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Roads


This Capitol Hill throughway will get safer for bikes and pedestrians, but some say not safe enough

A dangerous stretch of Maryland Avenue NE, a street that runs diagonally through Capitol Hill, will soon narrow from four lanes to two, with a 10-foot median and painted bike lanes. The people making the changes say there isn't enough space for protected bikeways, which would separate cyclists from cars, but bike advocates disagree.


Maryland Avenue NE, where it crosses both 7th and D Streets. A cab driver ran over a pedestrian here in June 2014.

The section of Maryland Avenue between 3rd and 15th Streets has been particularly thorny for people not traveling by car. In June 2014, a driver ran over and badly injured a pedestrian in a crosswalk on the street. Despite the District's Department of Transportation adding flex posts in summer of 2014 to narrow the road and installing speed cameras in October 2015, speeding continues to be a problem.

"Even with all the new barriers, I would never risk crossing at that intersection," a resident told WAMU in 2015. "I always go down to the light because people don't stop. I have seen people not stop for walkers in the crosswalk."

Neighborhood leaders have kept pressure on DDOT to make more concrete changes, and the agency recently accelerated plans to cut the number of driving lanes on Maryland Avenue (a move known as a "road diet").

The proposed changes, which are part of a bigger effort called the Pedestrian Safety Project, will narrow the road from four 11-foot wide lanes to two by converting two lanes in each direction into painted bike lanes and building a 10-foot-wide median that becomes a dedicated left turn lane at intersections. These changes would be a big step forward, especially because as of now, cyclists have nowhere to ride except in the same lanes as cars.


Image from DDOT.

But the fact that the bike lanes are painted lanes that sit between parked cars and traffic rather than protected bikeways to the right of parked cars is frustrating to a lot of people who get around by bike, myself included.

While DDOT claims the painted bike lanes are all that can fit into the project due to space restrictions, Greg Billing, the executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, the region's biggest bike advocacy group, says "there's certainly space" for a protected bikeway.


Image from Google Maps.

Why painted lanes?

According to George Branyan, the pedestrian program coordinator at DDOT and project manager for the Maryland Avenue redesign, the current plan is to go with painted bike lanes that are five or six feet wide. A protected bikeway, he says, would have to be eight feet wide, and between the traffic lanes, the median, and the parking spaces, there just isn't space.

One response to this might be to simply make the median smaller, but Branyan says that isn't an option because at intersections, the median will become a left turn lane, meaning it can't be narrower than a travel lane.

Yes, DDOT could simply remove that dedicated left turn lane. But a big factor here is also the fact that some residents are concerned that if cars get less priority on Maryland Avenue, traffic will back up and more cars them will spill over onto surrounding streets.

Removing the left turn lane could also affect the efficiency of the X8 bus route, which travels the entirety of Maryland Ave NE between 3rd and 15th Streets.

Finally, Branyan says the combined width of the car traffic lane and painted bike lane also serves another purpose: allowing emergency vehicles to pass through traffic. With the painted bike lanes, each lane of travel is effectively 16 feet wide—meaning an emergency vehicle will be able to pass a passenger car in that space.

Not so fast—protected bikeways aren't impossible

Billing says he and his organization are fully behind a road diet for Maryland Avenue, but adds that there is in fact room for protected bikeways.

While removing parking might be politically unpopular, he says, the parked car lane (which is eight feet wide in the proposed design) could be narrower: cars are typically 6½ feet wide, so seven-foot-wide parking lanes should suffice. That'd mean an extra foot on each side of the street.

Billing also says the travel lanes themselves, which are currently slated to be 11 feet wide, could be a foot narrower. That'd provide an extra foot on each side, which is enough when you add it to the six feet currently set aside for the painted bike lanes.

Narrower travel lanes, Billing adds, would have the added bonus of being safer for pedestrians because drivers tend to drive more slowly on narrower lanes, and there'd be less distance to have to cover when walking across the road.

Let's welcome a road diet but push for the best one possible

Under the current design plan, the road's speed limit will remain 25 mph plus the lanes will get narrower. Between that and the painted bike lanes, the current plan would make Maryland Avenue safer for cyclists. But there's also space to make it a whole lot safer.

There is clearly reason to ask why DDOT can't do better by including protected bikeways in the design. Protected bikeways would further contribute to the traffic-calming effect of the design by resulting in narrower travel lanes. And they would protect cyclists from having to veer into traffic to avoid issues like double parked cars and standing vehicles.

While it has taken Capitol Hill residents and safe streets activists time to get to a concrete proposal for a safer Maryland Avenue, this new design should be the beginning of a conversation that focuses on what residents, pedestrians, and cyclists really want from their streets: do we want streets redesigned to be safer while inconveniencing cars as little as possible (as this design seems to do)? Or do we want streets redesigned to put the use and safety of pedestrians and cyclists first, even if it means impacting traffic?

Bicycling


DC Council postpones fixing an injustice to pedestrians and cyclists because Kenyan McDuffie's dog ate his homework

I'm on vacation in Copenhagen, but am writing a post anyway )using a Danish keyboard where the punctuation is all in a different place= because I'm sufficiently annoyed at Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie. He seems to have just read a very important bill to protect people walking and bicycling at the very last minute, then asked for an extension because it didn't say what he thought it did.


DC's contributory negligence debate wouldn't happen here in Copenhagen. Photo by the author.

A quick history here. Bicycle riders have been talking about the unjust "contributory negligence" rule for years. This rule says that if someone is even 1% at fault for a crash, he or she can recover nothing from the insurer of, say, a driver who hits and seriously injures him or her.

Two years ago, Tommy Wells (ward 6) was chairing the committee with jurisdiction to change the rule, and he tried a bill to change to "comparative negligence," where you can recover in proportion to your fault (if you're 25% at fault, you could recover up to 75% of your injuries). But Councilmember Mary Cheh (ward 3) opposed the bill, as did trial lawyers, because it would interfere with another legal doctrine called "joint and several liability." You can learn more about this here.

But suffice to say, there were two possible ways to fix the problem, and the one Wells was promoting didn't have political support. Cheh promised to write a bill that fixed her concern, and she then introduced it the following year, in January 2015, along with Jack Evans (ward 2), David Grosso (at large), Anita Bonds (at large), and Charles Allen (ward 6 and Wells' successor).

Here's a chart by David Cranor explaining the difference between the two bills, in terms of how much a victim can recover based on his or her fault under current law, the 2014 bill, and the current bill.


Here, the X axis is for how much the cyclist was at fault, and the Y is for how much the driver has to pay. The red line shows how the law works today, the green one explains a 2014 bill that didn't pass, and the purple and blue ones show Kenyan McDuffie and Mary Cheh's proposals, respectively. Graph by David Cranor.

Kenyan McDuffie was now chairing the committee with jurisdiction, and nothing happened for over a year. The committee then marked up the bill on April 21, 2016. The committee report endorses the bill, saying:

The Committee finds, based on the testimony, significant risk of injury, and national trend, that the District of Columbia law should institute a modified comparative negligence standard for bicyclists and pedestrians in the District. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the Council enacts Bill 21-0004, the "Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016."
Suddenly, the bill is in crisis

Monday night (Copenhagen time, anyway), Martin Di Caro broke the news that McDuffie was suddenly concerned about the language of the bill. David Cranor breaks down McDuffie's apparent concern, which is that someone 10% at fault might be able to recover more than 90%. McDuffie wants the purple line in the graph above, where the recovery slopes down to 50% and is zero after that.

But the sloped-line approach failed two years ago. Suddenly it seems we're back where we were then, with some councilmembers willing to support one solution, some wanting another, and not enough for a single solution.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association says it supports either approach, but is insistent that one of them be enacted. I might not be seeing everything, being in Denmark let alone not privy to conversations between McDuffie and Cheh, but it sure seems like McDuffie, after sitting on the bill for 15 months, suddenly read it for the first time very recently, realized it said something different than what his own committee report endorsed, and got cold feet.

The council has now postponed debate on the bill for two weeks, until July 12.


Photo by the author.

McDuffie needs to get this solved in two weeks

One of my elementary school teachers had a sign with the old phrase, "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." This is like the student who procrastinates on an assignment until the last minute, then needs an extension. Only McDuffie is a very smart professional legislator with extensive legal experience and staff who also have law degrees.

But fine, McDuffie got his extension. It will mean cyclists and pedestrians are in jeopardy for two months more, because the council can't take a second vote until September thanks to its August recess, but they've been waiting years for a fix.

If McDuffie decides to go along with Cheh's approach, great. If he can convince her and a majority of the council to go with another solution palatable to WABA, that's also fine. But what won't be fine is if two weeks pass (during which time there's a holiday, by the way) and then the council is still not ready to move forward. Two years ago, the bill got delayed two weeks also, and instead of then passing, it was delayed more and more and ultimately almost two years.

If that happens because McDuffie wasn't paying attention, this will all be on him, under the "you break it, you buy it" doctrine. It would reflect very poorly on him. Fortunately, he has several ways out of looking bad—just get some dmn bill passed )where the heck is the asterisk on this keyboard=, either Cheh's version or something else that has seven votes.

To stay up to date on how this unfolds, fill out the form below. Meanwhile, I'll go back to walking the streets of Copenhagen, where Danish law places the presumption of fault on the driver in any crash. Hey, how about amending the bill to say THAT instead?



Bicycling


Here's how to bike in the city safely and confidently

Our region is more bike-friendly than ever, but lots of people still doubt whether riding a bike is a safe or viable form of regular transportation. The truth is that riding a bike is a great way to get around. I've written some tips for getting started.


Photo by Joe Flood on Flickr.

Stay aware and be considerate

When you're on a bike, a heightened state of awareness and increased consideration for those sharing space with you can help make life better for everyone involved.

How can you stay aware and considerate when on your bike? Here are a few suggestions.

  • Be predictable at all times. Don't stop suddenly if you don't have to, and try not to turn unexpectedly. Signal when making a turn, especially if someone behind you might be coming straight.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Know when other people are riding behind you, and make space for them to pass if needed. Be aware of cars and keep in mind that you might not always be as visible as you think you are, even if you have done everything right.
  • Claim your space on the road with confidence. There are many areas where you will need to share space with cars, and bikes are legally allowed on the road. It can be tempting to provide as much space as possible for cars to pass in the same lane, but it is safer for bikes and cars alike when people on bikes claim the full lane.
  • Remember that it isn't a race. It can be tempting to go faster than is reasonably safe, especially given the ease at which a bike can navigate around obstacles such as stopped vehicles and pedestrians, or through narrow spaces between moving cars.
  • Don't attempt to overtake another person on a bike if there is limited space to do so.
  • Don't ride the wrong way down streets or dedicated bike lanes (otherwise known as salmoning).
  • Don't pull in front of a person on a bike, or a line of them, stopped at a red light (otherwise known as shoaling).
  • Don't pull into crosswalks when waiting for a light to change.
Plan your route before you start riding

Before making a trip on your bike, take a few minutes to study the best route to your destination.

Make a mental note of where you will be turning, and prepare ahead of time for any areas that are more challenging to navigate along the way, such as busy/complex intersections, gaps without bike lanes, or traffic circles.

If you are planning to start commuting to work on a bike, do a few test runs over the weekend so that you know the route better, and are able to make better adjustments if needed.

This will prevent the need to stop/slow down when en route, or to pull your phone out and look at it while on your bike. It will also help ensure that you aren't holding up other people riding bikes who might be sharing the space with you. Finally, this will allow an increased focus on your surroundings, as opposed to the distraction of not knowing where you are going.

A nice byproduct of planning ahead is that you can have a much more enjoyable experience, as you can take in the atmosphere you are lucky enough to be immersed in when you're riding a bike.

Some helpful resources for planning your route include Google Maps (using the "bicycling" layer), as well as maps available on the Washington Area Bicycling Association (WABA) website.


Image from Google Maps.

Take advantage of helpful resources and events

Outreach events, educational opportunities, and social activities centered around riding a bike were key components of bringing me into the bike community, and keeping me here. They help increase safety awareness and instill a sense of community. These are a few powerful ingredients when it comes to encouraging more people to ride bikes.

Here are a few:

  • Washington Area Bicycling Association (WABA). WABA offers a wealth of events and information, like educational classes/events, information on DC-area bike laws, and seminars and resources for new cyclists.

  • There are many free social rides that occur regularly. Group rides are a great way to both meet other people who ride and become acclimated with cycling in DC in a low-key and pressure free setting. Area bike stores such as BicycleSpace offer frequent social rides.

  • Similar to social rides, area stores such as BicycleSpace offer free classes on basic bike maintenance.
Invest in basic (but important) equipment

When new to biking, the thought of various equipment needs can be daunting. Fortunately, there is not a need for overly specialized equipment if you are going to be bike commuting in an urban setting.

Consider the following basic equipment needs for essential safety and comfort.

  • A U-lock. U-locks come in varying sizes, some small enough to fit in your pocket. They are significantly more secure than cords, which can be easily compromised with a pair of wire cutters.

  • A set of headlights and tail lights for your bike. Keep them on at all times in overcast weather or during non-daylight hours. Simply put, you're way less likely to have a run-in with a vehicle if you have lights on.

  • A helmet. Helmets are not required by law in the District, but are a strong common-sense safety measure despite what the law says.

  • Backpack/messenger bag. There are many reasonably priced backpacks and bags designed specifically for bike commuting. Ensure you have compartmentalized space for your various essentials, such as a change of clothes, a laptop/tablet, and a lunch bag.

  • A rear fender (either fixed or removable). Fenders are a lifesaver when riding on wet pavement. They're cheap, and will prevent the need to change and/or wash your clothes after riding.
It's easy to overcome lots of the barriers to riding a bike. Being aware of the risks/discomforts, and doing everything you can do mitigate them, is an important step to adopting riding a bike into your life in a sustainable fashion.

Biking in the District is both accessible and enjoyable, and with a critical mass of bikes on the road, it is only going to get better.

Bicycling


New ramps make it easier to bike by the White House

When people biking along the 15th Street protected bikeway reached the White House, they used to have to choose between the sidewalk and a tight squeeze at a security gate. As of this Monday, there's a route just for bikes.


Image by the author.

There are now ramps on both sides of a curb at the entrance to Lafayette Square, making it easy to ride through the area without dismounting. There are also signs indicating that the space is for bikes.

Before the new ramps, the protected bikeway on 15th Street disconnected when it reached the square and the White House grounds.


Image from Google Maps.

Much of the route through the square and by the White House is easy to ride because it's very spacious and there aren't any cars, but near where the square meets H Street NW, people on bikes had to choose between riding on a brick sidewalk crowded with pedestrians or riding through narrow bollards at a Secret Service checkpoint. Doing this was all the more challenging because there are often multiple cyclists and people on foot at the intersection.


The sidewalk on the right, and the checkpoint on the left. Image from Google Maps.

The new ramps make it much easier to pass through.


Image by the author.

Even though this is a simple fix, adding the ramps wasn't exactly easy. The National Park Service maintains Lafayette Square, and the Secret Service has a lot of control over who can actually enter the park, meaning the ramps required approval from a number of parties.

Gregory Billing, the director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), said his agency had been working for a long time to make bicycle access through Lafayette Park easier. He said that WABA is also working on making Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Park less prone to sudden closures by the Secret Service, which force unexpected detours along busy streets.

These ramps are small, but they're the kind of thing that makes biking easier and a more attractive option for getting around.

DDOT also recently installed a contra-flow lane on one block of M Street NW near the Convention Center, which helps cyclists avoid having to circle the block and ride on the much busier Massachusetts Avenue.

What other small changes could help make riding a bike in the region easier?

Bicycling


Ask GGW: Which is the best nonprofit to donate a car to?

As more people go car-free and families cut back on how many cars they own, a reader asked us the best way to put an unwanted car to use. Our contributors suggest nonprofits that accept vehicle donations.


Photo by Kars4Kids on Flickr.

Reader Rob asks:

Do you have any preference among the various charities that accept car donations? Are there any reputable ones around here that have better offers on the table than others?
Contributors recommended only a handful of locally-focused organizations. Greg Billing put in a plug for his employer, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association:
WABA receives 70% of a donated car's value. In addition to the donation being tax-deductible, WABA provides the donor with a free one-year membership and our sincere gratitude.
Jonathan Krall added that the annual Tour de Fat group ride, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company, offers a prize to a person willing to give up his or her car.

Canaan Merchant suggests our local NPR station:

WAMU will take your car, and I like that station enough that'd I'd probably go with them right off the bat if I were ever donating my car.

Also, WAMU's pitch specifically mentions people looking to cut down on the number of cars they own, which I see as a sign that more and more people are seeing car-free/lite living as normal.

Tina Jones opted to support another local nonprofit radio station:
Several years ago, I donated a car to WETA. They made it really easy. I just called and someone came to tow it and left some documents. Later, they sent confirmation of what it sold for at auction. I will say, though, that had I known, I would have donated it to WABA!
Yours truly adds:
One good organization that accepts car donations is the National Association of Railroad Passengers, for which I used to work and still serve on its national advisory body, the Council of Representatives. NARP advocates on the national, state and local levels for the investment necessary to modernize our passenger train network and make passenger trains an integral part of the national transportation network and a viable travel choice.

On a broader note, there are several companies out there that manage vehicle donations on behalf of many nonprofit clients. I believe it's free for a nonprofits to set up a car donation program with most of them, but the company takes a cut of the value of every car donated.

Another local charity suggestion from Chris Slatt:
If you want to be sure your donated car actually goes toward a good, local use, you can donate to the Automotive Technology program at the Arlington County Career Center. Vehicles donated by the community are used in instruction and/or are repaired by students and auctioned online. Proceeds from these vehicle sales are used to buy the latest tools and equipment for the automotive program as well as fund field trips and events.
Jim Titus provides some background on how car donation tax credits work:
If you are thinking about donating a car, my advice is to ask whoever you're considering donating it to what they're going to do with it.

The federal income tax deduction is limited to $500 or whatever the organization gets for selling the car, whichever is greatest. The larger programs that take cars still seem to be catering to people with junkers who want a $500 deduction regardless of what the car is worth. (I am not commenting on the worthiness of these charities, just the vehicle donation programs).

A few organizations partner with trade schools, or otherwise fix old cars, and sell them. If you give to that type of organization, you can still get the generous tax deduction, and to me, it doesn't raise the same questions about scamming when someone actually gets the old car in working order. Or if your car is worth (say) $2000 and just needs a few minor repairs, at least you get the $2000 fair market value deduction because they will fix it up just a bit and sell for its true value.

Do you have a question? Each week, we'll post a question to the Greater Greater Washington contributors and post appropriate parts of the discussion. You can suggest questions by emailing ask@ggwash.org. Questions about factual topics are most likely to be chosen. Thanks!

Bicycling


WABA says an Arlington Boulevard trail is a good bet

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) thinks the region's next major bike trail should run along Arlington Boulevard from the National Mall to the eastern border of Fairfax City. On Tuesday, it released a report on how make it happen.


Sections of the existing and proposed trail. Map from WABA. Click for an interactive version.

Once a main artery into DC, Arlington Boulevard now alternates between being a high-speed highway and a suburban or urban boulevard that has various levels of development and density. This varied nature affect's Arlington Boulevard's pedestrian and bike facilities, making it relatively easy to travel some sections on foot or bike but also creating some where it's rather difficult.

Connecting the infrastructure that's already in place would give Arlington Boulevard a trail nearly 25 miles long in both east and west-bound directions, opening up several neighborhoods and commercial areas to non-drivers.

Part of WABA's report documents just where these gaps are and how long each one is.

Almost half of the total route is already built to a point where even the most inexperienced of cyclist should feel comfortable riding on it, but the longest stretch of this type is, currently, only 1.2 miles long. About 40% of the route requires cyclists to ride in traffic or are narrow enough that only experienced cyclists would feel comfortable riding.

Finally, there are parts of the route that are simply too dangerous for anyone not in a car. The longest of this type is where Arlington Boulevard meets I-495 and Gallows Road, where anyone looking to get through on a bike or on foot has to make over a mile-long detour.

Specific parts of the route that need attention

The latter half of the report details how Arlington could improve specific sections of the route. In many cases, the county could use Arlington Boulevard's wide right of way along with some of the access roads that run parallel, carving out space for pedestrians and bikes without cutting existing travel lanes. Other trails and paths along the route simple need to be better maintained.


Pedestrians along Arlington Boulevard. Image from WABA.

There are parts of the route, though, that would need substantial work.

There's currently a plan to widen Arlington Boulevard underneath the Seven Corners interchange, and that would need some sort of path if non-drivers are to avoid a lengthy detour. Another significant challenge lies between Annandale and Gallows Road, where WABA notes that a bridge would be needed to cross 495. That'd likely be the most expensive part of the project.

WABA estimates final costs to be around $40 million, but says a trail would pay long-term dividends

WABA estimates the full 23-mile route would cost around $40 million, but that's just an estimate. WABA says it needs more information to fully understand what the project would cost, but does do believe bundling trail work with other road work along Arlington Boulevard could keep costs low.

To be clear, WABA isn't just throwing these proposals up out of the blue; its suggestions are actually in line with a number of projects for which the Virginia Department of Transportation recently identified Arlington Boulevard as a potential recipient.

Continuous pedestrian and cycling facilities will help make Arlington Boulevard a road that connects neighborhoods rather than divides them. It can also help shape future land use and planning decisions in areas that might otherwise be fated to be stuck next to a high speed highway.

Events


Events roundup: Celebrate our trails, parks, transit, and more

Through trails, transit, or walking, this week is all about greener cities. Celebrate future bike trails, learn about park-oriented development, and figure out how alternative transit can lead to a greener region.


Photo by Kevin Kovaleski

Celebrate our trails: Biking is more popular than ever in the DC area. This Saturday, November 15, join the Washington Area Bike Association and REI for the "Future Trails Celebration" to celebrate the many walking and biking trails that connect our region. Music, food, bike repair, carnival games and more will adorn the grassy field at First and Pierce St NE in NoMa from 11 am to 2 pm. Come join the fun!

After the jump: park-oriented development, biking and walking to a greener region, the purple line, and the road to happiness.

Park oriented-development: We hear a lot about transit-oriented development, but what about park-oriented development? Peter Harnik, Director of the Trust for Public Land's Center for City Park Excellence and founder of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, will talk about the pros, cons, and dynamics of a "POD movement this Tuesday, November 11 Tuesday, November 18, 5:30-6:30 pm at the American Planning Association, 1030 15 St NW. Sign up here.

Saving the world through transit: Alternative transportation could save our world from rising carbon emissions, if only our regional transportation officials would agree. Join the Coalition for Smarter Growth on Thursday, November 13, for a panel of local and international experts talking about shifting our transportation investments for a greener region and a greener world. The event is at the Sierra Club, 50 F Street NW, floor 8, from 6:30 to 8 pm.

Vibrancy on the Purple Line: Do you live or work near the Purple Line corridor? Do you want to take part in making it a healthy and vibrant neighborhood? The second of two workshops on Monday, November 17, from 4 to 6 7 pm will focus on community and economic development in the region. The Purple Line Corridor Coalition (PLCC) is hosting the event at the Silver Spring Civic Center, 1 Veterans Place Felegy Elementary School in Hyattsville, 6110 Editors Park Drive. RSVP requested.

The road to happiness: On Tuesday, November 18, Fionnula Quinn, transportation engineer at Alta Planning and Design, will look back at the early days of the automobile and its continuing impact on our US highway system. Quinn will share research on the topic along with scenes of the Ford Motor Company's silent film "The Road to Happiness." The talk is 12-1 pm at 1502 Wilson Boulevard #1100, Arlington, VA. RSVP here.

Do you know of an upcoming event that may be interesting, relevant, or important to Greater Greater Washington readers? Send it to us at events@ggwash.org.

Events


Events roundup: Bicycle tech, bicycle art, bicycle tours

Get your helmet on; this week is all about the bicycles. Learn about new apps and technology for cycling, bundle up for an urban design bike tour, and warm up at a bike-themed art show. You can also learn about historic preservation in Georgetown and planning for large buildings.


Photo by Joe Flood on Flickr.

Biking and technology: The second Bike Hack Night is this Thursday, November 6. People will present software and hardware bike projects like a counter from New York City, dockless bikesharing, apps for crowdsourcing, an "invisible" helmet, and more. The event is at 1501 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1100, Arlington, VA from 6 to 8 pm.

After the jump: Georgetown history, a bike tour, bike art, and planning talks.

Change in Georgetown: Moving historic neighbor­hoods into the future can be difficult. Georgetown is trying to do that with its "Georgetown 2028" plan. On Tuesday, November 4 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Georgetown BID transportation director Will Handsfield will discuss how the area can continue to develop a thriving commercial district and preserve its historic flair.

Urban design bike tour: The Potomac Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) will lead an urban design and landscape architecture themed bike tour on Saturday, November 8. The tour will stop at notable design landmarks where riders will hear from the designers themselves. It starts at 11 am at Diamond Teague Park near Navy Yard and runs until 2 pm. RSVP here.

Bike art: ArtCrank, an art show that features handmade bike-themed prints made by local DC artists, is Saturday, November 8. It's free to get in but all of the proceeds if you buy a print go to the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. The show is 4-10 pm at the 1776 incubator, 1133 15th Street NW in the 12th floor penthouse.

Large buildings, large cities: Georgetown's Urban and Regional Planning program's weekly lecture series is talking about "planning large buildings in large cities." On Monday, November 10 at 5:30, James Von Klemperer, a Managing Partner at Kohn Pedersen Fox, will discuss the pros and cons of planning large buildings in cities. The talk is at Georgetown's SCS building at 640 Massachusetts Ave, NW. RSVP here.

Parks are smart growth: The smart growth movement has focused a lot on building transit and adding housing near transit, but it's also important to help people live near parks. Peter Harnik will talk about "Parks-Oriented Development" at the American Planning Association on Tuesday, November 11, 5:30 pm a 1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 750W. RSVP here.

Do you know of an upcoming event that may be interesting, relevant, or important to Greater Greater Washington readers? Send it to us at events@ggwash.org.

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