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DDOT makes recommendations for Crosstown bike route

At a meeting earlier this month, DDOT presented its draft recommended concept for the Crosstown Multi-modal transportation study. It involves a 2-way protected bike lane along Kenyon and Irving between 14th NW and Michigan. Overlapping with part of the PBL is a shared-use sidepath along Irving and Michigan from Park Place to Monroe. From Monroe and Michigan, conventional bike lanes and sharrows stairstep their way NE to the intersection of 14th St NE and Michigan. In addition, it includes a pair of conventional bike lanes on Michigan Ave from Monroe to South Dakota Ave. 

Screenshot 2016-09-25 at 11.57.53 PM

Ignoring the transit and other aspects, this is basically Option 1, as presented before, with bike lanes on Michigan Avenue. [Which coincidentally is just what I asked for]. There are also a lot of intersection improvements that one would assume would aid cycling as well. 

Interestingly, the Irving Street Cycle Track will be two-direction and center running along the median. This may require a study to determine if a separate signal is needed at the intersection of Kenyon and Irving. 

Screenshot 2016-09-26 at 12.03.01 AM

The Kenyon Street Cycle Track will be a two-direction, separated bicycle facility on either the north or south side of Kenyon Street.

The Irving Street Multiuse trail is dependent on right of way acquisition from both the Washington Hospital Center and the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

The reconfiguration of Michigan Avenue NE can be installed after an traffic engineering study is conducted that results in an optimal design solution and that considers the operational impact of a reduction from four travel lanes to two travel lanes and a center turning lane with bicycle lanes. Right of way impacts should be examined as part of the initial phase of the project.

This is just a study, which comes before planning, authorization, design or construction. So don't expect to see these changes next spring or anything, but it shows the direction DDOT is headed. 

From the archives: DC's oldest Bike lanes

When I moved to DC in 1997, there weren't many bike lanes; in fact by 2001, when DC hired its first bicycle coordinator since 1992, there were still only 2 miles total. This despite the District's 1976 Bicycle Transportation Plan's goal of 16 miles (a number not reached until 2005). The only bike lanes I remembered from back then were the ones on East Capitol. Turns out they're the District's oldest - by a long shot. 

The first bike lanes in the United States were built in Davis, CA in 1967 - to mimic the designs in Netherlands. Previously bike lanes weren't even legal, but a bill to change that had just been signed into law by Governor Ronald Reagan.

Almost immediately people began advocating for similar lanes in DC, and then Councilmember Polly Shackleton led the effort to install bike lanes as an experimental proto-type for a citywide network.  Finally, on December 15, 1969 DC's first bike lanes, on East Capitol Street between RFK and the Capitol Opened. 

The first leg of the bikeway will start at the parking lot north or the stadium. The bikeway will run along East Capitol St. to Lincoln Park, through Lincoln Park on paths now being constructed, and again over East Capitol Street to the Capitol grounds.

From there the plan was to continue the path across the Capitol Grounds (Negotiations were reportedly "underway"), then along the Mall using Jefferson and Madison Drives (there still aren't bike lanes on those streets, but sharrows were added in 2011), beside the Potomac Parkway to K and then under the Whitehurst Freeway to Wisconsin. You can ride most of this on bike facilities today.

International-type bike signs will mark the route and the General Services Administration has agreed to establish bike stands at government buildings. Mrs. Shackleton reports that the District may also provide bike stands at appropriate District buildings.

How adorable. 

It looks like sidewalk cycling was illegal citywide back then

The experimental bikeway will not use District sidewalks — to do so would require a change in the law— but if the route proves popular enough, restrictions against use of sidewalks for bikes may be relaxed.

image from www.bikewashington.org

Development at Buzzard Point will likely extend the Anacostia Trail

Buzzard Point is set to be the next part of town to enrage visiting members of Congress as several development projects are planned or underway. Three projects along the Anacostia River will likely include some of the planned trail section (#16) there. That would leave just sections 2, 8, 14, 15 and 17 needed to finish the trail.image from washcycle.typepad.com

Capitol City is planning a 110 unit condominium at the east side of the point, visible in the center bottom of the rendering below.

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Just west of that, the old Coast Guard HQ will be turned into 450 residential units with retail below and the trail along the south side.


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To the NE, Douglas Development is proposing another 450 apartments with the trail merging into an outside area.


Screenshot 2016-09-22 at 10.56.31 PM

 

Crossland Festival - the first ever cyclocross race in Columbia, MD on Oct 1

Columbia, MD will host its first ever cyclocross race on October 1st (History!).

● All-day cyclocross races sponsored by local club Adventures for the Cure. Cyclocross is a

spectator-friendly race discipline and enjoys broad participation
● Recreational bike rides: The Bike Advocates of Howard County and Howard County Police Bike
Patrol Unit have agreed to host recreational rides. BAHC’s ride
would focus on recreational cyclists, while the Police Bike Patrol would focus on rides for
families with children.
● Music – regional, well-known acts playing upbeat, danceable music
o Kelly Bell Band
o Sweet Leda
o Mend the Hollow (Jimmie HaHa’s new project)
o Higher Hands
● Vendors selling items related to active lifestyles
o Local Bicycle Shops
o Bicycle related arts and crafts
● Beer – local breweries
● Local restaurants and food trucks
● Kids activities 
● Advocacy Area - Safe Streets, Department of Transportation, Bicycle Related Business’

Driver in fatal Fauerby-Rosenbusch crash sentenced to three years

I missed this last month, but Catherine Frances Lyon, the driver who struck and killed John Henrik Fauerby, 64, and Lynne Frances Rosenbusch, 58 as they rode their tandem bike near Chesapeake Beach, MD last October, was sentenced in August. Lyon was driving drunk and was originally charged with 9 counts, which was quickly lowered to 4 - two counts of negligent homicide-DUI and two counts of vehicular homicide - driving while impaired. This was not her first time being caught driving drunk.

Last May she pleaded guilty to two counts of automobile manslaughter, which carried a maximum penalty of 10 years each, but she was expected to only be sentenced to something between 3 months and 8 years. She got 10 years for each count, but all but 18 months of it was suspended. After 3 years in prison, she'll have 5 years probation.

This is a bit tougher than usual. For those charged with a crime in the traffic death of a cyclist in the DC area, the average sentence is 15 months. For those convicted in DUI-related deaths it's 2 years 8 months (but some drivers were not charged, and others not convicted). 

 

2016 Larry's Ride in Baltimore County

The 2016 Larry's Ride, aka Bike Maryland's Beautiful Beast is this upcoming weekend and registration is open until Friday at Midnight.

The ride has some of the most beautiful hills in Maryland with 25, 35, 66 and 75-mile routes all leaving from and returning to Oregon Ridge Park in Baltimore County.

The menu for the post-ride feast features black Angus beef burgers, veggie burgers, a chicken dish from Nalley Fresh , Seasons Pizza, Utz Chips, fresh cut watermelon, veggies, fresh baked donuts and cupcakes from Baltimore’s Best Cupcake.

Toll revenue from I-95/395 HOT lanes could be used to make biking better

VDOT Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is planning to extend the I95/395 HOT lanes north to the Pentagon in order to reduce congestion in the corridor, improve safety and give more choice to travelers. [The Draft EA for this was just completed]. The toll revenue from those lanes will be directed several places, including an annual transit payment, sound wall construction and, most notably, at least $15 million a year for Transportation Demand Management initiatives. 

Eligible projects will increase mobility and move more people along I-95 and I-395 and benefit toll payers in the I-395 corridor.

Example projects:

− Enhanced service to existing routes

− New local and commuter bus service

− Transit capital (bus and rail) projects

− Park and ride lots

− TDM program enhancements

There is nothing specifically suggesting bicycling initiatives in the corridor, but TDM funding has paid for, or been suggested to pay for, bicycle projects in the past. Things like bicycle parking at transit and bikeshare stations are examples.

Work on the Transit/TDM study began in April and tomorrow night there will be a public Open House to discuss the status of the Study.

The public Open House will be from 5 :30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21, at Alexandria City Hall, (301 King St.) in the Sister Cities Conference Room (room 1101). 

The purpose of the I-95/I-395 Transit/TDM Study is to develop a comprehensive list of transit and TDM projects that would be eligible for funding from revenues generated by the I-395 Express Lanes Extension project.... DRPT staff will be in attendance at the Open House to answer questions.

If you can't go, perhaps you can fill out the survey.

As part of the study, DRPT has developed a survey to gather information about transit and TDM needs along the I-395/I-95 corridor.  Regular commutes in this corridor are encouraged to take the survey.

One other impact of note. It does appear from the map of sound wall construction that a wall will be built on the south side of I-95 where the Four Mile Run Trail and I-95.

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Bicycle Awareness Motor Vehicle License Plate Amendment Act Of 2016 hearing on Monday

The Committee on Transportation and the Environment is holding a hearing on Monday at 11:35 am on the Bicycle Awareness Motor Vehicle License Plate Amendment Act Of 2016.

This bill will increase safety for bicyclists on the road by allowing motorists to buy specialty automobile license plates that emphasize the 3-foot minimum passing law and by assigning the $25 application fee and annual $20 display fee for these specialty plates to the Vision Zero Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Fund.

The Committee invites the public to testify or to submit written testimony, which will be made a part of the official record. Anyone wishing to testify should contact Ms. Aukima Benjamin, staff assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, at (202) 724-8062 or via e-mail at abenjamin@dccouncil.us. Persons representing organizations will have five minutes to present their testimony. Individuals will have three minutes to present their testimony. Witnesses should bring 5 copies of their written testimony and should submit a copy of their testimony electronically to abenjamin@dccouncil.us.
I suspect the plate will be similar to this one, but for DC, but the design will come after the bill.
 
image from www.bikemaryland.org

Bike commuting data - in charts!

Here are some updated charts based yesterday's ACS data. First we can see that bike commuting in the area is generally growing, and at a rate faster than the national average.

DC Area

And that when DC is compared to the 4 other big, high bike commute cities it is growing at around the same pace as most.

Major cities

Encouraging, even as the number of bike commuters grows, bike fatalities for all cycling is dropping.

Trend

As a ratio of fatalities to bike commuting, the trend is generally down, though flat lately.

Ratio

National bike commuting sees its first drop since data collection began 10 years ago

The Census Bureau starter releasing annual estimates of bike commuting in 2005 and in every year since then, bike commuting has gone up - until now. In 2015 data released yesterday, bike commuting went down a little bit from 0.620% to 0.597%, or about 9000 people total. There are about 885,000 American bike commuters according to the Census.

In DC, bike commuting went up from 3.9% of all commuters last year to 4.1%, a small increase and good enough for a tie, with 2012, for the 2nd best year. It is not good enough, however, to meet the 10-year goal set out in the 2005 DC Bicycle Master Plan, which was 5%. Driving was down in 2014 dropping to 38.8% from 40.7%. Meanwhile, walking is up to 14.0% from 13.1% and transit dropped again, from 36.1% to 35.8%. Working from home was up 1% to 6% total.  

Among major cities, DC was again #4, again behind Portland, Minneapolis and San Francisco. Minneapolis is now at 5%. 

Elsewhere in the region:

Screenshot 2016-09-16 at 1.08.33 AM

Arlington continues its steady growth, up to 1.9% from 1.8% and Alexandria is back up a little to 1.2% from 1.0% last year. 

Silver Spring, last year's bright stop, collapsed from 1.3% to 0.6%. Also, over the last two years, ACS has been reporting numbers for Rockville and Gaithersburg too. The former is down from 0.8% to 0.7% and the later is holding steady at 0.2%.

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