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Brooke's Briefing: Ensuring Safe, Reliable, and Sustainable Transportation in the District

Posted by
Emmanuel Brantley
on
August 26, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

This is the second of a series of topic specific newsletters that I will be sharing with you over the next several weeks. You can read all my newsletters here. I know that together we can work to address the challenges in our communities and continue to make Ward 2 and DC the best place to live, work, play, and do business.

Safe and Reliable Transportation

DC has committed to ambitious climate and clean energy goals, and it’s critical that we have the physical infrastructure to meet them. The FY 2022 budget recently passed by the Council includes a number of investments in transportation. Some of the highlights in Ward 2 include:

  • $115 million FY22-27 for the K Street Transitway, providing additional protected bike lanes and easing traffic congestion in downtown DC;
  • $33 million for the Pennsylvania Avenue Streetscape project;
  • $27 million to fully fund the Dupont Deckover Project;
  • $10 million to purchase property in Georgetown to establish an electric vehicle (EV) charging station that will be critical to electrifying our transportation system; and
  • $500,000 for a Georgetown livability study to analyze multi-modal transportation options.

Public Transit

The bus routes that service our city and connect residents, students, and workers through Ward 2 are vitally important to ensuring affordable, efficient, and environmentally sustainable transit options. Metro bus and train service is critical to our economy and to meeting our climate goals. Because of federal funding, Metro is able to maintain 85% of its pre-pandemic service. We will continue to ask WMATA to ensure our bus and rail options are sustained and expanded. As we encourage workers to return to downtown offices and visitors to come to the nation’s capital, access to public transportation is critical to bolstering our recovery efforts. I’m committed to working with WMATA to ensure our bus routes and metro lines are safe, reliable, and reach every neighborhood.

Bike Lanes

I’ll continue working to ensure our roads are designed so that pedestrians, bikers, and drivers can safely and conveniently travel throughout our city. These infrastructure changes are not just a matter of convenience or aesthetics — they reduce crashes and fatalities, improve our air quality, and enrich our commercial corridors. I'm eager to continue working with residents to incorporate diverse feedback as we improve our transportation network. I'm grateful to the many of you who have written, called, walked, and biked with me over the last few months to help our city become safer for all road users.

Councilmember Pinto joining the community for Bike to Work Day in May 2021

Parking

I know that parking in Ward 2 and throughout our city continues to be limited and hard to find. I have proposed a new pilot residential parking pilot program that will prioritize parking for residents living within a specific ANC boundary for unlimited parking and then provide metered two-hour parking for residents living outside of that boundary. We are hopeful that this will lead to more parking availability for residents who live nearby while also encouraging parking turnover, which will help our small and local businesses. We funded a study in the budget for DDOT to look into this program and begin the community engagement process so we can hear feedback from all of our neighbors!

Electric Vehicles and EV Charging

Providing EV charging stations is one way to encourage and support the electrification of private and public transit. The former gas station across from the Francis Scott Key Bridge is located at one of the largest arteries connecting DC to Virginia. By purchasing this property, DC could establish the city’s first major EV charging station and, in so doing, take a significant step towards electrifying DC vehicles. In addition, this location could provide the space needed to establish a gondola across the Potomac River if a completed Environmental Impact Study demonstrates that it is the most cost-effective, green transportation option for commuters. Now that the budget has passed, DMPED should move forward expeditiously to work with public and private partners to push the plan forward.

Yours in service,

Brooke

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