Residents want ped and bike Mount Pleasant Street
The Mount Pleasant ANC wants to transform Mount Pleasant Street into a "pedestrian encounter zone" and bicycle boulevard.
A "pedestrian encounter zone" is also variously called a "woonerf" or "shared space." Cars can drive there, but instead of confining pedestrians to sidewalks and occasional crosswalks, the road design allows and encourages them to walk anywhere in the street.
Often the street itself is raised up to sidewalk level. These are common in Europe. Here's a Swiss example. Paris has most of its smaller market streets configured this way. Upon reaching the zone, cars drive up a small ramp to sidewalk level, then proceed carefully through the area until exiting the zone at the other end. The photo at right shows a Paris street configured this way; Mount Pleasant Street is much wider, and would therefore be less restrictive for cars.
Such a space would also make bicyclists safer by slowing drivers and giving visual cues that the bicyclists belong instead of being "in the way" of speedier travel.
The resolution notes that 40% of neighborhood residents do not own cars, and therefore giving more space to pedestrians would serve more of the potential customers for the street's stores. Instead of being a through street for traffic from west of Rock Creek to Columbia Heights, the street should serve people walking, biking, riding the bus, or driving to shop in Mount Pleasant.
The biggest obstacle to this plan could be federal standards, which probably don't sanction encounter zones/
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