Greater Greater Washington

Bicycling


Boxing Day links: bikes, buses and blogs


Map by the Washington Post.
Ticket dismissed: One of the bicyclists ticketed for riding the wrong way on New Hampshire Avenue by U Street, Sam DuPont, successfully appealed his citation. DuPont argued that "going the wrong way on NH was the only safe way to navigate that part of the city, and that DDOT has recognized this fact in their plans to install contraflow bike lanes on that very block."

No idling, please: DC will reserve all on-street parking, except parking directly in front of residences, for tour buses on Inauguration Day in three zones: north of the White House, from 11th to 21st between K and P; NoMa northwest of Union Station; and all of Near Southwest, Near Southeast, and the adjacent Anacostia Riverfront east to RFK's parking lots (via DCist). Lance makes the good point that if all these buses (illegally) idle for hours, it'll dump a lot of pollution into our air. Let's hope DDOT and MPD are ready to enforce the no idling laws.

Around the blogs: And Now, Anacostia wants the original library design back; Silver Spring, Singular posts some old postcards of Silver Spring; Imagine, DC imagines Wheaton.

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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Actually it's not all of southwest, Southwest extends from Southern Ave and South Capitol ST SW to the Capitol so infact its not all of southwest.

by kk on Dec 26, 2008 4:01 pm • linkreport

kk: That's true. Southwest technically has 2 completely non-contiguous neighborhoods, the Southwest area north of the Anacostia River (including L'Enfant Plaza, SW Waterfront and Buzzard Point) and then the Bellevue neighborhood down near the southern tip of the city. Anacostia Naval Station and Bolling take up all the space west of South Capitol in between, meaning there no addresses in SW in between.

I debated whether to clarify in the original post, because often "Southwest" is used as a shorthand for the non-Bellevue, non-military base parts of the SW Quadrant. The Comprehensive Plan calls this area "Near Southwest" so I'll call it that.

by David Alpert on Dec 26, 2008 4:12 pm • linkreport

Idling is not illegal when the temperatures are below a certain point, I would need to check the specifics. The normal January temps are often below that threshhold.

by Scott Pomeroy on Dec 27, 2008 12:21 am • linkreport

Scott, you are correct that there are loop-holes in the idling regs. I think one of these exceptions occurs when you need to heat a vehicle to keep its occupants warm in winter.

These buses are going to arrive in the early morning and not leave till much much later in the day. We need to be sure there are warm places for the drivers (and any passengers not out at the events) to stay near these buses. Otherwise, we are going to have an environmental disaster in the District that day if we end up with hundreds of buses idling for hours on end. We're going to need to do much more than just enforce the idling laws. We're going to need to be sure that those who would otherwise take refuge in an idling bus will have other safe and warm places to do so.

The possibilities for people taking refuge in a bus during any part of a long day are endless. Not all passengers will be at all events at all times. Think, for example, children and the elderly ... as well as the drivers themselves.

I have mixed feelings about turning our public streets into private parking lots for private bus companies in the first place ... (though it is a one day exception for a special purpose ... hence the 'mixed' feelings) ... but I definitely don't want to see hundreds of buses spewing exhaust into our neighborhood because this potential problem hasn't been thought out ... and mitigated in advance. And I'd bet this aspect of the 'transportation plan' hasn't even been considered yet ...

by Lance on Dec 27, 2008 1:19 am • linkreport

Lance makes many excellent and important points.

These buses will be parked for many hours. Some, no doubt, will be parked near the air intakes of apartment houses. Some buildings (mine, as an example) have had serious problems with idling buses affecting the health of residents with respiratory problems and we have had the city ban bus idling in front of our building.

We can't expect our guests to sit on a freezing bus for our comfort any more than they can expect to be allowed to put the elderly lady on our 8th floor back in the hospital because of their bus fumes.

I guess that means some areas in the bus parking area will still have to be no parking...or perhaps parking but no idling. Other areas, where the health and ventilation issues are not pressing, could be parking and idling zones.

by Mike Silverstein on Dec 27, 2008 11:57 am • linkreport

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