People riding bicycles often feel threatened by the minority of rude drivers who get impatient at having to wait behind a slow vehicle and pass too closely, honk, or turn without looking. People walking also feel threatened by a rude minority of bicycle riders who ride quickly on a sidewalk without regard for pedestrians. What should we do?
Some residents are trying to push for new laws that limit bicycling on sidewalks, an InTowner editorial reports. In DC, it's not legal to ride on sidewalks south of Massachusetts Avenue in the central business district; some cities outlaw riding on sidewalks entirely.
Truly, a few people are behaving badly. Someone on a bike was riding fairly quickly past my pregnant wife and myself as we were crossing through Dupont Circle; he suddenly swerved and very nearly hit her. Perhaps something must be done. On the other hand, any cyclist can recount experiences almost being hit by an inattentive driver. If the driver does hit the cyclist, very little is done.
The InTowner is concerned about people:
zooming along sidewalks and not giving warning or careening around a corner into a one-way street but going in opposite direction so that pedestrians who are crossing and looking in the direction of on-coming traffic are blindsided by a speeding cyclist coming from the unexpected, wrong direction.I would have few objections to a measure that specifically stops these behaviors. The bigger question is, how can we differentiate them from times that sidewalk cycling is not hurting anyone?
There are many places in the city that simply feel too inhospitable, especially to a less experienced cyclist. More cycle tracks and bike lanes can fix that. In the meantime, a ban on sidewalk riding even in these harrowing areas will simply push more people to drive.
The Logan Circle ANC passed a resolution asking the District Department of Transportation to analyze potential changes to the law, like:
a. Expanding the area in which riding bicycles on sidewalks is prohibited to streets where (i) population density or infrastructure limitations make it unsafe for pedestrians, (ii) bike lanes are already available for bicyclists, (iii) other factors that, in DDOT's view, support extending the prohibition and that (iv) recommends limited exemptions for the public's safety, such as bicyclists 12 yrs old and under;To the ANC's credit, these are pretty narrow requests; they're not pushing for a blanket ban. Where sidewalks are particularly crowded, and also there are bike lanes, it's particularly nonsensical to ride on the sidewalk. (The other day, I saw someone riding on the sidewalk on L Street, on the same side of the street as the cycle track, in the same direction. What the heck?)
b. Reducing the speed limit for bikes traveling on sidewalks;
c. Whether existing penalties encourage compliance with the law.
However, there are many legitimate reasons at times to ride slowly along sidewalks, give pedestrians a wide berth, and only carefully edge around corners. The biggest justifiable reason, in my experience, is one-way streets. In past decades, we've made streets one way to speed motor vehicle traffic, but that presents large obstacles to cyclists, especially when the routes in the other direction are especially bike-unfriendly.
Contraflow lanes, like the ones DDOT is planning next to H Street NE, can address many of these problems. There need to be many more of these to make people feel safe while cycling, however. We could use them on 17th Street in Dupont, a one-way street with very narrow and crowded sidewalks and at best poor alternatives.
Two years ago, I suggested a common-sense rule for sidewalk riding:
Ride on the sidewalk if you don't feel comfortable on the street, or if it's one-way the wrong way, but NOT if the sidewalk is crowded.Is there any way to put this into law? Probably not. Is there any law that would curb the worst behaviors without making okay behavior illegal?
If you do ride on the sidewalk, assume that all pedestrians are inviolate. It's their sidewalk, not yours; you are a guest. You can use it as long as you don't get in their way.
Treat them like they are...say...zombies. Pedestrians move slowly, and you can't make them change direction, but you absolutely don't want to touch them.
Meanwhile, if we're talking about ways the law doesn't reflect our expectations, cyclists can give plenty of examples. If we're trying to make the laws of our streets prescribe reasonable rules for all modes, then let's not just make more cycling illegal, but actually fix the laws to not shoehorn cycling into the same box as driving.
Pedestrians want to feel safe on the sidewalks. That's reasonable. Cyclists want to have a way to get around and feel safe, too. Both are worthwhile motivations. We need to find solutions that to ensure everyone feels safe, not just have one group of vulnerable road users try to attack the rights of another, different group. Is there a solution?
Prince George's County has struggled to attract new development, especially around its Metro stations, but it also lacks a defined center. Over 300 residents and constituents gathered for a town hall meeting at the University of Maryland last Saturday to discuss potential locations for the county's future "downtown."
The forum was the latest in a series of outreach efforts by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) as part of Plan Prince George's 2035, an effort to update the county's General Plan, last updated in 2002.
Over the past 6 months, county planners have worked with residents, business owners, developers and state and municipal officials to craft a vision for the county's future. They've concluded that the county's approach to development needs to change: instead of sprawling farther out, it must focus on a few select areas that have the transit and economic strength to draw private investment.
The problem: the county can't simultaneously develop 27 centers
One issue is that the current vision is too broad. The 2002 General Plan designates 27 growth centers. 15 are at each of the county's Metro stations, and another 3 are at the Bowie, Seabrook and Riverdale MARC stations. 9 other centers are far from existing or planned rail transit, in places like National Harbor, Konterra and Westphalia.
This isn't serving the county well, says M-NCPPC planner-coordinator Sonja Ewing. Virtually all of the centers remain undeveloped, and none have reached their housing and employment density targets.
Each center fits into one of 3 vague categories, "Metropolitan," "Regional," and "Community," but those often lead to competing and disjointed planning efforts. This time around, M-NCPPC proposes to adopt a more descriptive system with 8 categories. Each one comes with its own particular desired land use mix, desired types of housing, height limits, maximum floor-area ratios, and density limits.
M-NCPPC will also designate 2 or 3 of the "urban center" locations as "Priority Improvement Districts" (PIDs), where the county would provide marketing, infrastructure investments and financial incentives to encourage private development.
Planners pick 3 "high performers" and 3 "game changers"
After analyzing and scoring all 27 areas, Planners chose 6 potential downtown sites, all of which are at Metro stations. They say 3 of them, Prince George's Plaza, College Park, and New Carrollton, are "high performers" best poised for the PID designation because of the existing level of activity there.
The other 3, which they dubbed "game changers," need an additional push to make them viable downtowns. These sites are Greenbelt, which could be the FBI's future home, Largo Town Center, where the county wants to see a regional medical center, and Branch Avenue, where WMATA has expressed interest in a public-private partnership to build around the station.
The audience appeared to favor College Park as the best "high performer" due to the presence of the University of Maryland. There was also clear consensus that New Carrollton made sense as a downtown since it is already a major regional multimodal transportation hub. Largo Town Center was the most-favored "game changer" location.
I left the town hall meeting with several questions, which I hope can receive some attention as we move through the Plan Prince George's 2035 process. In the next part, I'll look at those questions.
38 percent. That's the growing percentage of District households that are car-free. Countless others are car-lite, relying mostly on transit, walking, and biking.
Too often we lose sight of this fact in local debates on issues like parking, transit improvements, redevelopment, and so on.
Basic lifestyle and mobility decisions are fundamentally changing for large segments of DC's population. Nonetheless, a significant number of District policies and discussions still assume that most residents will own a car and use it for many, if not all, of their daily needs.
The consequences of this misunderstanding impact all of us, ranging from higher housing costs, increased traffic thanks to unintentional subsidy of car ownership, and diverting resources from improving other transportation options.
In the end, what all of that means is a less walkable, less inclusive District.
To raise awareness of this misunderstanding, the Coalition for Smarter Growth has collected first-hand accounts from neighbors across DC, examining the various modes of transportation they use in their everyday lives.
We hope this project will help policy makers and skeptical (but open-minded) residents understand that the District won't face parking and driving Armageddon if we respond to changing lifestyle choices by getting rid of unnecessary parking mandates for new buildings, or by giving buses more priority on roads to make transit more reliable and convenient.
The District won't face that Armageddon because so many existing residents and new residents simply don't drive very much. Tastes and lifestyle choices are in the midst of a dramatic change, and despite what some hyperbolic opponents of transportation have said, a majority of our new residents are very likely to be car-free or car-lite and looking to stay that way.
Abstract statistics and shouting matches about who is right aren't what walkable living is all about. Instead, it's just regular people throughout the city who are leading this quiet but growing sea-change, that's making much of our 20th century transportation formulas less relevant to how we get around today:
- Longtime resident Wanda in Hillbrook notes how many of her neighbors walk to the stores along Minnesota Avenue, and pleads for more investment in pedestrian and bike infrastructure in her neighborhood.
- Rebecca in Petworth happily relies on Metro to drop her toddler off at daycare in L'Enfant Plaza, and walks to the grocery store to do her family's shopping.
- In Mt. Vernon Square, Keith says that on the rare occasions when he can't walk to where he's going, Car2Go, Bikeshare, or transit is there to fill the gap.
If you have other ideas to help explain this changing lifestyle preference to policy makers, neighbors, or the press, leave them for us in the comments section, or share them with the Coalition for Smarter Growth directly at email@example.com.
Should the design of major roads and our big transit projects favor moving large numbers of people in and out of downtown? Or should DC focus on making streets feel more like neighborhood streets, and transportation investments that help people travel within and between neighborhoods?
Planners from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) presented participants with 3 scenarios which keep things as they are, prioritize transportation to and from the downtown core, or focus on neighborhoods.
Scenarios set different priorities
All of the scenarios include finishing 22 miles of streetcars, the bridge megaprojects like the South Capitol Street racetrack, putting performance parking in busy commercial areas, expanding CaBi and bike trails and lanes, and more.
Stay the Course, the first scenario, sticks with these and keeps allocating resources and space to a balance of long-distance and short-distance travel.
Get To the Center focuses on the downtown areas, still the main engines of DC's economy. This option makes it easier to get to downtown by car and transit, such as by timing signals to maximize traffic flow to and from the core.
DC would invest in transit to and from Maryland and Virginia, like new Metro lines across the Potomac, or commuter rail capacity. Bike trails and cycle tracks that travel to or from downtown would get the highest priority.
Travel would not necessarily be free; this scenario includes a proposal for a congestion charge for private vehicle trips downtown to help pay for infrastructure that gets people downtown.
Connect the Neighborhoods instead focuses on helping people get around within and between neighborhoods. Most capital would go to facilities that help people cross geographic barriers like Rock Creek Park or the Anacostia River. Local streets would put walking, biking, and short-distance local traffic first, such as with medians that make it easier to cross.
New transit would also serve neighborhood needs more than commuters in and out of the city, such as the full proposed 37-mile streetcar system, or buses like the Circulator that connect "activity centers."
This scenario posits that DC needs to decentralize its jobs and retail. As the city grows, a single downtown can't serve all of the needs, and therefore this scenario assumes that more mixed-use zoning will let people work all over the city instead of all cramming the main downtown routes to jobs in the center, which is almost entirely built out.
In reality, any actual plan will combine elements of all of these and not go 100% in the direction of core-oriented or neighborhood-oriented transportation. Still, it's a useful discussion, as it helps us think through our priorities. Financial constraints mean we can't build every transportation project anyone has suggested. How do we prioritize investments?
Plus, roadways have finite space. On 16th Street in Columbia Heights, for instance, there have been dueling proposals to build a median, which would make the road safer to cross, or a dedicated bus lane, which would help buses get through the area. Off-peak parking on major arterials creates significant congestion at the edges of rush hour. Bike lanes, dedicated transit lanes, and parking all vie for roadway space.
Land use matters, too
It's mostly outside DDOT's purview, but any discussion of downtown versus neighborhoods can't be complete without thinking about land use. Transportation is about getting people to places they need to be: housing, jobs, stores, schools, and so on.
Where will DC grow? Any proposal to grow anywhere meets with some opposition. Can the city develop a consensus to grow in particular places rather than others?
The city could grow mostly in the center. That would protect neighborhood character, something resident activists often speak about. On the other hand, it would probably not mean a lot more neighborhood retail. Most of all, though, there isn't actually much room to grow in the center without changes to the height limit.
Do we want to relax the height limit downtown and create a much busier and denser central business district? That land use scenario fits well with the Get To the Center transportation scenario.
Or, does DC want to decentralize? Put more growth around Metro stations, frequent bus lines, and future streetcar lines in all neighborhoods? That would bring more jobs, residents, and retail to many neighborhoods. However, it requires making sure there's room for this growth.
If every new building meets opposition and the Historic Preservation Review Board wants to shave a floor or two off every proposal in one of the myriad historic districts, neighborhoods won't be able to grow enough to decentralize the city.
But if we do want to help each neighborhood become more self-sufficient and reduce the need to travel long distances for basic necessities like groceries or recreation, the Connect the Neighborhoods scenario makes sense.
We have to do something
By 2040, projections say DC will around 800,000 residents one-third more than today. The region as a whole will add 2 million new residents, also about a third increase.
The roads, rails, and bike paths will all need to accommodate more people safely, without relying on more physical space, and that's one of the central challenges this plan seeks to address. How will we move ourselves around, with a third more people everywhere?
The District is the 7th most walkable city, according to Walk Score, yet also has the most pedestrian fatalities per capita among major cities, and 46% of respondents in a 2009 DDOT survey complained that unsafe street crossings made it difficult from them to walk to places they want to go.
DDOT is committed to expanding transit, bicycling, and walking options. Mayor Gray's sustainability plan sets goals for 75% of trips to use these modes, which fit in more people per lane mile. At the same time, some people will continue to need to drive. Performance parking, car sharing, and possibly a future driverless car can reduce parking pressures as the number of people grows.
How should the District focus its transportation to meet the needs of the future? How should it balance getting people in and out of the core versus connecting neighborhoods? What do you think?
DC transportation officials would like to help cyclists avoid the streetcar tracks, heavy car traffic, and pedestrians along H Street NE. Yesterday, the transportation committees of both Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) along H Street supported a plan to let cyclists ride in both directions on G and I Streets, while keeping car traffic one-way.
2-way Montreal bike traffic on a 1-way street for cars. Photo by Joe McCann.
G & I Streets NE are both one-way for cars and bicycles for their whole length from 2nd Street NE to their eastern ends, at Maryland and Florida Avenues in between 13th and 14th Streets. Each are 30 feet wide along most of their length, with a few 35-foot-wide blocks at the west ends. Even for the narrower sections, the current travel lane is 16 feet wide versus a typical 9-foot travel lane.
Bicycle planners from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) created 4 options. All add painted sharrows in the primary direction of travel (west on I, and east on G). They differed on what to do about traffic in the opposite directon.
- Make no further changes and keep bicycle travel only one-way
- Maintain parallel parking on both sides of the street and add a contraflow bike lane on either side of the parked cars, depending on the road width
- Convert parking to diagonal, back-in along only one side of the street with none on the other side; add a contraflow bike lane on either side of the parked cars depending on the road width
- Allow 2-way traffic for both cars and bicycles.
The committees favored option 2, as did an informal audience poll. There are smaller sections similar to this option already in place on New Hampshire Avenue and R Street NE near the Metropolitan Branch Trail.
Any of these options could be mixed within the corridor, such that the wider blocks use different layouts or G & I receive different treatments. DDOT bike planner Mike Goodno presented one such hybrid option, "3A," which combined portions of options 2 & 3. This would eliminate only 7 parking spots, and was the second choice of the committees and in an audience poll.
Each of the affected ANCs will take up this issue at their next full commission meetings, and DDOT will continue to refine these options and solicit community feedback. Ideally, DDOT will be able to install this new bicycle infrastructure sometime later this Summer or early Fall.
Disclosure: I am a commissioner for ANC 6C, but not a member of its transportation committee. I did not participate in the audience or committee votes.
Remember DC's zoning update? The source of massive public debate last year, and public hearings way back in 2008? It's still slowly grinding along, but the long delays even on less controversial provisions are making life difficult for actual homeowners today.
A friend and her husband recently bought a DC row house for them and their two children. The row house has 2 stories plus a basement. In the rear is a 2-story carriage house, which a previous owner renovated into a separate apartment. However, it doesn't have the permits to be a legal unit.
This friend would like to rent out the carriage house. Nothing would change on the outside of the building. The adjacent houses also have garages or carriage houses on this alley, and the only windows face the alley or face the main property.
Unfortunately, DC's zoning laws make this difficult.
This house is in an R-4 zone, which encompasses many of the moderate density row house neighborhoods like Shaw, Bloomingdale, Petworth, Capitol Hill, and Trinidad. (It's the purple in the large map about halfway down this post). In an R-4, it's totally legal to make a house into 2 units, as long as both are inside the main building. But to use an existing accessory building like a garage requires a variance.
As we discussed in the context of theaters in residential zones on Friday, a variance is actually very difficult to get. There has to be some "exceptional" condition of the property. Sometimes DC's Board of Zoning Adjustment stretches pretty far to find exceptional conditions when neighbors don't object, but they can't always; in one case, a property owner wanted to build a garage on the alley to match the garages for every other property on the same alley. Nobody objected, but the board couldn't find an "exceptional" condition because that lot was exactly the same as every other lot (only without a garage).
This friend can try to get a variance, which would mean hiring zoning lawyers and a process lasting the better part of a year. Or, she and her husband can substantially renovate the house to make the basement a separate unit instead, at great expense. They might be able to maneuver around the zoning laws by somehow connecting the carriage house to the main house with a walkway, so it no longer counts as a separate building.
Or, instead of any of these undesirable and expensive approaches, DC could just pass its zoning update already. One of the proposals for row house areas would allow the legal 2nd unit to go in an accessory building, like a garage. The Zoning Commission, the federal-local hybrid board that decides the zoning in DC, decided on this and other recommendations on June 8, 2009, so we've just passed the 4-year anniversary of when they actually ruled on these proposals.
At the time, the plan was for the Office of Planning (OP) to go and write detailed text based on the Zoning Commission's guidance. The head of the project, Travis Parker, then got a job running a planning department in Colorado, and the team lost another member, Michael Guilioni, slowing the whole process. Opponents of the more controversial pieces of the update then asked for more delays, more public meetings, more task force meetings, and more process.
It's time to move forward on the zoning update. OP deputy director Jennifer Steingasser told the Dupont Circle ANC that they've recently shown the latest set of drafts to their task force, a group of residents from stakeholder groups and various wards. After that, it's time to bring the drafts to the Zoning Commission for the final phase: a formal "setdown" and formal hearings where residents can make their case for or against the proposals.
Even small tweaks that will fix pervasive problems with the zoning code have been stuck in limbo for over 5 years because this process is taking so long. It's time to bring the best draft to the Zoning Commission, have hearings, and approve the zoning update so that homeowners like these, and many others around the city, don't have to keep waiting to better enjoy and afford their properties.
15th Street bike commuters, don't worry about getting those shock absorbers installed. Following months of appeals from the community and elected officials, DC will repave the 15th Street cycle track.
The 2-way 15th street cycle track was DC's first protected bike lane and now carries hundreds of bike commuters during rush hour. When it opened in 2009, then-mayor Adrian Fenty and Councilmember Jack Evans rode SmartBikes down it for reporters.
However, the cycle track has long needed maintenance. The parked cars that once occupied the lanes dripped gas and oil that eroded the asphalt, creating a bumpy bicycling surface. When the cycle track was changed from one-way to two-way, the southbound lane contained part of the street's brick trim edge, which is also bumpy but avoidable. Cyclists often have to choose between protecting their tires or protecting themselves by trying not to swerve into oncoming riders.
Last fall, I held a Dupont-Logan bike safety meeting with Noah Smith and Chris Linn, where we asked the District Dpeartment of Transportation's Mike Goodno and George Branyan to address this problem. The agency's Asset Management team inspected the cycletrack and put in a work order (WO#356774) on October 26, almost 8 months ago.
As an ANC commissioner who campaigned to solve this problem, I was prematurely pleased with this quick response. Since I was elected, Noah Smith, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and I kept reminding the agency about it.
Over the winter and spring, I went out to the cycle track and talked to cyclists. All agreed that DDOT did a wonderful thing by installing the track, but such a popular lane needs to be in better shape. Most complained about the unsafe bumpy conditions and several even said they had blown tires because of them.
We related these stories to DDOT without any progress. I even spoke to WAMU about it. "I've heard from people who've had near accidents because they were avoiding potholes," I said. "I heard from a father-to-be who wants to take his infant to daycare by bike but he's afraid all the bumpiness would be bad for the baby." (The audio story link includes a cute quote from a toddler and dad on the cycle track complaining about riding over the "camels" and their many "humps.")
Finally, Sam Zimbabwe, DDOT's Associate Director for Policy, Planning, and Sustainability, committed to repave the track this year. "It was always intended for us to come back and resurface it, but it's taken us a few years," he told WAMU.
After further appeals from myself and Councilmembers Jack Evans and Mary Cheh, DDOT agreed to move up the project and potentially start within the next month, according to Zimbabwe. We have proposed that the work start during the slow July 4 week and that the schedule avoid disrupting rush hour. To help protect pedestrians and drivers as well as bicycle riders, we have asked for better signage at all intersections, especially the almost-hidden alleyways off of 15th Street.
In the future, everyone involved would also like to see bike-specific traffic signals to prevent confusion and increase efficient traffic flows. This was among the recommendations from a recent study that evaluated the 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes.
The DDOT planners are also studying whether they can widen the lane slightly, so cyclists don't have to ride on the brick "gutter pan." Right now, Zimbabwe said in an email, it's not possible to narrow the car lanes any further, but they can readjust how they use the 11 feet between the edge of the parking lane and the curb.
Now, there is a 3-foot striped buffer, then a 4-foot northbound lane, and a 4-foot southbound lane that includes the bricks. Zimbabwe said, "We're still working out how we would address [this issue], but we could narrow the buffer a little bit or restripe the 7' of bike lane excluding the gutter pan as 3'6" in each direction, or leave as is since the repaving will address the asphalt/brick connection and make that better."
Zimbabwe said he and Goodno would appreciate hearing from riders about which they would prefer. Please post your thoughts in the comments.
Development at Fort Totten has been slow despite access to 3 Metro lines, its close proximity to both downtown DC and Silver Spring, its access to the Metropolitan Branch Trail, its green space and its affordability. But as demand increases for housing in the District, this previously-overlooked neighborhood could become a hot spot.
Last Saturday, the Coalition for Smarter Growth concluded their spring walking tour series with "Fort Totten: More than a Transfer Point," a look at future residential, retail and commercial development near the Fort Totten Metro station. Residents and visitors joined representatives from WMATA, DDOT and the Office of Planning on a tour of the area bounded by South Dakota Avenue, Riggs Road, and First Place NE.
Today, vacant properties and industrial sites surround the station and form a barrier between it and the surrounding area. Redeveloping them could improve connections to the Metro and make Fort Totten a more vibrant community.
There is a significant amount of new residential, retail and commercial development planned within walking distance of the Metro station. But Saturday's tour began with the only completed project, The Aventine at Fort Totten. Built by Clark Realty Group in 2007, the 3-building, garden-style apartment complex consists of over 300 rental units as well as ground-floor retail space.
The Aventine at Fort Totten, the newest apartment complex in Fort Totten. All photos by the author unless otherwise noted.
Visitors were ambivalent about the success of the Aventine due to its small amount of retail space and lack of connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods. While residents noted that it created more options to live close to Metro, representatives of the Lamond Riggs and North Michigan Park civic associations agreed the development differed from the original vision for the project.
They called it an example of the need to continually engage real estate developers and local government agencies to ensure that new development is of a high quality and responsive to the local context. Throughout the tour, residents said that future development proposals should adhere to DC's urban design guidelines, improve pedestrian access and have a plan to mitigate parking concerns.
Between South Dakota Avenue and the Metro station, the Cafritz Foundation will redevelop the old Riggs Plaza apartments to build ArtPlace at Fort Totten. When finished, the 16-acre project will contain 305,000 square feet of retail, 929 apartments, and 217,000 square feet of cultural and art spaces, including a children's museum. Deborah Crain, neighborhood planning coordinator for Ward 5, noted that ArtPlace will include rental units set aside for seniors and displaced Riggs Plaza residents.
As one of the largest landowners near the Fort Totten Station, WMATA has a huge stake in future development around the station. They own approximately 3 acres of land immediately west of the station along First Place NE that is currently used as surface parking lot for commuters. Stan Wall, Director of Real Estate at WMATA, discussed the great potential for development on the current parking lot mentioned that the agency will solicit proposals for development of the area in the near future.
Anna Chamberlain, a DDOT transportation planner, talked about how streetscape improvements could calm traffic, making streets around the Metro station more pedestrian- and bike-friendly. DDOT is also working to improve connections to the Metro, as some areas lack clearly defined walking paths. The agency will begin designing a path connecting the Metro to the Metropolitan Branch Trail within the next few months.
The final stop on the tour was Fort Totten Square, a joint effort by the JBG Companies and Lowe Enterprises to build 350 apartments above a Walmart and structured parking at South Dakota Avenue and Riggs Road. DDOT has completely rebuilt the adjacent intersection to make it safer for pedestrians and more suitable for an urban environment, replacing freeway-style ramps with sidewalks, benches, crosswalks and improved lighting.
Jaimie Weinbaum, development manager at JBG, says they're committed to working with the city and residents to make Fort Totten Square an asset to the community. They've promised to place Capital Bikeshare stations there and would like to have dedicated space for Car2go as well.
With help from the private sector and public agencies like DDOT and WMATA, Fort Totten could become a model for transit-oriented development, but much of the new construction won't happen for a long time. Until then, residents eagerly await the changes and continue to work with other stakeholders toward creating a vision that will benefit everyone.
- Community stories show the shift to a walkable lifestyle
- Young kids try to assault me while biking
- Focus transportation on downtown or neighborhoods?
- Some are pushing to limit sidewalk cycling
- Where is downtown Prince George's County?
- Metro bag searches aren't always optional
- Endless zoning update delay hurts homeowners
by justinsays on Where is downtown Prince George's County?
by Jasper on Where is downtown Prince George's County?