Showing posts with label Transportation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transportation. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pennsylvania Bike Lane Opens for Business

Today the long-awaited- or oft-dreaded, depending on who you talk to, bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue officially opened for public use. Bike enthusiasts hailed the lanes as a sign of the coming of equality for alternative forms of transportation. Car enthusiasts bemoaned the loss of auto lanes in favor of the lines of zippy bikers getting their exercise as they commute to and from work. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) scaled back the original lanes, which would have taken over a car traffic lane, in favor of designated lanes in the center median of the roads. Officials at the ribbon cutting and inaugural bike ride praised the $150,000 pilot program for setting an example for the rest of the country.

DC Mayor Adrian Fenty lauded the new route saying the "bike lane on Pennsylvania Avenue, literally connects the Capitol to the White House" a sign he said shows that America is "catching up" to other more multi-modal countries. Other officials clearly trying to quiet concerns from drivers emphasized the fact that more bikers means fewer cars and less competition on the roads and for parking.

In a press release, DDOT Director Gabe Klein explained in so many words the change in the bike lane design and the delayed opening, which was originally set for bike-to-work day several weeks ago. Klein said "before we officially opened the bike lanes we wanted to make sure they provide safe areas for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians...with a better design we have a better chance of success."

Washington, DC real estate development news

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

And I Shall Call You "Capital Bikeshare"

This fall members of the new Capital Bikeshare will find bike stations in every ward of the District and in Arlington, with plans to expand to new locations in Virginia and Maryland underway. The long awaited expansion was announced last month, and yesterday the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) officially named the new system: Capital Bikeshare. The system will be the largest of its kind, bringing roughly 1100 bikes to 114 stations throughout the region.

DDOT’s Smartbike program originally launched in 2008 in the downtown DC area. DDOT funded the first 10 stations through an advertising deal with ClearChannel, which built the new bus shelters, maintains them and uses them for ads. The ad revenue (or at least an undisclosed percentage of it) initially paid for 10 stations in the downtown area; ClearChannel runs the Smartbikes under the direction of DDOT.

Since then, DDOT Director Gabe Klein has been pushing to expand the program. "Our hope is to create a transit system with bikes" said Klein in a 2009 DCMud interview. Klein posited that an expanded bikesharing system would "hopefully make cycling a primary mode of transportation. It will also be institutionalizing it and bringing it to the masses." You hear that masses? These bikes are for you.

Capital Bikeshare will offer 100 stations in DC and 14 in Arlington. Annual, monthly, and daily memberships will be available for area residents and visitors. Alta Bicycle Share will operate the system. It looks like current Smartbike members will be allowed to use the new system, but DOT spokesman John Lisle said "I don't think the details have been worked out yet...we're still negotiating with ClearChannel."

Washington, DC real estate development news

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Streetcars are Coming - in Prototype

For all you Paul Revere-types out there harboring fears that the arrival of the streetcars spells doom, with cumbersome, monument-obstructing wires and disaster for DC as-we-know-it, tomorrow's Streetcar Showcase is for you.

Despite a minor setback of DDOT failing to make it to last night's Georgetown ANC meeting to present their plans, streetcar service may eventually cover 37 miles of the District, but will begin with limited service in Anacostia and at H Street-Benning Road by 2012. But on Wednesday, May 5th through Saturday, May 8th on Lot B of CenterCityDC (a.k.a. the still undeveloped old convention center site at 9th and H Streets, NW), The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is giving District residents, workers, and those rare tourists interested in DC transportation matters, a chance to ogle and board the District's latest transportation innovation.

Admittance to the 10:30 AM showcase is free. And if you still haven't gotten your fill of streetcars, you can stop by the free streetcar propulsion technology seminar at the Renaissance Hotel at 999 9th Street, NW on Thursday, May 6th to listen to the top minds in transportation technology and planning discuss ideas for how the streetcars can be integrated into our transportation mindset.

Ellen Jones, Executive Director of DC Surface Transit Inc. - a veritable posse of entities and BIDs including the Downtown, Golden Triangle, and Georgetown Business Improvement Districts, as well as the Washington Convention Center Authority (WCCA), the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation (WCTC), and the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) - explains that the seminar will cover all aspects of "the adaptability of the three cars that we've [the District] purchased and what can be done with them."

Thursday's panel of experts will include everyone from Downtown BID's Executive Director, Richard Bradley, to what Jones affectionately calls "five ubergeeks with over 200 years of propulsion system experience between them" from the American Public Transportation Association, to urban design guru Greg Baldwin. Stop by and get answers to any question you've ever pondered about the green-ness of the project, how DDOT intends to get around that pesky 19th century Federal statute prohibiting overhead wires in the District, and ideas for how Prius-style battery technology can safeguard our views from wires for many miles of the tracks.

Washington DC Real Estate and Development News

Monday, May 03, 2010

MBT Bike Trail Opens New Section in Northeast

District of Columbia officials opened the newest section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) today, a 1.5 mile stretch of pavement that connects Brookland (Franklin Street) to NoMa (New York Avenue).

In all, the MBT will run the 8 miles between Union Station and Silver Spring, largely on dedicated bike trails, complimented by murals, solar lighting, new parks, and connecting the National Mall with 7 Metro stations.

"We plan to continue to build trails until we have a complete, interconnected system in the District," said DDOT Director Gabe Klein in a prepared statement. In fact, planners of the trail hold out hope that the trail will be entirely off-street, though current plans still contemplate significant portions of street lanes at several points on the trail. In another step forward, the District has received an easement from WMATA to connect the trail to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station.

The District broke ground on this section of the trail in May of 2008, after PEPCO donated property along the CSX railroad lines to form the trail. Several portions of the trail have already been completed. In time the trail will connect to the Capital Crescent Trail at Silver Spring; the CCT now ends just east of Rock Creek Park. The MBT will also later add a spur from the Ft. Totten Metro to West Hyattsville.

Still to be resolved are land acquisitions at Ft. Totten Metro and several pedestrian-bike bridges, which those knowledgeable of the trail expect within the next two to three years.

Washington DC transportation news


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