Wednesday, March 28, 2012

FY 2013 Bicycle Budget

So what gets build? (photo from the DCeye)
This document examines the Mayor of the District of Columbia's  Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget and attempts identify bicycle-related programs and projects.

(This document was created by DCBAC member Randall Myers and does not necessarily reflect the views of DCBAC).

The Mayor released his FY13 proposed budget  Friday, March 23, 2012. This budget describes in detail the programmatic goals and projected spending for the budget year that begins October 1 and lasts through September 30, 2013. The Mayor transmitted his budget to the D.C. Council March 23, who then makes changes to the budget to augment or limit agencies, programs or activities. The budget is then sent to Congress who approves the budget and then sends it to the President who enacts it.

This document represents BAC's initial review of the budget. With regard to bicycling, the budget is not consolidated. The budget does not do a good job of specifying work that supports bicycling. The budget contains several programs and projects that contain the words bicycling but it only represents a small part.  A conservative estimate suggests that the total budget is between $3.4 and $4.0 million for FY13.  Most of this funding is supports the building of trails, pedestrian facilities, bicycling facilities, salaries, and certain operational costs.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dr. Gridlock Chat (3-19-12)

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 - "Problems with the Humpback"?

The Washcycle was on top of this with his "Dr. BikeLock" segment.
Feel free to comment.

Humpback Bridge
Question: Dr. Gridlock -- I know that you endured months of questions and complaints about the Humpback Bridge project. I just wanted to point out what a fantastic job was done on this project now that it is finished. As a driver, cyclist, and pedestrian who uses this bridge, the before and after is like night and day. The bike/pedestrian path was so narrow before that it made for a harrowing dangerous experience. My only complaint is the 20 feet of asphalt that is missing to make a more direct approach for cyclists and walkers to the 14th Street Bridge from the Humpback Bridge. There is currently an awkward T junction with the Mt. Vernon Trail.
Answer - Robert Thomson: I'm glad you're generally pleased, given the big impact this project had on GW Parkway traffic over the past few years. But I'm interested in what hyou say about the junction. It's the first time I've heard that issue raised.

Friday, March 16, 2012

BAC Comments on 14th Street Bridge (DEIS)

Below are BAC comments regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the 14th Street Bridge Corridor. According to the project website, the purpose of the study is to address the current and future needs of metropolitan Washington D.C. With increasing commuters, travelers, public transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists; the safety and mobility of this link has become a priority.

The study provides 3 alternatives that include bicycle-related enhancements:
  • AA-1: Improve bicycle and pedestrian access to the Mason Bridge by making improvements at each end of the bridge
  • AA-2: Construct separated bicycle / pedestrian crossing of the Potomac River and add a grade-separated bicycle crossing of George Washington Memorial Parkway as proposed by Arlington County, VA
  • AA-3: Create integrated (DC-VA-NPS) bicycle system, including signing for commuters and other destination bikers
BAC recommends that combining Alternative AA1, construction of a separated bicycle / pedestrian crossing on the George Mason Bridge, and Alternative AA3. This combination of two alternative proposals will result in the creation of an integrated (DC-VA-NPS) and connected bicycle and pedestrian system within the project corridor thatincludes wayfinding signage for commuters, other destination bicyclists, and pedestrians.

As always, BAC welcomes your comments and suggestions.

14th Street DEIS BAC Comments

Friday, March 9, 2012

What the Local April 3 Primary Candidates Say About Transportation

Below is a list of local candidates who appear on the ballot for the April 3, 2012 Primary Election and their statements on transportation as posted on their websites. Candidate websites for the At-Large Council seat and Wards 2, 4, 7 and 8 seats were viewed. BAC believes that transportation connects each ward and is a factor in creating more vibrant and economically secure communities.

BAC does not endorse candidates, but as a public service we show what they say or do not say about transportation or bicycling in the District on their campaign websites.  The absence of transportation policies on candidate websites does not necessary indicate that they have no opinion on transportation issues.

If you have questions about candidate policies, we encourage you to contact them. Feel free to provide comments below.

Information was gathered from campaign websites, the Board of Elections and Ethics and VoteDC.

Dr. Gridlock Chat (3-5-12)

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, comments regarding who has the right of way on a right turn a bike or a car so the bicyclists doesn't get the "right hook"?

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition offers a good explanation and advice on how bicycles and motor vehicles should interact.  Also, Bikesafe shows several types of collisions, including the right hook, and suggestions on how to avoid them. 

Feel free to comment.

Question - Hello Dr. Gridlock, I live in Dupont Circle, and as you know there are many bike lanes in that part of town. Often I see a bicycle and a car traveling parallel to each other arrive at an intersection at the same time - with the bike in a bike land to the right of the car. If the car is turning right and the bike is going straight, who has the right of way?

Answer - Robert Thomson:  This is the "right hook" danger, isn't it?

I don't like to answer right of way questions, because I'm not into deciding who should get the ticket after a crash. I'd rather the crash didn't happen.

The driver of the car should be aware that a cyclist is on the right. Many drivers still are watching only for other cars. This is wrong.

Meanwhile, the cyclist in this situation should be making a political statement about the rights of cyclists. The cyclist should be aware of the danger and avoid putting him or herself in a position to get hit by a turning car.

Question - Ugh, the "right hook". The guy who got hit by the turning lumber truck on U last week is my friend. He's doing okay and will make a recovery, but has a long road ahead of him.Answer - Robert Thomson:  Saw the photo of what the bike looked like afterward. Thought about how vulnerable cyclists are. Was thinking of it in giving my response to the previous comment about right of way.

Bike Lanes and Turning Right
Question - Cars turning right on streets with a bike land should move into the bike lane before making the right turn.

Answer - Robert Thomson: And they should look first, right?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Video from the DDOT, Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Council Oversight Hearing

Friday, March 2, 2012, the D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council provided testimony at its Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Agency Performance Oversight Hearing before the Committee on the Environment, Public Works and Transportation, chaired by Council member Mary M. Cheh (Ward 3) in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building. The hearing also included testimony from the Pedestrian Advisory Council and the District Department of Transportation as well as public witnesses.  Please click Ellen Jones testimony and Randall Myers testimony to read their written statements.

Bimonthly BAC meeting this Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The DC Bicycle Advisory Council will hold its regular bi-monthly meeting this Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 6p - 8p at 441 4th Street NW, room 1114.  Bicycle parking is available at the 4th Street entrance. Please bring government identification to enter the building. Once through security, use the elevators on the right (441 South) to reach the conference room the offices of the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), NOT 441 4th Street, as previously announced.  Please note that you will still need photo identification to enter the building. A BID staff member will be in the lobby to assist you with the building security.

The Downtown BID is located at 1250 H Street NW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20005, one block north of the 13th Street exit of the Metro Center Station. There is limited on street bicycle parking in the front of the building.

We will begin the meeting with a presentation by Jeff Miller, Executive Director of the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking. The Alliance recently published its 2012 Benchmarking Report, a real blockbuster of information that will hopefully inform our work in the District.

Please see the proposed agenda for the evening below:

1. Presentation by Jeff Miller, Alliance for Bicycling and Walking (6-6:30p)
2. Introductions - (6:30-6:45) 
3. Committee Reports - (6:45-7:30)
4. Action Items - (7:30-7:45p)
a. 14th Street Comments - Randall Myers
b. Letter to the Taxi Commission - Heidi Goldberg
c. BAC Member Reappointments & Financial Disclosure Requirements - Ellen Jones
d. Approval of Minutes
5. Other Business (7:45-8p) 

As always, the public is welcomed, please feel free to attend.