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Wells’ Proposal to Expand Bicycle Parking for DC Residents and Commuters Passes Committee Vote PDF Print E-mail
Written by Charles Allen   
Monday, 02 July 2007
The Committee on Public Works and the Environment, Chaired by Councilmember Jim Graham, voted unanimously today to approve the "Bicycle Commuter and Parking Expansion Act of 2007.”  Councilmember Tommy Wells, joined by Councilmembers Harry Thomas Jr. and Kwame Brown, introduced the bill on February 6, 2007.  It was the subject of a public hearing on June 22nd.  The bill will now move for consideration at the July 10th legislative session of the full Council.

“By expanding bike parking facilities throughout the city, we will be supporting and encouraging visitors, commuters, and residents to take advantage of the fact that Washington, D.C. is a beautiful city for biking,” comment Councilmember Wells. He added, “Several of the steps taken with this legislation move DC to be one of the more progressive American cities in regard to promoting bicycle use.”

Under current law, commercial office, retail, and service buildings are required to provide bike parking at 5% of the number of car spaces created (i.e., if there are 100 car spaces, 5 spaces for bicycle parking must be provided).  The “Bicycle Commuter and Parking Expansion Act of 2007” will increase the requirement to 10% and increase significantly the number of secure bicycle parking slots at the District’s John A. Wilson building.  The legislation will also create, for the first time, a similar requirement on residential buildings. Faced with a rapidly rising number of individuals using bicycles, and limited options for secure parking near residences, this new requirement will create at least one bicycle parking space for every four residential units.

Wells added, “Whether running an errand, getting to work or simply getting some air, everyday thousands of people choose to enjoy, commute and travel through the city on a bicycle.  We must make sure they have a secure place to park their bikes. We can boast about our miles of bicycle lanes, but without a place to park your bicycle when you get to your destination, those lanes will never be fully utilized. It’s a simple matter of providing the most basic of infrastructure and sending a message: we are a multi-modal town.”

The bill also calls for a Mayor’s report on bike parking at District-owned buildings such as government office buildings, recreation centers, public schools and libraries. The report will include information on: 1) the number of existing bicycle and car spaces currently provided at all District buildings; 2) a strategic plan to bring the ratio of bike to car parking up to at least 10% and to provide additional bicycle parking above the minimum at those buildings where demand is higher; 3) an evaluation of bicycle travel lanes leading riders to and from District facilities and parks; 4) a detailed report on the bicycle parking plan for the new baseball park in Southeast DC.

To complement this legislation, Mr. Wells has also introduced the "Bicycle Registration Reform Act of 2007,” which would replace the little used system of mandatory bicycle registration at local police stations with a voluntary system of bicycle registration with a national registry. A hearing was held on June 28th on this legislation but no further committee action has been taken.
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