Archive for the ‘Streets and Trees’ category

Looking for Opportunities to Increase Area Bikeshare Service & Stations

June 21, 2016

Over the past several days I’ve been digging into the community amenities proposed by the redevelopment of Park Morton and thinking about ways to enhance and improve the proposal. One thing that came to mind is the potential to improve the Capital Bikeshare program in the Park View area. While this may not sound like a big thing, a quick look at the locations of Bikeshare stations in the area, and how they are being used, gives an indication that the community is a heavy user of the system and there aren’t enough bikes or stations to go around. It also seems like the Park Morton development project could help enlarge the Bikeshare station that is currently at Columbia Road and even establish a new station on the 600 block of Morton Street with minimal impact to the project’s design or bottom line.

The map below shows area Bikeshare stations shortly after noon on Monday, June 20. The amount of red indicates the number of available bikes. It is worth nothing that several of the stations have 1 or no available bikes. The significant exception here is the one at the hospital center, which is a commuter destination rather than a point of departure.Bike share stations noon(Capital Bikeshare stations near Park View and Columbia Heights mid-day on June 20, 2016.)

It has been established for a while that our area tends to lose bikes over time as there are many residents who will bike to work, yet not all of them will bike back home after work. This requires Bikeshare to visit stations with a van to fill up the empty bike docks on a periodic basis.

Looking at the same bike stations shortly after 9 p.m. shows the inverse relationship as there are many more bikes in the area — but also highlights that there are still many empty bike docks and some empty bike stations. Having another Bikeshare station on Morton Street would be of benefit to the community and help ensure that those who use this service would have an easier time of having an variable bike when they need one.

Bikeshare map at nine(Capital Bikeshare stations near Park View and Columbia Heights shortly after 9:00 p.m. on June 20, 2016.)

Improved Bike Lane May Be Coming to 11th Street North of Monroe

June 20, 2016

Some weeks ago, DDOT informed me that they had been meeting with ANC 1A07 Commissioner Frost and affected residents about a proposed contra-flow bike lane on 11th Street, NW, between Monroe Street and Spring Road. Based on new lane markings that have been painted on 11th, it appears that DDOT may be moving forward with this proposal (see photo below). I’ve reached out to DDOT to confirm that this is indeed what is coming and will update this post once I have confirmation.

Bike lane 11th Street(New lane markings on 11th Street north of Monroe Street may indicate a new contra-flow bike lane is in the works.)

During DDOT’s meetings with the community, opinions were mixed on the contra-flow proposal. Other options to improve bike transportation in the area included one-way paired bike lanes on 10th and 11th Streets, and another option without bike lanes using bike route signs to direct cyclists onto the correct one-way streets – 11th southbound, and 10th northbound.

As stated above, I’ll provide an update once I know which of these options are being implemented.

 

Third DDOT Crosstown Workshop Further Distills Transit Options, Provides Three Basic (but Flexible) Concepts for Review

June 14, 2016

DDOT’s third Crosstown Multimodal Study workshop held on June 9th further refined east-west traffic ideas to two basic approaches — improvements that can be accomplished with no major construction and improvements that would require significant construction. The No Build concept would use the existing street network and incorporate improvements from projects that are already committed. The Build concepts focused on the existing basic network structure and incorporate modal priorities on area streets as well as including improvements to the street grid and interchange areas. After reviewing the proposed concepts, residents had the opportunity to participate via a brief survey (online survey here).

ANC 1A Commissioners Kent Boese and Rashida Brown discussing the options at the workshop.

ANC 1A Commissioners Kent Boese and Rashida Brown discussing the options at the workshop.

The two basic build concepts presented at the third workshop were distilled from public feedback during the first two workshops. That feedback included requests that the concepts be presented in a less technical format and that more information be provided on the trade-offs of the potential cross-section proposing the road diet and bicycle lanes on Michigan Avenue, NE.

In reviewing the information and engagement boards at the June workshop, the No Build concept is the least costly, but also the least desirable as it would result in modest improvements. It would consist of repaving Kenyon Street, Columbia Road, and Harvard Street and rehabilitating the Monroe Street bridge over the railroad tracks in Brookland. Additional improvements would be included due to the 818 Michigan Avenue garage, McMillan Sand Filtration Site, and the Conference Center development projects already in the pipeline (see map below).

No Build Concept(Basic No Build concept from Workshop #3.)

The two Build concepts were each based on an underlying structure which participants could review. Upon these structures, three focus areas were identified — the street grid west of the hospitals, transit access to the hospitals, and the North Capital Street interchange. The two Build concepts did a good job in identifying the trade-offs that would be required for improved crosstown transportation.

Here’s how the basic concepts break down:

Concept 1

  • Bike Improvements: A 2-way cycle track would be located on the south side of Kenyon Street and connect with a center-running cycle track and north side shared use path north of the hospital center. The path would connect to a shared-use path on Michigan Avenue as far as Monroe Street. From there, bike riders would zig-zag on surface streets with a combination of shared-use paths and bike lanes.
  • Bus Improvements: Dedicated bus lanes would be created on eastbound Irving and westbound Columbia Road during peak hours. To the south of the hospital center and eastward to Monroe Street buses would share lanes with other traffic.
  • Pedestrian Improvements: A pedestrian scramble is proposed at 14th and Irving streets by the Columbia Heights Metro Station along with intersection improvements at various points along Michigan Avenue.
  • See the map below for the suggested changes to the street grid, bus access to the hospitals, and cloverleaf.

Build Concept 1(Build concept 1 from Workshop #3.)

Concept 2

  • Bike Improvements: 1-way cycle tracks would be installed on westbound Kenyon Street and eastbound Irving Street. These would connect to shared use paths on the north and south side of Irving to the north of the hospital and continue eastward on the south side of Michigan Avenue as far as Monroe Street. From there, bicycle lanes would be established on Michigan Avenue as far as South Dakota Avenue.
  • Bus Improvements: Dedicated bus lanes would be created on eastbound Harvard and westbound Columbia Road as well as on Michigan Avenue from 1st Street NW to Monroe Street NE all-day (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.). Buses would share lanes from Park Place (west) to 1st Street (east).
  • Pedestrian Improvements: A pedestrian scramble is proposed at 14th and Irving streets by the Columbia Heights Metro Station along with intersection improvements at various points along Michigan Avenue.
  • See the map below for the suggested changes to the street grid, bus access to the hospitals, and cloverleaf.

Build Concept 2(Build concept 2 from Workshop #3.)

Overall, Concept 2 proposes the most significant opportunities to improve east-west bike and bus transit by creating dedicated lanes. However, this also would have the biggest trade-offs as these lanes would largely be at the expense of on-street parking.

For those who had a strong preference for one of these two concepts, but didn’t like every detail, a workstation was available allowing participants to mix and match the underlying transit concept with the street grid, cloverleaf, and hospital access components from the two presented.

Once again, residents and those who travel along this corridor are being asked to review the proposed options and provide feedback via an online survey. A fourth, and possibly final, public workshop is tentatively scheduled for September 2016.

Update on Sidewalk Improvement Progress

June 6, 2016
Areas scheduled for sidewalk replacements.

Areas scheduled for sidewalk replacements.

The sidewalk replacement work that I shared in early May is well underway. In walking around the neighborhood this weekend, I noted that the new sidewalks have been replaced on the 600 block of Princeton Place (with the exception of one crosswalk that needs to be redone at the corner of Park Place), the sidewalk on Park Place between Newton and Otis has been replaced, the sidewalk on Warder between Quebec and Rock Creek Church Road is in progress, and work on the sidewalk on the 400 block of Park Road has not yet begun.

Below are some photos of the areas recently completed or in progress.

IMG_0645(New sidewalk on Park Place. Looking south from Otis Place.)

IMG_0638(Crew replacing sidewalk on Warder Street. Morning of June 4th.)

IMG_0655(Looking north from Quebec Place. Sidewalk work in progress on Warder.)

New Trees and Streetscape Need to Be One Result from Park Morton Redevelopment

June 1, 2016

In reviewing the plans for the redevelopment of Park Morton — especially the plans for the site on Park Road and Morton Street — one of the amenities that we really need to be a result of the effort is a better streetscape and street trees on Park Road. Park View has many streets that contribute to a significant tree desert in the heart of the community. This includes the 600 block of Park Road. In walking around Park Morton over the weekend, I was reminded of just how harsh the streetscape is on Park Road. Pushing the sidewalks back from the street to create room for street trees should be one of the many improvements that we can achieve through this project.

As you can see from the photos below, the area along the south side of Park Road is currently without trees and is uninspiring.

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Sidewalk Replacement Work Begins on Princeton Place

May 27, 2016

The sidewalk replacement work that we found out about at the beginning of May have finally begun. Below are photos from the 600 block of Princeton Place, where work began yesterday.

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New Speed Camera on Irving Street

May 26, 2016

Irving speed camera(Image from Park View Beautification Crew Facebook page.)

Yesterday it was noted on the Park View Beautification Crew Facebook page that a new speed camera has been located on Irving Street halfway between Georgia Avenue and Warder Street. While the new location hasn’t been added yet, in general you can check out MPD’s Speed Camera Location page to see where camera’s are deployed throughout the city. Of equal interest, you can also contact MPD to recommend a photo radar location.


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