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Gabe Klein on WAMU talking about Capital Bikeshare

If you missed today's interview of Gabe Klein, you can listen to it online or read the transcript. It's really a very good interview and Klein knows as much as anyone about the issues. There's not much that's new in there about bikesharing, but it's a pretty good recap of everything from SmartBike through the start of Capital Bikeshare, with discussions of Divvy, Citibike and the future of bikesharing. 

Arlington County Transit Supervisor, parked in the bike lane

ArlCo Vehicle in bike lane 2014

DDOT starts work on critical Kenilworth section of the ART

This section will create a new connection between DC and PG County along the Anacostia River, and add much needed trail opportunities in Ward 7. 

Following the fall 2012 trail design unveiling by officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland and key U.S. federal agencies, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Governor Martin O’Malley and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced the start of construction for the $22.1 million project across the District of Columbia and Maryland line to deliver the missing link in almost 70-mile regional bicycle and pedestrian trail network.

The completion of this key link will provide greater access to almost 70 miles of trails in Maryland and in the District Columbia.  Within the District, the segment is part of the planned 28-mile Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that will connect 16 waterfront neighborhoods to the Anacostia River, Southwest Waterfront, Nationals Park, Washington Navy Yard, RFK Stadium, National Arboretum, and other popular destinations.  This new portion of the trail will link to more than 40 miles of trails in Maryland that travel throughout the Anacostia River Tributary System and connect to numerous schools, businesses, libraries, museums, shopping centers and Metro and MARC transit stations.   It will be managed by District Department of Transportation (DDOT), National Park Service and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

 The trail project is scheduled to be open for hikers and bikers in Spring 2016.

Update: If you watch the video, at around 3:36 there is a pop up about a bridge over the "unamned" tributary in Maryland. Now, frequent readers here know that I am not a practioner of the dark art of orthograpy, so far be it from me to criticize; but I do like it and from now on I might refer to that bridge as Unamned Bridge or possibly the trail's mascot Unamned the Egret. 

OT: Turn your old garbage can into a composter

If, like me, you just got some new DC garbage cans, you may be trying to decide if you want the extra space for trash and recycling or if you're goint to toss them out. The other option is to turn one (or both) of them into a composter. Here is but one website that shows you how to do this. If you have two, then you can fill A while the magic happens in B. When A is full, empty B and switch them. 

Bike lanes do even less to cause congestion than previously reported

fivethirtyeight has a follow-up to their post on how bike lanes don't cause much congestion. One researcher says they're measuring congestion wrong and that, when done right, the data shows that bike lanes cause less than "very little" congestion. They cause none. 

By focusing on the volume-to-capacity ratio, rather than a measure of traffic speed or traffic density, the authors miss the effect of bike lanes — even when it’s staring them in the face. Just before their main argument, they write:

“[E]ach road seemed to have about the same traffic volume after its bike lane was installed. Running a statistical test … confirmed that there was no difference in [average daily traffic] before and after the installation of the bike lanes.”

Hold on. This is an incredibly powerful statement: These roadways were able to move the same number of cars and provide space for people on bikes. Reducing a roadway by one lane and achieving the same volume of cars means you’re doing more with less, not that the roadway is necessarily experiencing congestion. They reinforce this point later with an example from New York City, which directly measured travel times before and after the addition of bike lanes, and found that travel times didn’t change. Again, hold up — there was no change in travel time! This is what really matters when you talk about congestion.

fivethirtyeight points out that you go to blog with the data you have, not the data you want, and that there just isn't much travel time data out there. 

I read it as a pretty devastating critique, whether you agree with the outcome or not. 

New York Avenue bike path

Now before anyone gets two excited, let me just say three letters: C S X. 

Ok, that should calm you down.

But, I heard a rumor that DDOT is looking into the possibility of adding a bike/ped path along the north side of New York Avenue from somewhere near the unnamed circle where Montana Avenue and New York Avenue meet, east to Union Market. Somewhere near 4th Street NE, the trail would drop down from the New York Ave grade to the railroad grade and then pass through the unused railroad underpass under New York Avenue. It would then use the fenced off right of way parallel to 4th Street SE to Morse Street SE. 

But doing much of that hinges on CSX agreeing to it. 

It would be great if the project could include a ramp to the 9th Street NE bridge over the railroad tracks and if it could also use the abandoned railroad bridge over New York Avenue just east of the unnamed circle to connect it to 16th Street and/or West Virginia.

NewYorkAve Tunnel
 View of the New York Avenue rail underpass

G street bike lane

G street bike lane

Bike polo at night

Bike polo at night

Cyclist ticketed for running a stop sign where cross-traffic wasn't possible

A cyclist sent me a link to a video of them being ticketed for running a stop sign at East Potomac Park and was criticized for failing to signal a turn. This was at night when the Hains Point loop was closed, so the only thing the cyclist could do is turn left. He admits to not stopping and not signaling.

My take is that this ticket meets the very minimum requirement, in that it is technically accurate to the law. The cyclist has a good point about how, when the road is closed this isn't really an intersection anymore; and it's hard to see how his behavior was dangerous. Still, there is a stop sign there, and a stop sign doesn't need to be at an intersection to be valid. 

I also think this is a terrible use of law enforcement resources. There are real, dangerous things that are being done out there by some cyclists (and drivers) that they could be ticketing instead of this. If ever there was a case where a warning would do, this is probably it. 

If it were me, I'd just chalk it up to the one time I got caught compared to the larger-than-one number of times when I got away with it. I'd pay my ticket and consider it the cost of doing business. But it sounds like this guy more closely adheres to the letter of the law than me, he writes "I'm pretty much as non-scofflaw a cyclist as you'll meet. I stop at stop signs and red lights if anybody else is in sight," so that is no comfort to him.

Kickstarter Saturday: myTask Bike

From a press release:

You want your phone to do it all and now it really can.  It's the Swiss Army knife of phone cases!  How many times do we find ourselves needing a bottle opener, mirror, nail file or screw driver?  What if you had the assurance of having these basic tools on hand in your phone case! No worries about a bulky cover while traveling, this slim attractive case is TSA compliant and weighs a feathery 65 grams.    It not only protects, but also has a hidden compartment with a range of tools designed to assist in times of need!  Below are the general features of the different cases:

  • myTask Bike includes tire patches, wrenches, a screw driver and a bottle opener. All of our tools are manufactured of the highest quality 440C stainless steel and Polycarbonate. 
  • myTask Urban is outfitted with an array of travel tools including: a pen/stylus, bottle opener, mirror, LED light, USB drive, large 2" scissors, eye-glass screwdrivers, nail file, ruler, tweezers and more.
  • myTask Stash features the slide-out tray that you can customize to hold whatever you want!

TaskOne is raising money for production of its case:   

I like the idea, but I worry about trying to fly with the thing (and I'd forget to take my phone out of the case before I travel).

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