Support Low Stress Biking on 11th St NW

After Advisory Neighborhood Commissions up and down 11th St NW urged DDOT to plan safety upgrades and protected bike lanes for 11th St NW between Pennsylvania Ave NW and Spring St NW and on Vermont Ave NW. DDOT has added the street to its 2023 workplan and begun developing plans.

In December ’22, DDOT presented options for the narrower stretch of 11th between S St. and Florida Ave and asked for feedback. Use the form below to email project manager Victoria Caudullo to show your support for a low-stress bike lane design that makes everyone feel safe. Read on for more details.

Between S St and Florida Ave, 11th St. NW narrows from more than 50′ between the curbs to just 33′. Today, these five blocks have curbside parking on both sides of the street and a driving lane with a shared lane arrow in each direction. But “sharrows” do not make a street safe or low-stress to bike on, so a different design and tradeoffs are needed. We support both options A and B because they both would deliver a low-stress biking experience that works for people of all ages and abilities. 

The Options

Option A would add curbside protected bike lanes in both directions and maintain driving lanes in each direction. This design would remove parking on both sides of the street.

Option B converts 11th St. to one-way for auto traffic, which frees up 10′ for other uses. This design adds slightly wider curbside protected bike lanes in both directions and allows for parking or loading zones on one side of the street.

Converting to one-way operation does potentially complicate the road network, but it may come with additional traffic calming opportunities. Since the 64 bus line already diverts to Florida Ave and Vermont Ave, one-way conversion would not affect bus lines. This option also provides the most flexible space for the design to accommodate the existing streatery at 11th and U St.

Option C converts 11th St. to one-way for auto traffic and retains curbside parking on both sides. However, under this option, the bike lanes are unprotected and positioned in the “door zone” so people on bikes will risk being doored on one side and passing car traffic on the other. It may be prohibitively stressful for less confident bicyclists and children. Additionally, because the parking lanes are very narrow, sloppy parking or larger vehicles will make the narrow bike lanes less usable.

For more details and background, you can view the full presentation here.

Take Action

Use the form to share your feedback with the project manager and show your support for a low-stress bike lane design that makes everyone feel safe. You may edit the message to make the message yours. Be sure to state your preferred option and why you prefer it.

The full project will upgrade 11th St. from Spring St to Pennsylvania Ave and Vermont Ave from Logan Circle to Florida Ave NW.

Walk, Roll, & Ride For the Old Georgetown Rd Safety Improvements

This Sunday, January 8, 2023, join WABA, Montgomery County Families for Safe Streets and the Action Committee For Transit to bike, walk or roll  in support of the Old Georgetown Road safety improvements and protected bike lanes.

After two teenagers were struck and killed while biking on Old Georgetown Road’s  narrow sidewalks –joining an already long list of life altering injuries and traffic fatalities on this busy road – the Maryland State Highway Administration repurposed the curbside traffic lane for protected bike lanes on a 3.1 mile stretch of MD-187 in Bethesda.  The lanes, while not perfect, have made the narrow, previously unbuffered sidewalks safe for all those using them, have slowed cars down to the 40mph speed limit, and created a safer space for people on bikes.

Please join WABA, MoCo Families for Safe Streets, and the Action Committee for Transit to bike or walk along these lanes to show your support and to urge MDOT SHA to keep the lanes in place and to improve them.

Biking?
Meet at 10:30 am at Medical Center Metro
Or 11:00 am at Old Georgetown Rd & West Cedar Ln
Then ride the Old Georgetown bike lanes to Nicholson Ln and back!


Walking or rolling?
Meet at 11:15 am at Old Georgetown Rd & Tuckerman Ln
Then walk or roll past future Woodward HS to Edson Ln (0.8 miles) or Nicholson Ln (1.6 miles) and back!
(Parking at Timberlawn Local Park, 10800 Gloxinia Dr)


Short rally for safety at West Cedar Ln, after the ride!

Support Protected Bike Lanes on Old Georgetown Road

On October 17, 2022, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration announced a plan to install 2 miles of protected bike lanes on Old Georgetown Road (MD 187) in North Bethesda between West Cedar Lane and Nicholson Road and narrow driving lanes as part of a regular repaving project. This action is a direct response to mounting calls to redesign this dangerous corridor for bicyclist and pedestrian safety after two tragic crashes killed two young people riding their bikes on the narrow, unmaintained sidewalks. 

While not perfect, this is the right plan for immediate SHA action, which claims space for vulnerable people and creates opportunities for short-term improvement. This plan, being implemented now, still needs vocal support to ensure it sets a positive precedent for SHA action.. Use the form below to show the project team that you support the project, urge SHA leadership to take bold moves to prioritize people biking and walking here and across the County, and thank Delegate Marc Korman and County Councilmember Andrew Friedson for their work pushing for the new protected bike lanes. Read the Oct 17 press release here.

Old Georgetown Road has long been a high speed, overbuilt state highway that has solely prioritized the fast movement of cars through this corridor connecting North Bethesda and downtown Bethesda. Meanwhile, vulnerable road users who walk and bike along this road have been subject to extremely dangerous conditions. In fact, in the past three years, two teenagers have died bicycling in the corridor, using the narrow unbuffered sidewalks that usually have obstacles on them that resulted in knocking both Jacob Cassell in 2019 and Enzo Alvarenga this past Spring into the road and into collisions with oncoming high speed car traffic. Both young men died merely because they were using their bikes to get around.

The community responded strongly after both fatal crashes, organizing a ride with dozens of cyclists to do a Montgomery County Families for Safe Streets ghost bike memorial for Jacob Cassell, and by attending an SHA led walk-through of the road in September. WABA drafted a letter to MDOT SHA calling for protected bike lanes and other safer streets measures, getting other advocacy organizations to sign the letter sent to SHA in September 2022. Crucially, MD State Delegate Marc Korman and County Councilmember Andrew Friedson met frequently with SHA District 3 employees since Spring of 2022, urging SHA to make substantive changes to make Old Georgetown Road safer for everyone using the road.

On September 29, SHA convened a public meeting to announce that as part of its repaving project, they would put in protected bike lanes on a large portion of the MD-187 corridor, that will provide safe walking and biking from NIH to North Bethesda. See the full presentation here.

Rendering of Old Georgetown protected bike lanes

The plan announced on October 17th is a good start, but is just the start. Let’s thank MDOT SHA for moving forward with this plan and thank Delegate Korman and Councilmember Friedson for fighting for improvements to Old Georgetown Road.  At the same time, we should urge MDOT SHA to extend the protected bike lanes all the way to MD-410 and downtown Bethesda, while also lowering the speed limit from 35 mph to 30 mph, and providing safe crossings every .2 miles.

Map of proposed new protected bike lanes in Purple. Existing protected bike lanes in Green. Future bike lanes in Blue.

K Street NW Transitway & Bike Lane Project Meeting

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is hosting a virtual project meeting on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, at 6:00 PM to share the status of the K Street Transitway Project. The project team will present the final design and identify enhancements that have been incorporated since the last public meeting on March 24, 2022.

WHAT: K Street Transitway Project Virtual Project Meeting

WHEN: Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Time: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

WHERE: WebEx Attendee Meeting Link: rebrand.ly/KStreetVirtualMeetingDecember2022
Event Number: 2309 202 7343
Event Password: December14!

Dial-in Option (Audio Only): 1-202-860-2110. Access Code: 2309 202 7343. The WebEx system will prompt you for a Numeric Webinar Password: 33236237. Press the # key to join the meeting.

For additional information about the K St Transitway and protected bike lane project visit the project website.

If you need special accommodations, 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.

Can’t Make a Meeting?

Materials from this meeting will be made available on the study website within 72 hours of meeting conclusion. Comments are welcome on the project website.

Action: It’s Time to Build the 9th St. PBL!

Update: The DDOT comment period closed on September 22, 2022. Thanks to everyone who spoke up! Updates on this project to follow, when we have them.

After seven impossibly long years of study, debate, delay, starting, pausing and restarting, the District Department of Transportation has finally reached the last step in the 9th St. NW protected bike lane saga. This month, DDOT issued a notice of intent to build the project, released the near-final plans and began one last round of public input. 

Let’s give this project the enthusiastic send-off it deserves, congratulate the staff who shepherded it through such troubled waters, and get it built! Scroll down for more detail.

What’s in the 9th St. NW Protected Bike Lane & Traffic Calming Project?

DDOT will transform 1.5 miles of 9th St. NW from Pennsylvania Ave to T St. NW (map), adding new protected bike lanes, significant traffic calming, and pedestrian safety upgrades. Over the years, this project has changed a lot as DDOT worked to balance the many competing needs of the corridor. The result is a street design that prioritizes sustainable mobility, traffic safety, pedestrian comfort, access for people with disabilities, and thriving businesses.

The bi-directional protected bike lane will run along the east side of 9th St. NW. It will be separated from car traffic by a mix of concrete curbs, concrete wheel stops, flex-posts, and on many blocks, parked cars. At intersections, people on bikes will be protected from vehicle left turns thanks to dedicated left turn signals. The lane will be 9-11 feet wide on most blocks, pinching down to 8 feet in some constrained blocks and near intersections. It will stitch together the Shaw and Downtown low stress bike network, with connections to Pennsylvania Ave, E, Q, R and T Streets, link directly into the new Florida Ave protected bike lanes north of U St, and once it is built, the K St bikeway to the west.

The plan is full of benefits for people walking and rolling too. New pedestrian refuge islands and fewer driving lanes makes crossing the street easier and safer for everyone, especially for people with disabilities, seniors and kids, who may struggle to cross 9th St in time today. One fewer driving lane, dedicated left turn lanes, and the protected bike lane will also have a dramatic impact in reducing aggressive driving, like speeding, unsafe passing, and fast left turns. Thanks to extensive input from businesses along the corridor, the design also allows streateries to remain on 9th St without bike lane conflicts for a more vibrant street atmosphere.

DDOT has also put a lot of work into balancing new loading zones, pickup and drop-off, minimizing car traffic, and minimizing changes to car parking, including Sunday angled parking.

For the full rundown on the plan, read DDOT’s Notice of Intent here. To see the (extremely) detailed plans, click here. Comments are due September 22nd.

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.

Support 1.5 miles of new protected bike lanes across DC

Update: this comment period closed on August 8. Thanks to everyone who wrote in!

DDOT has reached the final milestone before breaking ground on 3 projects totaling 1.5 miles of new protected bike lanes, safer walking, and traffic calming in NE, SE and SW DC.  DDOT is taking written comments on each plan, so this is the last opportunity to speak up in support or to suggest improvements. Use the form below to send a comment showing that you support these additions to DC’s Low Stress Bike Network.

Each of these projects have been in the works for more than a year (some much longer) with opportunities for community input and discussion. Each comes with some tradeoffs like repurposing driving lanes or reducing parking spaces to create more space for comfortable biking, safer intersections for pedestrians, and fewer opportunities for dangerous driving. WABA believes that these tradeoffs are worth it for a safer, more livable, and more accessible DC. Scroll down for more details on the projects.

About the Projects

I (Eye) St. SE/SW Safe Street & Protected Bike Lane Project

This project, two+ years in the making, will upgrade the Eye St. bike lanes to protected bike lanes from 7th SW to 4th St  SE. This new low-stress bike connection will link protected bike lanes on Maine Ave, 4th St. SW, First St. SE, New Jersey Ave, and Virginia Ave, stitching together the north-south routes into a more complete neighborhood network.

For pedestrians, the project will redesign intersectins for fewer conflicts and slower vehicle turns, add a new mid-block crossing at Wesley Pl, and offer a more comfortable walking environment thanks to narrower driving lanes and fewer opportunities for speeding and aggressive driving.

To make these changes, this project will reduce I street to one driving lane in each direction and repurpose some on-street parking spaces. Car parking will remain on at least one side of each block throughout the corridor.

While the design is generally quite strong, we have concerns with two areas, which we encourage you to raise as well:

  1. Protected intersectin needed at South Capitol St. – this is an extremely high vehicle volume intersection with a very high volume of turns where many people on bikes have already been injured in crashes. DDOT should reconfigure this intersection to protect bicyclists behind curbs to limit conflicts approaching and within the intersection.
  2. Unprotected bike lane is not the right solution at Amidon Bowen Elementary School – west of 4th St SW, DDOT has proposed using a painted, unprotected bike lane outside of curbside parking to enable curbside pickup-dropoff at the elementary school. Though children arriving by car need a safe space to exit the car curbside, children arriving by bike and the daily traveling public I St. by bike deserve the same. DDOT should instead use a design that ramps the bike lane up to sidewalk level (similar to a shared bus platform).

For more detail and to see the plans, click here. The comment period closed on August 8th.. Where is this?

19th St NE Protected Bike Lanes

This project will install a two-way protected bike lane on the west side of 19th Street NE from East Capitol Street to C Street NE and move parking to the east side of the street. This short protected bike lane will be the first piece of a more comprehensive network of protected bike lanes on 19th NE/SE, 17th NE/SE and Potomac Ave SE which are still in planning and C St. NE which is under construction. 

This short segment is being expedited by the request of ANC 6A to be ready before the 2022/23 school year to allow students safer trips to Eliot Hine Middle School and Eastern High School by bike.

For more detail and to see the plans, click here.  The comment period closed on August 8th. Where is this?

Monroe St. NE Protected Bike Lanes

This project will convert the existing Monroe St. NE painted bike lanes to a 2-way protected bike lane from 8th St. NE to Michigan Ave NE on the north side of the street. This new bikeway will connect to existing and planned protected lanes at 8th St. and to a planned sidepath on Michigan Ave to the Irving St. protected bike lanes The project includes a new dedicated turn lane at 7th St, designated pickup-dropoff zones and parking on each side of the street,. and a new raised bus platform to maintain access to the bus stop at 7th St. 

For more detail and to see the plans, click here. The comment period closed on August 2nd. 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.