By C.N. Staff Writer
The District has been undergoing major transportation plans over the last several years. First was the installment of the Bike Share program by the former District Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein and under his predecessor, Terry Bellamy, came the launch of Streetcar. The streetcar has a proposed 22-mile plan that will allow District residents to have an alternative transportation option.
Along with BikeShare and Streetcar is MoveDC, which is a city-wide transportation plan that has made projections up to 2040. The plan, which has been presented by DDOT, calls for dedicated bus lanes, the streetcar and bike share systems, water taxis, expanded commuter rails, a new downtown Metrorail loop, new street connections and expanding neighborhood starts across the city to make them more pedestrian friendly.
Mayor Gray said, “MoveDC is about being able to expand choices for all modes or methods getting around the city and making transportation increasingly safe and accessible.” According to the MoveDC website there will be 170,000 people living in the District by 2040, a 28% increase in the population. The website cites a 2010 U.S. Census report that shows D.C. as the 6th most bike-friendly city, 7th pedestrian (walking) friendly and 2nd in transit commute.
The plan has begun to stretch across the city, most notably along the H Street Corridor, where the first streetcar is set to run. Additionally, streetcar plans have begun study’s in southeast neighborhoods along Anacostia and Benning/Minnesota NE neighborhoods. Bike lanes have also been added along major streets in these same neighborhoods along with BikeShare stations.
According to a Washington Post report, some of the major items the plan seeks to address over the next two years include:
◦ Begin construction of a new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge over the Anacostia River. Transportation officials project construction will begin next year. A new bridge would provide wide sidewalks and bike facilities and serve as an important gateway for people east of the river into downtown.
◦ Complete DDOT’s traffic signal optimization project to enhance the District’s traffic signal network. The city plans to finish optimizing each of the 1,600 signals by 2016.
◦ Add sidewalks where they are missing, with priority to areas near schools, parks, and transit.
◦ Improve pedestrian safety at 20 or more intersections.
◦ Complete the Klingle and Kenilworth Anacostia Riverwalk Trail projects and advance the Rock Creek and Metropolitan Branch Trail projects