Among the additions and changes to projects proposed to the Transportation Planning Board for inclusion in the 2015 Financially Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan (CLRP), is an addition of ten dedicated bike lane projects requested by DDOT. These projects will remove one or more lanes for vehicular traffic on approximately 9 miles of streets throughout the city.
Though these are not protected bike lanes, this is still pretty big news, primarily because it demonstrates a transition point for DDOT on two issues.
First, it means they're moving from the low-hanging fruit of bike lanes that can be added without removing traffic lanes or parking to projects that will get more push back from motorists. DDOT has always known that to get to their mileage goal they'd have to do that, but the fact they're initiating this means that they think they have the political cover to move forward with it. Capitol Hill has always had an abundance of bike lanes because they could be added without losing vehicle lanes, and it's telling that none of these proposed lanes are on Capitol Hill.
Second, it means that DDOT is viewing diagonal streets as appropriate places for cyclists. Several years ago there was a discussion about diagonals at a BAC meeting in which DDOT representatives stated that they didn't think cyclists wanted to ride on those streets and that they were going to try to give them other options, and the BAC disagreed. But now they're proposing putting bike lanes on three key diagonals (Pennsylvania Ave NW, Florida Avenue NE and New Jersey Ave NW). I've ridden on all three, and bike lanes will be a welcome addition. In case you're wondering, all 9 miles only cost $480,000. You can see the map and list below.
Update from DDOT: The CLRP is mostly a process step, and there is a lot more design that goes into any of these bike lane installations. Some of these could be protected bike lanes. Some they have started some preliminary design on, some they have not. Some are easy, some are hard. But all have to go through this step before installation.
All of these are “funded” in some form or another, but not all are necessarily funded in the current 6-year budget. And while this is a regional process step, they also still have some outreach/engagement/procedural steps to take as they advance the design on these, and those have to be done before installation. But they have the “build” year as 2015 for almost all of these so that they have the flexibility to install these sooner without going through this annual CLRP process again.
Also, Virginia is proposing improvements to the I-66 Corridor inside the Beltway that includes completion of unspecified elements of the bicycle and pedestrian network around the corridor.
And both Northern Virginia and DC made the removal of streetcar lines official. Update: In DC's case, the small “spur” from Benning Road to Minnesota Avenue station is being removed, since that is not being pursued further as part of the ongoing EA, but there is still active environmental work on the whole of the extension from Oklahoma Avenue to the Benning Road Metro station.