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 (

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.
We started on Park Road at Park Place NW.  Park Road is a low automobile traffic street and residential from Park Place to New Hampshire Avenue NW.  (One needs to exercise caution at Georgia Avenue, because Park Road is disjointed (does not 'squarely meet the intersection) and users must pay attention to eastbound traffic turning left on Georgia Avenue NW).

View To the Park Ride in a larger map
At New Hampshire Avenue NW, we went left to stay on Park Road and continued that to14th Street, but that's not a good option for a couple of reasons. When you get to 14th Street, you're obliged to turn right. (the street is configured with a pedestrian island that forces road traffic to turn right only). Also, the traffic on Park Rd between 14th and 16th is dense and mostly a parking lot (heavy traffic).

So at New Hampshire Avenue NW,  we opted to go straight across and take Monroe Street. From Monroe we rode to Holmead Street, took a right, a left on Meridian Place, a left on 14th at the signal, and a right on Newton.  We opted to go to Meridian Place rather than a block earlier on Newton Street, because there's no signal at 14th and Newton coming from the east.

The side streets to the west of 14th Street are residential, with 14th also having a bike lane. We turned right onto Newton and took it to Ingleside Terrace (which becomes 19th Street). Newton is narrow and has cars parked on both sides, but there's not much traffic, and there are traffic-calming humps to slow drivers down. From 19th Street, we took a right onto Park Road, which becomes Klingle Road and then runs into Beach Drive at Rock Creek.
From Rock Creek
From Rock Creek coming up Park Road, there's 'sort of a bike lane' but it really needs to be wider and shifted from the parked cars, to make it a good climbing lane. We explored Walbridge Street down to Adams Mill Road to Irving Street, but that's not a good route to take cyclists, because traffic on Adams Mill is pretty heavy and moves fast.  Also, Irving is one of the only streets that goes straight through, so it's pretty busy, too, and we were clearly in people's way several times.

Instead, we opted to come up Park Road to 17th Street. That's problematic, because it climbs, and it's narrow with no bicycle accommodation. We were fortunate, and there was a bus behind us making frequent stops, so _he_ was holding up traffic and not us :-)  We took a left on 17th Street and then right on Monroe Street and followed Monroe across New Hampshire and back onto Park Road to Park Place.

Of course, we had to circle back to 11th and Park Road to grab a pint at  the end of the ride :-) thanks to Mike for all the planning and a great ride on a less than stunning day.