Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to Make the MBT a Safer Space

(Photo by thedceye)
The Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT)is a great transportation assets for the District. For it to reach its potential; however, trail users, advocates and the community that surrounds the trail must determine what the the future of the trail should be and how we can make it more safe today.

On Wednesday, June 22, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy hosted a Trail Safety Open House to discuss ways to protect users of the Metropolitan Branch Trail from crime. Several nearby residents and trail users attended the event and expressed some of their concerns to government and community representative as well as talked amongst themselves.  

Now that we've met on the MET, what's next?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Oregon Avenue Environmental Assessment Hearing June 29

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, June 29 from 6:30p to 8:30p at the Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW to discuss the Environmental Assessment (EA) that rehabilitates a 1.7 mile section of Oregon Avenue NW.  This hearing will help the project planners determine the optimal construction alternative that will make the road, which abuts Rock Creek Park, more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists, among other goals.

BAC and the DDOT Supervisory Transportation Planner, Jim Sebastian, are interested in public comments about the project. Also, those who live in the area or use the road, are encouraged to attend the hearing to provide suggestions or observations.  This is the third public hearing for the project and is likely the final opportunity for public comment.  The final decision document will be transmitted some time this summer with reconstruction of the road estimated to last 6 to 9 months.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Metropolitan Branch Trail Safety Open House June 22

Stephen Miller, bicycle advocate and coordinator for Urban Pathways for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, will be hosting a Trail Safety Open House to discuss ways to protect users of the Metropolitan Branch Trail from crime, Wednesday, June 22, from 4:00p to 7:00p in the pocket park near S and 4th Streets NE.

The Metropolitan Branch Trail is a shared use trail that runs roughly parallel to the former B&O (currently CSX ) right-of-way, mostly in the Northeast quadrant of the District.  The trail will eventually cover approximately 8 miles from Union Station in the District to Silver Spring Metro Station in Maryland. Last May, an important segment opened that linked New York Avenue to Franklin Street NE and allowing a contiguous 1.5 mile car free route.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Legislative Hearing on Pedestrian Safety Act

The Committee on Public Works and Transportation will hold a public hearing, Wednesday June 8, at 2:00p in Room 123 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

"The Pedestrian Safety Reinforcement Amendment Act of 2011”, Bill 19-0291, will be discussed. along with other items on the agenda.  The purpose is to amend the Pedestrian Protection Amendment Act of 1987 to rectify the amendment which went into effect on November 25, 2008, and to clarify that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), pursuant to the District of Columbia Traffic Adjudication Act of 1978, has the legal authority to issue rules and fines.

BAC found documents on the Committee on Public Works and Transportation that showed that DMV has enforced the act by ticketing bicyclists and pedestrians, which appears to run counter to the law's intent.  Tens of thousands of dollars have been collected over the last several years as a direct result of DMV's enforcement focus.

The hearing can be seen live on the Council's website beginning at 2:00p.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dr Gridlock chat (6-6-11)

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, several comments about rolling through stop signs, improvements to the humpback bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians, and drawing a correlation between allegedly reckless Zipcar drivers and allegedly reckless Capital Bikeshare users.

The Seersucker Social Ride Makes Biking Look Good

High style (photo by thedceye)
The Seersucker Social Ride, organized by group Dandies & Quaintrelles, was a great example of how bicycling can be a fun and fashionable communal experience, allowing people who would not ordinarily ride bikes do so with those who have extensive riding experience.

According to the Dandies & Quaintrelles site, the District-based social group was established in 2009 and organizes and hosts vintage-inspired, stylish events to support noble causes.  This is the second year for this spring event and will be followed in the fall by arguably the more popular Tweed ride, typically held in November.