DC Bike Advisory Calls For More Attention

February 21, 2014

The D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council — a D.C. Council-appointed group that advises the city government on cycling issues — is calling for more attention to be paid to trails, bike parking and infrastructure maintenance in the coming year.

In a fiscal year 2013 performance oversight Q&A prepared ahead of a Monday hearing before the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, the BAC calls the pace of construction on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, Anacostia River Trail, and the South Capitol Trail “glacial” and asks the D.C. Department of Transportation to improve this. Also in question is a nonexistent plan, as they see it, to maintain bicycling infrastructure.

Specifically, certain trails and bike lanes are poorly swept, creating conditions that contribute to punctured tires and loss of bicycle control. Moreover, it is sometimes unclear which District agency of federal agency is responsible for clearing or repairing a particular section of infrastructure.

Also questioned is bike parking, which BAC says cannot keep up with demand.

Innovation in providing bicycle parking in public space is sorely needed in most of areas of the city, but particularly outside of the central business district. The current approach is not working well or at all in some areas. Enforcement of the Bicycle Commuter and Parking Expansion Amendment Act of 2010 would allow bicyclists to park at their home and work. While the law is in effect, it has not been implemented.

But perhaps most important in the Q&A are the comments on coordination inside DDOT.

While the pedestrian and bicycle programs are supportive, their input often seems to be disregarded in other Administrations within DDOT. Bicyclists and non-cyclists are frustrated when they see projects being constructed that don’t adhere to the plans that were developed though the public participation process for planning. In almost every DDOT bike project, better intra-agency communication and collaboration would greatly help with the quality and timeliness of bicycle project implementation.

The group also wants better criteria for how bikes will be accommodated along the 22-mile streetcar system.

In fiscal year 2013, two cyclists were killed in D.C., according to the BAC.

As published in dcist – 2/21/14 – Sarah Anne Hughes

Write a comment