Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Metro safety and safe cycling


Photo by Jovi Girl J.
LaHood releases safety plan: The Obama administration's plan to regulate transit systems' safety would quadruple the number of safety inspectors at a cost of about $100 million. Federal safety inspectors or federally-certified local oversight boards would have greater powers including to issue subpoenas, request injunctions, and even the ability to pursue criminal penalties if necessary. (Post)

They didn't bar us, exept when it mattered: Tri-State Oversight Chair Eric Madison clarifies that while Metro didn't "bar them from the tracks" entirely, they did refuse access during live operation, which is what TOC needed to check safety procedures. So what did Metro hope to accomplish by posting its clarification reciting a quote from Madison in WTOP that Metro didn't completely "bar" them?

Letters on tolls: A Gazette letter writer chides the Montgomery County Council for voting to recommend lower ICC tolls knowing it would just force other state taxpayers or tollpayers to pay more for a road they aren't using. Another letter writer is disappointed that Nancy Navarro actually told him the truth when he wrote to complain about the tolls, unlike other Councilmembers.

Streetcar track design's pitfalls?: Yonah Freemark worries that installing streetcar tracks in the lane adjacent to the turn lane on H Street-Benning Road could be a recipe for traffic conflicts that delay the streetcars. He thinks DC should consider a design with a more dedicated right-of-way in the middle of the street instead. (The Transport Politic)

"Rock star panel" discusses cycling: WashCycle and Streetsblog DC summarize last night's panel featuring musician and cycling advocate David Byrne, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, and NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Blumenauer is pushing for bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue. Sadik-Khan is launching a NACTO initiative to get bike infrastructure into the official manuals of allowable road designs.

Hot cyclists are distracting: The Hasidic enclave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn got the city to get rid of bike lanes because "scantily clad" cyclists made it hard for them not to look at members of the opposite sex. Other residents have been repainting the bike lanes (video). (NY Post)

Bike boulevards: A new Streetfilm explains Portland's bicycle boulevards, streets where bicycles get priority and traffic generally travels at bike speeds, and advocates for some in NYC. Ben W writes, "How about doing some bicycle boulevards in DC, starting with 10th Street NW?"

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David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. 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 now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

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Bottom line on the access to Metro tracks denial, their designated safety oversight board was told their request for access could not be allowed as requested. That's a decision that should have been made at the GM level, not at the safety officer level with consultation with the administrative officer.

It's good that Metro was working with them to provide them alternate access, and that alternate access may have been sufficient to allow the TOC to do its job, but it wasn't what they requested of Metro in writing, and therefore the denial should come from the head of Metro.

by Michael Perkins on Dec 9, 2009 9:55 am • linkreport

Real reason they want to remove bike lanes from Williamsburg: to keep the hipsters out. (Sounds like a losing battle to me)

by Fake David Alpert on Dec 9, 2009 10:03 am • linkreport

Summer is slowly turning to fall and the heat and humidity here in New England we complained about for the last 3 or 4 months will soon turn to dry, bitter cold. Heating bills arrive, along with colds and the flu, shovels take the place of rakes, snow throwers replace lawn mowers. The days of the leisurely barefoot stroll to the mailbox are over. For some of us, winter means hibernation like so many of natureÂ’s creatures.

by Diamondback Bikes for sale on Dec 9, 2009 10:18 am • linkreport

Ah, one of the hidden benefits of a pro-cycling policy: hot girls on bikes in skirts.

by charlie on Dec 9, 2009 10:53 am • linkreport

The only people who care about hipsters are the hipsters.

That said, those black stretch tights don't count as pants.

by Neil Flanagan on Dec 9, 2009 11:17 am • linkreport

A friendly suggestion for the Hasids: So don't look at the opposite sex. There are gay and lesbian Hasids, ya know. I'm not encouraging distractions that make mobility unsafe. But they don't have to be so heterosexist about it ;-) .

by Dennis Jaffe on Dec 9, 2009 12:40 pm • linkreport

As a resident of 10th street NW, I would support converting this into a bike boulevard whole-heartedly. There are so many cyclists that use this street (south of U) because it is quiet and without much traffic. The only problem is that it is one way, so many cyclists (including myself) routinely ride against traffic. A 10th street bike boulevard conversion would be easy, cheap, and heavily used.

by JTS on Dec 9, 2009 1:16 pm • linkreport

Isn't it telling that a strict religious sect interprets “don't kill vulnerable people” as some kind of “religious hazard”.

If you can't stop looking at pretty women who are minding their own business, just start deleting any guidelines that may suggest you shouldn't kill them with 2,000 ibs of steel.

Their so called religion is a perfect example of an excuse to jeopardize the lives of other more vulnerable people. Shame on them all.

If the Hasids really wanted to be true to their faith, they should poke their own eyeballs out, sooner than put the lives of more vulnerable people in greater danger, simply to contain their own impulses.

by Lee Watkins on Dec 9, 2009 1:59 pm • linkreport

I agree with the stuff about H Street & Benning Road.

It is the main intersection there and since many of the surrounding streets end it going to dead ends or into buildings there should not be no changing of the traffic pattern.

They should have

1 put the streetcars on the right lanes of the street.

2 have one side for cars and one side for streetcars.

3 build a bridge in certain intersections.

4 fix the damn grid there so a bunch of streets didn't run into each other.

example ( for benning rd lets say the eastbound direction take the right lane plus the lane beside it and have tracks laid there with enough room made for the platform and give the other half of the street to vehicles.)

by kk on Dec 9, 2009 2:11 pm • linkreport

Take my street for an east-west one Please !

We'd love it and support it 100% on S Street. R and T are already one-way and S is a two-way disaster.

by Tom Coumaris on Dec 9, 2009 5:24 pm • linkreport

Aren't the streetcars supposed to show up in Baltimore tomorrow?

by Neil Flanagan on Dec 9, 2009 6:37 pm • linkreport

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