10.25.2006

bikes do not seem to be part of the picture

went to a meeting tonight for some discussion about the development and planning of my neighborhood and the adjoining urban neighborhood

the meeting was just a few blocks away in an old church basement

it was an interesting gathering

got to see the vision of the future as displayed by some archetect or engineer
there were all sorts of fancy sketches and even a power point presentation
he used the term "ornamental trees" roughly 54 times
the term bicycle was not used once
yes... the term bike was used ambiguously in a vague sentence

there was a discussion where people played some show and tell and spoke out on the one issue that effects them directly
perhaps I should have spoken up or maybe out
not sure what gets things done
so I stayed seated

after more talking there was an "open house" which allowed for some mixing and mingling and some personal one on one
I followed along with the director of WABA and looked at some maps and some pictures
we talked with some of the planners about what was being designed and planned

there was some consideration to the bikes on the north-south route of 14th Street
but there was no measure of the bike routes/bike lane creation on the East-West routes
the people I was speaking to were referring me to the Director of WABA and the DOT folks
but...
they got paid big bucks to do studies and draw up some designs
and well
they did all this consideration for pedestrian traffic
but it appears that they did not factor in the bicycle
the roads are being thinned
the roads are already aggressive and dangerous enough for the heavy bicycle traffic
thinning the roads would make the bicycle a greater obstruction to traffic
making cycling less safe
making the bicyclist have no choice but to block traffic behind them
pissing off the car traffic
making things more dangerous for cyclists

the vision of the future did not include a better more safe world for everyone
things will be worse and less safe for the cyclist

only if the make the traffic move at 25MPH will things be more safe for the cyclist
but certainly
the cars will flow as fast as they can flow
which will be 35-45MPH

unless raised crosswalks as speed humps or some other sort of traffic calming efforts are put into place
but...
of course
there was no discussion of any of this
this guy was too busy talking about ornamental trees

not cherry blossoms
not oaks
not a breed of tree that boasts long life or fast growth
there was no talk of anything other than these trees being ornamental

it was a good meeting
I should have spoken up

2 comments:

Jeff said...

Leave for work a few minutes early tomorrow and ride down Columbia between 14th and 16th while they're doing all the construction and have half the road blocked. Now imagine the east/west corridors that narrow all the time. It's pretty difficult to even go 25mph through there when its busy.

Yes, bike lanes would be nice, but I personally feel safer riding alongside (or in between) backed up traffic than I do in a bike lane with cars whizzing by me.

Just my two cents. Would have like to be at the meeting last night, but I dont' live in Columbia Heights anymore....got freakin priced out. What's this city coming to??

gwadzilla said...

jeff

it is not just your comfort or my comfort

it is cyclists as a whole

the streets should be inviting for all to feel safe riding their bikes in the city

and it just is not that way

yes
housing is absurd
I am lucky to have bought moderately early on
I could never afford my house now


-zilla