Monday, December 26, 2011

BAC following up on the Office of Police Complaints Report with MPD

The BAC Safety, Education, and Enforcment Committee met on Tuesday, December 13. Thanks to Ellen Jones, Lt. Nick Breul of MPD, and Daniel Hoagland of WABA for coming. I think it marks a productive beginning to a working relationship between BAC and MPD.

1) Street Smart Campaign Activities. Lt. Breul provided an overview of activities in the recent round of Street Smart Campaign enforcement. It covered enforcement against pedestrians endangering themselves, motorists endangering pedestrians (not respecting pedestrians in crosswalks with flashing lights) and bicyclists riding in an unsafe manner. The Street Smart Campaign is organized by Lt. Breul using officers being paid for working overtime. It is paid for with special funds from NHTSA. Several of the activities involve teams of officers, thus the type of activities which wouldn’t be happening normally. They also involve a lot of education. Dan Hoagland of WABA got all the numbers in his recap:

2) Follow-up from Office of Police Complaints report. (available here) The OPC report had a number of important recommendations, and the Committee is focused on making sure we follow-up on those recommendations. The fact that MPD has appointed a representative to the BAC is an important success of the report. From a substantive perpsective, there were three big recommendations in the report:
  • OPC Recommendation A: Change general order 401.03 to allow officers to leave reports pending until all statements are obtained.
    • MPD action so far: MPD has sent out several teletypes reinforcing that in the case where a crash participant is not at the scene (because they are at the hospital) it is the officer’s responsibility to go to the hospital to interview them. It is not clear how the general order should be changed, as it is important that police reports not be left perpetually incomplete. A change to the general order is in process, but changed language is not yet available.
  • OPC Recommendation B: Include a bicycle-specific field on the PD Form 10. (crash report form)
    • MPD action so far: At the hearing, Assistant Chief Burke expressed willingness to look at changes to the PD Form 10. However, the form was recently changed, and it takes a long time, so its unlikely that further changes would happen soon. Lt. Breul has committed to bringing copies of the form so that BAC can examine the extent to which bicycles are already covered in the fields.
  • OPC Recommendation C: Continue training officers on bicycle safety.
    • MPD action so far: Along with DDOT, MPD has rolled out a bicycle and pedestrian training module to officers, and by the end of the year, all officers will have gotten the training (electronically). However, the module has not yet been provided to WABA or BAC. This is important so that we know there are no inconsistencies between our understanding of the law and how officers are being trained. Lt Breul has committed to bringing a copy of the module to a future meeting for review by WABA and BAC.
  • OPC Recommendation D: MPD should strengthen involvement in the BAC.
    • MPD action: Done!
On the whole, MPD has been extremely responsive to the recommendations in the Office of Police Complaints report. The BAC will continue to follow up on these issues as there are chances to make progress to ensure that cyclists involved in crashes have a chance to tell their side of the story and are treated appropriately.

3) More robust traffic enforcment. Everyone knows that traffic in DC is extremely dangerous. However, MPD has so many different priorities to pursue, that traffic enforcement is not prioritized. There is no specific traffic enforcement division. All officers have a responsibility to do traffic enforcement in the case of egregious violations and all police districts should be doing specific traffic enforcement. In addition, there are the Street Smart Campaign activities, which generate large numbers of contacts but only in a few locations on a very limited number of days each year. Lastly, automated cameras enforce of speed limits (plus 10) and red light violations in specific locations around the city. I believe that BAC should continue to investigate traffic enforcement and pursue ways of implementing a more robust effort at traffic enforcement, including the possibility of reconstituting a traffic enforcement division.

4) Tidbits. We covered a lot of ground. A few interesting points here on the finer points.
  • Three foot passing law enforcement. No one at the meeting knew of any instances where the 3-foot passing law had been enforced. A ticket could be given for violating the law under a broader “unsafe passing” violation code, but it remains a question whether this has been used.
  • When is a police report required? A police officer is only obligated to take a police report after a crash in cases where there are either injuries or significant damage. It seems that significant damage would be high enough (maybe > $500 or $1,000) that even a totalled bicycle might not always be significant enough to take a report. This is a somewhat subjective area that BAC will continue to pursue to ensure that cyclists whose bicycles are damaged in crashes where the other driver is at fault are able to recover repair costs.
  • Recovering a stolen bike. If your bike is stolen, if you are able to call 911 within a few minutes of the theft, there is a chance of recovery, as nearby officers will be alerted. Turnover is extremely fast, so a good description of both bicycle and perpetrator, and speed are key.
  • Safe and non-hazardous manner. Changes to the DC code related to bicycles says: “A person shall operate a a safe and non-hazardous manner so as not to endanger himself or herself or any other person.” We don’t know what this means, but hope that riding in the middle of a lane or other safe and legal forms of cycling would never be penalized under this vague language. We found out at the meeting that MPD has no official interpretation of what this language means, so it is up to individual officers to use their judgement. BAC will continue to investigate how the language is being used.
The next BAC Safety, Education, and Enforcement Committee meeting will be Tuesday, February 14 at 6:30pm at Teasim at 400 8th St. NW Washington DC. Please let me know if you are interested in attending, or have suggestions for future agenda items at . Best, Jameel.

Monday, December 12, 2011

WABA Women's Forum Twitter Responses

Below are twitter updates from tonight's WABA Women's Bicycling Forum at the West End Public Library from 6p to 8p. WABA has asked that the public use the twitter tag #womanbikedc to convey your thoughts about the forum.

The goal of this conversation is to produce executable recommendations that utilize WABA's reach and resources to put more women on bikes. The event is open to the public to observe the discussion. You can read more about the forum here.

Responses no longer available.

Sustainable DC Transportation Meeting

Bikes cueing
Photo by theDCeye
The Sustainable DC Working group is an effort by the District government to make a city that makes better and lasting environmentally progressive decisions.

The transportation group is meeting at 441 4th St, NW (One Judiciary Square), Room 1114 from 6p to 8p Thursday, December 15.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Proposed 2012 Bike Lanes

At the BAC Facilities meeting held Tuesday, December 6, District Department of Transportation staff introduced a proposed map of bike lanes to be added to the system in 2012.

The following map contains proposed bike infrastructure  improvements / ideas that could be implemented  within the District some time in calendar year 2012.  The items in red are improvements proposed for 2011 but not completed. DDOT hopes to include those routes in 2012.  

One of the proposed routes include L and M Streets between Pennsylvania Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue NW.  While these lanes were planned for some time, the bike community voiced concern when Terry Bellamy said during his confirmation hearing as director of the DDOT  that the dedicated lanes were "on hold" and at the risk of cancellation, as reported by Washington Examiner and other information outlets. 

Also, you can overlay the current bike lanes on the map. Click the larger view of this map and then the traffic link at the upper right corner, then hit bicycling.

Just added: Some respondents have states that some currently stripped bike lanes have deteriorated and need to be repaint.  BAC will add these streets to the map using the color tan green. (Some people stated that tan was more difficult to see when near freeways).  Also, the map on this page does not contain all the possible additions.  The larger map has a second page that shows additional bike improvements.

View 2012 Proposed Bike Lanes in a larger map

As always, we'd like to here your comments.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December Legislative Committee Meeting

The next Legislative Committee meting will be Wednesday, December 7 at 6:30pm. The location will be Teasim at 400 8th St NW. David Cranor (At-Large - Orange) is the Committee Chair and will meet at a large table in the basement of the restaurant.
The agenda for the meeting will be: 
  • Review of letter seeking status of compliance with the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act.
  • Parking report - Now that we have it, we need to decide if there are any legislative actions. The report does not completely meet the requirements of the law - for example it was never made public and doesn't include an evaluation of routes to facilities. 
  • What has long been cited as the law (and included in every iteration of the WABA / DDOT Pocket Guide) as 18 DCMR 1201.2--which states a presumption that the cyclist right to the right, but with a number of clearly defined exceptions--is not actually the law.

    This was changed in a piece of legislation from 2006 for Segways, to make them exempt from certain motor vehicle requirements despite the presence of a motor. It also applies to cyclists. We need to discuss if we need a "Cyclists may take full lane, except..." law that more explicitly spells out where cyclists should ride.

    The current language of 18 DCMR 1201.2 is:

    1201.2 A person shall operate a bicycle, sidewalk bicycle or personal mobility device in a safe and non hazardous manner so as not to endanger himself or herself or any other person.
Meetings are open to the public but space is limited.

Monday, December 5, 2011

WABA will Hold a Discussion on Women and Bicycling December 12

In 1896, civic rights pioneer Susan B. Anthony made the following statement about bicycling:
"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood."
From a Black Women Bike Ride
Photo by theDCeye
Monday, December 12, 2011, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association will hold a forum that hopes to determine why over a hundred years after her statement, there are statistically fewer women bicycling when compared with men.  The Women's Bike Forum (registration is required, space is limited) will begin at 6:00p until 8:00p at the in the small meeting room in the West End Neighborhood Public Library, 1101 24th Street NW. The roundtable discussion will include a panel of women who are active in the local bicycling community and will share their ideas regarding how to increase bicycling mode share by women.

While the number of female bicyclists has seen an increase associated with the overall increase in people who ride bicycles in the District, according to a study, Bicycling renaissance in North America? Recent trends and alternative policies to promote bicycling, women represent about 27.7 percent of the approximately 2.0 percent of Americans who bicycle regularly.

Linda Bake of Scientific American reports that not only is the total modal bike share percentage low in the United States but also the the number women who bike compared to other countries like the Netherlands, where 27 percent of all trips are made by bike, 55 percent of all riders are women. In Germany 12 percent of all trips are on bikes, 49 percent of which are made by women.

The Scientific American article also states that one of the keys in increasing the number of bicyclists on  the roads is to increase the number of women bicyclists. The report implies that as roads and bike infrastructure become safer, there is a likelihood that more women will bike. The number of women biking indicates just how safe it is to bike in a location.

The following video seems to echo those assumptions.

Women In Motion: New Lady Riders Reflect on NYC Cycling from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

We'd like to hear your thoughts on women an bicycling.  Is the key to bring more women to bicycling as simple as creating safer biking conditions for everyone or does it require additional outreach and woman-specific facilities?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Public Hearing - Rock Creek Park Trail

Below is a public notice regarding the Rock Creek Park Trail as sent to the DC Bicyclists and Pedestrians List by the DDOT Bicycle program manager, James Sebastian.  BAC encourages the public to comment on this public facility that serves thousands of pedestrians and bicyclists in the region and allows for the safe access of Rock Creek Park.
Map from NP

This is the second meeting regarding the rehabilitation of this section of the trail. The open house and subsequent presentation will be held Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus, Auditorium, 3101 16th Street, NW Washington, DC 20010 from 6:00p to 8:00p.

The rehabilitation project cover the main trail and at least two tributaries, from Broad Branch Road, NW to P Street, NW.  It also includes the addition of new connections to the trail from the surrounding communities. The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT), proposes to rehabilitate the Rock Creek Park multi-use trail.

According to the NPS planning website, the purpose of the project is to improve the safety and connectivity of the deteriorating Rock Creek Park multi-use trail system in order to enhance visitor use and experience within Rock Creek Park, protect the park's ecosystem, improved access to the Rock Creek Park multi-use trail system from other pedestrian and bicycle facilities, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods; and more effective drainage and erosion control, thereby reducing trail maintenance.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Picture This

Picture This by uno000
Picture This, a photo by uno000 on Flickr.
Workers making repairs to the New York Avenue overpass at the Metropolitan Branch Trail the morning of December 1 at around 9:30a.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December Safety, Education, and Enforcement Committee Meeting

The next Safety, Education, and Enforcement Committee meeting will be Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 6:30pm. The location will be Teasim at 400 8th St  NW.  The committee will meet in the basement.

The agenda for the meeting will be:

- Report on MPD outreach and education campaign (Lt. Breul)
- Follow-up on Police Complaints Board report and Council hearing to-do items (Jameel)
- Safety at the tweed ride (Randall)
- City budget development around safety programs

For more information about the meeting, please contact Jameel Alsalam, committee chair and Ward 4 representative.

December Facilities Committee Meeting

The Facilities Committee of the Bicycle Advisory Council will meet Tuesday, December 6, 2011 from 6:00-8:00 PM at RFD, 810 7th St. NW (near Gallery Place  Metro). This will be one of only two sit-down meetings during the calendar year.

Topics on the agenda include:

-2012 bike lanes
-Bicycle parking
-Effective means of communicating input from rolling meetings
-Effective means of assuring DDOT designers involve bike/ped office in  planning
-Budget issues including getting routine maintenance of all bike trails and bike lanes

For more information about the meeting, please contact Jeanie Osburn Ward 5 Representative and Facilities Committee chair you plan to attend or if you have other topics that you'd like addressed.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Map of Road Fatalities Involving Motor Vehicles, 2001-2009

The map below shows road-related fatalities in the Washington region for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and vehicle occupants. The data is provided by ITO World, a United Kingdom-based organization that produces mapping and visualisations that help people understand and analyze complex transportation data.

According to the ITO World website, the map contains road fatality information from several countries, including the United States. The US map shows virtually every fatality that occurred on roads as a result of a collision involving a motor vehicle between between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2009.

By using the zoom bar on the left of the map, the "key" button and the search bar on the right, basic details of each incident are available including the general location, person's age, sex and the year in which the crash took place.

While the data does not allow for the separation of crashes by transportation mode in a particular area, it does provide a cumulative representation of areas that have higher crash incidents.

Thanks to BAC representative Liam Healy (Ward 6) for sharing this information.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Picture This

   Picture This

dcbac, a set on Flickr.

These are pictures of the new commercial / residential development at the Rhode Island Ave - Brentwood Station. Although still under construction, there does not seem to be any area designated for bike parking.

NPS Proposes 5 Installation Locations for CaBi Stations

The National Park Service (NPS) requests public comment regarding the installation of Capital Bikeshare stations on the National Mall.

This represents a change from the previous NPS policy, which did not allow bike stations on NPS land.  In an article published September 22, 2010 by Lydia DePillis of the Washington City Paper, the reason for Capital Bikeshare restrictions was based of partly on concession contracts with companies that had the right of first refusal for services.  This appears to have changed as a result of demise of the Tourmobile operator.  In addition, Six members of Congress recently sent a letter to NPS urging them to follow through on its plans to allow Capital Bikeshare stations on the Mall.

In changing its position, the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website further states that,
"Participating in this bikeshare system would fulfill the goal of enhancing bicycle use at the park, as envisioned in NAMA's 2008 National Mall Visitor Transportation Study and the 2010 National Mall Plan Increasing bicycle use reduces traffic congestion, fossil fuel use and air emissions, and provides an additional and affordable form of access to destinations throughout the park".
NPS is requesting input from the public regarding the 5 proposed Capital Bikeshare stations through the project's website. To help envision the proposed Capital Bikeshare stations in context with the current stations, below is a map showing the proposed stations (green bike icon) and currently active stations (CaBi icon) adjacent to the National Mall (within about 1500 feet).

BAC would appreciate your comments on the proposed stations. If you think there are better station locations, please enter them in the comments section and we will update the map (blue bike icon).  After an initial review or the locations, the NPS proposed locations appear to leave a service gap for most of the Mall museums and the U.S. Capitol. Currently, there are only two Bikeshare locations within 1500 feet of the Mall east of 12th Street and west of the Capitol.  This  may cause significant overcrowding at these stations or relatively long walks to areas of interest.

View Proposed NPS Bikeshare Locations in a larger map

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pennsylvania Avenue Snow Removal

Pennsylvania Avenue intersection
via Mike Goodno (DDOT)
Mike Goodno, Bicycle Program Specialist within the Policy, Planning and Sustainability Administration of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) would like to know what bicyclists think about the proposal to remove the flexible protective white posts (safety bollards) near the ends of each intersection along the bicycling lanes in the center of Pennsylvania Avenue during snow season.

DDOT is planning a strategy to clear the bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue because the bollards ensure that cars do not encroach into the bike lanes, especially when making left turns. This information my also be considered useful as for other bike lanes and cycletracks.
Mr. Gooodno posted the following message on the BAC group page:
...with the flexible posts and the center traffic lights, there is not enough space for a snowplow. We are considering removing the posts within the next few weeks and re-installing them in the spring. This would allow for the snowplow to clear the bike lanes while plowing the adjacent travel lanes. But, the trade-off is that there is no longer a physical barrier between the bikes and cars.

Pennsylvania Avenue is a national highway system route, which are plowed by a specific team with larger plows. The other alternative is to keep the flexible posts, and plow each bike lane up that point. The drawback is that this would require returning later with another crew to clear the intersection area between the flexible posts. It’s likely that it may take 24 to 48 hours before this second plowing would occur.
BAC appreciates what you think. Should DDOT remove of safety bollards for snow removal or keep them there and send a second plow crew to remove the snow that was initially missed?

Please feel free to comment below or use the poll to the right. BAC will communicate what you say to DDOT.

Update: Greater Greater Washington also asks about this  issue with several comments from its readers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dr. Gridlock Chat (11-14-11)

As a public service, below are bicycle-related comments/questions issued to Robert Thomson on his Monday midday Dr. Gridlock chat on the Washington Post website, unedited.
Sign in question
via Washcycle, photo by xosfan

This week, just one comment about bicycling this week, this time in Virginia -  "Angst because of a lack of enforcement of bikes restrictions on the GW Parkway south of the beltway..."

While the discussion is focused on the south of I495 section in Alexandria, VA, the National Park Service also restrict bicycle usage on a small portion on Clara Barton Parkway in the District.

Feel free to post your thoughts.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Picture This - 2011 DC Tweed Ride

2011 DC Tweed Ride, a group on Flickr.
On a great fall day, Dandies and Quaintrelles hosted its annual Tweed Ride around the District, Sunday, November 13, 2011. Events like this show how excited people are about bicycling for fun and points to the future biking has in the District.

If you took pictures, Dandies and Quaintrelles asks that you post them on their Flickr page.

Friday, November 11, 2011

BAC Comments Regarding Incorporating Bike Infrastructure at DHS Headquarters at St. Elizabeths

Below is a letter sent by BAC member Jeanie Osburn (Ward 5) regarding concerns associated with bicycle accessibility near and within the consolidated Department of Homeland Security Headquarters (DHS) at St. Elizabeths - East Campus. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Letter to MPD Regarding finding of Office of Police Complaints Report

Below is a letter sent by the BAC Safety, Education, and Enforcement Committee.  The letter addresses some of the areas of concern discussed in the Office of Police Complaints (OPC) report released September 29, 2011, "Improving the Safety of Bicyclists and Enhancing Their Interaction with Metropolitan Police Department Officers".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Minor problems with site today

We are making some minor changes to the site today, some items may not be available for viewing or not be formatted properly.

November 2 Bike and Pedestrian Enforcement Hearing Video

Below is video of last week's hearing on the Enforcement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety; and Bill 19-475, Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act of 2011, Public Oversight Hearing held November 2nd at 11:00am in Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building. To see what people thought about the hearing, please see the twitter responses.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dr. Gridlock Chat (11-7-11)

As a public service, below are bicycle-related comments/questions issued to Robert Thomson on his Monday midday Dr. Gridlock chat on the Washington Post website, unedited.

This week, just one comment about bicycling this week -  "who is responsible for enforcement against parked cars in the bike lane..." 

Feel free to post your thoughts.
Parking in Bike Lanes
Question. Is there any effort to increase enforcement against cars double parking in bike lanes. I was riding up 14th street Saturday night and a couple of restaurants have decided that the bike lane is actually a valet parking waiting area. They had the lane occupied for a whole block with empty cars waiting to be parked. Something tells me that should be illegal.

Answer. Robert Thomson. Yep. That would be illegal. Have you called the D.C. police about it?
With regard to this question, Randall Myers, DCBAC representative will send the following message to Dr. Gridlock:
Regarding the question about the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) enforcement of bike lane infractions, contact Lt. Nick Breul of MPD's Traffic, Safety and Specialized Enforcement unit.  Lt. Breul met with the D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council Wednesday, November 2 to discuss the District's efforts regarding educating police officers and bicyclists about the laws involving bicycling. 

Lt. Breul's
unit issues directives to District precincts that deal with specific enforcement (seatbelts, speeding etc...) and makes decisions on where enforcement should happen (based on traffic information).  MPD is working with the District Department of Transportation to educate officers about bike laws and their correct enforcement. Lt. Breul is hopeful that MPD, with improvements in education, will be more attentive regarding the ticketing of vehicles parked in bike lanes as well as the understanding of bike laws in general. 

In addition, the public is encouraged to contact the Office of Police Complaints, which recently issued a report that encourages better communication to improve the relationship between the MPD and bicyclists, if they have concern about or are subject to police enforcement (or lack thereof) with regard to bike laws.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Enforcement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Hearing Twitter Responses

Below are twitter updates from today's Committee on the Judiciary hearing on Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety regarding Bill 19-475, Assault on Bicyclists Prevention Act of 2011.

Feel free to add to the conversation using the application below.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bimonthy BAC Meeting This Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On Wednesday, November 2nd, DCBAC will have its general meeting which will be held on the 11th floor of the One Judiciary Square building, 441 4th Street NW, in room 1114 and begin around 6p and last until about 8p.

As always, DCBAC meetings are open to the public and we invite you to participate in our discussion about the District's bicycling issues.

The meeting will likely discuss information within BAC committee reports as well as discuss the DC Council Committee on the Judiciary hearing held earlier that day on the Enforcement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety. DDOT representatives will also be in attendance to answer bicycling-related questions.

When entering the building, please make sure to bring government-issued identification and use the south elevators to get to the 11th floor conference room.  Bicycle parking is available at the building entrance.

We look forward to seeing you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Missing Bike Racks

DCBAC member Jeanie Osburn (Ward 5 representative) was contacted by the public regarding the removal of bike parking racks throughout the District.  It appears that the rack removal is part of street and sidewalk reconstruction but according to the complains received, the racks are not being reinstalled.

DCBAC would like the public to continue to let us know if bike racks are being removed for reconstruction and not replaced by leaving a comment in the section below or by sending an email to You can also Tweet @DCBAC or use the hash tag of #MissingRacksDC. If you notice a rack is missing, send a message with its location (nearest cross street) and if possible, please send a picture.  You can post your pictures on DCBAC's Facebook page.

The missing bike rack issue may point to a more comprehensive problem in that District Department of Transportation (DDOT) appears to distinguish between sidewalk / streetscape infrastructure maintenance and bicycling infrastructure maintenance. DCBAC is concerned that this disconnect could lead to bike lanes, bike racks and other facilities being removed and not replaced unless the bicycling public brings it to DDOT's attention, creating a potential net loss of infrastructure while also being inefficient.

This week, DCBAC transmitted a letter to the DDOT Director, Terry Bellamy describing the issue and the  locations of missing racks. In his response, Director Bellamy has assigned the DDOT Bicycle Program staff the task of researching our concerns and copied two DDOT engineers.

Below is a copy of the letter BAC sent:

Bike Rack Removal

Monday, October 24, 2011

Minutes from the Far Southeast Livability Study Area Rolling meeting

Below are the minutes from the Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC) Facilities Committee (FAC) October minutes which occurred  October 15, 2011


Rolling meeting exploring the Far Southeast Livability Study Area

Attendees: Mike Goodno (DDOT), Jeanie Osburn (BAC FAC)

  • Improve bridge crossing conditions for cyclists and pedestrians on all bridges connecting the eastern and western sides of the city
  • Change curb cuts on the downstream side of the Sousa bridge to facilitate cycling across the ramps
  • Improve lighting on Nicholson St under the I-295 underpass
  • Work with the Community prior to installing signs

    Dr. Gridlock chat (10-24-11)

    As a public service, below are bicycle-related comments/questions issued to Robert Thomson on his Monday midday Dr. Gridlock chat on the Washington Post website, unedited.

    This week, three comments about bicycling. Two reference a proper notification of events that impede traffic "Why was every major route into the District from Virginia blocked for a bike event..." and a thank you from a bicyclists about drivers...

    Feel free to post your thoughts.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Public Meeting for St. Elizabeths East Campus Master Land Use and Transportation Plan

    The final public scoping meeting displaying the revised alternatives on the preferred plan for the St. Elizabeths East Campus master land use and transportation plan will be held Thursday, October 27 from 7p to 9p at the Malcolm X Elementary School, 1351 Alabama Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20032. 

    Hosted by the District Office of Planning and the Department of Transportation (DDOT), the meeting will specify how development will occur on the east side of the campus, which will include what will be built on the site and what transportation options the site will have, specifically, the site should maintain a focus on bicycle access.  

    The DCBAC hopes that you will submit your comments about potential bicycle improvements not only on the site but the improvement of access to the area from other parts of the region. Comments directed to the project manager can be sent to If you prefer, you can post your comments using the comment field below.  

    According to DDOT, the master plan will undergo a 30-day written comment period through Sunday, November 27, 2011. Those wishing to make comments at the hearing must notify the agencies by 5 pm on October 26, 2011. A final hearing on the Transportation Environmental Assessment will take place later this fall.

    Information about the the St. Elizabeths master plan can be found on the project's website and in the DDOT meeting announcement regarding this topic.


    Monday, October 10, 2011

    BAC Facilities Rolling Meeting - Far Southeast

    The DCBAC Facilities Committee will hold its October rolling meeting Saturday, October 15, 2011 from 9:30a to 11:30a. DCBAC appreciates your comments regarding bicycling in the area and invite residents and bicyclists to attend.  As a rolling meeting, those wanting to participate should at a minimum bring your bike, helmet and inter tubes.

    Due to waning daylight in October, this will be the final rolling facilities committee meeting of the calendar year.  The ride will begin at the southwest corner of M and 11th Streets SW SE (that's at the Navy Yard on the WEST side of the Anacostia).

    The meeting will ride over the 11th Street bridge into the Far Southeast  Livability Study area. The purpose of the study is to increase the livability and quality of life for residents and visitors to the area by making the area safer and more accessible to both residence and visitors who walk, bike, use public transportation or automobiles. 

    The meeting will cover some of the streets highlighted in  the study area and include the neighborhoods of Fairlawn, Penn Branch, Fairfax Village, and Randle Highlands (see map). The group will also make notes on routes  into and out of the area from the west, specifically, the 11th Street and the Sousa Bridges. The study area is bounded by the Anacostia River, Good Hope Road, Naylor Road, Southern Avenue, and Massachusetts Avenue, and contains no Metro rail stations.

    For more information about the meeting, please contact Jeanie Osburn Ward 5 Representative and Facilities Committee chair.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    DDOT Bicycle Design Guide

    Below is the Bicycle Design Guide, published by the District Department of Transportation DDOT in 2005. 

    Based on the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, as well as DDOT staff, this guide provides a template for the planning, design and implementation of bicycle facilities within the District. 

    The Design Guide, intended to be a companion to the 2005 District Bicycle Master Plan, includes specifications for bicycle lanes, bicycle-related signs, and other facilities.  The Guide also is a resource for DDOT staff and consultants undertaking street resurfacing and reconstruction projects, developers, planners, and the general public who want to comply with or who are interested in recommend bicycle facility design standards.
    Bike Design Guide

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    The Office of Police Complaints Reports on MPD's Interactions with Bicyclists

    Thursday, September 29, 2011, the District's Office of Police Complaints (OPC) and the Police Complaints Board issued a report entitled "Improving the Safety of Bicyclists and Enhancing Their Interaction with Metropolitan Police Department Officers".  The report offers several recommendations on how to improve the relationship between the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and bicyclists as well as recommending a stronger and more communicative DC Bicycle Advisory Council. A copy of the OPC report appears at the end of this post (courtesy of the  Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA)).

    The 11-page report is the product of a February hearing before the Council of the District of Columbia's Committee on the Judiciary.  It discusses complaints from that hearing including 1) how MPD officers interpret the laws related to bicycling in the city, 2) how MPD officers ineffectively investigate crashes between motor vehicles and bicyclists, and; 3) the impression that MPD officers, according the the OPC report, "have a pro-motorist bias due to the perception that some bicyclists recklessly endanger themselves and the lives of others by openly flouting traffic laws".

    A second hearing on Enforcement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety will occur November 2, 2011 and will likely have a discussion regarding the OPC report.

    The report made the following recommendations:
    1. MPD should change the method of investigating bicycle-motor vehicle crashes in order to provide appropriate safeguards for bicyclists who are injured.  This would include chaining the policy that requires MPD officers to complete crash reports before the end of their shifts and instead, leave reports as pending until all necessary statements are obtained. 

      Additionally, the crash report form (PD Form 10) should add a category for bicyclists in its 'type of crash' field and add a 'riding into the road' category in its primary contributing circumstance field.

    2. MPD should better train officers on the applicable bicycling laws in order to prevent and dispel claims that officers are neglecting to enforce traffic laws directly affecting bicyclists and incorrectly citing them for behaviors that are legal.

    3. MPD should continue to work with advocacy groups like the Washington Area Bicyclist Association to provide input into the officer training curriculum as well as provide more funding to cover costs associated with the printing of WABA's Pocket Guide to DC Bike Laws.

    4. Lastly, the report recommends that MPD should work more closely with the DC Bicycle Advisory Council and the BAC should be strengthened.  In addition, a task force which would include BAC, DDOT, MPD and WABA that would educate MPD officers and bicyclists and promote awareness and understanding between the two groups.
    As always, we would appreciate your comments on this issue.  You may leave them here below or you may attend DCBAC's upcoming Safety, Education, and Enforcement committee meeting this Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 6:30 at Teaism, 400 8th Street NW where we will discuss this and other issues.

    Police Complaint Board MPD-Bicyclist Report & Recs

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Safety Committee Meeting (October 4, 2011)

    The next scheduled meeting for the DCBAC Safety, Education, and Enforcement committee is Tuesday, October 4, 2011. We will meet at 6:30 at Teaism, 400 8th Street NW. Jameel Alsalam is the committee chair, his email is

    The agenda will include:

    1. Follow-up on bicyclist enforcement problems/priorities after CM Mendelson letter transmitted a letter to Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Lanier as a result of the enforcement hearing held earlier this year.  Discussion about the coming November meeting before the Committee on the Judiciary. 

    2. Funding of bike safety and education programs in the District, possibly in the context of changes to the federal transportation bill.

    3. What connections are needed with MPD to address enforcement issues as they arise?

    4. Any DCBAC role related to regular safety / education events such as Bike to Work Day,  Street Smart Campaign, etc?

    5. Your ideas!

    Meetings are open to the public but space is limited.

      Wednesday, September 28, 2011

      BAC Bits

      Below are items that were not large enough to be a their own separate entry but important to report:

      Metropolitan Branch Trail Walk

      Monday, October 3, 2011, the students, faculty, and parents at Archbishop Carroll High School will begin their Homecoming week by walking nearly 2 miles on the Metropolitan Branch Trail in an effort to keep Carroll the most affordable Catholic high school in the Washington, D.C. area. Each student has begun to sell raffle tickets and last year, students helped to raise nearly $60,000.  The Archbishop Carroll High School Walk for Education began 20 years ago as a healthy fund-raising activity.

      If you have any questions or need any additional information about the Walk, please contact Crystal Rucker, Director of Advancement, at (202) 529-0900 x160 or

      "Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act" Moves from the Committee on the Environment, Public Works, and Transportation

      Jonathon Kass, Director for Special Initiatives for Council Member Tommy Wells, stated on the DCBAC group site that the "Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act" referral was changed. This bill has now been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary (with comments from the Committee on the Environment, Public Works, and Transportation). Thus, a public hearing on this bill would need to be scheduled by the Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by Council Member Phil Mendelson.

      FONSI for the Phase 2 of the Met Branch Trail
      The Federal Highway Administration has determined that the preferred alternatives that will extend the Metropolitan Branch Trail will not have a significant impact on the natural, human or built environment and has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Metropolitan Branch Trail project. The issuance of the FONSI completes the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 process for the Metropolitan Branch Trail project and allows for the preparation of the extension of the trail from Fort Totten to Takoma.

      Monday, September 26, 2011

      Hearing on Enforcement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

      Photo by thedceye
      The Committee on the Judiciary will hold a public oversight hearing on the Enforcement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 11:00a in Room 412 of the John A.Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.  Council member Phil Mendelson is the Chairperson of this Committee with  Marion Barry, Muriel Bowser, Mary Cheh, and Jack Evans as Committee members.

      The purpose of the hearing is to discuss issues associated with the enforcement of laws and other rules that are intended to protect bicyclists and pedestrians.  The hearing will focus on how the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and other enforcement agencies have applied certain traffic laws or safety regulations.

      According to the Committee, there have been specific complaints and anecdotal evidence showing that the enforcement of laws has been inconsistently applied against bicyclists and pedestrians.  In addition, MPD will likely attend to discuss concerns that the District does not properly document incidents between bicyclists, pedestrians and motorized vehicles, which occasionally places them at fault even when they are obeying the law.  The hearing will also discuss the findings of a report issued by the Office of Police Complaints on pedestrian and bicycle concerns, specifically regarding their interactions with MPD.

      This hearing acts as a follow-up to one held on February 4, 2011.  That hearing focused on incidences where pedestrians or bicyclists died after being hit by motor vehicles with no charges filed in the cases sited.  A total of 26 witnesses provided testimony.

      The hearing allows for public testimony.  Those wishing to testify should contact Ms. Jessica Jacobs, Legislative Counsel, at 202.724.8038, by fax at 202.724.6664, or by email at and must provide certain details by close of business Monday, October 31, 2011.  Details of testimony requirements and other information about the hearing can be found on the Council of the District of Columbia 2011 Hearing Notices calendar.

      Saturday, September 24, 2011

      The Great Confiscation Miscommunication

      On Thursday, September 22, NBC4 posted a report by Jackie Benson regarding an increase in thefts involving culprits on bicycles.  According to the report, an email issued by the 3rd District Commander, Jacob Kishter, stated police would increase enforcement in robbery areas, including in introduction of stopping bicyclist to see if they are stolen or were used in the commission of a crime.

      However, the story focused on the following:
      "If the rider cannot prove ownership, take the bike for safekeeping until they can prove ownership."

      View more videos at:

      That statement, of course, set the blogesphere and Twitterverse ablaze. Shani Hilton of the Washington City Paper who was concerned that this policy would not only be impractical but probably racist.  Even DCBAC picket up on the story while it was still influx and tweeted:
      "Okay, so #MPD are stopping bicyclists and confiscating bikes but aren't profiling! Not Good.… @wcp"
      Rather quickly, twitterers @girlonabikedc and @smwieland helped clear up the confusion.  The Washington Area Bicyclist Association's Executive Director, Shane Farthing, as reported by the Washington Post's Mike DeBonis and the WashCycle, we later learned that communication with the commander that, no, the order did not apply to everyone who looks "suspicious on a bike" in Columbia Heights, but on "...known violent offenders who are committing these cases (on bikes)".

      While DCBAC was initially very concerned about the NBC story but have since been properly informed (we were about to write a slew of letters to MPD and the DC Council), we would still like to hear how District police officers have interacted with riders in Columbia Heights.  While the focus appears to be on "known violent offenders", we'd like to learn if the police are targeting bicyclists - even for a "good reason". 

      Feel free to leave a message in the comments section or send an email to

      Friday, September 23, 2011

      Legislative Committee Meeting (October 5, 2011)

      The next scheduled meeting for the DCBAC Legislative Committee is October 5, 2011 at 6:30pm at The Union Pub, 201 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002.  Please check back, the date and location of the meeting are subject to change.

      The following topics will be discussed:

      1. Complete Streets policy and whether a law would be better.

      2. The Legislative Committee chair is in the process of putting together a Freedom of Information Act request for a bicycle parking report as required under the Bicycle Parking Expansion Act of 2007. Also, the Committee will discuss drafting a letter to the Department of Public Works and District Department of Transportation requesting their status in implementing the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Amendment Act of 2008's requirements.

      3. Continue discussion regarding the District's proposed pedicab regulations from the previous meeting, which will include discussion of the following comments received by the committee chair:

      • Rules says pedicabs only allowed on public streets, does that preclude trails, sidewalks, alleys and private streets. Does DC have the authority for that?
      • Rules say no more than 3 passengers - so no kids in laps? Would 3 "adult" passengers be better wording? 
      • Seat belt rule - will this pin passengers under overturned pedicab -  there are no roll bars? Does this carry any safety benefit at all? What does the seatbelt even need to be anchored to? The law doesn't say. 
      • Brakes - law describes technology, but for bikes it's performance based. Performance based (stopping in x feet) is better. 
      • Why do lights have to be battery operated? Why not USB or dynamo? Just say light and how bright - not how to power it. 
      • Turn lights are required, but there is nothing in the law requiring their use. Is that ok? 
      • Rules on stopping to load and unload should also prohibit stopping in the bike lane. 
      • Is stopped with operator on bike "parked"? Should be defined. 
      • Rule on locking bike makes it seem that they can not be locked to anything even bike racks. Should they be parked on the sidewalk or the street? What can they lock up to? 
      • Reflective vest requirement is for all times of day. Is this appropriate? Why not at times when lights are required? Would a "slow moving  vehicle" emblem be better? 
      • Definition of pedicab makes it unclear if all adult tricycle's are pedicabs. Or if a pedicab with the cab in front is a pedicab. Or if a pedicab without passengers in it is a pedicab. If a person transports people for a "donation" are they for hire? And if not are they not a pedicab anymore.
      Meetings are open to the public but space is limited.

      Tuesday, September 20, 2011

      RESOLUTION - Support of Bicyclists' Rights Legislation

      At the last DC Bicycle Advisory Council meeting held Wednesday, September 7, WABA discussed its efforts to introduce legislation before the Council of the District of Columbia to create better protections for bicyclists who are harassed or threaten by motorists.

      According to WABA, the proposed law creates a civil right of action for an assaulted cyclist and   provides for attorneys fees if the cyclist-plaintiff prevails--thereby providing an incentive for attorneys to represent the victim.

      Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells will co-introduce an anti-harassment bill with Ward 2's Jack Evans and Ward 1's Jim Graham.

      Below is a resolution supporting the anti-harassment bill and the rights of  bicyclists who use of District streets.
      Resolution - Support of Bicyclists Rights

      Monday, September 19, 2011

      Dr. Gridlock chat (9-19-11)

      As a public service, below are bicycle-related comments/questions issued to Robert Thomson on his Monday midday Dr. Gridlock chat on the Washington Post website, unedited.

      This week, two comments about bicycling - "Why share Beach Drive when trail is right there" and "Bicyclists don't follow the rules"...

      Feel free to post your thoughts.

      Tuesday, September 13, 2011

      Metropolitan Branch Trail Clean Up

      Below are pictures from the Saturday, September 10, 2011 Day of Service on the Metropolitan Branch Trail.  Volunteers from the community and trail users cleared and cleaned the trail from Franklin Street NE to R Street NE spending a part of this weekend giving back, helping to maintain a public asset.

      The event was sponsored by the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy and its Director of Trail Development, Kelly Pack, the NOMA BID, the DDOT Bicycle program's Heather Deutsch.

      If you are interested in being a part of future activities on the trail join the Metropolitan Branch Trail Facebook group or the Yahoo group Listserv.

      Wednesday, September 7, 2011

      Bimonthy Meeting Tonight

      Tonight, Wednesday September 7th, DCBAC will have its general meeting. The meeting will be in Room 1114 at 441 4th Street NW (One Judiciary Square) and begin at 6pm.

      We will start the meeting with a presentation by the DC Office of Planning on Mayor Gray's new sustainability initiative. Please feel free to invite other interested cyclists to join us for the presentation. Folks are welcome
      to stay for the rest of the DCBAC meeting as well.

      Below is a draft agenda:

      1. Introductions (10 minutes)
      2. DC Office of Planning Sustainability Presentation with Q&A (30 minutes)
      3. Approval of Minutes (5 minutes)
      4. Legislative Committee Report and Discussion (20 minutes)
      5. Safety Committee Discussion (10 minutes)
      6. Facilities Committee Report and Discussion (20 minutes)
      7. Planning Committee Discussion (5 minutes)
      8. Other Business (20 minutes)

      Sunday, August 14, 2011

      Notes from the Rolling Facilities Meeting - Far NE Livability Study area

      Below are notes from the far northeast livability study area riding meeting hosted by Jeanie Osburn,  BAC Facility Advisory Committee (FAC) chair.