District Director of Transportation Gabe Klein answered questions during a live chat last month, including a number of queries related to bicycle infrastructure. During the bike-related exchanges, which I’ve excerpted below, Klein said he’s considering bike parking for some streets, defended funding pedestrian and cycling projects, offered details about the pending SmartBike expansion, and noted that DDOT is moving forward with a plan for a new bike lane on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The full chat is available here.
On Street Parking
Meredith Begin: Any chance we can move bike parking into the street?
Gabe Klein: Yes, in certain situations we will look at this option, particularly with bike sharing. At the beginning, or end of a block generally.
On Funding Priorities
Ryan: Director, I see a lot of attention paid to transit, bike transportation, and pedestrian safety, yet the condition of DC’s roads still leave a lot to be desired. Are you at all concerned that these efforts are taking funding/agency attention away from basic road maintenance? Will we see any new initiatives in the area of road maintenance once we get into Spring?
Gabe Klein: Hi Ryan. We spend 80% of our budget on “maintenance” of our existing assets including road paving. On top of that, as bids came in lower than expected for many ARRA projects, we are putting a minimum of $10m extra into road paving for FY10. However, we are putting a lot of attention towards maximizing the use of our existing right of way, which includes a lot of pedestrian and bicycle improvements, and of course transit
On the Pending SmartBike Expansion
Guest: Hi, Could you please tell us more about the plan to expand the SmartBike program in spring? In what neighborhoods? How many bikes approx.? Has the program been successful so far? Thanks
Gabe Klein: We are looking right now at 1000 bikes at 100 stations in late Spring 2010. More details ot come, but I would like to push them out to neighborhoods at some point, hopefully with this round, as people use them to commute as it is ia point to point system (unlike current carsharing models). We will then be looking to expand further in the coming years, creating a transit system of bikes, and a network of bike lanes and trails
On Opening SmartBike to Tourists:
Kurt: Will the Smartbike program remain an annual subscription service, or will it also be available for tourist use?
Gabe Klein: We are evaluating that now, but would like to make it available to everyone, including visitors.
On Blumenauer and a Pennsylvania Ave. bike lane
Meredith Begin: Who is “responsible” for Pennsylvania Avenue btwn White House and Capitol? What needs to happen for us to answer Blumenauer’s wishes (and mine) for a bike lane on Penn Ave?
Gabe Klein: Based on a meeting we had last week with NCPC, NPS, and various other federal agencies (as well as our own understanding), we control the street. So we are moving forward with the planning for a bike lane on Pennsylvania Ave, and there are a few different options to choose from, and more work to do coordinating.
More DC Bike News from the Bicycle Transportation Examiner