Friday, October 7, 2016

Rolling forward: D.C. bicycling report for September 2016

Highlights of BAC accomplishments in September:

New participants attended the BAC's Sept. 7 meeting, filling the table with new energy and ideas. 

New members of the public joined the BAC at its Sept. 7 bimonthly meeting, the result of the BAC's efforts to increase public awareness of its function and to fill its vacant seats.

Speaking individually, a BAC member testified at a Sept. 19 Transportation and the Environment Committee hearing on the Bicycle Awareness Motor Vehicle License Plate Amendment Act of 2016.

The BAC applauded D.C. Council passage of the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016 on Sept. 20. The legislation, known as comparative negligence, institutes a more fair system for cyclist and pedestrian compensation in collisions with vehicles.

The BAC attended a Sept. 28 meeting about the Downtown West Transportation Planning Study. The BAC serves on the community advisory group for this project, which is assessing bicycle, pedestrian and bus improvements on H and I Streets near Lafayette Park and Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to Columbus Circle.

The BAC attended Ward 3 meetings about the Cleveland Park Streetscape and Drainage Improvement Project and the Klingle Valley Trail Project.

This month: October activities

The Safety, Education and Enforcement Committee meets on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at 1250 H St NW. Agenda to follow. Please RSVP to dcbicyclecouncil gmail com to enter the secure building.

The Legislative Committee meets on Oct. 19. Please save the date and watch for the time, location and agenda to follow.

The BAC is attending the Oct. 20 public outreach day for the Downtown West Transportation Planning Study.  At three times and places throughout the day, DDOT staff will solicit public feedback on the draft proposals.

The Facilities Committee is holding a "rolling meeting" in Northeast on Oct. 22 at 1:30 p.m. Beginning at 1st Street and Florida Avenue NE, the ride will survey Dave Thomas Circle and Trinidad.

The BAC is attending a bicycle and pedestrian roundtable Del. Eleanor Holmes-Norton is convening on Oct. 27.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mid-month update

Highlights of the BAC's mid-month activity.

Contributory negligence reform passes
At today's Legislative meeting, the Council passed the contributory negligence bill, officially termed the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016. It awaits mayoral signature and the standard 30-day congressional review before it becomes law.

Bicycle Awareness Motor Vehicle License Plate Amendment Act of 2016
Speaking individually, BAC member Bob Summersgill delivered the following testimony at yesterday's Transportation and the Environment Committee hearing:

Testimony on Bill 21-0759
Bicycle Awareness Motor Vehicle License Plate Amendment Act of 2016
By Bob Summersgill for the Bicycle Advisory Council

Chairman Cheh:

Thank you for holding this hearing. I am Bob Summersgill, a member of the Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC), appointed by Councilmember David Grosso.

All the members of the BAC support this legislation.

The bill will allow car owners to buy specialty license plates promoting the 3-foot minimum passing law and by assigning the application and annual fees to the Vision Zero Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Fund. It will also assign $500,000 per year from fines generated from the automatic traffic system to the fund.

There is disagreement on whether or not the bill should be more specific and include language on what words we want the license plate to include. Ideas include:

• please respect cyclists: give 3 feet
• I give 3 feet
• give [insert bicycle line drawing] 3 feet, it's the law!
• Give [bicycle stick symbol] 3 ft?
• Give 3 Feet

The other view is it becomes harder to change if it somehow doesn't work and it makes it less flexible. Thank you. I am available to answer any questions.

Here is the press release by the bill's author, Councilmember Charles Allen, and here is the bill text.

Crosstown multimodal study
Last week, DDOT held the final public meeting for the crosstown Columbia Heights/Brookland study. The final recommendation and other meeting materials can be viewed here. Jump here for a diagram of the proposed bicycle and bus facilities.

Award from federal DOT
On Friday, US DOT presented its Mayors’ Challenge Awards to cities improving bicyclist and pedestrian safety. DC won a Secretary’s Award for Overall Success and an award for improving safety laws and regulations. The BAC is proud of its behind-the-scenes contributions to this success. We're working on a blog post, but here is the DOT write-up and here is a picture of DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo with Sec. Foxx accepting DC's award.

Happy Car-Free Day
Team Bike is in the lead for this Thursday's Car-Free Day. That's the spirit!

New DC Councilmember
In case you missed it, Councilmember Robert White has taken office to fill the at-large seat former Councilmember Vincent Orange vacated.

Looking ahead
We're attending the Sept. 28 Downtown West Transportation Planning Study meeting and saving the date for an Oct. 22 Facilities Committee "rolling" meeting.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Rolling forward: D.C. bicycling report for August 2016

Highlights of BAC accomplishments in August:

The BAC enjoyed meeting a few dozen D.C. bicyclists at our Aug. 11 meet and greet. We held this social event to talk informally with D.C. residents interested in serving on the BAC. It was heartening to meet other bicyclists with a strong sense of civic participation. Please keep in touch with the BAC through the appointment process as we collectively work to fill the three vacant seats.

Timed to coincide with the meet and greet, the BAC published a Washington Post op-ed entitled "Cities belong to people, not cars."

BAC representatives attended the Maryland Avenue NE redesign meeting on Aug. 10. Formally known as the Maryland Avenue NE Pedestrian Safety Project, the road diet will improve infrastructure and safe travel for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The BAC Facilities Committee held a "rolling meeting" ... in record heat. The Aug. 13 "real feel" of 120 degrees didn't stop the committee from doing its job and assessing K Street from northeast through downtown to Georgetown.

In the comfort of air conditioned cafes, the Safety, Education and Enforcement Committee met on Aug. 15 and the Legislative Committee met on Aug. 17.

Council chairman Phil Mendelson swore in a new BAC member on Aug. 24. Bob Summersgill joins the BAC representing Councilmember David Grosso. Former BAC member Erik Kugler resigned from this seat after years of honorable service.

This month: September activities

The BAC holds its bimonthly meeting on Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. at 441 4th St NW, 11th floor. The meeting is open to the public.

The BAC is attending and/or monitoring several public meetings:

Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study meeting on Sept. 13. This is a project to improve travel between Brookland and Columbia Heights via bicycle and other modes.

Long Bridge project meeting on Sept. 14, studying the replacement of the trans-Potomac bridge with possible bicycle facilities and connections.

Cleveland Park Streetscape and Drainage Improvement Project meeting on Sept. 15. According to DDOT, the project seeks to "address the recurring flooding problem near the Cleveland Park Metro Station, improve pedestrian safety, access and visibility at all intersections, and upgrade public amenities (curb ramps, adding bike racks, benches and tree boxes)."

The uptown Metropolitan Police Department community bike ride on Sept. 10 at 9 a.m., departing from the Takoma Metro station. The MPD Fourth District is hosting the 10-mile ride, ending with a barbecue at Emery Recreation Center (5701 Georgia Ave NW). The Fourth District includes the communities of Carter Baron, 16th Street Heights, Fort Totten, Lamond/Riggs, Shepherd Park, Takoma and Petworth.

The downtown Metropolitan Police Department community bike ride on Sept. 17 at 11 a.m., departing from Logan Circle at 13th and P Streets NW. The hourlong ride will traverse Logan and Dupont Circles.

Car-free Day on Sept. 22 quantifies the number of people commuting by bicycle and other modes. Sign up for Team Bike and be counted.

Downtown West Transportation Planning Study meeting on Sept. 28. This study is assessing bicycle, pedestrian and bus improvements on H and I Streets near Lafayette Park and Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to Columbus Circle.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

BAC September meeting

The BAC meets on Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. at 441 4th St NW, 11th floor. Meetings are open to the public. ID is required to enter the building. The agenda is below.

Bicycle Advisory Council
9/7/16 Meeting Agenda 

1. Call to order; introductions; approval of minutes

2. Administration and communications
  • Meet & greet report
  • Washington Post op-ed follow-up
  • Appointments and nominations for FY17 officers (or next meeting acting chair)

3. Facilities Committee report
  • Report on August rolling meeting
  • Far SE livability study meeting
  • Maryland Ave NE road diet meeting/status
  • Crosstown multimodal study -- meeting upcoming in Sept.
  • Downtown west improvements -- meeting upcoming in Sept.
  • Bike lane request from Trinidad resident
  • Vision Zero: Councilmember Cheh's Ward 3 August high-crash intersection visits
  • Kenilworth landfill site -- request NPS to clean up

4. Safety, Education and Enforcement Committee meeting report

5. Legislative Committee meeting report

6. Walk-on topics

7. Adjournment

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New BAC member sworn in

The BAC welcomes new appointee Bob Summersgill, who Council Chairman Phil Mendelson swore into office tonight. Summersgill represents At-large Councilmember David Grosso.

CM Grosso's former appointee, Erik Kugler, resigned from the BAC and Councilmember Grosso appointed Summersgill to the seat. The BAC is grateful to Kugler for his service on the BAC. Thank you, Erik, for your decades of dedication to D.C.'s bicyclists.

If you don't know Bob and you didn't meet him at this month's community meet and greet or committee meetings, you'll see him at our Sept. 7 general meeting. Welcome aboard, Bob!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Meeting bicyclists in person

Thank you, D.C. bicyclists, for an exciting Aug. 11. It began with publication of our online op-ed in the Washington Post and ended with the pleasure of meeting dozens of D.C. bicyclists for our summer social. It was inspiring to see such interest in the BAC and willingness to serve on our council. View a few more pictures in this album. Please stay in touch with us through the appointment process and in person. August committee meetings are Aug. 13, 15 and 17, as outlined here. Our next full council meeting is Sept. 7.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rolling forward: D.C. bicycling report for July 2016

Highlights of BAC accomplishments in July:

The BAC held its regular bimonthly meeting on July 6. The main agency report came from DDOT's trails coordinator, who updated about the Rock Creek Park rehabilitation project (involving DDOT and the National Park Service) and the proposed New York Avenue NE trail between NoMa and the National Arboretum.

The BAC monitored the July 12 D.C. Council vote on the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016, known as the contributory negligence bill. The BAC issued a statement which was quoted in the Washington City Paper. The BAC will continue to monitor the bill when it is scheduled for a second vote in the fall.

A BAC representative attended the monthly D.C. Pedestrian Advisory Council meeting on July 25. The main agency reports came from the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Metropolitan Police Department.

A BAC representative attended a July 26 meeting to discuss ways to improve transportation in Ward 7. The meeting, part of DDOT's Far Southeast III Livability Study, sought community input about transportation and related quality-of-life issues in the neighborhoods of Fort Dupont, Fort Davis, Twining, Greenway, Benning Heights, Civic Betterment, Benning Ridge, Marshall Heights and Capitol View.

This month: August activities

The BAC will monitor an Aug. 10 community meeting about the Maryland Avenue NE Pedestrian Safety Project. The meeting, taking place at the Northeast Branch Library (330 7th St NE) at 6:30 p.m., will focus on ANC and community feedback about the current plans to redesign the road to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The BAC is hosting a community meet and greet on Aug. 11 to talk informally with bicyclists about getting involved and seeking appointment to the BAC. We'll also have brochures and experts available to help teach beginners about bicycle commuting as an alternative to Metrorail closures and delays. The event takes place at 5:30 p.m. at Right Proper Brewing Co. (624 T St NW).

The BAC Facilities Committee is leading  a crosstown fact-finding ride along K Street from northeast to Georgetown on Aug. 13.

The BAC Safety, Education and Enforcement Committee meets on Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. at Busboys & Poets (1025 5th St NW).

The BAC Legislative Committee meets on Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. at Teaism (400 8th St NW).

The BAC is monitoring public meetings concerning the rehabilitation of Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park and DDOT's Rock Creek East II Livability Study.

The BAC has a new Facebook page. Please RSVP to our meetings and events there.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August committee meetings

Please save the dates for these BAC committee meetings and check back for meeting agendas.

Facilities Committee rolling meeting
Sat., Aug. 13, 2016
1:30-3:30 p.m.
A fact-finding bicycle tour of K Street crosstown from east to west, beginning at 12th and K Streets NE. The ride will go through downtown to the Capital Crescent trailhead in Georgetown.

Safety, Education and Enforcement Committee meeting
Mon., Aug. 15, 2016
6-7:30 p.m.
Busboys & Poets
1025 5th St NW
The main agenda item is suggestions to reduce the risk of bike theft with guest speaker Phil Koopman of BicycleSPACE.

Legislative Committee meeting
Wed., Aug. 17, 2016
6-7 p.m.
Teaism Penn Quarter
400 8th St NW

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Meet the BAC and apply to serve

The BAC is holding a community meet and greet on Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in Shaw. The public is invited to join us at Right Proper Brewing Co. (624 T St NW) for informal happy hour conversation about the BAC. Come to learn about the BAC and the ways D.C. residents can serve.

We'll also have brochures and experts available to help teach beginners about bicycle commuting as an alternative to Metrorail closures and delays.

BAC Community Meet and Greet
Thurs., Aug. 11, 2016
5:30-8 p.m.
Right Proper Brewing Co.
624 T St NW

The BAC represents the interests of bicyclists in D.C. governmental affairs. The BAC is an official public commission that advises the D.C. Council on bicycle-related transportation matters.

The BAC evaluates legislation, policy and transportation infrastructure and makes advisory recommendations to the Council.

The BAC is comprised of 13 D.C. residents who are voting members. D.C. councilmembers each appoint one resident to the BAC.

D.C. residents with an interest in bicycling are invited to apply for vacant seats on the council. Begin by viewing the application and bringing your questions to the Aug. 11 event. If you can't attend, email us at dcbicyclecouncil-gmail-com.

BAC members are expected to attend bimonthly meetings at 6 p.m. on the first Wednesday of odd-numbered months at 441 4th St NW, 11th floor. Members are urged to serve on a committee, all of which meet in even-numbered months. The committees are Legislative, Facilities and Safety, Education and Enforcement. Committee membership is open to the public. D.C. residents may serve on committees without holding a formal BAC appointment.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

BAC statement in support of contributory negligence reform

Bicycle Advisory Council chair David Cranor today issued the following statement in response to the D.C. Council vote in support of contributory negligence reform.

The legislation, the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016, will be enacted pending a second affirmative Council vote, anticipated in the fall. The act would permit bicyclists and pedestrians to receive compensation from a driver's insurance as long as the non-motorized party is less than 50 percent at fault. Under current law, a bicyclist or pedestrian deemed 1 percent at fault is ineligible for any compensation. This contributory negligence policy would be replaced by a form of comparative negligence.

Said BAC chair Cranor:

"The Bicycle Advisory Council supports this measure. The consequences of a crash between a cyclist and driver are often unevenly distributed, with the cyclist generally bearing the greater burden. Under current law, cyclists also generally bear the greater financial burden even when other parties might be more at fault. This is wholly unfair. Changing the law does not change the distribution of risk, but brings the law more in line with our sense of fairness. The BAC applauds and supports the District's goal of creating a safer and more bicycle-friendly community and we believe that this law is a significant step in that direction."