Speak Up For 3+ Miles of New Protected Bike Lanes
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DDOT has reached the final milestone before breaking ground on 4 projects totaling almost 3.3 miles of new protected bike lanes, safer walking, and traffic calming in NW, NE, and SE DC. DDOT is taking written comments on each plan, so this is the last opportunity to speak up in support or to suggest improvements.
Each of these projects have been in the works for more than a year (some much longer) with many opportunities for community input and vigorous debate. Each comes with tradeoffs like repurposing driving lanes or parking spaces to create more space for comfortable biking, safe walking and fewer opportunities for dangerous driving. WABA believes that these tradeoffs are worth it for a safer, more livable, and more accessible DC. See below for more details.
About the Projects
New Jersey Ave NW Safety Project
To address alarming patterns of aggressive driving and crashes on New Jersey Ave, DDOT plans to remove one travel lane from each direction, add a center turn lane, and add protected bike lanes in each direction from N St. NW to Rhode Island Ave NW. Similar “road diets” have proven effective in cutting speeding and reducing crashes. This will extend the existing protected bike lanes on New Jersey Ave to the north and connect the well-used Q and R St. bike lanes to fill out the bicycle network in Truxton Circle and Shaw.
Crosstown Protected Bike Lane Extension (Kenyon St & Park Pl)
This project will extend the Crosstown protected bike lane westward from Warder St to 11th St. NW. The existing Crosstown protected lane runs from Brookland to Park View along Irving and Kenyon St but ends at Warder Pl with no connections further west. Under this plan, the 2-way protected bike lane will be extended along the south curb. All hours parking will remain on the south side of the street, but rush hour restricted parking will be removed from the north side. Additionally, DDOT will upgrade the existing Park Pl bike lanes from Grant Circle to Hobart Place to protected bike lanes.
Pennsylvania Ave SE Bus Priority & Protected bike lanes
This project will transform Pennsylvania Ave SE from 2nd to 13th by adding new curbside protected bike lanes flanked by peak-direction bus lanes. This design will leave driving lanes in each direction and accommodate parking and loading in the outside lane while the peak-direction bus lane is not in operation. A later phase of this project will extend this design to Barney Circle.
1300 block North Carolina Ave NE
This project will add protected bike lanes in each direction on the 1300 block of North Carolina Ave NE by repurposing the westbound driving lane and converting the road to one-way eastbound for car traffic. It will add a new raised pedestrian crossing at A St. NE and preserve most of the on-street car parking. This project complements the C St and North Carolina Ave NE protected bike lanes now under construction, which begin at 14th St. NE for a continuous, low-stress bikeway from Lincoln Park to the Anacostia River Trail and the Yards at RFK.
What’s a Notice of Intent?
Under DC Law, the District Department of Transportation is required to give written notice to relevant advisory neighborhood commissions before making any changes to streets that affect traffic operations or on-street parking in their area. The Notice of intent is a formal comment period when any individual or ANC may submit written comments about a project, typically offering support, opposition, or substantive suggestions on design. Once the comment period closes, DDOT staff summarize comments, tally support and opposition. Finally, DDOT convenes an internal review panel to consider comments, determine a path forward, and provide any required responses to ANCs.
For safe streets advocates, the Notice of Intent comment period is the final opportunity to review the overall plan, show support, and suggest modifications. While thoughtful or substantive comments are most helpful, short, supportive comments can help tip the scales towards action on safety improvements that require more aggressive tradeoffs, like removing car parking.
These are the first of many projects coming down the pipe in 2022. Stay tuned for more!