Posts about Car-Free Day
wants your ideas for an even better Car Free Day this year.
More Metro on I-66? Every time I post a future Metro map, no matter what the topic, some commenter(s) ask to add an Orange Line extension to Centreville. Now that the Silver Line is a done deal, Congressman Gerry Connolly wants to extend the line down I-66 at least to Gainesville. (WTOP) BeyondDC argues that extending Metro is the wrong approach. With the same amount of money, "we could extend VRE to Gainesville and drastically improve service frequencies on the entire VRE system and build a regional network of streetcars on several corridors around Northern Virginia."
Ground floor retail? Arlington required new buildings to include ground-floor retail. Now there's too much of it. Good thing or bad? Ryan Avent says it's good, since arts spaces, doctors and dentists can and are starting to use those spaces. On the other hand, some planners say that upper Georgia Avenue has too much retail space, leading to widespread vacancies and an overabundance of liquor stores. DC's current approach recommends consolidating Georgia Avenue retail into smaller nodes. Which is better? Is the right choice different between Arlington and Georgia Avenue?
Marc Fisher spoke to Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells at last week's Car-Free Day. Fisher relays anecdotes about Harriet Tregoning converting her free office parking space into bike parking, and about Marion Barry moving Tommy Wells' bike to take one of the parking spaces at the Wilson building.
Wells advocates for "five-minute living," the idea of having all daily needs within five minutes' travel. That's still not quite a reality in DC, says Fisher; downtown drivers still honk at Wells on his bike, and suburban drivers retain a car-centric mindset. But we've also made great strides; a bike valet program at the ballpark which Wells initially had to push onto reluctant owners now sees steady usage and a corporate sponsor funds the whole thing.
Cheh criticizes the anti-development activism in her ward, including opposition to the proposed public-private partnership at the Tenley-Friendship Library which created so many restrictions (like a requirement that all housing be located on the school site and not the library site) that the deal is about to fall apart. Cheh agreed with those activists in fighting a drive-through Commerce Bank, but their opposition to the bank didn't revolve around its design; according to Cheh, "They opposed it because they oppose things."
[Autoposted while I'm in France (hopefully)]
Pledge to be Car Free tomorrow. Most GGW readers probably take Metro, bus, bike or walk to work anyway, so it shouldn't be too tough. If you do drive, try transit or bicycling!
One of many fun events I'm missing is Bike DC, "a noncompetitive, community bike ride through 17 car-free miles of Washington, DC." It's $35, with most of the proceeds going to WABA.
The ride is one week from today, starting at 13th and Pennsylvania. Did you know that this area is called "Moynihan Plaza"? apparently it is.
Riders will head past the White House through Dupont and Embassy Row up to the historic Twin Oaks, owned by the Taiwanese government. It's a good opportunity to see the estate if you didn't get into today's WalkingTown tour (which filled up very quickly after WalkingTown registration opened). Then riders head back downtown and across to RFK Stadium before returning to the starting point.
You can register for Bike DC here.
This is a rare opportunity to enjoy DC's streets car-free, since we don't have Summer Streets like NYC and SF. Unlike those events, the closed streets are still primarily about transportation, the ride costs money, and riders can't also enjoy street festival-type activities (music, art, health workshops, bike tune-ups). But we do get some of the festival aspect Monday for Car-Free Day and the closed streets for recreation the following Saturday.
Take the car-free challenge and head over to DC's celebration between 11 and 3 at 7th and F for "live music, yoga classes, free t-shirts and giveaways, Segway demonstrations", valet bike parking, free bike tune-ups, and test rides on SmartBikes. If not for me or for the environment, do it for Tommy.
Next stop, Westpark? BeyondDC follows my analysis of the Tysons plan with some of his own. Among the good ideas: better names for the stations than "Tysons Central 7" that create real community identity.
MoCoPlaBo protecting our parks from bicycles: WashCycle runs through the sordid saga of the ICC trail. The Montgomery County Planning Board's next meeting on the topic, with no public comment, is tomorrow; the staff report recommends moving forward with the trail rerouted on a lengthy and dangerous surface street route because, after blasting a ten-lane highway through a park, a little trail is just too much of a burden on our fragile ecosystem.
Metro should move on Farragut transfer now: Steve Offutt's been hammering away at his "invisible tunnel" idea for an out-of-system free transfer between Farraguts North and West. WMATA is upgrading software, but they should be lining up the rest of their ducks now, like regulatory approval and analysis of the financial impact. (CommuterPageBlog)
Infill here: Imagine, DC compiled a top ten list of potential infill sites for new, transit-oriented mixed-use development in DC, from the Benning Road power plant to Lamond-Riggs and Fort Totten.
Monday, September 22nd is World Car-Free Day, a day to try getting around without a car (if you use a car for everyday activities) or to celebrate not using cars (if you don't). The Washington region is celebrating the day with a Car-Free Challenge, where you can pledge to "eliminate or reduce [your] driving."
DC will also host a festival at 7th and F Streets NW, with live music and other fun activities celebrating Car-Free Day, educational information on living car free, and more.
The previous Friday, September 19, is Park(ing) Day, where individuals feed the meter to pay for a parking space, but use it as a park instead of for car storage. The idea started in San Francisco and has spread across the country. There's a Facebook group forming to plan some park(ing) spaces in DC. Join in and help set up some spots!
- Cyclists are special and do have their own rules
- Judge denies injunction against closing schools
- Metro policy for refunds after delays falls short, riders say
- M Street cycle track keeps improving, draws church anger
- Long-term closures: A solution to single-tracking?
- O'Malley announces first projects using new gas tax money
- ICC losing bus service in classic bait and switch