Who’s Implementing D.C.’s Bike/Ped Infrastructure? Anyone?
District Department of Transportation (DDOT) project managers are hard at work on a lot of roadway projects, but they’re not in charge of repaving the 15th Street cycle track, or finishing the Metropolitan Branch Trail, or one of many other bicycle projects waiting for action. The agency segregates its bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure into the planning group, which means a lot of projects get done slowly or not at all–and only if the planners take on the role of project manager as well. Currently, DDOT comprises the Office of the Director and 6 administrations. These are:
— to the point where it constitutes a standalone project — so has a portfolio of incomplete and unbuilt trails and cycletracks.
We can’t continue to depend on the informal cajoling of project planners to get IPMA to construct bike/ped projects in a timely manner. Yes, sometimes that cajoling works, as it now has in getting 15th Street repaved. But do we want a system that requires the work of WABA, the dedicated engagement of an ANC commissioner, and the political pressure of two councilmembers to ensure a high-priority project gets done?
This is not a functioning system. DDOT needs to bring individuals with the necessary expertise to IPMA and, once that expertise is in-house, leave prioritization of project timing to PPSA planners.
The current system fails to meet the needs of the bicycling community, will fail to achieve the mayor’s transportation and sustainability goals, and undermines the ability of DDOT’s planning team to actually plan and prioritize.
- Infrastructure Project Management Administration (IPMA): Building and repairing roads and bridges
- Policy, Planning and Sustainability Administration (PPSA): Creating plans, reviewing development proposals
- Progressive Transportation Services Administration (PTSA): Circulator, streetcars, working with WMATA
- Public Space Regulations Administration (PSRA): Permits for sidewalk cafes and other uses of public space
- Transportation Operations Administration (TOA): Traffic signal timing, signs, parking meters, etc.
- Urban Forestry Administration (UFA): Trees!