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DCBAC M Street SE-SW Transportation Study Recommendations

DCBAC M Street SE-SW Transportation Study Recommendations

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Published by Randall Myers
Recommendations and comments regarding the M Street SE - SW Transportation Study public meeting held Thursday, September 13, 2012 at the Amindon-Bowen Elementary School, 401 I (Eye) Street SW Washington, DC
Recommendations and comments regarding the M Street SE - SW Transportation Study public meeting held Thursday, September 13, 2012 at the Amindon-Bowen Elementary School, 401 I (Eye) Street SW Washington, DC

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Published by: Randall Myers on Oct 02, 2012
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District of Columbia Bicycle AdvisoryCouncil
: Colleen Hawkinson, District Department of Transportation
Suite 500, 55 M Street SEWashington DC 20003
M Street SE-SW Transportation Study - Public Meeting 3
October 1, 2012
The D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC), a legislatively appointed body that advised the Mayor andCouncil of the District of Columbia concerning bicycling issues, would like to offer recommendationsand comments regarding the M Street SE - SW Transportation Study public meeting held Thursday,September 13, 2012 at the Amindon-Bowen Elementary School, 401 I (Eye) Street SW Washington,DC 20024.
Upon review and discussion of the proposed alternatives, BAC has determined that each of the three MStreet planning alternatives is flawed with regard to implementing a fully-realized street thataccommodates the needs of all users. While BAC understands that there is limited street space along MStreet, we feel that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has not fully evaluated other streetconfiguration alternatives that would enable it to incorporate both bicycles and streetcars.
BAC acknowledges that the alternatives proposed by DDOT are preliminary and therefore lack thedetail of an Environmental Impact Study. This document describes some bicycle facilities that DDOTshould consider. In addition, as mentioned by some meeting participants, the preliminary alternativesappear to focus on moving automobiles, tour buses and larger vehicles through the area and notfocusing on residents or visitors or walk or bike to or within the area.BAC recommendations are as follows:1. BAC recommends a
modified version of
Alternative 3, M Street “Mobility Arterial”
.Specifically, BAC recognizes the space considerations on M Street SE - SW that limit the safemovement of bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles along this street and through the corridor.Given the planned development along M Street, BAC supports a fully-
developed “bicycleboulevard” on Eye Street, which roughly runs parallel to M Street, and enhanced traffic
calming along adjacent streets.2. BAC also recommends a
modified version of Alternative 2, “Balanced Linkages”
. Thisalternative would reconfigure the street so that modes would be clustered together 
 2bidirectionally, in this case a 2-by-2-by-2 traffic configuration, which will be diagramed below.This alternative would also combine traffic calming enhancements on adjacent streets asdescribed in other alternatives. While the proposed configuration would reduce vehicular traffic
and available street parking on M Street, it could potentially enhance the “liveability” of the
Modified Al
ternative 3, M Street “Mobility Arterial”
BAC recommends that DDOT modify the proposed alternative to ensure that it enhances bicycle
connectivity in the M Street corridor by creating a “bicycle boulevard” on Eye Street consistent with
.While not optimal, BAC acknowledges that Eye Street, which is approximately two blocks north of MStreet, provides the District an opportunity to create a bicycle facility that provides safe accessthrough this neighborhood and could potentially encourage both adults and children in this area toadopt bicycling as a viable transportation alternative.
Bicycle Boulevard,Berkeley CA. Photo by
 According to theCity of Berkeley and its
Bicycle Boulevard Design Tools and Guidelines Report 
, abicycle boulevard is a street where all types of vehicles are allowed, but the roadway is modified asneeded to enhance bicycle safety and convenience. Typically these modifications will also calm trafficand improve pedestrian safety.With Alternative 3, we recommend that the following bicycle improvements be included on Eye StreetSE - SW and discussed in the ThinkBike Report:1. Limit through-volumes by restricting traffic every 2-3 blocks through the addition of trafficcalming pedestrian refuge islands, bike-friendly automobile specific speed bumps and a green
Bicycle Boulevard Design Tools and Guidelines Public Review Draft Report 
, City of Berkeley, Planning and Development Department Advance Planning Division, April 2000
ThinkBike Washington, DC Kingdom of the Netherlands Bike/Ped Subcommittee report, pgs, 29-49
 3wave signalization (an intentionally induced phenomenon in which a series of traffic lights(usually three or more) are coordinated to allow continuous traffic flow for bicycles).2. Option for a bicycle tunnel configuration below South Capitol Street as in crosses Eye Streetor some alternative that ensures the safe passages of bicyclists and pedestrians across thisintersection.3. Colored bicycle lanes to enhance visibility.In addition, BAC recommends the following enhancements / considerations to future planningalternatives:1. BAC requests that DDOT be specific regarding bike parking and other bike-specificinfrastructure requirements or concerns within the corridor.2. Enhanced street lighting in area where lighting is poor.3. Signage identifying connections to other bicycle routes, connections to points-of-interest on MStreet.4. Clarification of the connections past New Jersey Avenue and Eye Street SE, which is currentlya DPW facility.5. Clarification on proposed modifications to Virginia Avenue SE, which will be reconstructed aspart of the CSX freight tunnel project.
The BAC recommends that further development of plans that include integration of thefollowing concepts:
Modified Alternative 2, “Balanced Linkages”
The alternative as proposed by DDOT includes a cycle track M Street SE - SW, however, it eliminatesstreetcars from consideration, placing it on adjacent streets. BAC believes that the adding street carsand other transit options, as well as bicycles, is an integral part of creating fully-functional streets.This alternative is the only alternative that includes parking on M Street. While BAC acknowledgesthat street parking is important for residents, the District has seen stagnation in new automobileregistrations while also seeing an increase in population.BAC recommends a reconfiguration of M Street so that it combines like modes, specifically, a streetconfiguration of 2-by-2-by-2 from 9th SW to South Capitol:
| TP | TP | B | B | M | A | A | A |
B = cycle track (6 ft each direction)TP =transit priority (12 ft each direction)M = Median (4 ft) A = Automobile (10 ft each direction)Total width = 70 ftIn this
configuration, the middle “A” lane would act as a vehicular turning lane. The total width of the
street from 7th Street SW to South Capitol is 80 to 84 feet. Part of the sidewalks could be used asstations for TP lanes, shifting a few feet, the M would be eliminated and the B and A lanes would shiftby 6 - 8 feet to accommodate stations on the B sides.

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