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DDOT will meet with USPS and reach out to UPS and Fedex on bike lane parking

At last week's Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, DDOT announced that they had a meeting planned with USPS on how to stop parking in bike lanes and cycletracks and that they were planning more outreach to UPS and FedEx on the issue.

USPS is a unique issue because their vehicles have no license plates and thus can't be ticketed. DDOT is goiing to try to educated them on the safety issues related to parking in the bike facilities.

UPS and FedEx can be ticketed, and are, but the companies have billing arrangements with the city and just treat it as a cost of doing business.  It was suggested that they ask the companies where loading zones are needed if the current ones are inadequate. Outreach to BIDs could help with identifying better LZ placements. 

Virginia Avenue Tunnel Video shows new Virginia Ave SE with sidepath

Near the end of the video.

The benefits of policies to encourage bike commuting far outweigh the costs, says science

Not much of a surprise

A 2014 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, “The Societal Costs and Benefits of Commuter Bicycling: Simulating the Effects of Specific Policies Using System Dynamics Modeling,” looks at four options for increasing cycling in the city of Auckland, New Zealand. 

The four policy options analyzed were: (1) The creation of a regional cycling network (RCN), currently being pursued by the Auckland Regional Council. It involves marked lanes with no physical segregation on 46% of main roads, 25 kilometers of shared footpaths per 100,000 population and a small number of shared bus and bicycle lanes. (2) Arterial segregated bicycle lanes (ASBL), with one-way, barrier-separated cycling lanes on all main roads throughout the region. (3) Self-explaining roads (SER), which slow car traffic through structural changes and visual cues. (4) A combination of arterial segregated bicycle lanes and self-explaining roads (ASBL+SER). 

Compared to the business-as-usual scenario, all four alternative policies had positive cost-benefit ratios, ranging from $6 to $24 saved for every $1 spent. The number of cyclist deaths and injuries increase under all the options, but the overall rates fall because of the rise in cycling mode share. The total number of deaths also falls, primarily through a drop in car-crash fatalities and an increase in physical activity and health.

There is much more at the link, including graphs!!

Cyclists will protest at the Washington Post for the Milloy column

I found out about this protest at News4

But there is more about it here.

A D.C. resident started a Facebook group this morning advertising a "a peaceful, safe, law-abiding ride" tomorrow from Dupont Circle to the Post headquarters downtown. Upon arrival, the riders hope to have a conversation with  Milloy and his editors about why his column was "dangerous" and should never have been published.

If you're interested in a long lunch break tomorrow, the ride starts at 1 p.m. at the Dupont Circle fountain.

Good news on future Capitol Crescent Trail

At a recent meeting of the Purple Line Implementation Advisory Group (PLIAG) there were discussions of many issues including sound wall, trail lighting, nightime tunnel closures and land takings. Included in all of this, which is extensively covered at Silver Spring Trails, is some good news. 

the Rosemary Hills neighborhood representative quickly informed us that MTA and MCDOT had a “walk through” of the area with Rosemary Hills and Lyttonsville neighbors a few weeks ago, and as a result the property owners along Talbot Avenue have expressed they are content with the MTA Purple Line plans that they had been shown.


John Thomas gave PLIAG the good news during his presentation that MCDOT and CSX have been working together toward achieving a mutually agreeable CCT alignment along the baseline master plan route on CSX property behind Park Sutton... MCDOT does not believe they need to explore the alternative alignments any further, they now expect to be able to complete the trail as planned including the grade-separated crossing under the 16th Street Bridge.

Courtland Milloy and the irrational fear of others (in this case Millennials)

I just don't even know where to start with this article from Courtland Milloy about....I'm not really sure, but it seems to be that the one consistent thing is that cyclists are bad people. The article reads like something written by someone who knows absolutely nothing about the subject matter, but spent a morning googling it and wants to vomit up as much as they can about it as quickly as possible. The original version of the article even called WABA "WAVA" (since corrected), a group he didn't even reach out to. It's such a jumbled mess. 

Nonetheless, here we go.

They fight to have bike lanes routed throughout the city, some in front of churches where elderly parishioners used to park their cars. 

Just one. And in that case, elderly parishioners still park their cars there. 

They slow-pedal those three-wheel rickshaws through downtown during rush hour, laughing at motorists who want them to get out of the way.

That's a whole separate subgroup of cyclists, but nonetheless, I doubt they are actually laughing at motorists. And that motorists want them to "get out of the way" when they're legally allowed to be where they are seems more like the immediate problem. 

Now, some of them are pushing to have a “bicycle escalator” installed on 15th Street NW

Actually no one is doing anything of the sort. One person on GGW wrote a post about how one place has such a thing and asked if it would be useful on 15th, and most of the comments on it were negative about the idea. 

Forget about all those people who have to walk up and down that hill every day. 

Is something no one said. GGW is not where you want want to point your finger when accusing a site of being anti-pedestrian. That's POPville (I kid because I love). 

They’re lucky that someone hasn’t put a broomstick through the spokes of their wheels.

I suppose? Being physically attacked would be unlucky. But it's an odd thing to say.

Actually, bike ninjas are much worse. ... If you demand that he show common courtesy and obey the rules of the road, a biker just might spit on your car. 

But that's not what a bike ninja is. The word he's looking for is an A-hole. But try asking a driver to put down their phone and I doubt you'd get a hug or a "Thank you".

It’s a $500 fine for a motorist to hit a bicyclist in the District, but some behaviors are so egregious that some drivers might think it’s worth paying the fine.

Since some cyclists in the area have been the victims of intentional violence wherein the driver used their car to hit them, I'm going to guess that's true (but in the cases I know of, the cyclist wasn't even breaking the law). But what is missing from this part is the line "But those drivers would be wrong, because vigilante violence is never the solution." Perhaps it was implied, but I missed it. He seems more understanding of this than the cyclist who spits on one's car. 

Bikers routinely worm their way to the front of a line of cars waiting at a red light. When the light turns green, they’ll poke along at a snail’s pace, holding up traffic while motorists wait for a chance to pass. Then they do the same thing at the next stop light.

Which is totally legal. 

I recall in the not-so-distant past when the city’s bikers weren’t newly arrived, mostly white millennials but black juveniles whom D.C. police frequently stopped — at least in neighborhoods that were being gentrified. Stopped for riding on sidewalks. Stopped for riding in parking lots.

And that was wrong. 

Now that kids like them are being moved to the outskirts of the city, if not out altogether, the District government is bending over backward to make Washington a more “biker-friendly” city.

And is that bad? Is it bad for DC to become more "biker-friendly"? Or should the wrong behavior of the past be continued for fairness sake? Also who is moving these kids to the outskirts of the city? He makes it sound like they're being loaded up onto cattle cars by the Gestapo or something. There are plenty of non-white, non-millennials out their riding their bikes - not that it matters that much. 

So far, more than 72 miles of bike lanes have been carved out of city streets. There are virtually none in Ward 8, by the way, which has the lowest income and highest number of children of any ward in the city.

There's a bike lane on 25th street SE in Ward 8 and another on Naylor Road. So that's more than "none". I'm not sure what "virtually none" means. Is that like virtually pregnant? And there's another mile plus of bike lanes scheduled for this year. There's also four bike trails partially or completely within Ward 8. Is the point that the DDOT is racist? That Williams, Fenty, Gray and every other non-white, non-milliennial DC Mayor, along with their appointed DDOT Directors and the majority black DC Council are all conspiring against black people? Or could their be other explanations for the derth of bike lanes in Ward 8? Has Ward 8 asked for bike lanes?

Are bike lanes bad (because they take away church parking) or are they good? Or are bike lanes only bad in "white" neighborhoods?

In the end, the above quote shows us is that Milloy's research consisted of some quick googling and no follow-up. 

On Wednesday, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Bike Ambassadors will ride to the NoMa Summer Screen viewing of “The Muppets” “to hand out surprise goodies to people who biked.” There’ll be kids and bikes and Muppets, as if Kermit is supposed to make us forget about the biker terrorists out to rule the road.

Oh good gravy. Biker terrorists? Like this? Or this? Or this? Not when cyclists are armed only with spit and protected only by a $500 fine. Not rule the road, just share it.  

The WABA Web site features a photograph of a cyclist holding a sign that reads:

“Dear D.C. drivers, thank you for sharing! Love, Cyclists.”

If only they meant it.

Sigh. Even the most genuine efforts at getting along are dismissed. Good to see that Milloy took the time to visit the WABA website. That's investigative journalism. Unlike contacting WABA. Or talking to David Alpert. Or to DDOT to find out why there are so few bike lanes in Ward 8. 

There is a lot of racial innuendo here, without any actual claims. A lot of accusations, without any facts. There's a good dose of disconect (Cyclists break the law, and I'm annoyed when they do things that are legal), and also just some factual wrongness. Even for Milloy this is sub-par. I wouldn't expect to see something this bad on the worst yahoo message board. Despite this, the city's flagship newspaper ran this article. That's the part that's most frustrating. 

The Pennsylvania Avenue Initiative - Meeting on July 23rd

NCPC, NPS, and GSA are working with federal and local agencies to study the Avenue’s near-term needs, identify a governance framework, and develop a long-term vision that reflects its storied history while meeting the needs of a 21st century capital city. A public workshop is scheduled for July 23rd, 6-8pm at NCPC 401  9th Street, NW  Suite 500, Washington, DC . 

An information presentation on this is scheduled for July 10th at the NCPC Commission meeting at 1:15pm (same location as above). 

Met Branch Trail and other DDOT progress

In addition to announcing that more CaBi stations were to be installed soon, DDOT had announcements about other project progress at last week's Bicycle Advisory Council meeting.

  • They have issued an RFQ for a study on a north-south cycletrack from Florida Avenue in Shaw to Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown. They're looking for a route on one of the roads between 5th and 9th, NW and the study will help to determine which road is the best for that. MoveDC has cycletracks on 5th and 6th. 
  • DDOT kicked off Phase 2 of the design of the next section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail last week. This is the section between Bates Road (a.k.a. Big Stinky) and the Takoma Metro. NPS, which controls much of the land the trail will be built on, has agreed to proceed to the design phase and Toole Design Group has been hired to design the trail segment.
  • DDOT is scoping a project to resurface the Suitland Parkway Trail. Complete reconstruction of the trail is being included in the Douglass Bridge replacement project with a timeline for completion in the 2018-19 time frame. 
  • The 30% design of the Oxon Run Trail rebuild is done, with full design starting soon.
  • The South Capitol Street Trail project will need to move a wall at Bolling Air Force base in order to be built to the standard that DDOT wants. That's being negotiated.
  • DDOT is currently resurfacing the South Dakota Avenue NE sidepath from Bladensburg Road to the new Costco. They'd also like to improve biking on V Street NE if they can too. 
  • They also handed out an updated version of this list of 2014 bike lanes.
    • It moved several projects from "Ready to go" to "Installed Lanes" (M Street NW, 1st Street NE, 13th St NW, G and I NE, New Hampshire Ave NW, Piney Branch Road/13th Streeet and Washington Avenue SW) and there are also now sharrows on Ft. Totten Drive NE.
    • Several other projects moved up to "Ready to Go" including 49th St NE, Galveston St SW, Harewood Rd. NE, MLK SE, and  Malcolm X Ave.
    • A new bike lane project on 2nd Street SE between East Cap and Independence is listed as "In Design" as is a side path on 2nd NE btween F and L, a bike lane on 19th St from Potomac Ave SE to Benning Road NE, and a cycle track on M Street NE between 1st and Delaware. 

10 more CaBi stations headed mostly to downtown DC this month

At last week's Bicycle Advisory Council meeting, DDOT announced that they had procured a small batch of 10 new CaBi stations which they would begin to install over the next 30 days. Most of them will heading to downtown.

DDOT also informed the BAC that they were confident that they were not going to be left with an obsolete system due to the bankruptcy of CaBi's supplier, Bixi and that DDOT has authorization to procure another 30-40 stations once manufacturing resumes.

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