Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Columbia Heights parking and transportation

(Flickr photo by Las photographs.)

This is from an email I wrote on the Columbia Heights e-list, in response to an upcoming hearing on "protecting parking in Columbia Heights" given the impending opening of the DC/USA retail complex, featuring Target, as well as to the posted slides of a presentation by DC's Department of Transportation about "parking management strategies" for Columbia Heights.

I wrote:

Thanks for posting those slides.

2. A point made in the slides is how low parking prices encourages driving trips. So does building big parking structures at Tivoli Square and DCUSA. (DC Government has subsidized construction of parking structures at these sites. I will admit that there needs to be some parking, but at the same time, transportation demand strategies promoting other forms of mobility should have been primary in the planning for these developments, especially given the proximity to the subway station, and it isn't clear that TDM planning was done.)
Kenyon Square Condominium, Columbia Heights
DC/USA is about as close to the subway as Kenyon Square, yet includes a massive parking structure. with parking for 1,000 cars.

3. They mention truck delivery but not demand management of freight deliveries, particularly time shifting (meaning deliveries in the evening or not rush). E.g., how much could traffic delays be reduced if CVS shifted their product deliveries to overnight throughout the city.

4. Bikesharing. The DC implementation of bike sharing isn't very trendsetting when compared to a place like Paris. Most of the sites will be implemented downtown.

But it occurs to me that you could do a kind of Ward 1 bikesharing pilot, if only with sharing sites in Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, and Columbia Heights, which are on roughly the same elevation going east to west (it's that north-south thing that's tough getting up the hill). You could add U Street, but there will be the issue of people taking rides down the hill but not up, and there will have to be provisions for moving bikes back up the hill(s).

Still there would be no reason not to do that. Ward 1 could have great bikesharing opportunities. And it would make sense to then connect with Woodley Park (if there is a great deal of back and forth traffic between there and A-M, I can't really say in terms of bikesharing needs), etc.

Sadly, I don't think we're doing much in the way of intra-ward biksharing planning. Maybe we are. I'm not paying too close attention to what's happening. But this shows that there is great potential at the ward level, more than we may have thought there is.


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