Coalition on DC Bike Plans Holds Town Hall with DDOT Director Lott
A virtual town hall on the installation of protected bicycle lanes was held the night of Jan. 25 by the Coalition on DC Bike Plans with the participation of Everett Lott, director of the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT). The forum convened to discuss community concerns about the direction of DDOT’s program of installing protected bike lanes. The town hall’s moderator, civic activist Jamal Mohamed, also known as DJ One Love, managed the presentations and asked questions at the end.
Director Lott started with a presentation about the current program of installing protected bike lanes. He stated that DDOT has a goal from the Mayor to install 10 miles of bike lanes every year for three years. At a meeting of ANC 8C07 last October, he made a commitment to meet with residents with concerns about the program. Lott also noted that he had gotten complaints from people who said he should not participate in the town hall.
Presentations from the coalition began with Dr. Allison Agwu, who outlined the frustrations caused by the installation of protected bike lanes on West Virginia Avenue NE, where she is a property owner.
Next, Ed Hanlon, a Dupont Circle lawyer, questioned whether current plans met the legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act for accessible parking and recounted the experiences of two disabled residents with installed bike lanes.
Rev. Dexter Nutall, pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church, brought the discussion to the cycletrack planned for Ninth Street in Shaw. Nutall outlined his concerns that the track would disrupt the activities of his and other churches in the neighborhood.
Discussion of the Ninth Street cycletrack continued when Alexander Padro, executive director of Shaw Main Streets, outlined how he thought DDOT’s current plans would adversely affect the businesses along the Ninth Street commercial corridor. He noted the problem of trucks having to make daily deliveries to restaurants, bars and the Washington Convention Center with a double cycletrack on the east side of the street. The cycletrack would also take out restaurant streateries that have been an important revenue source to Shaw businesses during the pandemic. Padro also pointed to an article from San Diego, California, documenting the loss of small businesses after installation of a cycletrack there.
Padro offered three modifications of the plans for the Ninth Street cycletrack that might make it more acceptable.
First was to convert Ninth Street, between Florida and Massachusetts avenues, to a one-way street going south. Ninth Street is already one-way south of Massachusetts Avenue. Converting Ninth to a one-way street would make it wide enough to support commercial activities as well as a protected cycletrack.
Second was to convert the 1900 block of Ninth Street to a one-way street to avoid the congestion that a cycletrack would bring to the densest block on the commercial corridor.
Third was to locate the cycletrack in the center of the street, as on Pennsylvania Avenue, allowing unhindered commercial traffic and parking on Ninth Street.
By the time of the question-and-answer session, at least 200 people were in the forum, with a number vigorously expressing their opinions via Zoom chat. To one of the questions, Lott mentioned that DDOT does not study the economic impact of its projects. He hoped that the town hall would continue and broaden DDOT’s conversation with the community.
Roadside Tops Out Intersect at O
Roadside Development and Dantes Partners recently announced that they have topped out Intersect at O, their building on the southeast corner of Eighth and O streets. Designed by Shalom Baranes Associates, the architects of City Market at O across the street, the mixed-use condominium building should complete in late 2022. In outlining the demand for new housing in the community, the developers noted that “the Shaw neighborhood boasts a Mobility Score of 100 and a Walk Score of 95.” Besides providing a mix of market-rate and affordable housing units, the developers of Intersect at O are giving financial support to local businesses, providing a parish office to the Immaculate Conception Church and making a donation to the nearby Kennedy Recreation Center.
Qui Qui Expands with Pop-Up
Qui Qui, Shaw’s Puerto Rican restaurant located above The Passenger at 1539 Seventh St. NW, has established takeout lunch service. It accepts orders online via a Toast app. It also offers a special on Sundays only, both in-house and to-go, of Sancocho, an island stew made with corn, plantains and root vegetables.
Qui Qui is also serving as a ghost kitchen, a sort of pop-up within a pop-up. Spud’s Subs and Soups will take orders for pickup or delivery weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Despite the name, the pop-up, led by Chef Mykie Moll, goes beyond potatoes to offer a variety of light Eastern European dishes.