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 newsletter. He’s offering a 20% discount to THIH readers. –Maria Helena Carey
Ward 7 ANC Struggles to Support Bikeshare
Over the spring, summer, and into the autumn, members of ANC 7D’s (Kingman Park/Kenilworth) transportation committee have been working with DDOT, the National Park Service, and relevant community organizations, to support the installation of several new Capital Bikeshare stations. However, that committee’s support has failed to receive full Commission support.
The logistical reason for this can-kicking is ANC 7D’s meeting schedule. Bikeshare items and 7D’s broader transportation committee report have been sequestered to the end of agendas. The substantive political roadblock turns out to be the ANC Commissioner for Kingman Park, 7D04 Tamara Blair. This Commissioner, a frequently self-proclaimed cyclist, and bike mobility champion has raised many ticky-tack objections, raised spurious suspicion among her colleagues to delay votes, and is now telling DDOT to stop the installation of the Benning/Oklahoma Bikeshare station because of a bush nearby where someone may wait for a robbery/assault victim in the form of a CaBi user.
6th/9th Street NW FOIAs Frustrate with Redactions
I received more FOIA request responses yesterday from DDOT regarding long-delayed the 6th/9th Street NW bike lanes. Three PDFs of scanned emails to add to the three they sent me earlier this month. However, as I’m beginning to review the emails, I’m beginning to think I’ll have to lawyer-up to get them to remove redactions. From my cursory review, I’ll be able to construct a project timeline from 2014 to the present. But, emails with substantive feedback from stakeholders is blacked out. Conversation between DDOT staff and design contractors is redacted. Entire pages of emails are obscured.
4th Street Getting Safety Upgrades, SW Waterfront to Penn Ave NW
This week, DDOT announced its plans to convert the 4th Street SW and 4th Street NW bike lanes to curbside, protected, sometimes parking-protected in three phases. Currently, the 4th Street bike lanes are unprotected from the Southwest Waterfront all the way up to Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The Notice of Intent issued this week includes the first of three phases. Comments, due by November 21st, cover the section DDOT will do first: I/Eye St SW up to Independence Avenue SW.
4th Street SW/NW Road Diet and Protected Bike Facility Upgrade:
- I/Eye St SW to Independence Ave SW (my prediction for implementation: late 2019 to early 2020)
- Independence Ave SW to Pennsylvania Ave NW (early- to mid-2020)
- I/Eye St SW to P St SW (early- to mid-2020)
The DDOT NOI says the second to phases will be noticed separately later this fall or early 2020. ANCs, Civic Associations, residents, can submit comments to each NOI. Email Will Handsfield at DDOT, who is the lead on this project. (Does that make him the lead executioner?) DDOT sent the notice to ANC 6D, so expect that body to debate their comments during its October 21st meeting. Also on the agenda for that night: adding a protected cycletrack to P Street SW. It will be the only time ANC 6D will permit in-person public testimony. So, show up!
No Cheers for a Blood Tribute
Last Saturday, October 5, was DC’s Open Streets event, closing Georgia Avenue NW over three miles for four hours to give free, safe access to all other kinds of human-centered transportation. I’m working on a DC Line column about it, but its appearance on the calendar next to the opening of Florida Avenue NE’s cycletrack is an interesting juxtaposition.
Many died before Dave Salvoesh in DC streets and many will die after that Friday in April. But, the “normal” everyday DC resident heard about Dave’s death. Many of my dog walk clients in DC are listen-to-WAMU-and-read-PoPville-residents. They know the city has a Council, maybe they’ve had a BZA adjustment before the ANC for a screened-in-porch, and they heard about #DontMuteDC. They’re 30- to 50-somethings who have busy lives and are not sure it’s safe to visit Anacostia. They don’t know what Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is or that Alabama had an Avenue. They aren’t really sure what I mean when I say I’m a local reporter covering civic associations and DC government. But, they nodded when I said I was safer getting to their Trinidad house thanks to the Florida Ave changes. “Oh, that’s why those bike lanes went in.” “Oh, I heard about that man that died.”