DC’s Bold New Transportation Plan Envisions a City of Multi-Modal Streets

Washington, D.C.'s new moveDC transportation plan would add protected bike lanes in very part of the city. Image: DDOT via GGwash
Washington, D.C.’s new moveDC transportation plan calls for smarter road pricing, new transitways, and protected bike lanes connecting every part of the city. Check the DDOT site for the full map with legend.

A massive expansion of bike and transit infrastructure. Congestion pricing to keep traffic jams in check. A new transportation proposal from the District Department of Transportation, moveDC, would transform the way people get around America’s capital.

The plan is just a plan at this point, but Dan Malouff at Greater Greater Washington says moveDC has got it all:

If it actually becomes the template for DC’s transportation, the plan will be one of America’s most progressive. Amid the hundreds of specific recommendations in the plan, a few major proposed initiatives stand out:

  • A vastly improved transit network, with 69 miles of streetcars, transit lanes, and improved buses.
  • plus a new Metrorail subway downtown.
  • A massive increase in new cycling infrastructure, including the densest network of cycletracks this side of Europe.
  • Congestion pricing for cars entering downtown, and traveling on some of DC’s biggest highways.

The highlight for transit is 25 miles of dedicated lanes:

The plan proposes to finish DC’s 22-mile streetcar system, then implement a further 47-mile high-capacity transit network that could use a combination of streetcars or buses. That includes 25 miles of dedicated transit lanes, including the much requested 16th Street bus lane.

To make cycling an easy choice for all ages, it proposes a solid network of protected bike lanes:

Under the plan, DC would have a whopping 72 miles of cycletracks crisscrossing all over the city. From South Dakota Avenue to Arizona Avenue to Mississippi Avenue, everybody gets a cycletrack.

And to combat traffic congestion, it proposes what would be a groundbreaking form of road pricing for an American city:

The most aggressive proposal is to a declare a cordon charge to enter downtown in a car. This idea has worked in London and has been discussed in New York and San Francisco, but so far no American city has tried it.

Malouff reports that the plan will be presented to City Council at the end of the month, but the decision to adopt it is ultimately the mayor’s. Securing the necessary funding is another story, though.

Stay tuned for Streetsblog’s interview with DDOT Director Matthew Brown about moveDC.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Chicago Bicycle Advocate discusses the best way for cyclists to safely navigate intersections at the most perilous time — when the light is changing. World Streets shares a study that found mandatory helmet laws have held back cycling progress in Australia. And Biking Toronto reports that four of the five candidates taking on anti-bike Mayor Rob Ford favor expanding bike infrastructure in the central city.

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