ANC 4C prematurely votes against the DDOT Livability Study

ANC 4C Commissioner Timothy Jones argues with Greg Billing, the Executive Director of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association at the August 10, 2016 meeting.

In typical dysfunctional form, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4C voted at their meeting on Wednesday, August 10th to oppose DDOT's Livability Study recommendations (as yet unpublished at that time but now available) about a suggested bike lane along New Hampshire Avenue between Grant Circle and Georgia Avenue.

(Related: See Rachel Maisler's article, DDOT releases draft Livability Study recommendations.)

At the meeting, Commissioner Timothy Jones (SMD 4C08) proposed a resolution in opposition to DDOT's recommendations, specifically some that don't seem to really exist in DDOT's proposal regarding removing a lane on New Hampshire and adding a protected bike lane.

We snagged a printed copy of the resolution (scribbles are from someone else). Enlarge to view. 

Jones pushed the ANC to oppose "reducing lanes and adding a protected cycle track." The reasons... that New Hampshire is a [sic] "heavily traveled North South bus route with curb lanes a median strip and traffic lanes," offered concerns about parking issues (primarily the impact to churches whose parishioners park along that stretch of New Hampshire), and "possible safety issues for motorist [sic] exiting their vehicles on New Hampshire Ave." 

The commissioners hadn't read the DDOT proposal when the resolution was written, or when it was voted on at the meeting. According to Commissioner Jones, they were reacting to concerns by "20 or so residents" in his SMD who were concerned about parking issues along the stretch of New Hampshire from Grant Circle to Georgia Ave, mainly involving the fear of a lane closure. The study doesn't call for a lane closure, but does call for a bike lane and discussion with the area churches and community. 

Commissioner and Vice-Chair Zach Teutsch asked to table Commissioner Jones' motion on opposing DDOT's recommendations until the ANC had actually seen them, but was shot down. Apparently, Teutsch broke good form (and Parliamentary rules) by offering his own motion while Jones' motion was still open (motions have to be voted on when they're made and seconded), earning Teutsch a sneer and condescending comment from Commissioner Taalib-Din Uqdah. 

Four of the commissioners voted to oppose the recommendations they had never seen (Hayworth, Uqdah, Galloway and Jones), while three voted against the resolution opposing the bike lanes (Goodman, Teutsch and Martin).

The DDOT study says that a bike lane should be considered for New Hampshire Avenue, with the description: "Work with community and nearby churches to study bike facilities and pedestrian improvements along the corridor." 

Sounds like ANC 4C jumped the gun on their opposition to the Livability Study, since they didn't pause to actually read it first. 

See an online version of the Livability Study, or download it as a PDF, and swing by one of the area Farmer's Markets on Saturday, Aug 13th to talk to DDOT staff yourself. Being informed is always the better way of forming an opinion and making a decision.

Related article:
 - DDOT releases draft Livability Study recommendations (August 11, 2016)