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.


Anonymous said...

Just a thought - is there any movement to make 19th and 17th streets two-way? That would cut down on a lot of cars zipping through the neighborhood. It may also make the DC-owned vacant lots at the corner of 19th &C viable for retail, since now there is no way for westbound C St traffic to make a left on 19th.

There is definitley a benefit to having a focused message with regard to C St traffic, so that your primary goal is not diluted by ancilary requests to the city, but if the opportunity arises it's something to think about.

Thanks for your work on the corridor.

Ken said...

I agree.

I suspect the less commuters and commercial vehicles that can cut-through north to south between Benning Rd and Barney Circle (Pennsylvania Ave), the less traffic we'll see throughout the Capitol Hill neighborhood street grid. Especially, if "we" can educate them on the benefits of using existing principle arterials and freeways.

From what I understand, DDOT's Transportation Policy and Planning Administration has completed the two-way conversion study and analysis, 17th Street from Benning Rd to Potomac Ave and 19th Street from Potomac Ave to C Street. The project has now moved to DDOT's Infrastructure Project Management Administration for final design and implementation. I am unsure of the conversion time-line, but I have heard from multiple sources that it will be in concert with the 11th Street Bridge project. Hopefully we can convince DDOT to expedite the conversion before then.