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DDOT begins 2nd round of dangerous intersection reviews

Last summer, as part of the Vision Zero program, DDOT analyzed 5 high crash intersections, and this year, they're looking at 5 more. This week they were at 14th Street and Columbia Road in Columbia Heights.

The intersection is also the worst in the District when it comes to bike crashes, according to Sam Zimbabwe, associate director for planning for DDOT.

He said sideswipe accidents, as drivers tried to turn, were the most common at the intersection. Riders in bike lanes have also been hit by people opening car doors.

“One of the things you can do is make the markings a lot clearer, so that cars are aware that this is a bike lane, and that they have to pay attention,” Cheh said.

Increased traffic enforcement would also help, she said.

Leon Anderson, acting safety manager at DDOT, agreed that renewing faded bike lane markings so they stand out better would improve safety. He said DDOT is also considering a “bike box” that would give bike riders a designated place to stop, just behind the crosswalk.

Anderson said the intersection is unusual because at times a quarter of the traffic there can be made up of bike riders. In other areas, cyclists might make up only 2 to 4 percent of traffic.

Also under review are the intersections of [Firth Stirling Avenue and Suitland Parkway in Southeast,] 18th Street and Adams Mill Road in Northwest, Georgia Avenue and Kennedy Street in Northwest, and 44th Street and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue in Northeast.

Mural Festival comes to the Met Branch Trail

The NoMa BID is sponsoring the Pow! Wow! DC art festival right now (sorry this post is a bit late to catch all the events).

It’s the first East Coast iteration of the Hawaii-based art movement Pow! Wow!,which curates mural festivals around the world.

One of the murals being painted is on the retaining wall along the Metropolitan Branch Trail between New York Avenue and R Street. 

There will be a happy hour/walking mural tour on June 2nd from 6-8pm. 

The tour begins at The Lobby Project – 1200 First Street NE
6pm-8pm || Mural Tour begins at 6:30pm
Join us in the Lobby Project for happy hour with some of the POW!WOW! artists. At 6:30pm, we will tour the neighborhood and check out a few of the murals.

City of Rockville and APHA in DC designated "Bike Friendly" by LAB

Earlier this week, the LAB released lists of the newly designated Bicycle Friendly Businesses and Bicycle Friendly Communities and there were a couple of new ones in the DC area. The American Public Health Association in DC was named a new Bronze level BFB and Rockville, MD was named a Bronze level BFC. Rockville has been at bronze since 2012. And before that they were at Bronze from 2004-2006

 

Two other Maryland cities were newly designated, but they're a bit out of my coverage area. They were 

Columbia, MD - Bronze

Catonsville, MD - Honorable Mention

2016 Arlington County Board Democratic Primary - How They Stand

Tuesday June 14th is the Democratic Primary for Arlington County Board. Incumbent Libby Garvey is facing a challenge from within her party by Erik Gutshall as she runs for re-election. The top vote-getter will go on to face at least one other candidate in the November General Election. Resources on voting in the primary:

Voting in the primary is from 6am-7pm at your normal polling location. Where do I vote?
Virginia primaries are open primaries. Any registered voter can vote in them.

Out of town on June 14th? Vote absentee in-person:
In-person absentee voting runs through Sat June 11 at
Courthouse Plaza
2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 320
Arlington, VA 22201

M-F, 8am-5pm + Sat June 11th 8:30am-5pm; closed Memorial Day

How do these candidates stand on cycling issues? Glad you asked. Read and find out:

LIBBY GARVEY
http://www.libbygarvey.com/

1) Do you ride a bike? If so, tell us about your riding.
I do. My husband commuted by bike almost daily in sun, rain and even light snow from about 1984 until his death in 2008. His bike was our “second car” for over a decade. When we cycled together, I was unable to keep up with him very easily, so we purchased a tandem in 2002. This allowed us to cycle together, and as I improved my cycling strength we went faster and faster. We would train on the route around Arlington doing the approximately 19 miles in little over an hour on good days. We rode in several Bike Virginia rides, never doing a century, but doing about 86 miles one very long day involving detours. The most wonderful ride was on the carriage trails on Mt. Desert Island where we climbed Cadillac Mountain. The coast down was great until we realized we could pop our tires with the heat of the brakes if we were not careful. All together we rode 5,742 miles (Kennan kept careful track of miles and speeds.)

I loved the tandem. We could talk easily and I could enjoy the scenery and get exercise while Kennan worried about the steering, braking and gear shifting. He was a natural at it. It helped me improve my physical condition. When he died suddenly, I started a fund in his memory for Phoenix Bikes and have been a member of their Board since 2009. I also bought my own bike on what would have been our 35th wedding anniversary. I continued to ride the circuit of Arlington on occasion and in 2010 did the 5 Boro Ride in NYC on a very chilly and rainy day. I rode in a variety of Arlington Fun Rides. I stopped riding during my chemotherapy treatments in 2011 and stopped again in 2013 while my broken collarbone healed (yes, I broke it riding my bike). I managed to be back on my bike to do 45 miles to Purcellville for the Kennan Garvey Memorial Ride for Phoenix Bikes last August. Over the years I have on occasion used my bike to get around for errands. Cycling clears my head. I look forward to the 3rd Kennan Garvey Memorial Ride on August 6 this year. I encourage all who are reading this to join me on the ride and/or support a rider.

2) What do you see as the role of cycling in Arlington?
Cycling is part of my vision for Arlington’s future. We want to be a community where it is easy to get around by bicycle for fun or your commute. Cycling is good for the environment, good for people’s health and is, I believe, an important mode of transportation for the future in our urban areas.

3) What should the county do, if anything, to get more people to bike?
The more easy and safe we make cycling, the more people will do it. As we move forward with our transportation plans and street improvements, we need to separate cars and bicycles as much as possible. During my first year or so on the Board, we were looking at the Crystal City area and I suggested a cycle track. Staff had not thought of that. It is there today.

Phoenix Bikes and other programs to encourage young people to bike are crucial to creating a cycling culture in Arlington.

Having taken a bad fall due to poor road conditions in my neighborhood, I am acutely award that we also need to make sure our streets are in good condition. I expect we will continue to increase our funding for pothole repair. This helps everyone: those with cars and those on bicycles. Capital Bike Share is another great way to encourage cycling and we just added 3 more stations in our last County Board meeting.

4) How would you approach the decision making process on a project which puts two Arlington priorities at odds? For instance, a proposal to build an important trail connection which would require cutting down a large number of trees.
Just about every decision comes down to three questions for me: what good, for whom, at what cost? In a decision like this, there would be a number of “goods” to weigh including how much improved the connection would be and what kind of trees would need to be cut down. Recently, we faced that issue along Washington Blvd., and after a lot of work, we improved the connection and needed to cut down far fewer trees than originally thought. In a situation like this, I am also quite aware that trees will be replaced and grow again. That is part of the “what cost” part of the question.

5) Under what circumstances, if any, would you support installing traffic calming measures (e.g. speed humps, narrower lanes, etc.) that would reduce speeding in order to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety?
I support traffic calming measures in just about any circumstances if speeding is the issue. Speeding is illegal.

We need to be thoughtful and work with the businesses or people living along the street when we install traffic calming. Sometimes people feel they have little control over what is happening on the street where they live and they do not think the measures will help. Sometimes I think we’ve not been as thoughtful as we should be about such measures. I’ve heard from people who say the measures have not worked as intended, but I’ve found just about everyone opposes speeding on their neighborhood street and wants to work to curb it.

6) Under what circumstances, if any, would you support removing parking to install bike infrastructure?
I’m willing to consider this whenever we could improve cycling. Again, the same three questions I mentioned in #4 would apply. Parking is a serious issue, especially in neighborhoods where people only have street parking for their cars. If we take away parking spaces, we need to be able to provide alternative parking that is fairly convenient. We cannot take away parking on which people depend. Eventually, I expect there will be quite a few cycle tracks and a need for far fewer parking spaces. However, we are not there now and we must balance everyone’s needs as we transition to a time when fewer people need cars.

7) Do you support "road diets" as Arlington has done in the past on Shirlington Drive, Walter Reed Drive and Wilson Blvd which remove travel lanes on streets to provide accommodations for other modes of travel?
Yes, although I want to see how Wilson Blvd is working out before proceeding with others. There was a lot of concern in the neighborhoods along Wilson Blvd. and people were told it would work out well once everyone was accustomed to the reduced road space. I’ve not seen a report yet on how that has worked out. Road diets can make sense when the conditions are correct, but do not make sense everywhere.

8) What work have you done in the past - as an elected official, member of an advisory body, or as an advocate – to promote or support cycling as a mobility option?
As a School Board member, I supported bike racks in our new school buildings and biking in our phys ed curriculum. As a County Board member, I have voted to create cycle tracks and bike lanes, to plow our bike trails in the winter, and to put in place Capital Bike Share. I’ve supported Bike to Work Day and Arlington Fun Rides.

As a private citizen, I have supported Phoenix Bikes with my personal time and money. I’ve participated in Bike to Work Day and various Fun Rides. I am a WABA member and have been for years. And I’ve bought a lot of bikes for my children and grandchildren. I’m known in our community as someone who bikes and supports biking, so I have served as a role model as well, and continue to do so.

9) If elected, what do you hope to have accomplished to make Arlington a better place for cycling by the end of your term?
I hope, and expect, that our follow-through on improving and expanding bike infrastructure will continue to increase the number of people cycling in Arlington. I hope Phoenix Bikes will finally have a good building and become more of a magnet for young people and families interested in cycling or just having a good time learning how to repair and ride bikes.

10) Is there anything else you would like to share with the Arlington cycling community?
As I mentioned in #1 above, my husband was commuting by bike long before it was popular or even much recognized as a way to get around. My friends used to wonder how I tolerated his leaving his bike in our living room by the front door. We’d move it out when entertaining, but, basically, our living room was his bike storage locker.

In sum, if you look at my personal and public record, it is quite clear that I have long supported cycling and will continue to do so. It is also clear that I understand why many people do not cycle and may never do so. These are both important as bike advocates need to be aware of the needs and views of people who do and who do not cycle if we are to be effective advocates.

ERIK GUTSHALL
http://www.erik4arlington.com/

1) Do you ride a bike? If so, tell us about your riding.
Yes. I ride for fun and to get places. I live in Lyon Park, which is a great place to ride. My office is so close that I usually walk, but sometimes I’ll ride to meetings. I ride for pleasure with my elementary school-age kids.

2) What do you see as the role of cycling in Arlington?
Cycling is an important part of the transportation network. We need cycling to be seen as a safe, viable transportation option for many people as our population grows. Cycling is the cheapest form of mid-distance transportation available! In these times of competing priorities for the County, bicycle network investments have the lowest costs, but deliver the biggest returns. Making cycling safer makes our transportation system more equitable.

Improved bicycle accessibility improves the transportation network for everyone: for people in cars, each person on a bike is a person not sitting in a car in front of them. Each bike parked at a rack frees a parking space for someone in a car to use. When cycling is accessible, people have options when Metro is not serving their needs.

Bicyclists are eyes on the street - building community, supporting local business, and providing deterrent to crime. Getting people to use bicycles improves public health, further decreasing costs to the County.

Cycling is an important catalyst for economic development. A strong cycling culture attracts the creative class of workers whom developers and employers are seeking. In this highly competitive region, our bike network in itself is an economic development incentive. A transportation network that works smoothly attracts businesses. In fact, research shows that people on bikes shop and spend more locally than automobile commuters do.

Cycling also plays an important role in our discussion of affordability in Arlington. The two largest costs for many households are housing and transportation. Because riding a bike does not involve the costs of car insurance, car repairs, car storage and gas, biking reduces household costs. When families in Arlington can get where they need to go without a car, Arlington becomes a more affordable place to live.

3) What should the county do, if anything, to get more people to bike?
Arlington should focus on making cycling safe and comfortable for everyone, and should become part of the Vision Zero movement, a commitment to end all deaths and serious injuries on our streets. We should aim to become a League of American Bicyclists Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community. Arlington County should adopt and incorporate the Bicycle Access & Networks Standards of the National Association of City Transportation Officials into the Bicycle Element of the Master Transportation Plan and ensure that all Arlington engineers receive the appropriate training to implement these Standards.

From an infrastructure perspective, we should start with an explicit commitment to “8-80 design”. When we think about whether a streetscape works for biking, we shouldn’t think about people like me, who are cycling. We should think about whether an 8-year-old can safely bike to school. We should think about whether an 80-year-old neighbor feels comfortable cruising to the library on a bike. We already have a popular, robust, and comfortable trail network, but we must make trail maintenance a priority; and, we need to make the trails easier to use. We also need to look at adding more protected bikes lanes and more neighborhood bikeways or bike boulevards. In the long run, our bike network investments should ensure that there is a network of safe, comfortable well-signed routes that take people where they want to go throughout the entire County.

But these programs and investments are not all about asphalt. Education and encouragement are important tools to make cycling a transportation option for more people. We should continue our support for BikeArlington, Arlington Transportation Partners and Capital Bikeshare. The County should work with APS to expand and develop the Safe Routes to Schools program - getting students to bike to school is especially important as our student population grows. And in order to allow everyone to enjoy the public spaces that are our streets, Arlington should host an Open Streets event or Cyclovia.

Arlington County Police play an important role in making cycling safer and more comfortable for everyone. We need to train all ACPD officers to ensure they know the laws that keep cyclists safe, and to work with ACPD to get officers on bikes; we could, for example, have one FTE-equivalent on bike patrol in the next fiscal year.

We must include cycling in our long-term planning and in our budget. To do this we must start with a full, robust update of the Bicycle Element of the Master Transportation Plan. We must update our signals policy to make sure people can move efficiently through our intersections-- whether on bike, on foot, in a bus or in a car. We also need to include a budget that would implement the long-term vision of the Bicycle Element, and enable quick fixes that will make biking better (e.g. improved signage or curb cutouts).

We must work with our neighbors and the Federal agencies and reservations in Arlington to improve the network of destinations accessible by bike. We must find a solution for biking through or around Fort Myer, the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. And we must continue working with the GW Memorial Parkway administration to improve the Mount Vernon Trail and other areas under their jurisdiction. We need to work with DC to improve bike access to all the Potomac River bridges, and with VDOT and NOVAParks to ensure that they maintain the trails under their purviews.

And we must find and build a solution for the intersection of Lynn Street, Lee Highway and the Custis Trail. We cannot tolerate an “Intersection of Doom” on our trail network.

4) How would you approach the decision-making process on a project which puts two Arlington priorities at odds? For instance, a proposal to build an important trail connection which would require cutting down a large number of trees.
I believe County government must see itself as a transparent and active learning organization, one that is not afraid to recognize error and pursue constant improvement. Arlington County must have an understanding up front about who might be impacted by a proposal and seek those folks out, instead of waiting for them to notice that a conversation is occurring, or a plan is moving forward.

We must subject our decision-making processes to an open dialogue, recognizing the role that is played by each priority within our larger community plan. After we bring all those concerned together, we need to conduct a fair, open, respectful process in which questions are fully explored and resolved to the greatest extent possible, resulting in thoughtful, balanced advice that can be presented to the County Board. While the opinions of any minority must be treated respectfully, the County Board must ultimately exercise its authority to resolve competing priorities. In a complex society like Arlington, it is not possible for these tough choices to be decided in advance; each decision must be weighed and evaluated in its context and it's time.

5) Under what circumstances, if any, would you support installing traffic calming measures (e.g. speed humps, narrower lanes, etc.) that would reduce speeding in order to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety?
We need to respect public space for public use, and balance the safety of all, whether in cars, on bikes or on foot as, safely supporting the need to efficiently get around our County. We need a plan to get around that takes travel efficiency and safety into account; safety should have high priority. The updated NACTO standards are helpful in this regard. For cars, we should look at opportunities to allow traffic to flow at a steady, safe speed, while reducing the maximum speed. We must prioritize safe access to schools: as APS grows, we need to a way to get students to the school buildings without congesting our neighborhoods with traffic.

6) Under what circumstances, if any, would you support removing parking to install bike infrastructure?
Similar to my answer in 4, we need an open discussion, and should look at the entire situation. It’s not possible to make these sort of trade-offs generically-- context matters tremendously.

7) Do you support "road diets" as Arlington has done in the past on Shirlington Drive, Walter Reed Drive and Wilson Blvd which remove travel lanes on streets to provide accommodations for other modes of travel?
Yes. When done with full education for the affected nearby communities as well as those who regularly commute on those routes, road diets make a lot of sense. I am interested in hearing from communities who might like to be considered; I understand that some have expressed interest in looking at South George Mason Drive near Wakefield High School.

8) What work have you done in the past - as an elected official, member of an advisory body, or as an advocate – to promote or support cycling as a mobility option?
I have advocated for a safer, more inclusive cycling network through my work on the Planning Commission and the Transportation Commission. In every site plan, I have advocated for cycling accommodated by providing bike parking, bike lanes on nearby streets, Capital Bikeshare, and safe ingress and egress for bikes.

As the Lyon Park Civic Association president, I advocated strongly for better accommodation of biking when the Clarendon Sector Plan was updated in the early 2000s.

9) If elected, what do you hope to have accomplished to make Arlington a better place for cycling by the end of your term?
By the end of my term on County Board, I would hope to have: updated the Bicycle Element of the Master Transportation Plan; have a program for maintenance and further development of our trail network; have a program for implementing both low cost, quick improvements the cycling network as well as longer term Capital Improvement Program funding to make the Bicycle Element goals a reality; and have Arlington designated as a League of American Bicyclists Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community.

10) Is there anything else you would like to share with the Arlington cycling community?
Arlington has been a leader in this region at making cycling a transportation option for so many, but our neighbors are catching up. We have picked most of the “low-hanging fruit”, and it is time to show real commitment and investment in cycling.

Encouraging cycling can help Arlington face many of its current challenges--Metro closures, growing population without additional space for roads, growing school population, need to attract business, and constrained County budgets. It is time for Arlington to make this investment.

National Capital Region gets less money for trail maintenance than other NPS regions

Not to drone on and on about the NPS paved trails study, but one interesting factoid in it is the claim that the National Capital Region (NCR) "is allocated a significantly lower amount of funding for trail-related cyclic maintenance and repair/rehabilitation than other NPS regions." When looking at almost every federal funding source (in bold) that other National Park regions rely on, NCR parks get less money for trails. 

Other NPS park regions allocate funds from park fee revenues and concessions fees for trail projects at levels far higher than the NCR. For example, the Recreation Fee fund is formed from a portion (20%) of the recreation fees collected by all NPS park units and then is distributed to NPS regions; this source accounted for 33.5% of funding for trail projects between 2000 and 2015 nationally but only 3.28% of funding for trail projects in the NCR for the same time period.

The NCR averages just under $200,000 in recreation fee-based funding for trails per year, but in the last three funding years (2013-2015) the NCR has received less than half the average each year. An important note for the Recreation Fee funding source is that the NPS park units included in this study do not collect entrance fees.

The Cyclic Maintenance program is designed to complete regular, scheduled maintenance of assets. Cyclical maintenance is typically not sufficient in and of itself to complete all maintenance needed for all assets. Nationally, NPS funding for trail related cyclic maintenance accounted for approximately 20.7% of total funding between 2000 and 2015. Cyclic maintenance only accounted for 1.5% of total funding for the NCR during the same period.

In the last five years, the NCR has received less than $10,000 in trail repair / rehabilitation funding across all park units. Other individually significant park units such as Acadia National Park (ACAD) have received over $586,000, while Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRMP) in the Southeast Region has received more than $3.1 million in trail repair/rehabilitation funding in the last five years

So, trails within the NCR don't get a lot of support from NPS funding sources, not when compared to other parks. But it makes up for it with non-NPS funding. 

On a national level, NPS has received approximately 5.3% of funding for trail projects from Non-NPS sources. The NCR is a leader in obtaining funding under this category. Approximately 40% of the NCR funding for trails came from Non-NPS sources between 2000 and 2015. This equates to about 45% of the total amount of Non-NPS funding Service-wide.

Which seems good, except that the reason NPS has done so well comparably was because of the $10 million TIGER grant that DDOT secured for the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. It "accounted for most of this funding."

Another funding source available for NPS trails is the Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP) – Category III – Alternative Transportation Program. 

The NCR receives a $1.2 million allocation for Category III projects each year. Prior to 2011, these funds were utilized on non-trail related projects. However, since then over $1.9 million has been provided for trail capital projects, including funding for this study.

So part of the reason why local NPS trails have so many needs is that not only is NPS insufficiently funded to provide the needed maintenance of its infrastructure, but even within NPS, the NCR trails seem to get considerably less federal funding than other parks and regions do.

Screenshot 2016-05-24 at 11.31.58 PM

Crosstown Study lays out three concepts, comments due today

At the 2nd workshop for the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study, DDOT presented three concepts over the three geographic areas, each with a different set of winners and losers. They're accepting comments on the concepts (click on "Take a Survey") through today which will inform their next workshop on June 9th.

The Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study (Crosstown Study) is a study of improvements along Michigan Avenue/Irving Street corridor designed to address safety concerns, optimize mobility and operations, and improve efficiency for all modes along the corridor. The Study area follows Irving and Michigan from 16th Street NW to South Dakota Avenue NE.

Screenshot 2016-05-23 at 11.13.18 PM

Following the first workshop, DDOT came up with three concepts over three sections of the corridor, and the survey asks for comparisons and general feelings about each concept in each section.

All the concepts include improved intersections throughout the corridor, bike facilities from one side to the other, transit improvements for at least part of the way, a redesign of the Irving/North Capital cloverleaf and the simplification of the Michigan Ave/Park Place/Hobart/Columbia Road Clusterfuck by turning it all into a street grid. But how these things are done differ from one concept to the other.

Concept 1 could be considered the "direct bike" option. It creates a seamless bicycle connection along Harvard and Michigan Avenue from one side to the other with a two-way cycle track along Harvard and Michigan until Monroe Street, and then bike lanes to South Dakota Avenue. Transit improvements would be limited to the Western Section. The southern loops of the cloverleaf are retained and the street grid at Park Place is the most rigid.

Screenshot 2016-05-23 at 11.24.44 PM

Concept 2 is the MoveDC option. It creates a pair of one-way cycle tracks on Kenyon and Irving, combining into a single two-way cycletrack on Irving between Hobart and Michigan. Then it uses a combination of a shared bike/bus lane, existing bike lanes, new bike lanes and sharrows to zig-zag across the corridor. Transit improves go as far east as Brookland, Irving keeps its curving diagonal shape west of the Washington Hospital Center and only the NW and SE loops of the cloverleaf are retained.

Screenshot 2016-05-23 at 11.41.30 PM

Concept 3 is the balanced option. It starts on the west end with a two-way cycletrack on Kenyon from 16th to Irving, transitioning to a shared use sidepath along Irving and Michigan. The sidepath would have a gap from Monroe to 10th, and cyclists would instead use the existing bike lanes on Monroe and new ones on 12th to get back to Michigan. Dedicated transit lanes would stretch from 16th NW to the eastern intersection of Michigan and Irving; the west side of Irving would now loop back to Michigan, but with the grid rebuilt west of it, and most of the cloverleaf would be removed.

Screenshot 2016-05-23 at 11.53.56 PM

From a bike standpoint, I'm not sure which one I would choose. In the western section, I like concept 2 the best, because I feel like a pair of 1-way cycletracks creates less conflict and confusion. In the central section I like the shared-use path from concept 3 best - especially if it's on the north side of Irving where there will be less conflict with driveways.

But in the eastern section, why not combine all three? Bike lanes from Monroe to 10th; a shared use path along Michigan to South Dakota (though I worry about driveways and intersections); bike lanes on 12th and sharrows on the zig-zag from Randolph to 14th.

Based on the online poll (at the time of writing), Concept 2 is much more popular than the others except on the east side where Concept 1 wins. Almost every idea is well received except for transit in shared lanes along Michigan Avenue.  

DDOT calls the Shepherd Branch rail line "soon to be acquired"

In early January, DDOT sent a request to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that the FY 2015-2020 Transportation Improvement Plan be updated. It turns out that there is a lot of information in there about new bicycle projects, especially trails, that DDOT is planning once the projects they've been slowly pushing through (MBT, South Capital Street Trail, ART, etc...) but one of the more interesting tidbits is that they included a feasibility study for a Shepherd Branch Trail on what they called "the soon to be acquired CSXT RR ROW." The feasibility study would determine alignment, probability of needing an Environmental Assessment (EA), likely permits needed, and potential construction costs for a trail on the RR ROW. If it is really "soon to be acquired" that may mean that movement is possible on the streetcar through there too.

Other interesting tidbits:

  • They added $800,000 to resurface the DC portion of the Capital Crescent Trail in 2016
  • They've budgeted $200,000 for a rehabilitation design of the Suitland Parkway Trail
  • Construction of the South Capital Street Trail has been pushed back to 2019
  • Start of work on the conversion of the former I-695 freeway into Southeast Boulevard, which would "improve pedestrian and bicycle access to the Sousa Bridge and along proposed Southeast Boulevard to the 11th Street Bridges" as well as improve pedestrian and bicycle safety at a reconfigured Pennsylvania Ave/Potomac Avenue intersection, slipped to 2017.

Update: According to the appendices to the FEIS, CSXT agreed to grant DDOT an option to acquire the Shepherd Branch ROW as part of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project. So that project may have a bigger bike element than previously reported. 

DDOT also used the VAT process to get the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail bridge over CSX tracks and the Rhode Island Avenue bike/ped bridge built. As part of the 2010 negotiations CSX agreed to

Negotiate with DDOT for permanent easements associated with two different CSXT properties so that DDOT could ultimately build pedestrian and bicycle trails that spanned over CSXT rail lines. [These included the following major projects: (1) The Anacostia Pedestrian Walkway/Trail (Id. Art. VI (C)). This easement was key to complete a 1,185 foot pedestrian and bicycle bridge that was a part of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. See DDOT press release, Exhibit 6; And (2) The Rhode Island Avenue Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge (Exhibit 3, Art. VI (D)). The easement was key to the pedestrian access project, slated to take 18 months to build, which will link the Metropolitan Branch Trail and its connecting neighborhoods to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station and adjacent communities.]

Then in 2012 a letter

established when CSXT would grant the District easements over the Parkside Pedestrian Bridge and Anacostia Pedestrian Bridge. [The Parkside Pedestrian Bridge, which was not addressed in the August 23, 2010 MOA, was $22 million pedestrian bridge that spanned CSXT tracks north of the DC 295 and Benning Road interchanges and connect to the Minnesota Avenue Metrorail and Bus transfer stations]

According to the letter, CSXT would only be required to work with the District to seek authority to abandon Shepherds Branch and enter into a Trails Use Agreement after the Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction project was completed.

The Shepherds Branch ROW encompassed two segments of the now inactive stretch of rail, including over 55 acres of land and extending 5.38 miles. See Exhibit 16, Permit attached to October 29, 2013 agreement. Shepherds Branch is key to the District’s plans to construct a 2400- foot, multi-use trail connecting the South Capitol Street Trail with the Anacostia Metrorail Station. Shepherds Branch is also one of the preferred routes for the District’s streetcar program

A Supplemental EIS prepared for South Capitol Street states “the Shepherds Branch right-of-way … is being acquired in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 by DDOT from CSXT."

Driver in fatal Fauerby-Rosenbusch crash pleaded guilty to manslaughter

Last October a drunk driver struck and killed John Henrik Fauerby, 64, and Lynne Frances Rosenbusch, 58 as they rode their tandem bike near Chesapeake Beach, VA. On Friday the driver pleaded guilty to two counts of automobile manslaughter.

The charges hold a maximum sentence of 10 years each. According to her plea deal, Lyon’s sentencing guidelines call for an active sentence of three months to eight years, but a pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

Catherine Frances Lyon, 62, was indicted on a variety of charges, including four counts of negligent homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence, two counts of automobile manslaughter, homicide by automobile while impaired by alcohol and driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and a single count of driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, according to court records.

If she only gets sentenced to 8 years, she'll get off much easier than Jenny Mate did.

From the archives: Tales from the Crypt

This one doesn't come from old newspapers, but rather the archives of the Architect of the Capitol, but it's still pretty fascinating. For starters, in the late 1800's and early 1900's the Capitol Crypt, located directly below the large circular room located directly below the rotunda used to be a bike parking area.

image from www.aoc.gov

Here's what it looks like today.

image from www.aoc.gov

Needs more bikes

The AOC has a whole page on this and the time they bought the Lawn Cycle Stand, a wooden bike rack that was only manufactured for a few years and is now sold by antique dealers, to provide bike parking.

Image1

It is nice to have a place on the veranda, the room set aside for cycles or wherever cyclists congregate, to store your bicycle. Finally, a way to protect my bric-a-brac!

It's Bike to Work Day!

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Ride like Marilyn or ride like Steve, just ride in a way that makes you happy.

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City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009

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