Tag Archives: DDOT

ANC Round Up: Stay in Your Lane Edition

Photo by me and the syop.

Last night the ANC met for its April session. While GM had to leave after little more than an hour, most of the interesting stuff is up front, so here’s what he caught:

Close Lanes Not Roads

During two items last night, the ANC touched on an underused solution to a frequent problem. The problem: street closures for special events. The solution: close just a lane instead.

The two items were the annual French Market fair on Book Hill and the Thai Festival on lower Wisconsin.

The BID will hold the French Market April 19th and 20th. One problem with the success of this event is that the narrow sidewalks of Wisconsin Ave. get overcrowded with the crowds and the booths. The ANC posed the reasonable solution that the BID ought to seek to spread the event over to the parking lane. John Weibenson of the BID responded that he was working with the city to arrange for just that.

As for the Thai Embassy, they would like to shut down Wisconsin from South St. to Grace for their annual festival June 29th. The ANC objected to the request, but proposed a similar solution to the French Market problem: why not just take over the parking lane?

The problem is that the city has shown a strong aversion to allowing, essentially, pedestrian and automobile traffic to share the road like that. Even when proposing appropriate barriers, groups seeking permits like this have been rejected. Thus if these requests are granted, they would represent a great possible solution to the problem of too many street closings in Georgetown. Continue reading

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Lively Discussion on Parking Last Night

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Last night DDOT hosted a meeting with the community to discuss parking. The meeting came out of a long series of discussions that have been going on for years between representatives of the ANC, CAG, and the BID to address the parking situation in Georgetown.

As expected the meeting was lively and well attended. After a short introduction by DC’s parking Czar Angelo and his colleague Damon Harvey, the crowd of about 40-50 was broken up into three discussion groups to tackle three topics of challenges: residential parking, parking for commercial establishments, and institutional parking.

The bulk of the crowd (and GM) gravitated to the first group, where opinions were strong although not always in agreement.

For instance, early on in the discussion, someone suggested the creation of a ANC2E-only parking permit. Under such a scheme, only those who live in Georgetown or Burleith would get the benefit of unlimited parking in those neighborhoods. As it stands now, anyone who lives in Ward 2–which stretches all the way to the Convention Center and down to Southwest DC–can park without restriction in ANC2E.

Lots of heads nodded in approval for that proposal. But then one member piped up, essentially, “Hey I like parking in Dupont. If our zone is reduced, then I can’t drive and park there unrestricted.” Some other heads then bobbed in approval of that, and cited the distance to the Metro. Others then responded, hey if you want to go to Dupont, take a bus. It’s not like there’s any parking anyway.

And that pretty much set the tone for the evening. Lots of impassioned opinions, with nods of agreement often followed by rebuttals.

Probably the most contentious issue was that of the idea of making the side streets pay-for-parking. Some of the objections to the idea were to the aesthetics of not wanting physical meters on the side streets. That, in fact, is not a likely proposal anyway. Any plan for pay-for-parking in the side streets would involve the use of pay-by-cellphone, which only necessitates the signs be changed.

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Are Your Alley Lights Glaring?

Last November, GM moved into a new home that has an alley behind it. He quickly realized that the alley lights (one of which is shown above) get awfully bright and glaring at night.

As you can see from the photo, the light had a glass “bulb” that hung below the hood. It lit up fully, so it gave the effect of a hanging bare light bulb in an otherwise unlit room. Continue reading

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This Is How Bad Transportation Decisions Are Made

At the last ANC meeting, the issue of the south exit of the Safeway was discussed. GM discussed this after the meeting, but he thinks it’s worthwhile to walk through the story of the changes to this intersection because it demonstrates how too often bad transportation decisions are made.

Prior to the construction of the new Safeway, and shortly after it opened, there were three different phases for the lights and crosswalks of this intersection:

During the first phase (which is 60 seconds), car traffic on Wisconsin Ave. had a green light and pedestrians were allowed to cross the curbcut at the Safeway exit. Cars leaving Safeway and pedestrians crossing Wisconsin were shown a red light.

During the second phase (which is 20 seconds now, but was much shorter before the changes), pedestrians were allowed to cross Wisconsin, but pedestrians were not allowed to cross the curbcut, nor were cars allowed to exit the Safeway, either north or southbound. Car traffic on Wisconsin was obviously also stopped. Continue reading

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Georgetown Adds Fifth Bikeshare Station

As wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter Solstice gift, Georgetown received its fifth Capital Bikeshare station, this one located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and M St.

This is a perfect location for a bikeshare station, and GM expects it to be used heavily. This use will likely increase even more once DDOT installs the M St. cycletrack. And as Lydia DePillis over at Citypaper dug up, a large chunk of Bikeshare use is attributable to tourists. So it’s likely that once tourism season ramps up next spring, lots of tourists will target this station as their destination. Which is great! GM just hopes that the Bikeshare workers are ready to manage the shifts in demand for the station. Continue reading

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M St. Cycletrack Will Extend to Georgetown

Photo by Ajfroggie.

Last week, DDOT presented to the Bicycle Advisory Committee its map of bike lanes that it expects to construct in 2012. In the map released by the BAC, it showed the highly anticipated M St. bicycle track (it’s a two way, separated bike lane that looks like the lanes on 15th st., shown above). But the version released on Monday showed the lane not going west of New Hampshire Ave. in the West End.

GM followed up with DDOT to ask why the lane won’t make it all the way to Georgetown. Turns out the map was wrong; the bicycle track will extend right up to Pennsylvania Ave.

Continue reading

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ANC Round Up: Short Edition

Photo by ad454.

The ANC met for the final time in 2011 on Monday night (sorry for the delay in the report, but yesterday GM wanted to pump the CAG meeting). The agenda was short and the proceedings efficient, so there’s really not much to report, but here goes.

Glover Park

The biggest item on the agenda was the issue of Glover Park’s planned streetscape improvements. Part of those improvements call for lane reconfiguration, which frightens a lot of people. The fear is that by limiting lanes on Wisconsin Ave., the drivers will take the side streets instead.

As GM reported on Monday, the ANC is concerned about this. Glover Park, however, didn’t take too kindly to the possibility that ANC2E might derail the project. So Chair of the Glover Park ANC, Brian Cohen, showed up at the Georgetown ANC meeting to testify in favor of the changes and to argue that it would not negatively affect Georgetown (DDOT representatives were also at hand to make the same case, but the bureaucratese they used didn’t do a great job selling the project).

In the end the ANC (the Georgetown one, that is) passed a motion simply asking DDOT to keep in mind the possible effects this project could have on Georgetown and to include Georgetown in the discussions going forward. For the record, GM predicted Monday that Commissioner Bill Starrells wanted to “derail” the project; in fairness GM must report that Starrells since assured GM that he never intended to try to stop the project, and just wanted to air his concerns about the project. Continue reading

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ANC Preview: Sticking Their Nose Into Glover Park’s Business Edition

Tonight ANC2E will meet for the final time in 2011. And the most important item on the agenda doesn’t even directly relate to Georgetown.

As you may have read in the Current, Glover Park has worked with DDOT to reconfigure Wisconsin Ave. through that neighborhood. These changes came in response to two recent pedestrian fatalities and a serious injury, all of which have come on the stretch of Wisconsin Ave. through Glover Park. And in particular, the stretch of Wisconsin south of W Pl. is very dangerous to pedestrians because it is unnecessarily wide, which encourages cars to drive unnecessary fast, and it has several crosswalks without crossing lights. While increased enforcement can make a minor difference in driver behavior, the most effective way to change drivers’ behavior is to change the road. This is the approach that Glover Park’s leaders took.

So they worked with DDOT to develop a plan to widen the sidewalks (which are way too narrow) and limit Wisconsin Ave. to one lane in each direction. Parking would be limited during rush hour to provide an extra traffic lane during those hours. (Update: The changes are even better. They’ll include a traffic median and some left turn lanes. Here are the plans: http://anc3b.org/issues/roadway-streetscape-pedestrian-safety/) These are changes that have been public and long discussed among Glover Park residents and leaders, and its perfectly reasonable for Glover Park to take these measures in response to the clear and present hazard created by the current situation. Continue reading

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Several Circulator Changes Starting Next Week

This caught GM a bit unaware: Next week DDOT is making some changes to the Circulator route through Georgetown. It primarily involves eliminating stops. According the the Post:

Stops will be eliminated at Wisconsin Avenue and P Street NW, both eastbound and westbound; at Wisconsin Avenue and N Street NW heading westbound, and at M and 31st streets NW heading eastbound.

A stop will be added at 35th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, where the Georgetown-Union Station buses turn around to head back toward Union Station.

DDOT has long disliked the fact that the Circulator goes up Wisconsin Ave. and blames this segment for delays on the line. It has repeatedly either tried to eliminate stops or eliminate the extension altogether. All the attempts at stop elimination have been rolled back (GM remebers, for instance, that the Wisconsin and R stop was eliminated a few years ago, only to return). Continue reading

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Georgetown to Get Just One New Bikeshare Station in Next Expansion

Photo by Jasonpier.

DDOT announced yesterday the location of 32 new Capital Bikeshare locations (and 18 expansions of current stations). Georgetown is getting only one new station (and one expansion). The new station will be at M and Pennsylvania and the station on Wisconsin by the canal will be expanded. The expansions should take place this fall.

Back in April, DDOT initial proposed this expansion, and included two proposed locations for Georgetown. They were the north end of Rose Park and the Long and Foster parking lot. Both of these proposed locations were problematic for different reasons GM discussed back then.

In a way, DDOT’s decision for Georgetown is a win and a loss. Bikeshare proponents (including GM) lobbied DDOT to reconsider the proposed locations and put the Rose Park station at M and Pennsylvania and the Long and Foster station at Hyde. The ANC–which has been the most proactive ANC in the city for inviting Bikeshare–also supported this position. So getting a station at M and Pennsylvania is great. It will no doubt be one of the most popular stations in the system (particularly once the M st. cycletracks are built). Continue reading

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