
Another thing I found particularly interesting in the data was that the share of commuters biking and walking seemed to have nothing to do with the weather. The number one state for biking and walking was Alaska! Number two was Vermont. Eight of the 10 top states have snow on the ground pretty much all the time, while states like Florida and Texas ranked dismally. So as I bundle up to walk to work tomorrow, at least I’ll have my pride to keep me warm.
The low-cost bus routes between Washington DC and New York City have become a perennial travel story, one that we ourselves covered first in June 2006, and then again this year with the launch of the BoltBus and Megabus $1 fares. But we had yet to sit down and look at how they compare to each other, so we figured now, as everyone tightens their belts a bit, would be the perfect time. And of course, with the holiday seasons upon us and Inauguration weekend approaching, New York and D.C. are sure to be popular destinations over the next couple months.
Read entire post.
You can now rent a bike in D.C. the same way you can rent a car for a few hours or a day. You may have seen the bike rack on the northwest corner of 14th and U Streets near the Reeves Municipal Building for SmartBike DC. The Washington Post has an article today.
- See the map and instructions for using SmartBike.
- More from today’s Washington Post:”SmartBike DC will rent 120 bikes at 10 self-service racks mostly in the downtown area, including near the Gallery Place, Shaw and Judiciary Square Metrorail stations. A $40 annual fee gets riders a membership card, which allows them to pick up a cherry red three-speed bike. Then it’s time to tool around the city for up to three hours. Those who want to keep going can pick up another bike; there’s no limit on the number of trips.”