When finished, the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) will span more than 8 miles, connecting Silver Spring to DC’s Union Station with a low-stress, off-street walking and biking trail. In Edgewood, the trail diverts onto 8th St. NE where trail users share the road with industrial truck traffic, chaotic school drop-offs for four separate schools, and speeding drivers. This 0.5 mile “shared street” stretch of 8th St. NE from Franklin to Monroe is a stressful gap in a trail used by up to two thousand people each day.
The District Department of Transportation has long planned to fill this gap with an off-street trail. However, as properties were redeveloped in the early 2010’s, some moved ahead without space for the trail leaving DDOT to abandon that plan. Now, our best option for a trail-like experience along 8th NE is a two-way protected bike lane for bikes and scooters and the existing sidewalk for people on foot). But progress has been sporadic. For nearly a year, DDOT’s analysis of the options has been promised “very soon.”
Sign your name below to urge DDOT to get moving on the 8th St. NE protected bike lanes.
To: Mayor Bowser, Councilmember McDuffie & DDOT Director Marootian
Since at least 2013, the District Department of Transportation has planned closing the 0.5 mile Edgewood gap in the Met Branch Trail with a protected bike lane on 8th St. NE. Unlike the off-street multi-use trail that feeds it, 8th St. NE is often choked with chaotic school drop-off and truck traffic, making it unsuitable and unsafe for the hundreds of hourly trail users who have no choice but to use it.
We the undersigned call on DDOT to complete design and build the 8th St. NE protected bike lanes by the end of 2020 to finally close this stressful gap in the Metropolitan Branch Trail.
On Friday, July 10, the DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment mark-ed up the Vision Zero Omnibus Amendment Act of 2020. We deeply appreciate the hard work Council Member Mary Cheh and the Committee have put into crafting the bill since it’s introduction in 2019.
On Tuesday, July 21st, the Committee of the Whole will take the 1st of 2 votes before the bill goes to the Mayor for approval. We expect the 2nd vote to take place sometime in the Fall.
This bill will move Washington, DC closer to eliminating all traffic fatalities and serious injuries on DC roads, by changing many aspects of how the city builds and maintains its traffic safety infrastructure and encourages safe behavior.
Over the summer, WABA will work D.C. Council Members, partner organizations and our members on ways to improve the bill to ensure we have an even stronger bill in the Fall.
But first we need to ensure two things happen before the vote:
We need you to contact your Council members to ask them to vote for the Vision Zero Omnibus Amendment Act of 2020 after the first reading of the bill.
Traffic fatalities and serious injuries are preventable. Vision Zero aims to end all traffic-related deaths and serious injuries in DC by 2024.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is holding 10 public events across DC’s eight wards over the next two weeks. DDOT wants your input and ideas about to achieve Vision Zero in DC. Give your input by attending one of the events in the next two weeks.
Mayor Bowser announced her administration’s commitment to Vision Zero during her first one hundred days. DDOT is now coordinating a wide range of DC Government agencies to develop a two-year action plan. The Vision Zero Action Plan will apply effective use of data, education, enforcement, and engineering to achieve the goal of eliminating traffic deaths in DC by 2024. The Action Plan will be released to the public in September.
The Vision Zero Awareness Events will take place between now and August 1. Here are the times, locations and dates for the events:
This morning, we emailed a version of the text below to our supporters in Alexandria. We’re posting it on our blog to encourage those who don’t subscribe to our action alerts but live in and around Del Ray to attend tonight’s hearing about the proposed King Street bike lanes, which are in danger of being killed in favor of parking spaces.
Without you, these bike lanes may never come to be, remaining instead parking spaces.
“We want people to be using bicycles and walking,” Alexandria Mayor Bil Euille has declared (as recently reported by the Del Ray Patch).
This winter, the city of Alexandria plans to expand the popular Capital Bikeshare system to Del Ray with five new stations. However, Bikeshare will falter without additional on-street bike lanes, routes, and trails. Alexandria is proposed to construct bike lanes on King Street from Russell Road to Janneys Lane. The western section of King Street is an uphill climb. The proposed lanes will provide a safe place for people on bikes to climb at their own pace, while keeping car traffic flowing smoothy and unimpeded. Neighbors report that drivers often speed on this stretch; bike lanes will calm this fast-moving car traffic. Pedestrains will benefit from a buffer from car traffic and a sidewalk clear of bike traffic. The King Street bike lanes are an unequivocal win for nearby residents, pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, and bus riders.
Learn more about the King Street bike lane proposal on Alexandria’s website.
But there are a few vocal and well-connected neighbors opposing the bike lanes. Their main complaint is the loss of a small number of public parking spaces. The stretch of King Street in question is residential, with single-family homes and driveways. The ciy observed that about 95 percent of all street parking spaces were vacant over a three-month period this year. This empty public space should be used to make King Street safer for kids biking to school, residents walking to the Metro, and visitors using Capital Bikeshare to shop in Old Town.
There is a real chance that Alexandria’s Transportation and Parking Board will vote against the bike lanes in favor of these parking spaces. Please attend TONIGHT to testify in support of the King Street bike lane project and demand safer streets.
Transportation and Parking Board Hearing
Monday, Nov. 25, 7:30 p.m. (TONIGHT!)
Council Chambers, City Hall (Market Square, King Street at Royal Street)
More information: http://www.alexandriava.gov/TrafficParkingBoard
You must sign up to testify by 7:45 p.m.; download the speaker form (PDF)
Thank you for helping to make the streets of Alexandria safer.