ANC 1C Tables Vote on Columbia Road Bike Lanes

Street striping plans for the Columbia Rd., NW bike lanes (click to download PDF version)

Last night at the July meeting of the DC Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C tabled its vote on the  proposed Columbia Rd., NW bike lanes.  These proposed bike lanes would extend from Connecticut Ave. NW to Harvard Rd. NW. This 1 mile section of bike lanes creates a continuous on-street bicycle facility through Adams Morgan and it connect various disconnected sections of bike lanes along Columbia Rd.  Furthermore, the Columbia Rd. bike lanes would complete the connection to bike lanes / sharrows on Adams Mill Rd to Woodley Park and the sharrow bike route on the new 18th Street (once the Adams Morgan Streetscape Project is completed). Representatives from the DDOT bicycle program were on hand for the meeting with the most up-to-date street striping plans (pdf) for the Columbia Rd., NW bike lanes.  The plans reflect multiple, minor changes after two meetings with the ANC’s Planning, Zoning and Transportation subcommittee over the past few months. Kristen Barden, Executive Director of the Adams Morgan Partnership, voiced support for bicycling by mentioning the Partnership’s sponsorship of a Bike to Work Day pit stop.  However, this support was tempered over concerns of lost of parking spaces–especially in the 1700 block of Columbia Rd in front of Safeway–and the inconvenience and disruption of traffic for the construction of the bike lanes. Some parking space (total exact number unknown, best guess was near four) will need to be removed to create loading zones for delivery trucks on the 1700 block of Columbia Rd. for Safeway.  Currently, delivery trucks illegally park in the center median.  To legally accommodate trucks, the new loading zone must be created which require the removal of parking spots.  The connection of a loss of business with the loss of car parking was made many times.  However according to DDOT, bike counts on Columbia Rd. often exceed 150 bikes per hour making one of the busiest bike corridors in the city which brings high numbers of customers to Adams Morgan’s businesses. The other major concern of the bike lane project was centered around the inconvenience of the construction while the 18th St. streetscape project is underway.  DDOT estimates the 1 mile section of bike lane striping will take only a few days.  They have an outside contractor lined up for the work with a larger crew than the city’s striping crew.   The inconvenience should be minimal. ANC1C’s subcommittee on Planning, Zoning and Transportation will most likely discuss the bike lane project at their August 1st meeting at 7 p.m. at the Kalorama Recreation Center. WABA will continue to track this project and keep you up-to-date on it’s progress. But please remember that WABA’s presence at community meetings is not a full substitute for the cycling community’s presence. (And in the interest of full disclosure: Yes, this bike lane would run past our office.  And our office is located where it is largely because of the high concentration of cyclists in the area.)

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