On July 18, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D will hear a presentation from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) on “SW/SE I Street Safety Project.”
The project would place two protected bike lanes on the stretch of I Street between Seventh Street SE and SW, removing parking for most of the south side of the road. Parking will remain on both side of the street only between Wesley Place and Delaware Avenue SW. According to the Notice of Intent (NOI), about 190 parking spaces will remain after the plan is implemented, DDOT stated. The NOI does not include information on the total number to be removed.
The installation of Protected Bike Lanes (PBL) is pivotal to achieving a totally protected network for cyclists of varying ages and abilities, DDOT stated. According to District data, 11 cyclists have been injured on the stretch since 2012.
ANC 6D first saw plans for the bike lanes in January 2020. Initial plans were presented in January 2022. The NOI was issued on June 24.
The project, originally focused on I Street itself, now includes bike lanes on Seventh Street SW as well, linking I Street and Maine Avenue SW, providing protected lanes all the way to The Wharf. This may impact the new development planned at 807 I St. SW as well as the pickup/drop-off lanes for the private school on the east side of the roadway.
ANC Cuts Off May Presentation
After failing to make a scheduled appearance at the May ANC 6D meeting, DDOT representatives presented plans to at the June 13th meeting of the commission. However, Chair Edward Daniels (6D07) cut the presentation short. The slides had not been made available to commissioners ahead of time to allow them to frame questions, he said. The presentation was quick and difficult to follow, he added.
On Twitter, supporters of the lane were upset that commissioners had spent so much time discussing the Something in the Water festival but not allowed time for the bike lane project.
ANC 6D just spent 2 hours on Something in the Water festival and wouldn't give DDOT more than 10 minutes to present 3 large projects that will impact their ANC significantly
The tone from the ANC chair was hostile, ignoring the will of many constituents…
— Mark Sussman (@MarkSussman_) June 14, 2022
At the meeting, Chair Daniels reiterated the commissions’ general support for protected bike lanes but pointed out the difficulties they had created on First Street SE. DDOT, he emphasized, needed to carefully consult with commissioners on their design, taking into consideration local requirements. A number of commissioners echoed his concerns.
Those issues include particular areas on the I Street plans. Right across the street from where parents pick-up and drop-off students at Amidon-Bowen Elementary (401 I St. SW), construction is about to start at Westminster Presbyterian Church (400 I St. SW), they noted. This Planned Unit Development (PUD), approved by DDOT last year, includes a building providing 123 units of affordable senior housing and calls for “a place for safe drop-off” at the building entrance on I Street.
However, DDOT’s plan does not accommodate a pickup/drop-off at the future entrance of the Westminster Project. Paid parking on the south side of I Street is also to be eliminated. A school drop-off zone is included in plans on the north side.
Street cleaning is also a question. Currently, cars can park on either side of the 600 block of I Street SW, with cleaning taking place on side Wednesday and the other Thursday. The new plan maintains the cleaning schedule on the north side of the road.
Comments on the NOI are due Aug. 8. DDOT did not reply to a request for comment in time for publication but will be updated if comment is receied. ANC 6D meets virtually at 7 p.m. July 18.