Tuesday, December 10, 2013

SEE Committee Meeting - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Safety, Education and Enforcement Committee (SEE) will reconvene at the Penn Quarter Teaism after a brief hiatus. SEE will meet 6:00 PM, Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at Teaism, 400 8th Street NW, Penn Quarter.

BAC welcomes Andrea Adleman as the new chair of this committee as she focuses more attention on the education of District bicyclists and the people who interact with them, among other things.

Andrea is an avid cyclist who who frequently partners with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, most recently with the Women and Bicycles program. She is also communications consultant, journalist, food critic, cupcakologist and otherwise dynamic individual.

Preliminary agenda items include next steps following Council Member Cheh's December 16 Public Roundtable on the District's Bicycle Infrastructure Master Plan, a look back at past committee work and ideas about future projects. Please support her and bring your ideas to the downstairs section of Teaism. 


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Council Roundtable on Bicycle Infrastructure Master Plan

The Committee on Transportation and the Environment will hold a public roundtable on the Bicycle Infrastructure Master Plan, Monday, December 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM in Room 500 of the John A.Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

The Committee invites the public to testify to help inform the Council and the District regarding the future of bicycling in the District. BAC invites cyclists to either testify in-person, submit a written statement or attend the hearing. The hearing will also be televised local cable channel 13 and online.

If you have thoughts about the plan, please let us know in the comments below or twitter @DCBAC using the #DCBikePlan hashtag.

According to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the current Bicycle Master Plan established basic goals and an implementation strategy for creating high-quality bicycle facilities and programs during a 10 year period.  That plan was published by  DDOT in 2005 and does not include many improvements.  This meeting will allow the public to voice its ideas or concerns regarding the new master plan and ensure that the needs of bicyclists are addressed. 

The Bicycle Master Plan will likely influence MoveDC and other District transportation projects, which at their current stages are more aspirational or attempt incorporate multiple transportation modes into a comprehensive plan. The Master Plan will not only articulate biking-specific goals but also offer greater specificity regarding how to improve and promote bicycling District-wide.

For those interested in providing testimony, you may register on the Council's website. Persons representing organizations will have five minutes to present while individuals will have three minutes.

If you are unable to testify in person, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. To submit written testimony, which will be made a part of the official hearing record, contact Ms. Aukima Benjamin, staff assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, at (202) 724-8062 or via e-mail at abenjamin@dccouncil.us. Statements must be received by the close of business on December 30, 2013.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BAC - FAC Meeting - Getting there by Getting Through NPS

Our December Bicycle Advisory Council Facilities Committee (BAC-FAC) meeting will be Monday, December 2 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Shaw's Tavern, 520 Florida Avenue NW.

The agenda includes discussion of fostering effective engagement with the National Park Service (NPS) and prioritizing projects which involve NPS property or an in District control but must adhere to certain NPS requirements.

The National Park Service operates several large and small parks in and around the District.

Some categorized the relationship between NPS and the region's bicyclists and pedestrians as cool at best and acrimonious at worst, with cyclists wanting expanded and safer access to NPS facilities and NPS being focusing on larger or high profile parks, preservation, and fiscal constraints.

Monday, November 4, 2013

BAC Bimonthly Meeting Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The bimonthly BAC meeting is Wednesday, November 6, beginning at 6pm.

BAC will discuss reports from our subcommittees and other bike-related topics including the status of bicycle facilities by the District Department of Transportation.

The meeting will take place at 441 4th Street, NW at One Judiciary Square, in Room 1114, which is on the 11th floor. Please remember to bring government identification to enter the building. To get to the meeting room, please use the South lobby elevators.

Bicycle parking is available in front of the building please remember to also bring your bike lock. As always, BAC meetings are open to the public and we encourage you sharing your thoughts.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Synopsis of the BAC-FAC Rolling Meeting 'To the Park'

Below are observations from Monday, October 7, "Get to the Park" BAC Facilities meeting from the BAC-FAC chair, Jeanie Osburn (BAC-FAC@dcbac.org):

To Rock Creek
District Department of Transportation staff person Mike Goodno and I rode around Columbia Heights last night looking for good routes from east-to-west and west-to-east to get to Rock Creek Park from the Park View section of the District. (This mid-city north, east-west corridor will likely be important as more bicyclists travel across town.)  By 5pm the rain had stopped, so the ride was dry.

Bicycle Networks in the Proposed WeMoveDC Plan

As the WeMoveDC process begins its transition from the information gathering to the planning stage, the ideas that they've gathered from thousands of District residents are now coming together - on maps.

In anticipation of WeMoveDC's third round of  Workshops – Ideas to moveDC - beginning October 21, BAC has obtained a draft version of the WeMoveDC maps that list ideas and approached for the District's bicycle facilities (displayed below). There are a lot of moving parts in this process, but thanks to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), we now have maps that break them into component as well as composite maps.

BAC would like #BikeDC to look at these maps and either tell us what you think or tell WeMoveDC at its upcoming meetings. We'd also like you to note if anything should be included, for example, with all these new routes, what about safe, secure bicycle parking?

WeMoveDC has three approaches or alternatives loosely based on themes of 1) Stay the Course, 2) Get Downtown and 3) Connect the Neighborhoods. In addition, the maps displays three types of bike facilities: bike lanes, protected lanes, and off-road multi-use trails. This creates 12 maps variations (including 'summary' maps) to consider.

Please review at the maps below and discuss them with your friends, neighbors, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners or members of Council - regardless of if they ride bicycles or not. We want to make sure that the you come with a lot of questions and suggestions based on the needs of the bicycling public and the people bicyclists are connected to each day. 

BAC, together with the public, hopes to identify the significant differences between the three approaches and communicate concerns, suggestions or support the DDOT. Once major differences are identified, we need to share/document our opinions. Ideally, we'll be able offer DDOT a fourth approach - 4) the best ideas!

If you have suggestions or are unable to attend the WeMoveDC workshops, please feel free to leave your thought below or on Twitter @dcbac.





Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bicycle Safety Amendment Act Committee Report and Fiscal Impact Statement

Earlier this year, Council member's Mary M. Cheh and Tommy Wells introduced the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013 (Bill 20-0140).  The purpose of this bill is to streamline and update certain aspects of the District's bicycling laws.

The document below contains two files, the Draft Committee Report and its Fiscal Impact Statement. The Committee on Transportation and the Environment's report explains in detail how the Council envisions the implementation and purpose of the law and what has transpired between the introduction and the anticipated final vote.

As required for most legislation, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer produced a Fiscal Impact Statement (FIS), which determines how the proposed legislation could affect the District financial plan and how much the law could potentially cost to implement. The FIS also provides a clear and brief explanation of the legislation. This document starts on page 10 below.


BAC - FAC Meeting - To the Park

Please join the Bicycle Advisory Council's Facilities Committee (BAC-FAC) for its October 7, 2013 ride this Monday. The ride will began at approximately 6:00 PM 5:00 PM from the intersection of Park Road and Park Place NW on the west side of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (Old Soldier's Home) in the Park View section of the District.

The objective is to scout reasonable east / west routes across Columbia Heights from Old Soldier's Home to Rock Creek Park.  We will be accompanied by a representative from the District Department of Transportation, who will help answer your questions. Please remember to bring a helmet and installed front and rear bike lights.

For those on the list who ride that area frequently have suggested routes or if you have questions about the ride, please contact Jeanie Osburn (BAC-FAC@dcbac.org), chair of this committee.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Upcoming BAC Bimonthly Legislative Committee Meeting

The next bimonthly Legislative Committee Meeting will be held at the Busboys and Poets, 1025 5th Street NW Teaism, 400 8th Street NW. The Wednesday, October 2nd meeting will begin at 6:30pm and last until around 8:00pm.

Please feel free to join us to discuss the District's laws as they pertain to bicycling. The agenda will include a discussion of the recently proposed Used Bicycle Sales Amendment Act of 2013 introduced by Council Member Muriel Bowser.

This proposed law appears reduce some of the legal and administrative hurdles involved with businesses interested in buying or selling used bicycles. The law also could provide an entry point for people unable to purchase more expensive new bicycles for sale at District shops. Some have argued; however, that the application of the proposed law would be onerous for bicycle stores and because of the potential of a "quick sell", could exacerbate bike theft not only in the District but also regionally.

If you cannot attend, please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below. Please feel free to contact the committee chair, David Cranor for meeting details.

We look forward to seeing you there

BAC Response to M Street Cycle Track Changes

Last month, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) made changes to the proposed M Street NW cycle track. The changes removed the cycle track portion between 15th and 16th Streets NW and replaced it with a bicycle lane.

Below is a letter sent to the Director of DDOT, Terry Bellamy, certain Council members and other DDOT staff:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

BAC Bimonthly Meeting Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The bimonthly BAC meeting is Wednesday, September 4, beginning at 6pm. BAC will discuss reports from our subcommittees and other bike-related topics including the status of bicycle facilities by the District Department of Transportation.

The meeting will take place at 441 4th Street, NW at One Judiciary Square, in Room 1114, which is on the 11th floor. Please remember to bring government identification to enter the building. To get to the meeting room, please use the South lobby elevators. Bicycle parking is available in front of the building please remember to also bring your bike lock.

As always, BAC meetings are open to the public and we encourage you sharing your thoughts.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

BAC Legislative Committee Meeting - August 7

The next bimonthly Legislative Committee Meeting will be held Wednesday, August 7th at 6:30pm at the Mount Vernon Square Busboys and Poets, 1025 5th Street NW. Please feel free to join us to discuss the District's laws as they pertain to bicycling.

Just added: The agenda examines the impact of the recently approved Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013 and specifically the following issues:

1. Bicycle Safety Amendment Act Status - First vote on 7/10 Unanimous yes.

2. Encouraging DC to offer its employees a bicycle commuter benefit (http://dchr.dc.gov/page/employee-commuter-benefits)

3. Getting DC to enforce the Bicycle Commuter and Parking Expansion Amendment Act of 2010 (seek help from Kenyon McDuffie in his role as oversight of the Government Operations committee and Vincent Orange as head of Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs committee) and to fund the truck guards called for in the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act of 2008.

4. Walk-on items

If you cannot attend, please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below.

Please feel free to contact the committee chair, David Cranor for meeting details. We look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

BAC - FAC Meeting - Metropolitan Connectivity Ride

Please join the Bicycle Advisory Council's Facilities Committee (BAC FAC) for a ride August 10, 2013 to check on signage and trail connectivity between the District and the trails of Prince Georges County.  The ride will began at approximately 10:00am at the NOMA Gallaudet Metrorail station. Please arrive at the starting point a few minutes beforehand. The ride should last no more than three hours.

Specifically, the ride will begin at the NOMA Gallaudet Metrorail station (near the N Street NE entrance) and will travel north on the Metropolitan Branch Trail. The route will pass the new trail extension, which runs besides the nearly completed Monroe Street Market. The ride will then turn east near Fort Totten and use the streets and trails that connect the District to the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia Tributary trail system in Maryland. We will return using a similar route.

This connection differs from the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail route, which runs parallel to the Anacostia River. While the the Riverwalk trail is more scenic, this route could potentially provide access to the District for hundreds of daily commuters and recreational travelers. BAC will examine some of the barriers to the trail's completion and provide suggestions the District Department of Transportation.

Please contact Jeanie Osburn (BAC-FAC@dcbac.org) if you have questions about the ride.

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you and hope you can contribute to making the District better for bicycling.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bimonthly Safety, Education and Enforcement Committee Meeting - August 21

The Safety, Education and Enforcement Committee (SEE) will hold its bimonthly meeting Wednesday, August 21st, 6 PM at Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Street, NW. Hopefully, we can sit outside on the patio. We invite all interested bicyclists to attend as the meeting is open to the public.

Please RSVP Ellen Jones, the Ward 3 Bicycle Advisory Council Chair, at ward3@dcbac.org and bring your ideas on the 21st.

The purpose of the meeting is 2-fold:
  • Establish priorities for the SEE committee to work on in the coming fiscal year
  • Elect a chairperson. Appointed BAC members will be able to vote for the chairperson, but the chairperson need not be an appointed BAC member.
Ellen Jones attended the most recent DC Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) meeting. The PAC expressed ideas that they are considering for its FY 14 workplan, which BAC shares with the PAC.

Friday, July 26, 2013

South Capitol Street EIS Meeting May Provide Better Bike Connections

Bridge Connections
Bridge Connections by Ranpuba, on Flickr
The South Capitol Street Corridor Project will dramatically change major street so that it becomes an inviting thoroughfare that leads people to the District's core. The question is will it be a good bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians?

Officially called the South Capitol Street Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS), a meeting will be held Tuesday, July 30, 2013 to discuss the current plans for the street, which includes the replacement of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, its approaches on both sides of the Anacostia River in Wards 6 and 8, and the rebuilding of highway interchanges at interstate 295 and the Suitland Parkway to its beginnings near the Capitol grounds.

The South Capitol Street Corridor Project Information Update Meeting will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, 10 “I” Street, SW. The nearest Metrorail station is the Green Line (Navy Yard-Ballpark). Bike parking will be limited.

Ciclovía What?

The Spanish term "Ciclovía" (pronunciation) or open streets effectively means a temporary and periodic closing of a street to motorized vehicle traffic and opening it for pedestrians, bicycles and other uses. Created in Bogota, Columbia in the 1970s, it's an event that typically happens once a month or more, removing automobile parking and closing streets to car traffic for part or all of a day. While bicycling is the major attraction, many the streets are opened for mass exercising, small concerts and other activities. In many cases, local businesses participate by temporarily moving seating or functions into the street or onto the sidewalk.

While other cities like Portland, Atlanta, Baltimore and New York have events like this regularly, the District does not. What if we did? What if U Street were closed each Sunday morning from Georgia Avenue to 18th Street NW? What about M Street NW between the Key Bridge and 28th Street one Saturday morning a month?

BAC would like your suggestions for streets that could be good candidates for a District Ciclovía. While there are currently no plans to introduce this concept, BAC is compiling a list of bike issues and bike ideas that we could present to the District government. Why not add this idea to our list?

Please let us know what you think by using the survey below.


The District has limited experience with open streets and has been discussed in the past, but really hasn't happened. According to Washcycle the July 4 Independence day celebration on the National Mall, the mass closure of downtown streets to cars allowed for an "unofficial" Ciclovía. Bike DC, a once-a-year closure of several District streets for bicycling, had elements of a Ciclovía, but it was cancelled for 2013. Beach Drive NW is closed to most automobiles each Saturday and Sunday from Broad Branch Road NW to the District boarder with Maryland (with vehicles allowed 'limited' access to the picnic lots), but it's not exactly a Ciclovía either. It's sort of like a block party but larger and sometimes in a commercial corridor.

Below is a Streetfilms video of a Ciclovía in Bogata, Columbia.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stopping Like Idaho

The Idaho Stop is an Idaho traffic law that effectively allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and not come to a complete stop at most signed intersections. This effectively allows for a rolling stop at signs.

BAC wants to know what you think of the Idaho Stop law and if it, or something like it, should be enacted in the District.

Create in 1982, the Idaho Stop does not give bicyclists carte blanche, they must yield to the right of way if there are other vehicles or pedestrians at intersections. UrbanVelo has a nice video (at the end of this page) explaining the Idaho Stop and its potential implementation in Oregon. BikePortland also provides a FAQ page explaining how it works.

Currently according to WABA's Pocket Guide, DC regulations state that bicyclists "have all the general rights and duties of drivers of vehicles" but bicyclists but must also follow "the instructions of official traffic control signals, signs, and other control devices applicable to vehicles". This means that if you come to a stop sign (or a traffic light), bicyclists must come to a complete stop.

Some argue that bicyclists want to avoid crashes with vehicles at stop signs, that they should be allowed to apply the Idaho standard. Also, as bicycle mode share and infrastructure increases, the current traffic laws become more antiquated and therefore need to change. In addition, a rolling stop allows for the conservation of energy for bicycle riders, enabling them to use less energy to move forward and further.

What do you think? Let us know by answering your short survey or look at the video below.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

BAC Facilities Committee (BAC FAC) - Capital Crescent Trail - July 20

Please join the Bicycle Advisory Council's Facilities Committee (BAC-FAC) on a ride or 'rolling meeting' Saturday July 20, 2013, beginning at 1:30p. The second ride of the season will explore access the Capital Crescent trail within the District.

The Capital Crescent trail (CCT) is a popular transportation route for bicyclists, however, access to the trail for District residents is limited. The main access points in the District are in Georgetown beneath the Key Bridge, Norton Street, NW and Fletcher's Boathouse.  Access to the boathouse location is particularly difficult for cyclists and pedestrians because the of a lack of sidewalks or signalization along Canal Road NW. Access at Norton Street is also difficult do to a lack of signage identifying the location of the trail entrance.

The BAC-FAC team will be riding the CCT starting from the Georgetown entrance continuing to Norton Street and into Ward 3, stopping along the way to view access points.  We will likely travel in Ward 3 at Norton Street, stopping for food or beverage. Then we we will return along the CCT.

Below is a tentative route map:

View BAC - FAC Capital Crescent Access in DC ride in a larger map

As always, we strongly recommend that you bring a helmet, snack and plenty of water as the temperature will likely be hot and humid.  Please plan to arrive about 15 minutes before the ride begins, we will leave promptly at 1:30p.

Please contact Jeanie Osburn (BAC-FAC@dcbac.org) if you have questions about the ride.

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Which Way Do You Turn?

The Grist posted a nifty video (see below) that provides tips to new bicyclists on how to push that first pedal.

While the video is fun to watch, it also suggest two different left turning techniques that could appear on our streets -- the "Standard Left" and the "Copenhagen Left".

The standard left makes the turn just like a vehicle - the bicyclist signals, moves into the left lane, and then turns left.

The Copenhagen left is like how a pedestrian crosses a street - a bicyclist stays right and crosses the street that they would like to turn left on, turns their bike so that they are going the correct direction, then waits for the signal (Sounds complicated but it's not).

While the Copenhagen left seem to take longer than the standard left, many feel that it is generally a safer way to turn because it reduces the chance of an auto crash. While not popular in the US, it's gaining popularity as communities create bike-specific signalization and routes.

An example of the turn appears at about the two minute mark of the Grist video below.

BAC would like to get your thoughts on the standard or the Copenhagen left, which do you prefer?











Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mall Traffic - Getting to the National Mall by Bike on Independence Day

Prior to July 1, there were no provisions for bicycle parking near for the July 4 Independence Day celebration on the National Mall. BAC drew attention to this issue and appears that bike parking is now available.

The July 4th festivities on the National Mall allow visitors and those who live in the greater Washington area, the opportunity to celebrate the nation's independence. However, given the enhanced security checkpoints surrounding the area, getting to the Mall is nothing to celebrate. With Metrorail setting  ridership records and well has suffering break downs routinely, visitors and residents turned to bicycles.

In prior years, the National Park Service (NPS) contracted with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association to manage bike valets at large Mall events like the Presidential Inauguration, the Cherry Blossom Festival and the Independence Day celebrations.

As of July 1, GoDCGo, which is a transportation initiative sponsored by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), stated that no bicycle valet option this year. While  bikes are allowed within the security perimeter, getting bikes through the checkpoints and then carrying them throughout the day is not optimal. This problem is compounded because Metrorail prohibits bikes on the system July 4. Instead of relieving the potential crush on our transit network, those who could have used transit to bring bikes and safely park them with limited options.

BAC contacted NPS to confirm that it was not offering bike valet service or additional provisions for parking but they did not respond as of this posting. GoDCGo did respond initially saying that no bike valets were planned for the Mall. After discussion, GoDCGo later said that it was looking into plans for additional parking and are hopeful that some sort of bike valet could be made available.
As of July 2, the NPS access map shows bike parking near the corner of 15th and Independence Avenue NW. The full map can be found here.

The circle 'B' represents event bicycle parking.
Map provided by the National Park Service.
BAC contacted Capital Bikeshare to determine what it would be doing to accommodate the potential crush of users to its system near the National Mall. They said that while its bikes would likely be allowed in and out of the security perimeter, the bikeshare vans, which help redistribute bikes throughout the system, would likely not be allowed. Bikeshare has several stations near the Mall, especially north of Constitution Avenue NW but many of those stations may be filled early.

Bikeshare Stations near the National Mall.
Map courtesy of Capital Bikesare
To mitigate the potential crush, Bikeshare stated that it would operate a bike corral, a makeshift, dockless bike station that allows for the mass storage of its bikes, for much of the day. 
BAC will continue communicating with DDOT, GoDCGo, and Capital Bikeshare and let you know here or on twitter @DCBAC if bike parking or other accommodations are confirmed and where they will be located.






Monday, July 1, 2013

BAC Bimonthly Meeting Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The bimonthly BAC meeting is Wednesday, July 10, beginning at 6pm. BAC will discuss reports from our subcommittees and other bike-related topics including the status of bicycle facilities by the District Department of Transportation.

The meeting will take place at 441 4th Street, NW at One Judiciary Square, in Room 1114, which is on the 11th floor. Please remember to bring government identification to enter the building. To get to the meeting room, please use the South lobby elevators. Bicycle parking is available in front of the building, please remember to also bring your bike lock.

As always, BAC meetings are open to the public and we encourage you sharing your thoughts.



Friday, June 28, 2013

Picture This - Monroe Street Market Section of MBT Opening Soon

This very short section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) is expected to be completed some time in July or August according to the Monroe Street Market twitter page and TheWashCycle, respectively.
— Monroe Street Market (@MonroeStMarket) June 26, 2013
The approximately 0.1 mile section runs roughly parallel to the Brookland CUA metrorail station and the new Monroe Street Market development beginning at 8th and Monroe to a slip lane that runs beneath the Michigan Avenue NE.

Section of MBT @ Monroe Market
Section of MBT @ Monroe Street Market - June 27. A photo by Ranpuba on the @DCBAC Flickr Page
This Section of the MBT in April 2013. A photo by Ranpuba on the @DCBAC Flickr Page

This section of the trail connects the 8th Street NE sharrow with the trail/sharrow portion of the MBT that runs along John McCormick Avenue NE, next to Catholic University of America. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

BAC Legislative Committee Meeting - June 5

The June 2013 Legislative Committee Meeting will be this Wednesday,   June 5 at 6:00pm at the patio at Busboys and Poets.

The agenda is open but includes a discussing  talking points for council member staff and drafting letters for potential legislative goals.
     If you have questions, please feel free to contact the committee chair, David Cranor


    We look forward to seeing you there.





    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Recap from NCPC Pennsylvania Avenue Meeting


    Pennsylvania Avenue by @Ranpuba
    The Wednesday, May 29 Pennsylvania Avenue Plan meeting was well-attended by those concerned about the safety transportation corridor, in particular, bicyclists who use the street's center-aligned bike lanes to travel east and west within the District's downtown core.

    However, according to the meeting’s National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) presenter, the meeting wasn’t about bike lanes.  Instead, the meeting discussed the alternatives to the current management structure of the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site plan. Under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the National Park Service must also hold this consultation meeting to discuss if proposed changes will have an impact on the historic resources of the site.  While this issue appears less than what bicyclists hoped, it actually provided an opportunity to discuss the corridor and provide suggestions as to how the street could be more inviting to its visitors and residents.


    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Meeting to Determine the Future of Pennsylvania Avenue

    Although the Pennsylvania Avenue is a major street in the District, most people do not know that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has limited control over how it is maintained, its designed or what amenities are situated along it.  While Congress may exercise its control, Pennsylvania Avenue has several entities that have some authority over the street. Many of them will be at the Pennsylvania Avenue Plan public meeting, Wednesday, May 29 to discuss the future of the street and who will be responsible for its long-term planning.

    The government participants will include the National Park Service (NPS), the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), General Services Administration (GSA), and the District of Columbia. The meeting will be from 5:00p to 7:00p at NCPC’s offices, 401 9th Street, NW.

    Monday, May 20, 2013

    Dr. Gridlock Chat (5-20-13)

    As a public service, DCBAC periodically views 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 Bike to Work Day and riding on the sidewalk.

    Feel free to comment.

    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    M Street Meeting Notes

    The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) held its public meeting to discuss the proposed M Street NW cycle track, also called a protected bike lane, Wednesday, May 15 at the West End Public Library.  Most of the discussion involved how the proposed cycle track would impact those who attend the 175 year-old Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal church (@MetropolitanAME) in the1500 block of M Street.

    Untitled
    M Street Cycle track Meeting (Photo: @ranpuba)
    DDOT Presentation
    The second floor meeting room of the West End Library appeared to be near capacity with almost every seat taken and several standing when DDOT staff comprise of Associate Director Sam Zimbabwe, Bicycle Program Coordinator James Sebastian and  Bike Program Planner Mike Goodno began their presentation of the project.

    The presentation initially discussed certain functional highlights of the bike lane including the integration of automobile turning lanes and protected green sections for the safety of bicyclists. DDOT also discussed how it planned to integrate what it learned from its installation of L street and 15th street protected lanes into the design of M Street. This would include green painted bike boxes in areas that come in contact with automotive traffic and bicycle-priority signalization at the complicated intersection of Rhode Island and Connecticut Ave. and M Street.

    Monday, May 13, 2013

    Public Meeting for M Street NW Bike Lanes

    This Wednesday, May 15, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will hold a public meeting to discuss the planned installation of protected bicycle lanes along M Street, from Thomas Circle to 28th. The public meeting will also discuss some of the observations of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association walking tour of M Street held Monday, May 6.

    The meeting will be held at the West End Library, 1101 24th St. NW, beginning at 6:30 pm. BAC encourages you to attend this meeting so that DDOT can include your concerns or suggestions in its design for this new infrastructure.

    The one-way westbound M Street lanes will provide needed crosstown access for bicyclists and complements the L Street lanes, which were constructed last year.  DDOT and WABA staff noted that it was important for the bicycling community to attend the meeting so that certain concerns addressed during the M Street walk and lessens learned from the installation of the L Street lanes are discussed. For example, as bicycling becomes more prevalent so too will the need for more bicycle parking along this corridor.

    Below are pictures from the walking tour as posted on the DCBAC flickr page:


    M street just before 16th street

    Rhode Island Ave, Connecticut Ave and M Street Intersection

    Details of a section of the proposed M street protected bike lane

    21st and M street




    Monday, April 29, 2013

    BAC Bimonthly Meeting Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    The bimonthly BAC meeting is this Wednesday evening beginning at 6pm, May 1, 2013. BAC will discuss reports from our subcommittees and other bike-related topics including the status of bicycle facilities by the District Department of Transportation.

    The meeting will take place at 441 4th Street, NW at One Judiciary Square, in Room 1114, which is on the 11th floor. Please remember to bring government identification to enter the building. To get to the meeting room, please use the South lobby elevators. Bicycle parking is available in front of the building, please remember to also bring your bike lock.

    As always, BAC meetings are open to the public and we encourage you sharing your thoughts.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    WeMoveDC Web meeting

    Tuesday, April 9, 2-13, WeMoveDC held a web-based chat regarding transportation challenges both in the District and regionally. Below is a log containing questions asked and answers provided by WeMoveDC / District Department of Transportation staff.
    Audience Question:
    Q: Will the slides from this presentation be made available to us after the workshop (emailed or at a website?)
    A: Yes, on the website under the resources tab on the website. www.wemoveDC.org

    Audience Question:
    Q: how about taxi drivers?
    A: DDOT works on this with the taxi cab commission, both specifically and generally. Special outreach has been done with this group.

    Audience Question:
    Q: How can create a better funding and governance mechanism for regional transportation (From Baltimore to Richmond, from Annapolis to Dulles)?
    A: We are working with regional, state, and local partners to start to identify solutions. MWCOG has an important role in the finance and funding discussion. Recently, Virginia and Maryland have made changes to the way they fund transportation to try to better address transportation needs. We plan to also evaluate how we fund transportation as a part of this planning effort.

    Audience Question:
    Q: When will bicycle lanes be placed on Connecticut and Wisconsin avenuess?
    A: We will look to this plan to help identify the future networks for all modes, together. Streets like those that you mention are especially complicated because of competing demands. This planning effort will help to resolve those conflicts.

    Audience Question:
    Q: How many people participated in this webinar?
    A: 46 individuals have signed in; however, we do not know whether some attendees represent groups.

    Audience Question:
    Q: I have also heard about something called the "side car" do you know about that?
    A: Personal ridesharing/taxi service that people can hail/offer via mobile app. This is one of those information-based ideas that could be a larger part of the future of transportation in DC.

    Audience Question:
    Q: Are you taking the future of automated (computer driven) vehicles into consideration?
    A: We will be flexible in our accommodation and ability to accommodate modes that may not be prevalent today.

    Audience Question:
    Q: what is the focus on encouraging older adult participation in the community.  For example sidewalks in good repair.
    A: Access for all ages and abilities is important. It should be easy for anyone of any ability to get around.

    Audience Question:
    Q: Where did the end-of-block bollards on the L Street cycletrack go (the ones that keep cars out of the cycle track), and when will they be back?
    A: They went away for snow removal and will be back in the coming weeks.

    Q: One of the problems in the District is that while DDOT is an important factor in transportation policy, DPW, Office of Planning, or MPD also have a roll in making transportation effective. What specific changes will WeMoveDC introduce to end the silo mentality.

    Audience Question:
    Q: If DC wants to attract affluent people, who want to live and shop in DC with children, the focus is easy.  The slower traffic has the priority, walkers first, cyclists second, and vehicles third, jet planes fourth, rockets fifth.
    A: Thanks.

    Audience Question:
    Q: Just to note, police officers are often in that same category.  They park in bike lanes all the time
    A: Thanks.

    Audience Question:
    Q: FYI valet drivers also pull U-Turns through the PA Ave cycletrack. Some outreach to the valet companies and restaurants would help.
    A: DDOT is working with many partners for better enforcement and education to reduce instances of this sort of behavior.

    Audience Question:
    Q: We also need to have some regulations in place to ensure bicylces are on the street and not the sidewalks.  Is this going to be looked into?
    A: This is an issue we'll be discussing as a part of the plan.

    Audience Question:
    Q: I drive as little as possible, but when I do, I can't help but notice that the timing of lights in DC tends to increase congestion (lights that turn red immediately after the previous light turns green, etc..  I have been in many cities where lights are timed to help the flow of traffic.  Are we recruiting the expertise to help make better use of what we have, as well as increasing capacity?
    A: We are working on optimizing our signal system to address this type of issue.

    Audience Question:
    Q: Aside from the 15th Street Cycle track, there are few north-south  or east-west corridors that are safe for cyclists. are you planning more protected cycle tracks to make cycling safer for everyone?
    A: This plan will look comprehensively at the bicycle network.

    Audience Question:
    Q: There are cycle paths (particularly Rock Creek Pkwy) that are in serious need of repair and revision.  Is the National Park Service party to this planning process?
    A: Yes.

    Audience Question:
    Q: Are there any plans to repave the 15th St. bike lane?
    A: Yes. Schedule is uncertain.

    Audience Question:
    Q: Can we have a coprehensive bicycle parking program, especially in the CBD? Now, the installation process is dictated by the "squeakly-wheel" method. Could we work with BIDs, businesses and communities to better allocate spaces, even if it removes some car street parking?
    A: We will be looking at bicycle parking on and off-street as a part of this plan.

    Audience Question:
    Q: Will we be getting dedicated lanes for buses, especially on high bus volume corridors like 16th Street?
    A: This is the sort of issue we will be discussing as a part of this plan.

    Richard Whyte (to All - Entire Audience): Last chance for questions.
    Richard Whyte (to All - Entire Audience): We look forward to seeing you at a future event in the future. Please visit www.wemoveDC.org for current project information and input opportunities.
    Richard Whyte (to All - Entire Audience): Thank you.

    Picture This - New Traffic Signal Crossing North Capitol that Contains Bicycle Facilities

    Below are images of the installation of a new traffic signal near the 5200 block of North Capitol Street as it crosses Hamilton Street.

    The signal will allow bicyclists to use Hamilton Street eastbound and Gallatin Street westbound instead of using Gallatin as a bi-directional bicycle sharrow on a one-way vehicular street.

    The installation of the traffic signal will also allow pedestrians, bicyclists and cars to cross North Capitol street, which can be difficult due to heavy traffic in the blocks between Missouri Avenue and Gallatin Street and the relatively high rate of vehicle speed during off-peek travel hours.


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    Monday, April 15, 2013

    BAC Facilities Committee (BAC FAC) - April 20

    Please join the Bicycle Advisory Council's Facilities Committee (BAC-FAC) on a ride or 'rolling meeting', Saturday April 20, 2013, The first ride of the season will explore access into and out of the area around the new Costco Warehouse Club store located at 2441 Market Street NE.

    The ride will begin at 1:30pm, and start at the Union Station bike station, near First Street NE and Massachusetts Avenue NE. The ride will end at the NoMa-Gallaudet Metrorail Station. As always, we strongly recommend that you bring a helmet and reserve the right not to allow you on this ride without one. Please plan to arrive about 15 minutes before the ride begins, we will leave promptly at 1:30pm.

    Below is a tentative route map:

    View BAC FAC Ride #1 2013 (Costco) in a larger map

    This BAC-FAC ride highlights a void in the District's current bicycle network. Access to the Costco area, also called Fort Lincoln, by biking or walking is difficult for many reasons. The Anacostia River, New York Avenue and Amtrak's Northeast Corridor tracks create a physical and psychological barrier. South Dakota Avenue, a major north - south arterial road that leads to the Costco, does not adequately support the needs of bicyclists.

    The ride will also examine bicycle access near Gallaudet University and the communities of greater northeast Washington including Trinidad, Icy City, Arboretum, Gateway, and Langdon Park. The ride will also view bicycle access to the Metropolitan Branch Trail at Rhode Island Avenue NE.

    Please contact Jeanie Osburn (BAC-FAC@dcbac.org) if you have questions about the ride.

    Thanks and we look forward to seeing you.

    BAC Legislative Committee Meeting - April 17

    The April 2013 Legislative Committee Meeting will be this Wednesday, April 17th at 6:00pm at the patio at Busboys and Poets. If it rains, the meeting will move to Teaism.

    The agenda is pretty open with only two items:
      
    1. DC Bicycle Plan update - According to the Sustainable DC plan, DDOT is updating the Bicycle Master Plan. We should talk about what we'd like to see in that and strategies for advising DDOT on it. 

    2. Future goals - It's been over a year, with new legislation already passed (defining bikes, Assault law, Bicycle Safety Act of 2013), since we last discussed a "State of DC Bike Legislation." I'd like us to discuss legislation we'd like to push for and legislative goals in general.
     If you have questions, please feel free to contact the committee chair, David Cranor


    We look forward to seeing you there.





    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Bike Parking at District Government Facilities

    Bike Parking at DC Gov't
    buildings (2010)
    Current DC Bicycle Advisory Council member David Cranor made a Freedom of Information Act request to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in 2011. The purpose of the request was to view the findings of a report that surveyed bicycle parking at District government buildings.

    The report, which was prepared by Alta Planning and Design and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, was the official response from DDOT regarding DC Council's request for a survey of bicycle parking at District facilities as a required in the Bicycle Commuter and Parking Expansion Act of 2007.

    DCBAC has created a map based on the locations reported in Appendix E: Bicycle Parking Inventory. While the data is somewhat old and the District has made improvements to bicycle parking since this report, anecdotal evidence would suggest that parking is still insufficient. It also points to he problem of a lack of secure parking, highlighted in a recent cover story article by Amanda Abrams in Mid-City DC magazine.

    The Washcycle blog interprets the findings of this report by stating that only six percent of DC government buildings would meet current bike parking requirements. "While current zoning regulations require bike parking equal to 5% of automobile parking at commercial garages, no such requirement applies to office buildings owned and leased by the DC government", the Washcycle has determined. To create the level of parking needed to adequately satisfy current requirements would cost approximately $1.3 million (in 2010 dollars).

    The report focuses on bicycle parking but also contains the number automobile parking spots at government facilities. The map is based on a slightly modified table that eliminates locations with no parking (car or bike), removes duplicate addresses, and consolidates parking at co-located agency buildings (i.e. the Wilson Building contains several agencies but there is only on building).
     

    The report contains six types of parking. The first four represent current parking types:
    1. Indoor Auto
    2. Outdoor Auto
    3. Indoor Bike Parking
    4. Outdoor Bike Parking
    The next two categories represent new parking recommendations:
    1. Proposed Class A Bike Parking
    2. Proposed Class B Bike Parking
    Class A spaces are higher security and are intended for longer term use, such as employee parking. The report recommends 2,802 new Class A spaces.

    Class B spaces are targeted to short term users and are located near building entrances to provide convenience for users. The report recommends 8,526 new Class B spaces.

    As always, we would appreciate your thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment below.