Saturday, January 16, 2010

TRB Bike Tour... DC facilities in winter

I attended the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting and was fortunate enough to take a technical tour put on by the DC Department of Transportation. I went on it two years ago and met Jeff Mapes and enjoyed a windy, super cold day in January on a bike, so why not do it again? This year, I went with Anthony Butzek of Metro. Wednesday afternoon wasn't the best time because there was still a lot of activity at TRB and several of the folks that I told about the tour. Going on the tour made me appreciate how good we have it in Portland as normally when you develop a bike tour, you take folks through the best facilities that you have developed over the past few years.
Granted, DC had been hit by 2 feet of snow the previous week and the winters make it hard to keep up on maintenance... the status of the bike lanes was pretty horrendous. This series of photos shows the range of problems, including an ice bunker, trucks involved in construction, jersey barriers associated with construction in the North of Massachusettes (NoMA) neighborhood, and heavy trucks parked in the lane.
Jim Sebastien from DDOT gave us a really nice overview of how far they have come in the past several years, showing us their Bikestation, which was a $4M facility. 1,700 square feet for $4M to provide 300 bike parking spaces. I guess that makes sense considering that parking garages for cars cost approximately $20,000 per stall in some cases, which would translate into a $6M facility.... yet the revenue for this facility is a little different ($100 per year as opposed to $200 per month for a car parking space).
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