Tenleytown Multimodal Access Project Kickoff

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host a virtual public meeting to discuss a multimodal transportation improvement project in the area near the Tenleytown-AU Metro Station (Albemarle Street NW from Wisconsin Avenue to Fort Drive, and 40th Street/Fort Drive NW from Albemarle Street to Chesapeake Street).

At the meeting, DDOT staff will provide an overview of the project, a review of existing conditions, a summary of related previous studies (including from WMATA and the DC Office of Planning), and information about the path forward, including ways that the community can provide input and ideas. The meeting will also provide an opportunity for residents to share their concerns and desires for transportation and safety improvements within the project area.

In addition to sharing input, the community is also encouraged to complete a short feedback form at surveymonkey.com/r/GC5JFFB. It will be open for comments through June 10.

WHAT: Tenleytown Multimodal Access Project – Public Meeting No. 1

WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, 2022

TIME: 7:00-8:30 PM

TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MEETING:

  • Attendee Link: rebrand.ly/TenleytownMultimodalAccess-May24
  • Webinar Number: 2311 498 3517
  • Webinar Password: May24!
  • Dial-in Option (audio only): 1-202-860-2110. Access Code: 2311 498 3517. The Webex system will prompt you for an Attendee ID, this is not required. Press the # key to join the meeting.

Do you need assistance to participate?

If you need special accommodations please contact Cesar Barreto at 202-671-2829 or Cesar.Barreto@dc.gov 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

Rock Creek Park Trail Rehab Progress Update

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the National Park Service (NPS) will host the third public meeting share updates on the construction progress made and outline what is coming in the next phase of the Rehabilitation of Rock Creek Park Multi-Use Trail and Pedestrian Bridge project. DDOT will continue to rehabilitate and construct more the 3.7 miles of the paved, multi-use trail, which span Wards 1 through 4 from M Street in Georgetown to Broad Branch Road NW.

What:         Public Meeting #3

When:        June 15, 20226:30 to 7:30 pm

Where:       (Online) rebrand.ly/RockCreekParkTrail3

Webinar Number: 2309 105 2939

Webinar Password: June15!

Dial-in:       Dial-in Option (audio only): 1-202-860-2110. Access Code: 2309 105 2939. The Webex system will prompt you for an Attendee ID, this is not required. Press the # key to join the meeting.

Accessibility:    ASL interpreters will be available. The meeting will be recorded, and captions will be added before it is posted on the website.

To learn more about the project, visit the project website.

Do You  Need Assistance to Participate?

If you need special accommodations, please contact Cesar Barreto at (202) 671-2829 or Cesar.Barreto@dc.gov 72 hours in advance of the meeting. If you need language assistance services (translation or interpretation), please contact Karen Randolph at (202) 671-2620 or Karen.Randolph@dc.gov 72 hours in advance of the meeting. These services will be provided free of charge.

Met Branch Trail (Blair Rd to Piney Branch Rd) Public Meeting

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is hosting a virtual public meeting to discuss the Metropolitan Branch Trail – Blair Road to Piney Branch Road NW. DDOT will present design concept updates and receive community feedback. This is the second public meeting for this project, and DDOT will share updates to the proposed design and project schedule. For more information on this project please visit metbranchtrail.com.

WHAT:  Metropolitan Branch Trail (Blair Road to Piney Branch Road NW) Public Meeting

WHEN: June 7, 2022

TIME: 6:30pm

TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MEETING rebrand.ly/MBTBlair2PineyBranch

Webinar Number: 2300 263 1832

Webinar Password: June7!

Dial-in Option (audio only): 1-202-860-2110. Access Code: 2300 263 1832. The Webex system will prompt you for an Attendee ID, this is not required. Press the # key to join the meeting

Can’t Make a Meeting?

Materials from this meeting will be made available atwww.metbranchtrail.com within 48 hours of the conclusion of the meeting. 

Safety First on Q And R Streets NW / NE

Recent progress has been made in building protected bike lanes on north-south routes across the city. Thank-you DDOT!

Meanwhile the essential east-west links intended to join these facilities — narrow, painted lanes on Q and R streets — present serious danger to hundreds of bicycle and scooter riders each day. 

Those who use these lanes must navigate stopped vehicles, drivers veering into the bike lane, inch-close dangerous passing, and the constant threat of being “doored.” Unsurprisingly, these lanes do not meet DDOT’s own low-stress bikeway design standards.

Crash statistics back up our lived experiences: First responders report an average of 1 crash every week on Q and R Streets over the past 5 years – resulting in injuries to 53 bicyclists, 31 pedestrians and 171 vehicle drivers and passengers. There is no accounting of the unreported crashes and near misses that users experience every day.

We urge DDOT to fix these dangerous routes by building protected bike lanes on Q and R streets from Connecticut Avenue NW to the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) so people of all ages and abilities can be safe when they bike or scoot to work, to school, to go shopping, or for recreation. 

A protected east-west route will benefit communities across a wide swath of our city – stretching from the MBT in Eckington to Bloomingdale, Truxton Circle, Shaw, Logan Circle and Dupont Circle. Pedestrians will benefit from the traffic calming effects of the PBLs, which also will safely separate bicyclists from the main roadway.

People choose to bike when it is safe, convenient, and low-stress. Even when most of the route is blissful, it is the most stressful blocks that turn someone away. These narrow painted bike lanes squeezed next to high-volume driving lanes are no substitute for a truly low-stress and safe bikeway.

We, the undersigned, call on DDOT and our elected representatives to support the construction of protected bike lanes connecting Eckington and Dupont Circle.

Map: Q and R streets NW / NE from Connecticut Avenue NW to MBT with PBL Connections

Speak Up For 3+ Miles of New Protected Bike Lanes

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.

For more detail and to see the plans, click here. The comment period closed on May 10. Where is this?

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.

For more detail on Kenyon, click here or Park Pl click here. The comment period closed on May 9. Where is this?

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.

For more detail and to see the plans, click here. The comment period closed on May 3. Where is this?

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. 

For more detail and to see the plans, click here. The comment period closed on May 2. Where is this?

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!

Walk the Takoma DC Met Branch Trail with DDOT and ANC 4B

Please join ANC 4B Commissioners, DDOT Trail planning staff, and members of the Takoma DC community for a walkthrough of the proposed Northern segment of the Metropolitan Branch Trail to learn more about options for constructing the segment from Blair Rd to Piney Branch Rd and give feedback.

Meet on Friday, February 11 at 3:30 pm at the intersection of Van Buren and Blair Rd NW. Sponsored by Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners Evan Yeats (4B01), Erin Palmer (4B02) and Geoff Bromaghim (4B07).

The hosts ask that all who attend be fully vaccinated (boosted if applicable) and wear a mask.

Metropolitan Branch Trail: Blair Road to Piney Branch Road Design Survey

While construction nears completion on the Metropolitan Branch Trail to Fort Totten, and final design nears completion to Takoma, DDOT has begun detailed planning for the half-mile between Blair Rd and Piney Branch Rd on the west side of the rail tracks in Takoma DC. DDOT held a public meeting in December 2021 and wants your feedback on the design concepts presented. The online survey closes on Friday, January 7, 2022. 

green = off-street trail
orange = protected bike lane
red = on-street & traffic-calmed

Two Critical Points for Advocates

  1. On Segment 6: none of the proposed on-street facility types for Whitter or 4th St are sufficient to create a continuous and safe trail experience that is suitable for all ages and abilities. Instead, we propose a new multi-use trail on the south side of Whittier St (using park land and DDOT right of way) and a continuous 2-way protected bike lane along the east curb of 4th St. from Whittier to Cedar St (converting 4th one-way southbound and repurposing existing parking)
  2. On Segment 5: only alternative 3 delivers a manageable slope and a wider trail. The others are quite steep.

Take the Survey Here

View DDOT’s presentation and other meeting materials on the project website, here.

See our detailed comments below. Segments are listed in reverse numerical order (south to north) to highlight the importance of the longest segment in need of most attention.

Segment 6 (Bair Rd to Cedar St)

WABA supports branching the through-running trail from Blair Rd starting at Whittier St, then turning north on 4th St. NW. However, none of the proposed on-street facility types for Whitter or 4th St are sufficient to create a continuous and safe walking and biking trail experience that is suitable for all ages and abilities. Instead, we propose: 

  1. A new multi-use trail on the south side of Whittier St (using park land and DDOT right of way),
  2. A continuous 2-way protected bike lane (PBL) along the east curb of 4th St. NW from Whittier to Cedar St (as proposed from Aspen to Cedar and by converting 4th one-way southbound plus repurposing east side vehicle parking between Aspen to Whittier), and
  3. A new traffic signal at Whittier St and Blair Rd to facilitate a safe trail crossing.

Why is a PBL is critical for 4th street? 

  1. If the PBL is not continuous, southbound bicyclists must transition from the east side of the street to the general travel lane at a stop-controlled intersection (either Aspen or Butternut). This is not intuitive and drivers will not expect it. Furthermore, less confident riders will not feel safe navigating this transition. 
  2. This would eliminate no more than 8-11 legal/safe parking spaces. All west side parking spaces would remain.
  3. This block has 5 homes on the east side and 2 have driveways for off-street parking.
  4. The safety and all-ages usability of a regional trail should be a priority versus residential car parking 1,000 feet from a Metro Station.

At the Cedar/Blair intersection, WABA supports alternative 1 which directs people on bikes to cross Cedar to the west of the pedestrian crosswalk. This locates potential bike and pedestrian conflicts on the widened north side sidewalk rather than the middle of the intersection, where additional conflicts are possible and the potential for injury is higher. If the north side travel lane removal is, for unforeseen traffic reasons, not possible, consider removing the south side travel/parking lane and narrowing the median island to find the needed road width. Widening the north side sidewalk should be a priority for improving the inadequate pedestrian spaces near the Metro and retail corridor.

Segment 5 (343 Cedar Trail)

WABA supports alternative 3 which provides a 12 ft trail and the most gentle slope behind 343 Cedar St. A 12’ trail is preferable here because it will be a popular pedestrian path to the Metro and shops for residents. The additional width allows for more comfort near the tall retaining wall. Most importantly, the gentler 5% grade will be much easier to climb than the 8% grade proposed for alternatives 1 and 2.

Segment 4 (Spring St)

WABA supports alternative 2 with chokers and chicanes. As the vehicle parking and alley access for many Cedar St and Blair Rd buildings, Spring St sees more frequent vehicle use and is a tempting location for illegal parking. Chokers and chicanes will keep vehicle speeds low while discouraging illegal parking that may block sightlines and endanger more vulnerable trail users (like children). This design prioritizes safety for vulnerable road users and trail users while they walk and bike in the shared street.

Segment 3 (Chestnut St)

WABA supports the proposed street design. Vehicle traffic is for the few local addresses only, so a new speed bump and in-street sharrow markings should be sufficient. Additional MBT branded wayfinding signage would also be helpful and should be planned for. 

Segment 2 (Ramp to Chestnut St)

WABA is supportive of either alternative 4 or 5. Though all five alternatives have similar slopes and are ADA compliant, the smoother turns of alt 4 and 5 will be easier to navigate by bike. Stairs create potential conflict points between walking and rolling users if they use the ramp simultaneously, but stairs also offer a more convenient path for pedestrians. WABA supports either alt 4 or 5, whichever is more popular with the public. 

We also recommend that DDOT explore options and neighborhood interest for a small pocket park with benches at the top of the hill or partner with DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation to explore a recreation use for this public space.

Segment 1 (Piney Branch Rd)

WABA supports Alternative 1 which constructs a new off-street multi-use trail on the south side of Piney Branch Road from the ramp to Eastern Ave. Alternative 2 (2-way protected bike lane) does not provide enough space for a comfortable 2-way protected bike lane and creates a complicated intersection at the bottom of the ramp that requires sharp turns without adequate space. Alternative 1, with appropriate wayfinding signage for southbound trail users, will avoid any confusion about where and how to cross PIney Branch Rd.