Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Imagine C Street, NE as a Greenway!

Below are great reasons for greenway trails, much like what we are proposing for C Street, NE. Greenways safely connect residents to outdoor natural amenities. In our case, places like: Langston Golf Course, Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, Kingman & Heritage Islands, the future Environmental Educational Center and Memorial Tree Grove for 9/11 DC schoolchildren victims (on Kingman & Heritage Islands), National Arboretum, Kenilworth Park, Aquatic Gardens, and Marsh and local neighborhood amenities, such as: Eastern Market and the H Street/Benning Road commercial corridor. And why not consider schools too, specifically: Eliot-Hines JHS, Eastern HS and Maury ES.

The text and images below are from New York City's Department of Parks & Recreation Bicycling & Greenway website.

Why Greenways?
A greenway is a linear open space, such as a path or trail, which links parks and communities around the City, providing public access to green spaces and the waterfront. Greenways expand recreational opportunities for walking, jogging, biking, and in-line skating.

In 1993, the City of New York had a vision to create 350 miles of landscaped bicycle and pedestrian paths that would crisscross the City's five boroughs and enrich the lives of all New Yorkers. Currently Parks has built over 100 miles of the proposed greenway system. Greenways answer the growing public demand for safe and pleasant ways to travel about the City. These trails allow one to get to work or school, shop or do errands, or to reach the waterfront, parks, beaches, and museums.

Benefits of Greenways
Cyclists, joggers, strollers, skaters, people in wheelchairs or who are mobility-impaired, dog walkers, bird watchers, kids and adults, families and friends, recreational users and commuters—in short, everyone and anyone—gain from the presence and production of greenways. As levels of obesity and diabetes rise among our population, the need to stay fit and healthy has never been more urgent. In order to ensure that no one has to travel too far to use an athletic facility, we are constantly looking to add new properties where parkland previously did not exist and when that is not possible, to bring people to existing facilities.

For Health
Using greenways helps keep you healthy. By bicycle riding, walking, jogging, or skating on the greenways, you can get exercise in an enjoyable way and spend time outdoors!

For Transportation
Riding a bicycle is a form of exercise, recreation, and transportation. Try bicycle riding for your daily commute and see how favorably it compares to driving a car, riding the bus, or taking the subway. Bicycles often get you there in less time, and the scenery is better! It's good for you AND the environment.

For the Environment
The fewer cars we drive and the fewer car trips we make, the cleaner our air becomes. Bicycles and skates don't pollute! By choosing to bike, you will reduce automobile congestion and pollution, thus improving the quality of life in our city. The City's environmental health is also improved because trees are planted along the City's greenways.

For Safety
Designated bicycle paths are excellent places to learn how to ride! Riding on designated bicycle paths is safer than riding on unsigned streets and roads.

For Fun
Greenways are fun! Skate and enjoy time with friends or family, walk to the playground, bike with your children… Trees and plants along greenways make using these paths a relaxing escape from the asphalt jungle. Rediscover New York City's parks, rivers, harbors, and bays! You will see natural landscapes and amazing city views missed by most drivers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

VOH: Residents push for permanent C St. speed camera

Residents push for permanent C St. speed camera
September 21, 2009

By the Voice

The Rosedale Citizens Alliance, with the support of Ward 6 D.C. Council member Tommy Wells, is asking the Metropolitan Police Department to make permanent a temporary speed camera on C Street NE.

The police department has been operating a mobile speed camera at C and 18th streets since December 2007. Since then, 13,246 tickets have been issued to westbound vehicles.

“I believe this number provides justification for installing a permanent speed camera at this location, particularly since the mobile camera only operates for limited periods of time,” Wells wrote in an August letter to the police department.

The citizens alliance has been advocating for better enforcement of the 25-mph speed limit at the intersection, emphasizing its proximity to Eliot-Hine Middle School.

Note: The above article and logo were extracted in its entirety from VOH website.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Wells Supports Permanent Speed-camera on C Street, NE!

Full Letter sent to MPD Home Land Security Chief Patrick Burke

Excerpted Body of the Letter (click on image to read larger version)

As the above letter states, since the west-bound C Street, NE mobile speed-camera's inception, December 1, 2007, until June 10, 2009 there have been:

13,246* vehicular speeding citations issued by MPD!

Average per month: 716 citations
Average per day: 23 citations

- the MPD mobile speed-camera is only periodically deployed during the week and rarely deployed on the weekends. Additionally, it is deployed only in the west-bound vehicle travel lanes, with no east-bound enforcement for motorist accelerating toward RFK stadium and the Whitney-Young Bridge (East Capitol Street).

HERE are two previous posts on existing vehicle speeds and MPD's mobile speed-camera.

Another Big "thanks" to Council Member Wells and his staff, especially Chief-of-Staff Charles Allen and Smart Growth & Transportation Policy Advisor Anne Phelps, for recognizing the importance of resident and student safety along this portion of C Street, NE.

*Data was requested from and provided by Sergeant Mark Robinson - MPD, Homeland Security Bureau, Traffic Safety & Specialized Enforcement Branch.

Wells Supports Prohibiting Commercial Trucks & Buses on C Street, NE

Full Letter sent to DDOT Director Gabe Klein & DDOT Ward 6 Planner Jamie Henson

Excerpted Body of the Letter (click on image to read larger version)

Commercial vehicles using C Street, NE, beginning at 21st Street, are a serious chronic safety, health and quality-of-life issue for C Street residents, students attending Eliot-Hine JHS, youth using the school’s outdoor courts and fields and residents commuting to and from the Stadium/Armory Metrorail station. Not to mention, 'downstream' Capitol Hill residents and open-spaces, such as, Lincoln Park, Eastern Market and Stanton Park.

A majority of these commercial vehicles, especially motor-coaches and mid- and large-sized delivery trucks, use the Capitol Hill neighborhood street grid to either move in and out of downtown or connect between I-295/Kenilworth Ave and I-395/East-west Freeway.

So, the purpose of the above letter, dated August 20, 2009, is to urge the District of Columbia's Department of Transportation (DDOT) to prohibit commercial vehicles (trucks and motor-coaches), with a GVW greater than 1-1/4 tons, from using C Street, NE, between 21st and 6th Streets. This in part, is to begin redirecting commercial traffic from the residential street grid to existing east-west major arterial and commercial routes recommended in the DDOT’s “2004 District of Columbia Motor Carrier Management and Threat Assessment Study”.

Also, as referenced in the above letter, HERE is Tommy Wells' letter to DDOT requesting the reduction of one west-bound C street lane.

Once again, a BIG "thank you!" to Council Member Tommy Wells and his staff for their continuous time, support and attention to our efforts. We are very fortunate to have a representative like CM Wells who, not only embraces the value of a "livable, walkable community", but is in the forefront leading the community and DC government to ensure such a noble cause move towards realization.