Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring time for South East

 So spring time has finally come around.  It has been absolutely beautiful here in DC. 

That being said, I say its about time to get the neighborhood together, and get out there and clean up.  Why do people still in this day and age, not understand the concept of not littering?  Seriously? Do you really have no respect for your own enviroment?  Im not even talking about the earth, more so the area you are actually living in.  Do you just toss trash on the floor of your house?  If so, don't the rats and fleas, and bacteria/mold disgust you?  How can you live in piles of your own filth? 

If you don't dump trash around your house, why do you think its ok to drop the trash on the street as you walk? 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good bike paths in dc?

I've heard that DC has some good places to go biking.  Perhaps the C&O Canal Towpath, or the Crescent Trail, but those are two paths that basically run parallel to each other in NW DC.  I hear that Rock Creek Park has bike paths in it, but this is also in NW. 

What about ways for commuters to traverse DC with out using cars, or the public transit system?  Is there a reasonable system of bike paths and bike routes, to perhaps enable, or even encourage bike commuting in this city?  Not one that I've found.  So far every bike path or route I've attempted to follow to get to any of my many work locations have ended up with me riding on questionable routes, and through very heavy car and pedestrian (tourist) traffic.  While I know that no system is able to be 100% great, I still would like to think that DC could step it up at least a few notches. 

Today, I went on a little photo expedition in my own neighborhood.  I followed one of the proposed "Bike Routes" that is supposedly designed to transport commuters from South East DC (read Anacostia) to South Capitol Street bridge, and on towards down town.  This route leads us right by both ends of the Anacostia metro station, and through the Park Police training facility, into Anacostia Park.

Here are a few of the photos I took on my journey.

This is across the Howard Road from the Anacostia Bus Terminal and Metro Station.

This is the intersection of Howard Road and Firth Sterling Ave, where the bike route runs int o a series of curbs with no cut outs for the cross walks.

Here the bike path continues under 295 on Howard Road.  The side walk becomes very narrow, and would be hard for anyone to pass or for people heading different directions to get by each other.

And here we find a fire hydrant right in the middle of the sidewalk.  Which make it impossible to ride through this stretch.

After turning off Howard Road, and up towards the Anacostia Metro and parking lot, you come to this point, where the route seems to either disappear completely, or turn into the road.

Here we find a 2 foot wall that you would have to carry your bike over, if you chose to not ride the road, and bike up into the parking garage.

And across the road from the 2 foot wall, or down the road from the entrance to the metro access road, we find what they call a bike path, which I call a single person wide gate, that you have to cross a dirt path to reach. 

When it comes down to it, this is unacceptable.  How does DC expect people to ride their bikes to work, when they haven't established the proper infrastructure to enable it?  What benefits would creating safe bike routes for commuters?  Well they are cheaper to maintain than regular roads, bicyclists put less stress on the roads if they use them, and if more people biked to work, then there would be fewer cars on the road.  If DC's priorities were in the right place they would put more emphasis on creating alternatives to driving to work.  Whether it is creating a real system of bike routes, or furthering the public transit system, or building a system that encorperates the two together, this city has a lot of progress that still needs to be made. 

More reports like this to follow......