The winter weather has decided to stick around a little while longer and as a result of the snow, the Committee on Transportation and the Environment rescheduled the performance oversight hearing of the Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC), Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) several times. Finally, on Friday, March 21, the hearing got underway, and ran for six hours.
Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC):
- In FY13, the BAC was unable to access the $10,000 budgeted for them due to a lack of clarity on the process to access the funds.
- Frequently, the BAC makes recommendations to DDOT as it relates to bike safety and infrastructure. BAC’s facilities committee is working to develop a mechanism to track their recommendations and whether or not DDOT has made progress to implement them. The BAC noted that there is still not strong follow-through on the part of DDOT.
Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC):
- In FY13, the PAC created the Enforcement & Education Committee as well as the Walking Environment Committee. These committees work to increase awareness around pedestrian safety.
- The PAC is continuing their efforts to advocate for more traffic control officers and expressed support for photo enforcement.
- The PAC still has concerns with the slow progress of DDOT on addressing sidewalk gaps.
District Dept. of Transportation (DDOT):
- For residents living within the District’s 68.3 square miles, parking can often be a challenge. DDOT is reviewing the District-wide residential parking program (RPP) and making changes to the wards that were re-districted, as well as updating their files. The review process is 95% complete.
- Wouldn’t it be nice to tweet confusing parking signage to DDOT and get a response immediately? Well Councilmember Grosso recommended this and DDOT explained that they currently receive pictures and complaints via Twitter and emails, as well as, receiving calls through 311. DDOT officials noted that there is a 311 mobile app that allows users to upload pictures, which are then submitted to DDOT’s work order management system and assigned a ticket number. DDOT continues to make improvements to streets signs, working block-by-block to fix confusing signage.
- Food truck advocates expressed that while few signs do exist for street vendors, more are needed and all signs should specify the times for which vendors can park. DDOT explained that the rollout of the Mobile Roadway Vending (MRV) locations has, overall, been good; however, they are trying to work out a few kinks. Specifically, DDOT explained that there is a challenge with creating permanent signage (currently they provide temporary signs) because once a permanent sign goes up, it is increasingly more difficult to go back and make any adjustments to them.
- Safety is always a priority and each year DDOT works to identify 50 dangerous intersection locations, a process that tends to take 2 years to address with the first year dedicated to design plans and the 2nd year devoted to construction. This year, DDOT is working to provide pavement markings, high visibility signs and more.
- More construction is on the way! Councilmember Grosso explained that the intersection located at 4th Street, Massachusetts Avenue and H Street NW is extremely dangerous and confusing. The Councilmember requested that a traffic control officer be placed at this location; however it won’t happen. DDOT expressed their concerns with this intersection but stated that in a few weeks massive construction will be taking place at this site. To assist residents with their daily commutes, DDOT stated that they will be able to produce some site maps informing residents of where major construction is taking place and offering alternative routes.