L & 15th Streets NW
Last night pilut joined the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) for a night of driver & cyclist outreach at the crux of the 15th Street NW cycle track ( a bi-directional cycle highway that goes from The Ellipse until Columbia Heights) and the new downtown, L Street bike lane.
The bike lane is a curious one, subject to frequently scratched heads. Mixing lane? Cars in my bike lane? Or, worse still, bikes in my car lane? WABA was handing out these fliers to cab drivers, commuters and inquisitive cyclists to raise awareness about this ultimate share-the-road feature.
The turnout of bicycle ambassadors was grand, but the message was more clarion still to cyclists themselves: we are here for you, we will pass out fliers, raise awareness and fight for your right to move on a zero-carbon mode. Also, it was just pretty cool to have cops, advocates, Jane Cyclist (and NOLA-Cyclist, below), and (especially) car commuters aware of how their infrastructure works.
Silver Spring, MD
While the rest of the country was gearing up for State of the Union viewing (and in DC, SOTU viewing parties) we were en route to the Silver Spring Civic Center to get updates from Metro on the Purple Line, a yet to be (nor funded) light rail alternative to the Beltway or to transferring Metro lines downtown. The Action Committe for Transit, which sponsored the meeting, was a lively, if not usual, public meeting crowd.
Metro community relations staff presented, and many revelations were had…about other issues. From bus route alternatives, to Friendship Heights station lighting, perhaps the most intriguing of all “low hanging fruit” solutions was not answered satisfactorily for this blogger : why can’t we have nice things, like shorter 6-car (out of a total of 8) trains boarding at the center of the platform ? Though this would be a common sense solution (and answer), a series of different minutiae added up to a lack of coordination capacity from technology & personnel alike. To Metro’s credit, the community relations officer was taking down notes on the community’s suggestions.