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DDOT may cancel L and M Street cycle tracks

First announced more than a year ago, DDOT's plans for crosstown protected bike lanes on L and M streets NW are now on the brink of being cancelled or postponed indefinitely.

Successful 15th Street cycle track. Photo by ElvertBarnes on Flickr.

At a confirmation hearing for DDOT Director nominee Terry Bellamy on Friday, Council committee chair Tommy Wells asked about the status of the L and M Street cycle tracks, which would run between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Avenues. Bellamy replied, "Right now, it's on hold." Wells followed up by asking, "What does that mean? You may not do it?" Bellamy replied: "We may not."

Ask Bellamy, Mayor Gray, and other officials to keep moving forward on these projects through a petition from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

The plans are currently at 65 percent design, Bellamy explained. "We're bringing back the bike team for updates," Bellamy continued. "There was some concern over the amount of parking that was going to be removed."

However, it's not clear who exactly is concerned about the parking removal, or even how much parking might be removed, as DDOT's bicycle program has not released any plans for discussion since the conceptual designs were put on display in March 2010.

Although similar plans implemented along 15th Street NW garnered little opposition, Wells noted that parking changes can be difficult. "Politically, I know it's very hard," he told Bellamy. "Whenever there's one parking space removed, I hear about it."

When parking is removed, Wells said, "we need to know the impact on our businesses." The chairman, however, urged DDOT to prioritize the needs of District residents over those of suburban commuters. "Generally it's going to be a DC resident who needs that safe bike lane," he said.

Bellamy stated that "there were also some transit issues," though it's unclear what those issues might be since a very limited number of bus routes run on L and M streets. According to WMATA's map, there is no bus service on L Street east of 19th Street, and no service on M Street east of 18th Street.

DDOT had originally planned the cycle tracks for I and L Streets, but moved them to L and M streets after criticism that the plans ignored an existing study of bus priority along I Street.

GGW proposal for downtown mobility. Purple: Cycle tracks. Blue: Existing bike lanes. Red: K Street Transitway. Orange: Bus lanes that also allow bikes, or bus lanes as well as bike lanes.

The majority of the project area is located within the Golden Triangle BID and the Downtown DC BID. These organizations had been connecting property owners and businesses to DDOT's bike program staff as the lanes went through the design process.

Parking removal was not a major hang-up in these discussions, which included a wide range of issues, such as loading zones and intersection treatments. Over the past six months, these discussions have slowed as progress on the cycle tracks ground to a halt.

Looking ahead, Wells asked Bellamy: "How do you weigh whether you move forward or not?" Bellamy replied that the agency will do a benefit analysis, without providing specifics on what will be weighed.

In its response to Bellamy's statements, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association laid out some questions that should be considered as part of a benefit analysis. "How many parkers per day will be inconvenienced, compared to the projected cyclists served? ... When considering the benefits, as Director Bellamy states, will health and environmental benefits be included?" the advocacy group asked.

"Previously," WABA continued, "DDOT's stated rationale [for delay] had been a need to further study the impacts of the existing cycle tracks before continuing." If Bellamy continues to wait for this report, people who want to safely bike across downtown may be waiting a long time.

At a meeting earlier this month, DDOT staff said that an interim report evaluating the 15th Street cycle track and other new facilities will be available in November 2011 and the final report will be released in April 2012. That's more than a year after DDOT converted the lane to two-way operation, and more than two years after the initial contraflow lane was installed on 15th Street. That's a long time to wait for a bike lane, but that's okay—we've been waiting since 1979.

Both Capital Bikeshare and the downtown cycle track plan were announced as the two high-profile bicycling initiatives of Bellamy's predecessor, Gabe Klein. Capital Bikeshare has given the District a significant boost in bike-friendliness. Its popularity has led the red bikes to gain momentum under the Gray administration.

But bike sharing is only half of the equation. "The expectation for bicycle infrastructure is expanding," Wells noted at the hearing. Mayor Gray has stated that he wants the District to achieve platinum status as a "Bicycle Friendly Community."

In this context, Bellamy's equivocation on this central piece of bike infrastructure is an alarming signal. It comes as a surprise to some in the city's transportation community and flies in the face of DDOT's own long-term plans, since crosstown cycle tracks were first outlined in the agency's 2005 Bicycle Master Plan.

During his tenure, Klein hired Bellamy away from Arlington County to become DDOT's Director of Operations. Bellamy clearly holds the right priorities, and at the hearing he listed expanding bicycling, walking, and transit as top goals for his tenure.

Now that Bellamy no longer has "interim" attached to his title, he may have more freedom to champion cycle tracks, though his confirmation hearing comments did not give any indication that he is energized about pursuing serious bike infrastructure as a critical part of the District's transportation system.

Is there still a champion for these innovative projects within the agency? DDOT's bike program, like many other departments, has more on its to-do list than it has staff capacity. Before Klein was director, the agency's bike staff was working on other projects. Klein pushed the bike program to make downtown cycle tracks a priority.

Now that Klein and his interest in cycle tracks have moved to Chicago, it's not clear that the agency's bicycle staff has has the interest, capacity or ability to keep this project moving forward without the director making it an agency priority. As a result, DDOT's bike staff has been focusing on smaller, more traditional bike projects.

Is there a way forward for crosstown cycle tracks? Perhaps DDOT's Complete Streets policy, which was also a topic at Bellamy's confirmation hearing, should be, as Wells said, something other than just "an aspirational goal." A critical part of complete streets is making sure that staff are able to design roads for all users, so engineers consider bikes as well as cars and have tools at their disposal to include non-automobile users in a roadway's design.

Otherwise, it falls to the bicycle program to make sure that even the most basic bike lane designs, which have been accepted by state highway officials for years, are included in the agency's road projects. Instead of fighting within the agency for a simple bike lane, an effective Complete Streets policy would allow bicycle program staff to instead focus on more challenging, high-impact projects like cycle tracks.

The bottom line is that it's simply irresponsible of DDOT to encourage people to hop on bikes while neglecting to create safe places for them to ride. Crosstown cycle tracks will serve significant numbers of cyclists each day in a downtown environment where many do not feel safe on a bike today. They are too important to let DDOT roll back the clock on its commitment.

WABA is asking bicyclists and supporters of bike infrastructure to contact DC officials and ask them to move forward on these projects. Sign their petition to Bellamy, Mayor Gray, bicycle program head Jim Sebastian, and Wells now.

Stephen Miller lived in the District from 2008 to 2011 and is now a student at Pratt Institute's city and regional planning masters program. 


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anyone who has lived in DC for more than 5 -10 years could have told you that Vincent Grey was not the man to elect as mayor for DC- he is a throwback to the Barry era, and he is not at all representative of the new currents flowing into the city. He is basically on the take, and the people he has plugged into place around him are one and the same.In many ways these old style people have more to do with PG county than with DC. Why anyone wanted Grey and his cronies into power is beyond me. Of course- no one asks those of us who are actually FROM DC what we think. You get what you voted for. HaHaHa !!!

by w on Jun 27, 2011 2:46 pm • linkreport

where does Bellamy live? Does he ride a bicycle?

by w on Jun 27, 2011 2:48 pm • linkreport

I realize this won't be a popular statement in this forum. But I can see a real case for defering the L&M cycle tracks until after the K Street Transitway construction. The transitway construction will make K Street nearly unusable for a year or more. Think H Street NE streetcar construction but way worse. L and M will need to handle the traffic volume during that construction.

As it is cycling on this segment of L during rush hour currently seems fairly safe and convenient. I've done it numerous times and feel safer on L than many other downtown streets.

In the long run I do hope the cycle tracks are installed. But I think its important to consider the upheaval to K Street that will occur.

by Paul on Jun 27, 2011 2:51 pm • linkreport

Terry Bellamy was the number 2 at DDOT under Gabe Klein and has generally been in favor of bicycle infrastructure. My question is how much parking is actually being removed? It's unclear what we're talking about since, as Stephen pointed out, there's been no work done on this apparently since March 2010... frustrating.

by Adam L on Jun 27, 2011 2:51 pm • linkreport

The cycle tracks will bring a lot more people to L and M by bike. They will not need big parking spaces since they won't have cars.

by mike on Jun 27, 2011 2:58 pm • linkreport


Don't worry about that. The K St transitway doesn't have a dream of happening under Gray or Ballamy.

It's not as if street parking is ever easy in this neighborhood anyway. Increasing its accessibility via other modes of transportation will be a net positive, even if a little parking is lost in the process.

by andrew on Jun 27, 2011 2:59 pm • linkreport

The K Street Transitway is not funded. It will cost a lot of money and the feds haven't yet been willing to contribute. It would be foolish to wait on anything for that, since that could be 10, 20 years or more. If sooner, great, but don't hold your breath.

by David Alpert on Jun 27, 2011 3:00 pm • linkreport

As far as discussing where politics meet GGW's goals, I agree with "w". The Gray administration has thus far been pretty damaging to GGW's prime goals. Then again, it isn't a surprise.

It also isn't a surprise that Bellamy is taking a slower approach to the whole bike lane roll out thing.

L street at ~15.5K vehicles per day, L St sees ~25% more vehicles than did 15th st before it was cycle tracked, and as is evident by anyone who drives or takes a bus on 15th, the effect has been pretty severe in terms of additional traffic congestion. I can only imagine how bad it would be on L (and or M).

Also, just a quick look via google maps shows anywhere from 20-25 parking spots per block that would be lost.

Glad to see the person in charge taking all aspects into consideration

by freely on Jun 27, 2011 3:00 pm • linkreport

This kind of decision comes from the top and shows, once again, the tremendous step backward the city has taken by electing Vincent Gray.

by aaa on Jun 27, 2011 3:23 pm • linkreport

I'm surprised by the scandals with the Gray administration -- I wasn't expecting those. But I'm not at all surprised that Gray is putting a stop to bike lanes and other progressive transportation policy. He made his intentions pretty clear during the campaign.

by Rob on Jun 27, 2011 3:46 pm • linkreport

I'm definitely in favor of bicycle infrastructure. I just don't want to actually build any.

by Berry Tellamy on Jun 27, 2011 3:50 pm • linkreport

Here are a few other people who "support" bike lanes:

by Jacob on Jun 27, 2011 3:56 pm • linkreport

@freely, preliminary studies of the northern 15th street cycletrack are that it did not increase congestion. And since the redesign encouraged northbound cyclists to use the cycletrack instead of the right traffic lane, it's safe to assume that things have gotten even better.

I've driven 15th Street since the change went in and it was not evident that "the effect has been pretty severe in terms of additional traffic congestion." In fact, it has had no effect on congestion at all as near as I can tell.

by David C on Jun 27, 2011 3:58 pm • linkreport

@David C; well, that's a shame it hasn't effected congestion. Part of the entire purpose was to bring the driving speed down. Or maybe that's talking two ways.

As I said on Washcycle, I think both streets could take a cycletrack. There is a huge problem, especially on M, of salmons and sidewalk riding.

I do worry a lot about the interaction of cars and turns on both streets. It is very easy to screw that up, and we're seeing some evidence of that on the 15th. Both streets can jam up quickly.* And not to mention the firetrucks going wrong way on M....

I like the 15th st cycletrack. However, there is a lot of study still needed on how to do it right.

* I'm thinking on L and New Hampshire, which can develop into a 3 block traffic jam with the current light configuration. Mostly stupid drivers, but bad design doesn't help. I think the plan would be to start the cycletrack AFTER that intersection, but it really needs some work.

by charlie on Jun 27, 2011 4:08 pm • linkreport

@freely "Also, just a quick look via google maps shows anywhere from 20-25 parking spots per block that would be lost."

What? I don't see removing that much parking in the plans at all. They are moving the parking space over from the curb... the loss of parking seems to be from the addition of new turn lanes and loading zones along the route.

by Adam L on Jun 27, 2011 4:08 pm • linkreport

Meanwhile, in Chicago

Still looking forward to seeing Mr. Alpert retract his endorsement of Gray. We would be lucky if we only take two steps back in a Gray administration

by Anita on Jun 27, 2011 4:10 pm • linkreport

charlie, speed can come down without getting to the point of congestion. Congestion isn't the right tool for traffic calming.

by David C on Jun 27, 2011 4:11 pm • linkreport

Anita, that took much longer than I expected. I was sure I'd see something about David's endorsement within the first 3 comments. I guess people are getting complacent, but it is good to keep reminding everyone that really this is 100% David Alpert's fault for single-handedly choosing to make Gray mayor.

by David C on Jun 27, 2011 4:13 pm • linkreport

@ w:Of course- no one asks those of us who are actually FROM DC what we think. You get what you voted for.

And what's that? 30 years of Marrion Barry! Wow, surely all newbies must bow to the knowledge of old-timers!

by Jasper on Jun 27, 2011 4:16 pm • linkreport

Just a friendly reminder. Kingmaker Alpert has egg on his face. /troll

by Anita on Jun 27, 2011 4:23 pm • linkreport

@David C,

What preliminary studies of the 15th street cycle track are you referring?

by freely on Jun 27, 2011 4:29 pm • linkreport

This one.

by David C on Jun 27, 2011 4:35 pm • linkreport


I'm not sure this is the time to say "I told you so" and I'm not even sure that you did tell anyone so. Is it your intention to point out egg on his face every time you think Gray is lacking? Will you, inversely, congratulate David every time that you think Gray has done something good? If so, what really is the point? Not to burst David's ego but I hardly think his endorsement swung the election. If you would like to "blame" someone for Mayor Gray, you need to send your comments to Adrian Fenty.

by David C on Jun 27, 2011 4:40 pm • linkreport

The K Street Transitway is not funded. It will cost a lot of money and the feds haven't yet been willing to contribute. It would be foolish to wait on anything for that, since that could be 10, 20 years or more. If sooner, great, but don't hold your breath.
by David Alpert on Jun 27, 2011 3:00 pm

Have you done an update on the transitway that I may have missed? I ask because the anticipation generated by your initial posts could have been large, so to hide the anti-climactic reality in a comment seems unfair for those of us constantly looking for and asking about news on it.

by Jazzy on Jun 27, 2011 4:40 pm • linkreport

@David C,

So I am really curious as to what slide you were referring to? Where does it say the LOS stayed the same or decreased?

All I see is an additional 860 VPD are using it and average car speeds have decreased. Please tell me what magic DDOT sprinkled on 15th street that added cars, slowed everything down and added a bike lane and there isn't any additional congestion?

by freely on Jun 27, 2011 4:42 pm • linkreport


The slide entitled "pilot results." It shows, as you point out, that more vehicles are using the street. The median speed is still 22mph, which seems right for a road where the speed limit is 25mph. So the road has more users after the change than before, and they're using it at a speed very close to the speed limit (with at least 15% of users still speeding). That's hardly indicative of congestion.

Traffic calming is not the same as congestion. Their changes added cars, slowed traffic to a safe speed and added a bike lane without causing congestion. No magic needed.

by David C on Jun 27, 2011 4:49 pm • linkreport

Ok, that's a major downer. Someone said that maybe DDOT or DOT or something might still fund. But probably not. Others said it was not shovel ready. That's an understatement. No one really knew about it. No one on K Street.

by Jazzy on Jun 27, 2011 4:52 pm • linkreport

Ok, so you are being anecdotal like me. Fine. You should have said that rather than "try" to pretend like you actually had data to back it up.

I am sorry, you can't reduce median speed 20%, add in unpredictable left hooks (and actually add traffic) and not increase congestion or decrease the level of service. It is mathematically impossible.

Here, rather than some useless PPT slide with zero info, I actually found the actual numbers that it was based on and as suspected, in every case the LOS decreased, either from A to B or B to C.

So yes, as I said the road has measurably worsened for motorists and thankfully the city is evaluating other projects (L&M) based on data rather than rainbows and unicorns.

by freely on Jun 27, 2011 5:13 pm • linkreport

freely, I'm not being anecdotal. If 50% of drivers are going above or near the speed limit that isn't congestion. Slowing down traffic is not congestion. Decreased LOS is not congestion. A road with an LOS of B is not congested. You can slow down traffic by 20% and not have congestion if everyone was speeding beforehand.

Furthermore, you misread the report you linked to. The changes in LOS were the predictions from before the changes were implemented.

From the report:

"DDOT predicted that vehicle speeds would reduce, but traffic would generally not divert to other streets."

Diverting is indicative of congestion.

"Volume counts show that, as predicted, traffic did not divert. In fact, Table 6 shows an increase of 20-
25% in peak hour traffic, and an 8.5% increase in total daily vehicles."

Wow, that sure doesn't sound like congestion. If the road were congested, would it really attract more vehicles? Is that how it works?

"The results show that this project reduced speed without impacting capacity."

That's what I'm talking about. Capacity is the same. People quit speeding. That isn't congestion.

So no, as I said the road hasn't measurably worsened for motorists. In fact, most people think the road is safer, and since safety is also an issue - perhaps more important than the ability to exceed the speed limit - one might say it's gotten better. Thankfully the city is evaluating other projects (L&M) based on data rather than rainbows and unicorns (or things you think you can see while driving or on a bus), because the data shows that the cycletracks make the road safer without causing congestion.

by David C on Jun 27, 2011 5:31 pm • linkreport

freely: You are confusing latency with throughput, to use the telecom terms.

A set road segment at a certain level of congestion takes a certain amount of time to traverse. It also accepts a certain number of vehicles in any time interval, and in steady state the same number exit in the same amount of time.

That can change in 2 ways. One, you can actually reduce or increase the throughput, changing the number of vehicles that can get on and off in unit time. Second, you can change the time it takes to traverse the road. Sometimes changing one changes the other, but not always.

For example, let's say you have a road with a light at one end and another light at the other end, like the Whitehurst. Let's say that the main constraint is the light to enter, which just lets on 20 vehicles per minute. The road is clear and so anyone who gets on it zips along in 1 minute.

Now, if you change the light to let on 10 vehicles per minute by increasing the time on the side street, you have reduced the throughput because the road is only going to handle 10 vehicles each minute, but you haven't changed the latency, because they're still going to take 1 minute each.

On the other hand, let's say you put a new light in the center. That light lets 30 vehicles per minute through in the main direction. Since only 20 vehicles per minute are coming to the light, all the vehicles that get on the road still get off, so the throughput is the same, but now some of the time the vehicles have to wait another minute at the light, so the latency is somewhere around 1-2 minutes.

Or, you could lower the speed limit and get people to obey, and it would take longer to drive the road but still everyone who gets on would get off.

Either way, one effect is that the median speed has decreased. However, you haven't increased congestion or decreased the level of service. Everyone's still moving, just slower.

The same applies to 15th. This road was largely empty; groups of vehicles would get out of a light in the south, and speed toward the north until they hit another light. Most of the time, most pavement did not have a vehicle on it.

Therefore, taking away a lane didn't increase congestion. It did slow the vehicles down some, and now it takes a little longer to get from one end to the other, but that didn't add to congestion because the same number of motor vehicles are able to use the road and they're not backing up anyone on other streets.

by David Alpert on Jun 27, 2011 5:34 pm • linkreport


wow, so LOS decreased from completely free-flow overbuilt road conditions where everyone travels at or above the speed limit (A) to a point slightly below that (B). And at one intersection (15th & U) LOS INCREASED! TWO GRADES!

Sorry I won't weep for the extra 45 seconds people will be spending in traffic.

by MLD on Jun 27, 2011 5:42 pm • linkreport

Fascinating definition of "congestion". So, it takes longer to get from Point A to Point B, but because it was all due to a cycletrack taking away lanes, it's OK.

Can we just be honest with it and say "Hey, we'd like to take a lane a slow you down a bit. better than a speed camera!"

by charlie on Jun 27, 2011 5:43 pm • linkreport

The road has worsened for motorists? In the am 7 out of 9 intersections remained the exact same. Of those that remained the same, 4 A's and 3 B's. The 2 that altered went from A to B.

In the evening, 7 out of 9 altered: the 2 same were both A's, 4 A's became B's, 2 B's became C's, and one D improved to a B.

post Cycle track:
Morning: 4 A's, 5 B's
Evening: 2 A's, 5 B's, 2 C's

If, in urban areas, the standard level of service is to shoot for C's... isn't 15th St hitting above the mark?

by greent on Jun 27, 2011 5:47 pm • linkreport


Haven't you seen?! 15th street is total gridlock in the afternoon rush!!!!!!


You're displaying your usual inability to read and comprehend.
Slower does not equal congested.

by MLD on Jun 27, 2011 6:14 pm • linkreport

What buses run on 15th?

by Jeff on Jun 27, 2011 6:15 pm • linkreport



by Adam L on Jun 27, 2011 8:56 pm • linkreport

@ Adam L.

That's what I thought. Freely's post shouldn't be taken seriously.

by Jeff on Jun 27, 2011 9:51 pm • linkreport


My mistake. The 30s run on 15th Street downtown between Pennsylvania Avenue and H/I Streets. I don't know if there has been any deterioration in the line's (already dismal) performance since the bike lane went in along those handful of blocks.

by Adam L on Jun 27, 2011 10:02 pm • linkreport

Here is the real scoop from inside the agency. Bellamy wants to follow through on Klein's work but has been told in no uncertain terms to back off from aggressive projects, specifically L and M. There is no studying to be done, that's jspust a smoke screen as everyone knows. These hearings are not enjoyable as you have to protect your boss and Well's undoubtedly knows the real scoop.

This is sad, but Mr. Gray is all talk, and is basically anti new urbanism. He wants to avoid clashes with his base that supported him, and not come off as a gentrified. I'm sorry people, but this is the truth, as disappointing as it is.

by D.employee on Jun 27, 2011 10:30 pm • linkreport


your interpretation seems accurate to me, unfortunately. Until the coalition for this sort of thing broadens (which won't happen on its own), these projects will be stalled.

If you haven't donated to WABA's East of the River outreach, now seems like a great time...

by skeptic on Jun 27, 2011 10:53 pm • linkreport

Look at that video and you'll see that D.employee is probably correct. It certainly looks like political theater. Wells is asking questions but knows what the response is going to be. Bellamy seems pretty uncomfortable having to come up with excuses for not doing the cycletracks and is likely towing his boss's line.

Petitioning for cycletracks is fine but what you really need is petitioning for a Gray recall.

by Falls Church on Jun 27, 2011 11:04 pm • linkreport

Just signed the petition - better than nothing, I suppose.

David C, I do think it's fair for Anita (and anyone else who shares GGW's mission) to point out David's endorsement of Gray when the news warrants it. I don't share some people's worst fears about Gray, and the amount of positive change David and company have been able to effect with this blog in a short time is impressive.

I don't think she or anyone means to say "I told you so" just for the sake of saying it, but for some it's hard to imagine the naivete (or overthinking or underthinking...) it took to believe GGW's political objectives would be better advanced by Gray/unknown than by Fenty/Klein. Unless I'm mistaken and the blog's objectives have as much to do with say, advancing DC's teachers' union as it does with advancing smart growth.

by D on Jun 27, 2011 11:14 pm • linkreport

@D "I do think it's fair for Anita (and anyone else who shares GGW's mission) to point out David's endorsement of Gray when the news warrants it."

No ... not really. Let's put it this way ... Fenty talked big but delivered little ... because he didn't bother to try to understand the stakeholders involved in an issue, and the costs of not only getting the job done, but of working with ALL the stakeholders. So, Fenty could lay claim to proposing the 'pie in the sky' proposals, but a 'pie in the sky' idea doesn't get you anywhere without real backing. Gray is a much better manager ... He realizes that you have to do more than present 'pie in the sky' ideas if you're to really deliver anything. So, this could mean delaying project until there's really the money the institute them ... But that delay doesn't mean at all what you are trying to imply. That delay will ensure things actually get done. The current mayor, a mayor with organizational abilities, will get things done and not just say he wants them done ... And I think David recognized the difference. Hence why he probably backed Gray.

by Lamce on Jun 27, 2011 11:22 pm • linkreport

I think it would be appropriate fro Anita to question David's endorsements when he next endorses someone. Or even in a post that is about how Gray is doing as Mayor - as you put it, when the news warrants it. This is not one of those cases.

In this case it is irrelevant and unfair. It is one project that is being pulled back that David would probably like to see move forward. That is hardly enough to do a full analysis of whether David was right or wrong to endorse Gray. And it's a distraction. Does Anita really care whether or not David retracts his endorsement? Will it change anything at all? I think not. I think Anita is interested in seeing David knocked down a peg, and that is bit petty in my opinion (She even says so basically).

Even if David is wrong (and we really can't ever know unless we know how a 2nd Fenty Administration would be doing) it's not that important. People are wrong. I'm wrong all the time. I plan to be wrong in the future. So let's give it a rest, can we? When the next election rolls around and endorsement time is upon us, feel free to pile on as much as you'd like, but when all you've got is a Gray appointee and handpicked Klein protege who is backing off a single project it's hardly enough to warrant a call to retract his endorsement and taunting about eggs on face.

Let's be civil here, even to David.

by David C on Jun 27, 2011 11:49 pm • linkreport

@Lamce "Fenty talked big but delivered little ..."

Except for example, delivering on the largest bikeshare system in the country. And in comparison to whom? Gray? Who publicly announced that he wanted DC to reach platinum status as a "Bicycle Friendly City" but apparently has no intention to take the necessary steps to reach it? No arguments from me that Gray is a calculating, careful manager, even in spite of the scandal that has followed his administration from early on. But he may spend his term endlessly studying old ideas while other cities are implementing new ones. And unfortunately it looks more and more like that's the best GGW and like-minded readers can hope for. (Not that it swung the election, but if you're going to argue that endorsements don't really matter, then why endorse?).

by D on Jun 27, 2011 11:55 pm • linkreport

Entanglements matter, but David's wasn't exactly the one that swept Gray in. Especially since much of the rest of the GGW "staff" supported Fenty. Endorsements help most when people haven't really figured out how to vote or who to vote for. Most of the readers here knew enough about the DC Mayor's race to know who they were voting for. It carries more weight down the ballot.

Did anyone change their vote because of David's endorsement?

by David C on Jun 27, 2011 11:59 pm • linkreport

Entaglements? No. Endorsements. Yes. Stupid auto-correct.

by David C on Jun 28, 2011 12:00 am • linkreport

@David C "Let's be civil here, even to David."

Of course. Speaking of which (and of the "benefit analysis" stalling the cycletracks): No such analysis necessary for this blog. It's an excellent resource and public benefit to people like me, who post very occasionally, but gain a great deal of insight from the contributors and posters.

by D on Jun 28, 2011 12:08 am • linkreport

@David C +1

by Lance on Jun 28, 2011 12:11 am • linkreport

@ David C Stupid auto-correct.

there's spell check on here? Or are you typing elsewhere (with auto-correct) and then cutting and pasting to get it on here ... ?

by Lance on Jun 28, 2011 12:14 am • linkreport

D. employee's are usual grumblings.

Does anyone stop and think for a minute that voters EOTR (which are, after all, his "base") give a flying fuck on bike lanes for M or L? The people that are going to be the most upset are commuters coming in and finding their streets being narrowed,but they don't vote.

I'd agree a more serious charge is that Gray wants to "pander" to his "base' and pretend not to be "pro-bike" or "pro-urban" or "pro-dog". If so, then he's got the same fault as Fenty. Good politicians can show a different face to different people. Fenty had one speed. That alienated a lot of people. And he threw too much political capital in with Rhee, who is clearly just an publicity hog.

I fully support the charge that Gray is boring, lacks charisma, and doesn't like to move fast. Killing bike lanes for his "base"? Meh....not.

by charlie on Jun 28, 2011 8:29 am • linkreport

Is Tommy Wells upset, concerned or troubled this time. Eunuch.

by jimbo on Jun 28, 2011 10:38 am • linkreport

Gray's base is anyone who thinks of new urbanists as "myopic little twits" as Courtland Milloy put it. Those people would LOVE to see new urbanists get their comeuppance by having their bike lanes, dog parks, and other projects cancelled.

Actually, Marshall Brown might be a more appropriate example of the Gray base since he said in the WaPo, "But the new white voters aren’t involved like that. They want doggie parks and bike lanes. The result is a lot of tension. ... The new people believe more in their dogs than they do in people. They go into their little cafes, go out and throw their snowballs."

by Falls Church on Jun 28, 2011 10:40 am • linkreport

For all those who voted for Gray, how's that "One City" workin' out fer ya'?

by Bob on Jun 28, 2011 11:13 am • linkreport

DC has to many bike lanes that are not being utilized and should focus any new resources on building a park for skateboarders.

by bill on Jun 28, 2011 11:51 am • linkreport

I have to laugh. I can't believe people on this blog supported Gray. Anyone who did has likely only lived in the city for 5 years or less.

by beatbox on Jun 28, 2011 11:55 am • linkreport

It's so sad that otherwise intelligent people can present such idiotic commentaries. Alpert's endorsement of Gray did nothing to change who would have ultimately won in the first place.

Further Charlie, "Does anyone stop and think for a minute that voters EOTR (which are, after all, his "base") give a flying fuck on bike lanes for M or L? The people that are going to be the most upset are commuters coming in and finding their streets being narrowed,but they don't vote."

Most EOTR river residents work WOTR and I would imagine that they don't give a flying fuck about bike lanes for M/L anymore than residents surrounding the Mazza Gallerie area. Like EOTR residents, I am sure that they DO give a flying fuck about what happens w/in their own n'hood.

RE: Despite what you think of as Gray's "base", during the primary, he won 5 of the 8 wards, "base" notwithstanding. Also, only this website and silly writers/bloggers continue to talk about "myopic little twits" as if there is a serious discussion to be had. If you don't want to referred to as a myopic twit then stop bringing it up, especially in cases where it isn't really unwarranted.

It's dumb, stupid and makes you really look like the type of people Milloy described as "Fenty's hip newly arrived "creative class" firing up their "social media" networks whenever he's [or thier ideals] under attack:

by HogWash on Jun 28, 2011 1:21 pm • linkreport

If you don't want to referred to as a myopic twit then stop bringing it up

The reason to continue bringing it up is to remind folks that influential people like Courtland Milloy (WaPo columnist) and Marshall Brown (political operative; Kwame Brown's father), who are representative of large segments of the population, are waging race and class warfare. This warfare is probably a better explanation for what's happening with the cycle tracks then the need for a study, or an analysis of what neighborhoods have a stake in cycle tracks.

by Falls Church on Jun 28, 2011 1:48 pm • linkreport

Wait! So Courtland Milloy's 2010 column is responsible for the race/class war as well as why the cycle tracks aren't happening? Adn this website and its community bear no responsibility?

Wow! Wow! WOW!!!!!!!!!

That is one of the more idiotic commentaries found here!

So here it goes, you "myopic" people are "whining" that one of your precious cycle tracks was canceled. You myopic whiners! Waaaa Waaaa, the poor baby can't get him/her cycle tracks so he acts out!




Woe is us! We can't get everything we want.

Waaaa Waaaa. We want it NOW...Waaaa Waaa.

I have to hook my bike onto a tree...Waaa Waaa Waaa.
Competition for zipcar? Waaa Waaa Waaa

Me! Me! Me!

by HogWash on Jun 28, 2011 1:55 pm • linkreport

I love a mature discussion.

by David C on Jun 28, 2011 1:57 pm • linkreport


Your comment wasn't the most...uh..."productive" but you have a good point.

Elections have consequences. Gray has different priorities and a different style than Fenty did. But Gray won and Fenty lost.

If you like the Fenty style/politics/policy/all of the above, begin fundraising right now because the next election isn't that far away.

by WRD on Jun 28, 2011 2:03 pm • linkreport

Gray has different priorities and a different style than Fenty did.

Nothing wrong with different priorities. However, Gray has said that he shared our priority for bike infrastructure, saying he wants the District to achieve platinum status. If bike infrastructure is a priority for Gray, he sure has a funny way of showing it.

And, Gray and Fenty's priorities weren't supposed to be all that different. Here's what Alpert wrote as part of his five part series on candidate Gray which was based on in-depth interviews with the candidate (which is probably a more comprehensive set of information on Gray than you could get from other news sources like the WaPo):

"Which brings us to the real question urbanists should be asking in this race. The decision isn't between Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray, since quite honestly, Gray and Fenty both share most elements of a policy agenda, from education reform to Smart Growth and a streetcar network. The key decision is between the Fenty cabinet and the potential Gray cabinet. Who will have better top people?"

by Falls Church on Jun 28, 2011 3:16 pm • linkreport

"The key decision is between the Fenty cabinet and the potential Gray cabinet. Who will have better top people?"

On that test, I think Gray has been rather disappointing. After what seems like months of indecision and inaction, Gray's cabinet choices finally are clear and they're pretty mediocre. In fact, with the exception of a few holdovers like Allen Lew and Cathy Lanier (and even their reputations are starting to suffer), his appointees are really lackluster. Maybe it's Gray's temperment or maybe it's what he thinks his "base" wants, but regrettably the bias in agency hiring his swung back to a preference for "local roots" over national talent -- "understands DC" seems a more important qualification for appointment than someone who can bring a record of fresh ideas and best practices that have been tried and proven elsewhere. The best thing that one can say is that Gray seems to mean well, but I hope it's the last gasp of the old DC political class.

by Bob on Jun 28, 2011 3:55 pm • linkreport

LOL@More idiocy, Nothing wrong with different priorities. However, Gray has said that he shared our priority for bike infrastructure, saying he wants the District to achieve platinum status. If bike infrastructure is a priority for Gray, he sure has a funny way of showing it.

So what is it that Gray hasn't done other than cancelling this particular cycle track? What things has Gray done/not done that has shown his disinterest in biking infrastructure? You have to use "something" as a baseline and as biased FOR him as I am, I don't see what the hell you myops are whining about. It's a damn cycle track not a halt of all the other things you all are supposed to care about.

It's a cycle track.
A cycle track.


Of course w/the exception of Fenty hires, all others picked by Gray are lackluster. I mean, what purpose do objective facts serve? Facts? Schmacks! Who needs them!

by HogWash on Jun 28, 2011 4:31 pm • linkreport

Me Me Me!

by HogWash on Jun 28, 2011 4:32 pm • linkreport


I worked on 15th St for 5 years, it was ALWAYS a clustmucker in the downtown area. This was in 1998 - and it was faster to walk out of the downtown area than to attempt to drive or public transport it.

It has gotten worse when the Feds closed PA Ave, and DC made H and I one way streets to combat the lack of crosstown ability. THAT caused a massive cluster.

But still, going from A to B is not a huge variance. If it had gone from A to D, you'd have me... but the only D on the chart was improved by the new traffic designs.

Myopic Twits!
Myopic Twits!

by greent on Jun 29, 2011 1:47 pm • linkreport

* also the closure of E below the WH which forces all traffic downtown to go down to Constitution or all the way up to I to get cross town - that has caused much traffic increase.

by greent on Jun 29, 2011 1:49 pm • linkreport

I ride the 15th Street cycletrack home and often divert several blocks for dinner, Barnes and Noble, desert, or a movie. If I had a car, I most certainly would keep driving. I think they need to consider the fact that there are sometimes 10-15 unaffiliated bikes waiting at stop lights, each one able to lock up and spend money quickly. This should be considered when assessing how much business might be gained or lost by a few parking spaces.

by canterberry on Jun 29, 2011 9:48 pm • linkreport

Greent - in what way 15th Street a "clustermuck"? As I said, I ride it every morning and evening and there's hardly any traffic on it for a major artery. Certainly never traffic jams.

by canterberry on Jun 29, 2011 9:52 pm • linkreport

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