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GGW recaps Mount Vernon Square District Project meeting

Geoff Hatchard, Jeb Stenhouse, and David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington have summarized the four multi-modal transportation options unveiled at the second public meeting for the Mount Vernon Square District Project. The proposed alternatives aim to transform 7th and 9th Streets into multi-modal corridors that place greater emphasis on pedestrian and cyclist safety. The summary crafted by GGW outlines the alternatives in great detail and links to pictures of the diagrams that Hatchard snapped with his camera.

I’ll hash into this more after Office of Planning makes the presentation materials available online.

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GGW recaps last nite’s streetcar forum

Last night DDOT unveiled their proposed 8-line 3 phase implementation of a streetcar network at their Ward 6 session. Greater Greater Washington has summarized the details from the forum.

I anticipate writing more about this in the near future but the quick and dirty is that lines along K Street through MVT did earn priority for the proposed Phase 1.

Below is an zoom of the larger Phase 1 map that shows MVT will have one-seat trips to Foggy Bottom to the West, H Street/Benning to the East, plus Barracks Row and Anacostia to the South.

click to enlarge; image is an inset from DDOT’s proposed Phase 1 streetcar map

Georgetown would become a new one-seat destination for the K Street line by Phase 2 and of course once you begin to consider the possible destinations with transfers the connectivity is amazing.

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Residential Parking Protection Pilot Act

Yesterday David Alpert of the Greater Greater Washington blog reviewed the proposed Residential Parking Protection Pilot Act. This Ward 6 pilot act, which has a hearing at 11am today, will require that one side of all residential streets within a RPP zone be reserved for Zone parking permit holders. Alpert stated without balance the parking bill will hurt business then followed up with his five suggestions to improve the RPP program.

I do not agree with the blanket nature of the program. In my eyes all residential streets are not equal in nature but these modifications to the RPP program appear to treat them as such. The armchair urban planner in me believes that in mixed use high-rise districts, such as Penn Quarter and Mount Vernon Triangle, the on-street parking on commercial corridors should be metered to encourage high turnover. Long term parking should be primarily in parking garages which all these new construction buildings have. Modest amounts of RPP can be setup on street segments that lack retail space. Having a resident’s car, which has an RPP permit that costs $15/yr, squatting in a spot in front of Busboys for six days straight without moving will harm our retailers and in turn impact vibrancy of the neighborhood.

My proposed RPP alternative: RED=meters, GREEN=RPP

The above map mock up represents my rough draft vision of how parking permit zones and meters could be outlayed in the Mount Vernon Triangle (and surrounding area) considering the future plans for development in the Mount Vernon Triangle Action Agenda. My map preserves metered parking on both sides of streets that have significant commercial uses (such as 7th, H & K Streets). It also allows other streets that are purely residential and church uses to have both sides of the streets available for RPP.

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GGW celebrates first birthday, toasted by Councilmembers

Last night the urbanism blog Greater Greater Washington (GGW) celebrated it’s first birthday at RFD. During it’s first year GGW has made a profound effect engaging discussion and activism on transit, land use, performance parking, and other issues that contribute towards creating and improving walkable communities.

Left to right: David Alpert, Councilmembers Jack Evans (Ward 2), Mary Cheh (Ward 3), Tommy Wells (Ward 6) and Jim Graham (Ward 1)

Attendees included blog founder David Alpert, GGW contributors and readers, four DC Council members, members of the Coalition for Smarter Growth and many more.

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Blue Line in I-395 right of way?

As a followup to yesterday’s post, David Alpert suggests reusing the segment of I-395 in a future separated blue line metrorail.

The separated blue line is part of Alpert’s vision for metro in 2030. As gas prices have risen Metro has been breaking ridership records. WMATA’s core capacity study, conducted in 2001, did not anticipate ridership to surge past 850,000 riders per day until 2014 yet we’re already there. The Silver Line expansion to Tyson’s Corner and Dulles will continue to feed in new riders to the system. But having the Silver, Blue, and Orange lines share one set of tracks from Rosslyn to Stadium Armory would likely choke capacity at the core. A separated blue line, while an expensive venture, would increase core capacity and connect Georgetown into the Metro system. WMATA included Alpert’s system map in a May 22nd press release.

Images from GreaterGreaterWashington.org [double click to enlarge]

This vision is long term and a Blue Line separated in this manner would not arrive until after 2020.

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