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