DDOT’s South Capitol Street Plan Disappoints Cyclists
When the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the $800M South Capitol Street project was first released, Washcycle called it disappointing. We agree. While we have few concerns about the replacement Frederick Douglass Bridge itself, the study area surrounding the bridge is filled with opportunities for safety and mobility improvements. Few will be implemented as part of this “preferred alternative.” It is especially disappointing to see this new bridge, proposed to connect Ward 6 (which is represented by the DC Council’s champion of livability) and Ward 8 (where WABA has focused its outreach efforts this spring and found receptive potential cyclists deterred from regular ridership primarily by the lack of safe connections to and from the places they need to go), do so little to improve connections from the bridge into neighborhoods, or integrate cycling holistically throughout the study area. Instead:
- Sub-par infrastructure is proposed, such as a 13 ft. shared curb lane.
- On a portion of New Jersey Ave. that will have 160 ft. of right-of-way, no space can be found for a bike lane.
- Not a single bike lane, cycletrack, or other designated bicycle space is included.
- No facility to accommodate cyclist usage is included in the large, multi-lane oval and circle at either end of the bridge.
- Multi-use paths in Ward 8, included in every build alternative, are removed from the preferred alternative without explanation.
- Sidewalks and “designated bike routes” without improvement are deemed sufficient connections throughout the area.