April 28, 2017

NoMa Bicycle Network Study Public Workshop

Leaving Los NoMa
Image: Author
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host its first public workshop for the NoMa Bicycle Network Study, Thursday, May 4 between 6 pm and 8 pm.

The purpose of this workshop is for participants to provide feedback on existing conditions for cycling through and from the study area. The workshop will be held at 1200 First Street NE, main lobby.

The project study area is approximately 2.9 miles in length, from 6th Street NW to 6th Street NE as limits on the west and east sides, respectively, with N Street NW to K Street NW as the northern and southern boundaries respectively.

April 26, 2017

Pennsylvania/Minnesota Avenue SE Intersection Improvement Project Public Meeting

Image: Google
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will hold a public meeting this Thursday, April 27, 2017, to provide details on the Pennsylvania Avenue and Minnesota Avenue, SE, Intersection Improvement Project.

The meeting will be held at the Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library, 3660 Alabama Avenue, SE from 6:30 pm – 8 pm.

April 25, 2017

"NoMa Green" Creates a New Space at its Community Meeting

Rendering of MBT Connector at NoMa Green Park
Image: Nelson Byrd Woltz
The NoMa Parks Foundation held a community meeting on the planned “NoMa Green” park. The meeting was held at the Hilton Garden Inn at 1225 First Street NE and presented updated concept designs that reflected comments received on the design presented at the October 2016 meeting.

The meeting was the first opportunity for the winning design firm, Nelson Byrd Woltz, to publicly display its "100 percent design" of the NoMa Green project. The presentation didn't contain the specific details of all park areas but represented the overall direction of the park, its structure, potential programming, and how they hope the park will develop from the initial opening through the next 20 years.

April 20, 2017

DDOT Accepting Applications for 2018 Transportation Alternatives Projects

Getting Money from the TAP
Image: Author
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) began accepting applications for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which is a federal program under the 2015 FAST Act through the Federal Highway Administration that provides funding to projects considered "alternative" to traditional highway construction.

Approximately $1.1 million in funding will be available through a District-wide competitive process.

Transportation Alternative projects categories are geared towards bicycle and pedestrian activities, community improvements, environmental mitigation, and recreational trails. The projects must be consistent with the District initiatives like MOVE DC, Sustainable DC, and other plans.

The District's Delegate to Congress, Elenor Holmes Norton, held a public meeting last October to discuss how TAP funds could be used in the District.

April 07, 2017

At the ANC 2E Meeting with the Georgetown BID and DDOT, Something Unexpected Happened with a Bike Lane Project

Seersucker (61 of 214)
Along Water Street Below the Whitehurst Freeway
Image: Randall Myers
The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID), Toole Design Group and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) participated in an Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E (ANC) meeting held Monday, April 3 at the Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. They discussed draft plans of the Water Street NW bike lane project.

Something interesting happened, the ANC, with a few reservations, supported it. This is a win for bicycling.

April 05, 2017

The BikeSpecific View of the FY 2018 Proposed Budget

Safe bicycling requires more money
than what's shown in this photo
Image: BikeSpecific
Many people would consider the Mayor of the District of Columbia's Proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget, which was unveiled April 4, 2017, to be the epitome of boring.

It is.

However, BikeSpecifc is boring. In light of that revelation, I've scoured the budget and will now share some initial observations and potential changes to how bicycling is prioritized.

This Is Complicated

While just about all of the bike-related infrastructure expenditures are in the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), there are other agencies that spend funds to promote or help educate residents and visitors about bicycling. An example includes the DC Public Schools funding a bike education program for all second grade students in last year's budget. The FY 2018 Proposed budget doesn't tout what other agencies are doing to expand bicycling; however, I may have missed something, so feel free to check behind me.

Second, the Mayor's budget also doesn't provide many specifics. While the Proposed Budget highlight new initiatives, it doesn't always provide granular information - details of when and what infrastructure will be built. The budget document is a guide of what the Mayor plans to do; the implementation details are typically left to the agencies who tell you in meetings or websites.

Lastly, this isn't the final budget. The Council of the District of Columbia will also make changes and may add or subtract from bicycle or trail infrastructure. The may also institute new laws or funding sources that support specific current or new projects.

Because that's all complicated and filled with how the sausage is made details, let's focus on DDOT's budget. If you'd like, view the budget details.

March 27, 2017

Florida Avenue Virtual Circle Multimodal Transportation Project Public Meeting

On Tuesday, April 4, 2017 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, the District Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting to discuss concept designs for intersection of Florida Avenue and New York Avenue NE, "Virtual Circle".

The meeting will be held in the lobby of 1200 First Street NE.

Also known as Dave Thomas Circle, the meeting will discuss potential safety and practical improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists. The meeting will also discus streetscape deficiencies and improve vehicular circulation.

The design concepts developed by DDOT and its consultants will be presented to further refine the options considered, and complete this phase of the project. As one of the more progressive pieces of bike infrastructure in the District, an extension of the First Street NE Protected Bike lane as well as safer accommodations through the area for pedestrians would be a welcomed and complementary addition to the Metropolitan Branch Trail that runs parallel to it. In addition, the east / west bike and pedestrian travel along Florida Avenue is poor and hopefully will be addressed.

DDOT has come full circle with this intersection.

Decades ago, there were plans to extend the Center Leg Freeway above or below New York Avenue. In 2006, DDOT proposed a freeway style overpass. In 2014, Greater Greater Washington reported that a new study of pedestrian and bicycle safety along Florida Avenue NE was underway and that the “circle” and the nearby Wendy’s could become a simpler intersection and green space.

The most recent iteration of the Circle was discussed by DDOT in June of 2010 as shown in the video below, with most of the improvements completed as of December of that year.

Late last year, the Prince of Petworth blog noted that on some days, especially due to WMATA's Red line SafeTrack shuttle busing, the intersection becomes impossible to navigate.

Hopefully, the circle of Wendy will come to an end.

February 08, 2017

Updated Eastern Downtown Protected Bike Lane Study Released

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) released an updated Eastern Downtown Protected Bike Lanes Study. The report describes analysis performed to date and narrows the number of alternatives under consideration to three, which includes a no-build option.

 Please see the report here.