ANC6C Butts Heads with Residents Over K Street NE Bike Lane and Parking
by Larry Janezich
Wednesday night, a group of residents from K Street, NE, showed up at ANC6C’s March meeting to oppose implementation of DDOT’s plan to add bike lanes on K Street, NE, west of 6th Street, NE. The move would result in the loss of many residential parking spaces and affected residents are up in arms. During DDOT’s comment period for the plan, residents submitted a petition with 170 signatures opposing the project, reinforcing what one resident told the ANC Wednesday night, “90% of the people on K Street want parking and not a bike lane.”
The ANC heard the objections, and then voted to send a letter to the Mayor, reiterating their support of the project expressed in a previous letter (see link below) sent to DDOT in February. The vote was 5 – 0 – 1, with Commissioner Joel Kelty abstaining.
DDOT has proposed designs for K Street, NE, that includes removal of rush hour parking restrictions and addition of bike lanes west of 6th Street, NE. See here: https://bit.ly/2TNThxe
At a special meeting of the ANC’s Transportation Committee on the K Street “road diet” last month, objections from residents included the reduction in parking, worsening traffic conditions, loss of loading space for elderly residents, a lack of engagement with the community, and a lack of data on auto and bike volumes.
Supporters of the changes say K Street is a unique street in the neighborhood because it only extends from Florida Avenue to Mt. Vernon Square and it is important to have bike lanes on K Street to make that connection to downtown. Commissioner Dooling emphasized the need to encourage alternate means of transport, especially in light of the 4,000 new residential units in the pipeline for Northeast. Committee Chair Kazmierczak shared a letter from 45 families of students in area schools in support of the bike lanes. See committee report here: https://bit.ly/2udARat
At the committee’s recommendation, the ANC subsequently sent a letter to DDOT in February, urging quick implementation of the changes with minor modifications and urging DDOT to look into creative solutions for mid-block loading. https://bit.ly/2u8OkQY That letter was referenced in the letter ANC6C voted to send the Mayor on Wednesday night.
The tension between gentrification and parking/traffic issues continues to emerge as a hot topic in all of Capitol Hill’s ANC’s and came up at ANC6D’s March meeting on Thursday night. Report to follow.