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December 2005
December 10, 2016
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With the launch a few weeks back of a bike lane on 15th Street NW, attention is beginning to focus on other locations in the city where there is a desire to place new dedicated bike lanes, and one of those spots is M Street SE/SW, running from Sixth Street, SW to 11th Street, SE, which is a route that Tommy Wells has been interested in for quite a while.
Back in early October, WashCycle reported that DDOT's Bicycle Advisory Facility Committee discussed the M Street concept, and in mid-November the members of the Capitol Riverfront BID were briefed on a feasibility analysis done by the Toole Design Group, with the assembled BIDders told that FY10 funds are available and that there's a desire by Wells and DDOT to get the lanes built before the start of the 2010 baseball season, which apparently caught a number of the briefing attendees by surprise.
In the analysis that was presented to the BID (which you can see here, although appendices A and B were left blank in the handouts), the main recommendations are:
* Configure the two curb lanes on M Street as "cycle tracks" with flexible posts, a temporary measure suggested because of the "unknowns" of any future streetcar implementations along M Street. There would also be a widening of the sidewalks between Half streets SE and SW, moving the cycle track onto the widened sidewalk, because this area is where the "most intense traffic on the corridor occurs."
* Eliminate all parking along M Street at all hours, though "after a period of evaluation it may be appropriate to allow parking adjacent to the cycle track if it is desired."
* Move all transit stops to the far sides of intersections, where buses and bikes can more easily cross and where buses can still pick up and drop off passengers at a curb rather than on street level.
* Reconfigure all traffic signals to allow bikes time to get through intersections before vehicle traffic gets a green light (the bikes and the pedestrian "walk" signals would go green first, followed then by the vehicular greens).
The "very preliminary" cost estimates for the options developed by the study come in around the $450,000 range according to the document, but it must be remembered that this is a study, and not the final plans, and the numbers could go up or down.
There apparently were some business owners at the BID meeting who were displeased with the plans, centering mainly around the traffic implications of the loss of one lane in each direction, which during rush hour and ballpark events are travel lanes and which are parking for customers/workers/residents/etc. the rest of the time.
This could especially be an issue during events at Nationals Park, a scenario which isn't mentioned at all in the feasibility study and which has the Nationals particularly concerned (as apparently voiced by the Nats' Gregory McCarthy at the briefing), since it's not out of the realm of possibility (my words, not theirs) that attendance at the ballpark could rise substantially if the team's fortunes improve, making the backups that are seen when the stadium is sold out--such as during the Red Sox series this summer--considerably worse.
There's been no meeting with ANC 6D commissioners yet about this, though reportedly one is coming soon. I've got a request in to Tommy Wells's office for more information (and what better time to ask a question like that than right around Thanksgiving), so no doubt there is much more to come.
Comments (8)
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w says: (11/30/09 4:55 PM)
DC is a real city and many many people here do not drive and are NOT auto-oriented-use transit, walk, bicycle- and we desperately need better bicycle infrastructure .There is no reason to fight this excellent idea.

JM says: (12/2/09 2:28 PM)

Does the news that there will be no "groundbreakings" in DC regarding new properties refer also to any projects such as the Yards, where there are existing buildings that are having additions built on to them or re-done in the inside, etc? Or does it only refer to buildings that have yet to have any ground broken on them? I'm just wondering if there has been any word on any of the commercial projects in Near Southeast as of late? When I attended the Capitol Riverfront BID picnic and neighborhood tour over the summer, the gal giving the tour said that some of the buildings that make up the Yards will begin heavy construction in early 2010.

JD says: (12/2/09 3:55 PM)
I went to Forest City at the time to ask about what the BID folks were telling people at that picnic/tour, and Forest City wouldn't confirm any plans for the start of construction on any projects. They told me they were hoping to be able to have an announcement soon, but that was back in late September.

So, as of now, I don't know of any projects that would get underway any time soon, except perhaps Phase 2 of Capitol Quarter and maybe the mixed-income apartment building to be built by the Housing Authority at 7th and L, if the bond sale happens. The only commercial project that looked like a possibility in 2010--Akridge Half Street--has made no moves that I've seen toward any groundbreakings. Maybe the second half of 2010 will see some movement, but nothing that can really be foreseen right now.

E says: (12/3/09 2:20 PM)
Apparently, SWNA meeting on November 23 (reported on page 3 in the Southwester link mention was made of the Yards, although it isn't in Southwest.

JM says: (12/4/09 12:52 PM)
Hey E Street, your link didn't work.

Andy says: (12/4/09 3:26 PM)
JM, take the parenthesis off the end of E's link in the address bar after you click on it. That's how I got it to work for me.

Andy says: (12/5/09 8:24 AM)
Hurray! It's a good thing to city's leadership is pushing for this - long over due improvements to ensure cyclist's safety and still allow flow of traffic.

JM says: (12/7/09 9:55 AM)
Thanks, Andy. E Street, good stuff in that newsletter. Thanks for posting the link. Sounds like a representative from Forest City is saying similar things that the BID did a few months ago. Construction is going to start back up after the New Year and also there will be some announcements in the next few months on restaurants that will be going into a restaurant pavillion (can't remember which building, maybe the Boilermaker Shop).

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