December 17, 2018

W3BA meets with Cheh, Marootian

On Thursday December 13, members of W3BA’s Steering committee met with Councilmember Mary Cheh and DDOT Director Jeff Marootian to talk through improvement to the bicycle infrastructure in Ward 3.

DDOT’s bicycle goals for Ward 3 in 2019, as discussed at the meeting, include:

  • Striped lanes on Cathedral, Woodley Place, Reno/34th
  • Potential implementation of an off-street trail on Wisconsin between Nebraska and Massachusetts
  • Studies underway on CT, WI and MA that could lead to other improvements in 2020 and beyond

When pressed, DDOT staff acknowledged that there are no current plans for any protected bike lanes in Ward 3. But they felt that the wheels were in motion in a number of areas (described below) that could pay off in 2020.

Specific meeting highlights include:

  • Connecticut Avenue
    • We reiterated our comments: need to reframe this from the reversible lane specifically to Vision Zero more generally. Suggested having a W3BA member on the Advisory Committee. (See our letter in another blog post for details.)
    • We discussed with Mary Cheh the potential of having the Councilmember hold sessions with businesses groups in WP, CP, VN and CC to talk through their potential concerns and ideas regarding the CT Ave redesign. We’ll follow-up with her office in the New Year on this.
    • We talked about the potential for a pop-up bike lane here (perhaps on Bike to Work Day), but wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm from DDOT on this idea. We heard them say that it takes a ton of planning to do this in order to make sure safety of cyclists and others isn’t jeopardized. And it runs the risk of stirring up pushback from motorists and others if it isn’t done well. W3BA will follow-up with Mike Goodno to talk more.
  • Nebraska Avenue
    • DDOT committed to dust off plans from earlier this decade hat laid out an off-street trail from WI to Rockwood and relook at them.
    • In early 2019, DDOT will initiate a large planning study–the Rock Creek Far West Study (RCFWS). The scope of the RCFWS will include Nebraska south and west of MA. DDOT will study the various options for bicycles on Nebraska, Arizona and Loughboro as part of that study. The timeline for that study will be about a year in length, though DDOT said that they want to be more nimble in picking off part of a study and working on those before the whole study is complete. 
  • Massachusetts Ave
    • A study of an off-street trail on Mass will be included as part of the RCFWS.
    • This wouldn’t need to go through an environmental assessment; it just needs a design.
    • Everyone hates Ward Circle.
  • Other
    • Per DDOT, NPS got a planning grant to study a bike lane/trail on Military (editor’s note: this would be awesome). Jim will connect W3BA with those running this in the @ NPS.
    • DDOT is aware of the need to move more quickly to hear community feedback so that work can eventually move forward on places like Woodley Place and Reno/34th.

Both the Councilmember and DDOT staff were very engaged during the meeting. Of course, over the course of the year competing priorities will arise for both of them. It will be our job to hold their feet to the fire. 

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