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
DDOT Building P Street SW Cycletrack
DDOT will construct a two-way cycletrack on P Street SW, from 4th to 2nd Streets NW. That’s according to David Cranor of The Wash Cycle, who captured the response DDOT sent to ANC 6D’s letter opposing the project. You can review the letter at DDOT’s project notice page under filename “ANC Response Letter 11-4-2019.pdf”
A few safety advocates celebrated the P St news and applauded the rare instance DDOT chooses to proceed with a safety project — ignoring ANC or Civic Association opposition. However, as @bikepedantic notes, “The ANC wasn’t ‘ignored’ on P St SW though. DDOT responded to the ANC’s advice with a highly detailed point-by-point letter on why it was going to proceed with its plan despite the vote. This is how ‘great weight’ is supposed to work.”
I’ve covered this project during the last few months, and DDOT has been planning for a protected, on-street bike facility on P for two decades. The agency did, as I explained, consider all alternative suggestions from the ANC and other stakeholders. Advocates on all sides misrepresent the good intentions of DC street planners when they portray the two outcomes as either ignoring an ANC’s opposition and implementing something or being owned by NIMBYs and anti-safety residents. To be fair, the “ignore” language on P probably comes from authentically surprised bike/ped safety advocates. It is frequently the case that DC’s transportation agency stalls a safety project because of local, narrowly-interested opposition. That’s the case on Alabama Avenue in Ward 8.
Montgomery County’s “Snow Summit”
This week, DC area localities held winter weather preparedness events. Montgomery County held its “Snow Summit” on Wednesday at the MCDOT Gaithersburg Depot, where “preparations for the 2019-20 winter storm season were reviewed and equipment was rolled out by MCDOT’s Highway Services Division.” MoCo touted its new, more environmentally-friendly, approach to salt use. Prince George’s County’s Department of Public Works and Transit conducted a dry run Wednesday for snow clearing efforts. DDOT and DC’s Department of Public Works showed off their new bike lane and sidewalk cleaning vehicle. It’s a small Zamboni-looking thing with a rotating broom that clears leaves and light snow. [Full Story]
New Design Shows Catholic U Connection
DDOT released 60% plans late last week for their Crosstown Cycletrack — a new backbone for East-West non-car connectivity between the Park View and Brookland neighborhoods. The document now shows an off-street shared-use path on the Northside of Michigan Avenue, from the road’s junction with Irving NE east to Harewood St NE. [Full Story]
Palisades Trolley Trail Determined Infeasible?
DDOT is planning on completing the Palisades Trolley Trail and Foundry Trestle Feasibility Study by the end of November. That’s according to DDOT Public Information Officer Lauren Stephens, with whom I spoke Tuesday. A Palisades resident posted to NextDoor this week that Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh was telling constituents the Trolley Trail is infeasible. DDOT’s statements don’t refute what CM Cheh apparently was telling residents. It’s very possible the study is not done, but signs point to it being infeasible due to the expense of bridge construction. DDOT’s Stephens told me the agency does not have a public meeting planned to discuss the study’s results. [Full Story]