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BAC Oversight Hearing (2-28-11)

BAC Oversight Hearing (2-28-11)

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Published by Randall Myers

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Published by: Randall Myers on Jan 25, 2012
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Public Oversight Hearing for the District of Columbia Bicycle Advisory CouncilCommittee on Public Works and the EnvironmentCouncil of the District of ColumbiaThe Honorable Tommy Wells, ChairmanMonday February 28, 2011Council Chamber (Room 500) 
Good morning Chairman Wells and members of the Committee on Public Works and theEnvironment. I am Randall Myers, an at-large board member of the Bicycle Advisory Council.I am pleased to present testimony on behalf oft the District of Columbia Bicycle AdvisoryCouncil.Established by D.C. Law, the Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC) serves as the advisory body tothe Mayor, Council, and District agencies on matters pertaining to bicycling in the District. TheAdvisory Council also makes recommendations to the District Department of Transportation(DDOT), the Office of Planning and other District agencies regarding the District’s budget and policies with regard to biking.Our FY 2010 achievements included:
Encouraging biking as a healthy and safe alternative method of travel for work or recreation;
Encouraging the completion and enhancement of the Bicycle Master Plan, including theaccelerated implementation or installation of bike lanes, racks and other facilities; and
Promoting the inclusion of a “bike consideration” policy within DDOT, the DeputyMayor for Planning and Economic Development, the Department of Consumer andRegulatory Affairs and other District agencies.
For FY 2010, BAC meetings focused on a wide range of bicycle-related issues. Highlights of 2010 agenda items included:
Working to modify DC tort law from contributory negligence to comparative negligence;
Defining how BAC communicates with the public and policymakers regarding bike-related regulations and facilities;
Working to increase bicycle safety throughout the District as well as at criticalintersections through legislation including the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act of 2008.In FY 2010, BAC received $10,000 in local funds to help support our mission. These fundswould be used primarily to help BAC members connect with the bicycling public by holdingcommunity meeting, the creation of a website and working with other bicycling organizations.We are in the process of determining how to use this funding, which has been some difficult dueto certain administrative impediments.For FY 2011, the BAC goals include:
Continuing to provide advice regarding the integration of bicycle and pedestrianconsideration into development projects;
Helping to expand the use of bike sharing alternatives and working with District agenciesto review best practices;
Working with District organizations and other regional bicycling boards to help promotea more unified regional bicycling transportation system; and
Working with the public to bring their bicycling-related concerns to Council and Districtagencies;In addition, BAC is currently working to fill 4 vacancies:
Councilmember Bowser (Ward 4),
Councilmember Alexander (Ward 7),
Councilmember Barry (Ward 8), and
Councilmember Biddle (At-large interim).BAC is seeking individuals who are committed to the promotion of cycling and can attendWednesday evening meetings and actively participate in our committees.While BAC will continue to press the Executive branch to invest biking as a viable andultimately cost effective transportation alternative we ask that Council also active monitor the progress of the Executive branch. The District has made steady progress with regard to thecreation of new bike facilities. The launch of Capital Bikeshare, the completion of the bikestation at Union Station, and the opening of a large section of the Metropolitan Branch trail have brought international recognition to the District. However, the District needs to continue tointegrate bicycling into the city’s transportation system. The current state of the bike facilitiesdo not fully connect with surrounding bicycle trails in other jurisdictions or some trails aredisconnected from the rest of the city as evidenced in Wards 7 and 8. In addition, the regioncontinued to experience cyclists and pedestrians be injured or die own our roads. We have towork with as a region to limit these incidents while making the roads safe for all.In conclusion, the Bicycle Advisory Council must continue to work diligently amongst ourselvesand with the District’s stakeholders to incorporate bicycle consideration into street and facilitydesign. For the District to have great streets, we need to have complete streets; ones that provide a balance between bicyclists, pedestrians and automobiles by helping to reduce harmfulemissions and improve the health, safety and mobility of District residents and visitors.

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