Speak up now for safe, low-stress biking on 37th & Tunlaw

DC’s Ward 3, especially west of Wisconsin Ave, has a serious lack of safe and low-stress options for making trips by bike. But the District Department of Transportation has some big plans for a whole bike network, starting with a 1.7 mile corridor on New Mexico, Tunlaw, and 37th stretching from Nebraska Ave to Whitehaven Parkway in Burleith.

Last night, the neighborhood commission for 3D, which covers New Mexico Ave, voted 9-0 in support of protected bike lanes on New Mexico Ave! But just to the south, in ANC 3B, protected bike lanes — and any dedicated space for people who bike, really — are facing some fierce opposition over loss of car parking. Now is the time to speak up for a low stress and safe bicycling option on Tunlaw & 37th.

Commissioners in ANC 3B want to hear from people who live and work the area before they take a formal position. Please take minute to email anc3bmail@gmail.com to share your priorities before Friday, July 9.

Map of the proposed New Mexico, Tunlaw, 37th St. NW bikeway

To learn more about the corridor and DDOT’s proposals, see DDOT’s recent presentation to ANC 3B. Send your comments directly to anc3bmail@gmail.com by Friday, July 9. And if you can, attend the July 15 ANC meeting to see the latest from DDOT and speak up for a low stress and safe bicycling option for Tunlaw & 37th. Find the ANC Join link and agenda here.

Not sure what to say? Short and simple is best. Here’s some inspiration:

  • Include your name and where you live. You can look up your ANC here.
  • How would protected bike lanes on Tunlaw and 37th make your life easier, safer or better?
  • What trips would you like to make by bike, but don’t because it doesn’t feel safe? Trips to school, work, groceries? What’s holding you back?
  • Adding bike lanes alone can help reduce speeding and aggressive driving, but a street redesign is also an opportunity to add pedestrian crossings, improve visibility at intersections and traffic calming. What traffic safety issues do you see that should be addressed as part of this project?
  • Safe, comfortable options for biking help reduce the demand for parking by creating additional options for getting around, while excluding those options creates a vicious circle of ever-expanding demand for car parking. What is your vision for the neighborhood? What transportation options should people have?

Don’t forget to email your thoughts to anc3bmail@gmail.com by Friday, July 9 and if you can, attend the ANC meeting. Please bcc advocacy@waba.org to help us track responses.

Take Action: Connecticut Ave Needs Continuous, Safe, Protected Bike Lanes

The District Department of Transportation is considering removing the Connecticut Avenue reversible lane and redesigning the street from Chevy Chase to Woodley Park. We have a real opportunity to make the street safer, comfortable for biking, and a more vibrant, livable main street. Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and speak up, before this rare opportunity passes.

Send a message to DDOT’s project team insisting that to be successful, a future Connecticut Avenue must include continuous, safe, and protected bike lanes. Start with the template below, but take a moment to make it personal with a short story.

For more detail on the study, including design concepts, see the documents linked on the project page.

New Mexico Avenue Bike Lane Installation a Success

It’s been a few weeks since DDOT got started on the installation of the New Mexico Avenue NW bike lanes, but we’re happy to report that paint is on the ground and is being used effectively. WABA and riders of New Mexico Avenue have been fighting for safety improvements along this stretch of road since early this spring. WABA members and supporters attended meeting after meeting to vocalize their desire for improvements to new Mexico Avenue. We’re proud of all the effort that went into making bicycling safer in Ward 3—even despite an eleventh-hour attempt to stop this particular project. We’ve heard a number of positive stories about the lanes so far. Read this one, sent to us by ANC 3C resident and WABA member Leigh Ann:
“I came home on Monday and saw the New Mexico Avenue bike lanes start at 39th & Tunlaw. Exciting developments so I had to ride on to check out the progress up the hill. As I rode, I noticed an older woman riding on the sidewalk on the other side of the street. She was really fast and I realized she was on a power-assisted bike (!). We kept pace with each other for a block or so, and I called out to her “Look at our lovely new bike lanes! Aren’t they fantastic?” She doubled back, crossed the street, and joined me in the bike lane. As we rode together, I admired her set-up and she told me how much she loves her bike! She said that she’s glad for bike lanes like these because make it much safer to ride all over in the city. Of course, I agreed!”
WABA worked very closely with ANC commissioners from Ward 3, community members and DDOT staff to help bring this project to life. Many hours of staff and volunteer time was invested in this campaign and it’s our members and supporters who enable us to do this work. Join or donate today to ensure that we can continue to represent your interest as a bicyclist! If you are interested in staying involved in WABA’s advocacy efforts, sign on as a supporter of better bicycling to receive email updates. Also, consider joining the Ward 3 bicycling Facebook group if you’re in the area.

Tomorrow: Tell ANC 3D That New Mexico Avenue NW Needs Bike Lanes

A rendering of the “climbing lanes” on New Mexico Avenue NW in front of Sutton Place apartments. The 5-foot bike lanes would allow bicyclists to climb the hill while cars can safely pass.

In 2011, Ward 3 residents lost the opportunity to have safe and convenient bike lanes on New Mexico Ave NW in 2011 because ANC 3D voted unanimously against them. You have been given a second chance. DDOT has been working with commissioners and residents from ANC 3D for the past two months on one mile of proposed bike lanes on New Mexico Ave NW and Tunlaw Rd NW. The bike lanes would extend from Nebraska Avenue NW to 39th Street NW. Throughout the process, DDOT has been very helpful and accommodated the concerns of citizens, changing the design to address many of the issues expressed. The current design reflects a careful balance that recognizes the needs of ALL roadway users. For the steepest (and narrowest) section of New Mexico Avenue, only an uphill “climbing lane” will be delineated; sharrows (shared-lane markings) will mark the downhill travel lane. The climbing lane will help car traffic flow smoothly around slow-moving bicyclists as they climb the hill. The bike lane will provide a comfortable place for bicyclists to ride on the road, rather than the sidewalks, providing a better and safer pedestrian experience. Local commissioners from ANC 3D will vote on the New Mexico Avenue NW bike lane at this month’s meeting on Wed., July 10th. That’s tomorrow! Your attendance and voice of support is needed! ANC Meeting Details Wed., July 10th, 2013 7-10 p.m. (vote is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.) American University, School of International Service, Founders Room Google Bicycle Directions – http://bit.ly/14XZJhR View the agenda here If you cannot attend Wednesday night’s meeting, please consider contacting the commissioners to express your support of the bike lanes. You can find all of the ANC commissioners’ contact information online here: http://anc3d.org/commissioners.html. We will send an update after Wednesday night’s meeting and vote. Let’s not wait another three years for safe bicycling conditions in Ward 3!