09 Sep 2019


Street Justice: E-Bikes Now Allowed on National Park Service Trails

Gordon Chaffin is a freelance journalist who focuses on infrastructure and traffic news and insights for Street Justice. You can support independent journalism by subscribing to Gordon’s StreetJustice newsletter: He’s offering a 20% discount to THIH readers. See more information below. –Maria Helena Carey

Red seedless grapes from the Brookland Farmer’s Market, cleaned and ready to eat. (September 2019) (Gordon Chaffin / StreetJustice.news)

Tonight: Parking vs Cycling in DC’s Southwest Waterfront

On Monday evening at approximately 10 p.m. during ANC 6D’s meeting, DDOT will present the agency’s plan to add a two-way, protected cycletrack on P Street SW, from 4th to 2nd Streets SW. This is the last missing link of Anacostia River Trail, according to DDOT’s Will Handsfield. The ART proceeds Southeast from the Wharf along the Washington Channel, then darts due East at the Titanic Memorial. At present, trail users drop onto P Street SW from 4th to 2nd Streets. From there, a cycletrack proceeds south on 2nd. Last week, the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA) — the area’s civic association equivalent — was the scene of a tense email thread discussing this design and the area’s parking problems. With more housing, lots of new retail, and popular entertainment like DC United games, the 26 RPP spots lost for the proposed P Street SW cycletrack frustrate the residents already feeling under siege from visitors who use those on-street spots. [Full Story]

E-Bikes Now Allowed on National Park Service Trails

‘“E-bikes are now permitted to ride in all national parks on any trails open to pedal bicycles. … An order signed under the Trump Administration by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt … reclassifies electric bicycles as “non-motorized bicycles” on national parkland, removing them from the category of dirt bikes, motorcycles and other gas-powered single or dual-track vehicles. The move comes at a time when electric bicycles are becoming increasingly affordable and thus more popular, with many models starting at just $500-$600. … The new law allows all three classes of e-bikes to ride on cycling trails in national parks.” [Full Story]

Parking Concerns Harm Old People, Too

There was a news clip this week in Street Justice about a Kensington, MD (Montgomery County) citizen group suing to stop a senior-living community at the corner of two very busy streets that appear from Street View to be extremely hostile to walking, biking, and transit usage. The article includes quotes from the opposition group, which offers Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat nearly the entire set of bad-faith NIMBY talking points and is a real master-class in concern trolling. Also this summer, Vienna, VA’s Town Council voted to disallow a senior living center for similar concerns, parking chief among them.

Among the most frequently mentioned arguments against parking removal for safety features like bike lanes is senior citizens who need parking very close to their home. That’s understandable. But, when medium-to-low density suburbs can’t approve 3-4 story developments for seniors, one has to question what — if any — kind of people will residents allow development for. [Full Story]

Vienna Residents View Maple Avenue Corridor Design Proposals to Help Traffic, Add Transit, Improve Safety

Contractors presented the results Wednesday of a Multimodal Transportation and Land Use Study of the Maple Avenue corridor in Vienna, VA. Here are the presentation slides with recommended design changes and facility upgrades. The public survey reported that relieving traffic congestion and increasing public parking (on- or off-street) were the two highest priorities. There’s a lot in this report, which I recommend you read if you have a stake (we all do!). There’s a small bike lane network proposed, an improved W&OD trail crossing, expanded sidewalks via removal of slip lanes, a roundabout at the Maple/Nutley intersection, and raised medians to improve pedestrian safety in place of the existing center turn lane. The study proposes signal re-timing in the near-term to improve traffic flow and proposes study of parking demand to better determine where and how much more parking — or less — is needed. [Full Story]

Save the Date: Mon Sept 23 – Transportation Forum, Hosted by DC Southwest Neighborhood Assembly

On Monday, September 23rd, I’ll be participating as a panelist in a transportation forum hosted by the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA). Specifically, SWNA’s Transportation Task Force has asked me to join this event, held at Arena Stage. The invitation I received said, “Invitees include representatives from [D]DOT, DFHV, WMATA, MPD, DPW, The Wharf, NPS and Street Justice.”

Here’s the event page. The time isn’t listed, but it’s 7 PM – 9 PM. So far, MPD, For-Hire Vehicles, and Street Justice (me!) is confirmed. SWNA is the Civic/Citizen’s Association for the Southwest neighborhood. That’s the Anacostia waterfront, west of South Capitol and south of Independence Ave SW — or south of I-395, if you don’t want to count Federal Center SW.

Do you live, work, or play in the Southwest waterfront, including Buzzard Point/Audi Field and The Wharf? Let me know what you think I should talk about on the 23rd as important transportation and infrastructure issues for the neighborhood. Let me know what I should research before I speak? Also, I’d love for y’all to attend!

Save the Date: Tues Oct 8 – Transportation Speaker at ANC 7E

On Tuesday, October 8th, I’ll be speaking at ANC 7E (Benning Ridge/Capitol View) about Ward 7 transportation issues and the work I’m doing with Street Justice. I want to do some research and reporting for these remarks and Q&A session. Do you live, work, play, or pass through the Southeast edge of DC in Ward 7? What transit, pedestrian, cycling, and car travel issues should I be aware of? Who should I talk to? Let me know! 

This is a daily newsletter produced by Gordon Chaffin, a journalist in Washington DC who covers transportation & urban planning in DC, MD, & VA. Reports delivered every weekday afternoon for paid subscribers and Sunday mornings for free subscribers. Sign up for free. Please support local journalism with $5/mo or $50/yr. The Hill is Home readers can subscribe to Street Justice for a 20% discount.


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