DDOT decides they want their newest bikeshare location to be on Illinois Ave

The area along Illinois Avenue DDOT is proposing the new bikeshare station

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Jonah Goodman (4C10) sent an email to the listservs on Saturday outlining the recommendation by DDOT for the newest Bikeshare location. DDOT recommends the 4200 block of Illinois Avenue NW, just south of Grant Circle, is optimum for the bikeshare. This selection process has had its share of drama since late 2018 with community meetings and back and forth emails, as some residents along Illinois protested their block being selected.

At a high level, DDOT feels this is the safest location that has the least number of parking space reductions (two will be removed) since the station can be placed partially in an area already set for no parking. Additionally, Illinois Avenue will soon become one-way northbound, freeing up more space for a bike lane. DDOT says they plan to add more parking spots on 5th Street, which they believe may increase the number of parking spots overall.

ANC 4C will discuss the selection at their meeting next week on Wednesday, April 10th, 6:30pm at the Petworth Library.

Goodman provides an overview of the selection, and some background:

DDOT has shared its site survey notes and final recommendation for a bikeshare station at Grant Circle. DDOT is recommending the station be placed on the 4200 block of Illinois (between Upshur and Grant Circle). Earlier this year we held a walkthrough of the potential locations with DDOT staff, Councilmember Todd, and numerous residents. DDOT was asked to re-evaluate other locations in addition to the locations near Illinois and submit final recommendations.

The ANC will be voting on this recommendation at our meeting on Wednesday, April 10.

DDOT is recommending the west side of Illinois for several reasons:

1. This portion of Illinois is going to changed to one lane northbound only this spring. When this happens DDOT will continue the bike lanes up to Grant Circle. The change in traffic flow and additional bike lane space makes this one of the safer options.

2. DDOT needs to utilize less parking lane space because of the existing no parking areas on this street. A bikeshare station here will only occupy the space of about two parking spaces whereas all the alternative locations would require about four parking spaces. Further DDOT plans to add parking on 5th St to fully offset any parking loss on Illinois. This will be a net zero loss location and potentially could see additional parking added. None of the other locations can add new parking to fully offset any parking loss. This is one of the most common requests the ANC has heard during this process.

3. This location would be optimal location for bikeshare users as it is closer to bike facilities on Illinois and Upshur, bus stops, and the Upshur St. commercial district.

To recap some common questions:

There are not any sidewalks in or around Grant Circle that are wide enough to accommodate a bikeshare station and maintain an accessible sidewalk.

The National Park Service has not given DDOT permission to place a bikeshare station inside any of the park space. NPS has previously allowed these in other locations such as on the National Mall but is not allowing new park space requests.

DDOT’s current policy requires new bikeshare stations to be installed on roads with bike lanes. This creates a safer location for users to back their bikes out of a docking station. Other streets around Grant Circle that do not have a bike lane therefor are not viable locations right now. The only streets around the circle that currently meet this requirement is Illinois Ave on the south side of the circle, 5th St on the south side of the circle, and Upshur.

To meet the Mayor’s goal of expanding the bikeshare system and encourage alternative transportation options DDOT has found that stations need to be within a quarter of a mile or less of another station. This makes the stations more usable since there are more chances to find a bike or open dock to return a bike. Adding a station at Grant Circle will allow DDOT to expand stations across this area of Petworth.


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