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.
7 responses to “ANC6C Butts Heads with Residents Over K Street NE Bike Lane and Parking”
Oh goodness, Good Luck NE ANC–DDOT runs DC…appeals are a false and not even sure the Mayor has any interest in the real issues of the city and of city residents anymore!! It is a sad day where our property taxes and taxes MEAN NOTHING IN THIS CITY!! Such great potential but when they start to lose city residents, only then will they begin to reconsider and then it will be too late. Poor job all ANCs have the same issue–‘knowing’ what is best for the residents yet not really knowing/communicating with their neighbors. Such a disappointment and with no real recourse other than LEGAL–AN INJUNCTION. Do it now because it will be all said and done before you know it…probably already in the works actually.
Currently there are bike lanes on streets parallel to K Street very nearby. Residents prefer to ride on I Street L Street or M Street. If the city were truly concerned about safety they would improving existing bike lanes and generating more creative alternatives. All options include bike lanes on K Street. The reason for the fight for K Street bike lanes – the convenience of having a straight path to the center of town. Period. Riders would get their convenience and the residents on and near K Street would lose their parking. How’s that for fairness?
This ANC is not listening to the people who elected them. If they lived on K street this would be a no vote for them. I live at K and 2nd and we are being squeezed from every angle. First Loree Grand, the Live Union place DC (both of which the neighbors vehemently opposed 15 years ago), now the Lean Develkpment at 2nd that extends from K to Parker. We collected signatures in opposition to this development form everyone on our block and the ANC and zoning commission still approved it.
We are forced to hire an attorney who is helping other residents in this city who are fighting developers as well. The next slap in the face is taking out the parking in front of my house for these bike lanes. I’ve owned this house for 13 years and there are never bikes in this area because there are bike lanes 1 street over. The usage these lanes would get has not been studied and would be minuscule.
ANC listen to the residents who elected you or you’ll be unseated.
I’m a ward 6 resident with a car and a bicycle and I’m very excited about these bike lanes. I would use them on a regular basis to commute. K Street is hostile to biking because cars go very fast and drivers can become hostile when a bike “takes the lane” to avoid getting sideswiped by a car that thinks there’s room to pass when there’s not. But K Street is one of only a few streets that connect to downtown. Climate change is real and we need to reduce dependency on car trips. Give buses and bikes their own lanes, and find a way to keep cars out of them.
Parking spaces on the street are on public land, and the broader public, not just local residents, have a legitimate right to be involved in deciding what happens with that public land. Parking a car on the street is a privilege, not a right.
A straight thru, protected bike lane is not a right or a privilege. Biking, as a mode of transportation, is inherently flexible, agile, discretionary, intermittent, and unregulated. There are existing lanes that are underutilized in the area. This plan is an assault on a neighborhood that causes unacknowledged negative effects to the elderly, disabled, and residents who need their parking spaces for safety). To push for these kinds of changes (without regard for the impact) is the worst kind gentrification…its a hostile take over. Share the road not take the road. Shame on the ANC Commissioners for not representing their neighbors/voters and even actively campaigning against them. The ills of the White House are spreading.
The K St road diet is about more than removing parking or adding bike lanes, it is about altering the current flow of traffic to make it safer for all road users – drivers, bikers, and pedestrians. Please stop characterizing this effort as “the worst kind gentrification” and as the ANC “not listening to the people who elected them” when it is really about increasing safety for residents, residents that have turned to the ANC for help.
“…need their parking spaces…” Parking private vehicles on public streets are not a right, therefore the spaces aren’t “theirs.” If parking accessibility is a critical concern for a resident, then they must prioritize housing with off-street parking. Public storage of private vehicles cannot take precedence over increasing safety measures for residents driving, biking, and walking on K St.
-K St neighbor w/o off-street parking who drives, bikes, and walks