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Thread: Is it just me, or is Penn. Ave. in front of the White House closed more often now?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcb203 View Post
    My hunch is that it's shut down when Trump is going somewhere by car (which is pretty rare) or Pence is coming or going. Or perhaps when Ivanka's motorcade is coming and going--if that's the case, this is beyond absurd.
    I haven't noticed any correlation between Penn being shut down and motorcades. When it's shut down in the morning, I'm almost always able to double back and cross to 17th south of the White House. When it's shut down in the morning, I'm almost always able to go South on 17th and don't see any increased security on the south side.

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    It's been shut down several times when Drumpf has been away from DC so it's not just because of him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    It's definitely closed more frequently now. And it's getting harder not to give the building the finger when it is open.
    I find it quite easy to give the finger. That's the reason the closures annoy me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    I wonder how long before they just close it off for good. Many folks may not remember or did not live here then, but E Street south of the White House used to be a real-live no foolin' street, but it was closed for "security reasons."
    So was Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and LaFayette Square before the Oklahoma City bombing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbike33 View Post
    So was Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and LaFayette Square before the Oklahoma City bombing.
    I didn't mention that one because I liked the change from a busy car street to a pedestrian mall; however, the creep has continued and it's hardly that anymore since it's closed so often. I'm hoping it's just a phase, but really have no reason to hope that.

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    [QUOTE=huskerdont;163039]I'm hoping it's just a phase...QUOTE]

    It's the Secret Service's awkward teenage years.

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    Well, I've heard enough echoes of my own aggravation that I'm going to the DDOT meeting tonight in Foggy Bottom. I expect a bunch of foregone conclusions (e.g., "We can't do anything about the Secret Service shutdowns") and I'll probably be shouting into the wind. But better to show up and complain than say nothing. I'm all for dedicated bus and bike lanes, but to have them closed off every few days kinda negates the improvements.

    Wish me luck (and have a beer for me at the TdF party?).

  9. #28
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    Notes from tonight's DDOT meeting.

    Good News: They've heard us. 4 or 5 cyclists plus a WABA staffer were there piling on about how security closures around the White House / Lafayette Square are breaking vital connectors and putting us at risk. Everyone in the room pretty much agreed it's happening more frequently, and the worst part about it is not knowing until you get there whether you'll have to detour.

    Not So Good News: Despite unanimous aggravation, nobody claims to have any influence over the Secret Service, and solutions are not forthcoming (didn't I say that earlier? no surprise). DDOT is sympathetic, however, and trying to include those issues in design considerations for places like H Street where we have to bail out in those circumstances.

    Good News: The Downtown West proposal includes dedicated, protected bike lanes on Penn Ave between 17th and Washington Circle. It earns WABA's praise because it right-sizes an overbuilt road, and provides safer "complete streets" through a vital business district. A few design details pending, this part of the project could be fast tracked. Whee!

    TBD News: The other proposal is for a contraflow bus lane on H Street between New York Ave and Penn Ave. It could relieve traffic congestion, but otherwise does nothing for cyclists. H Street doesn't have a lot of room to work with, so they can't add a bike lane, but could possibly widen the sidewalk between Madison Place and 15th to give pedestrians (and walking cyclists) more room. Meh. Some businesses along that road (especially hotels, who have guests loading/unloading) pretty solidly oppose the bus lane for safety and access reasons.

    A few illustrations below. You can find all the details about Downtown West on their web site, including contact info for DDOT project manager Megan Kanagy. Send your comments to her and WABA, and illustrate with maps and drawings (it helped me a lot).

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    More good news (gleaned from walking out with the WABA staffer): NPS has funding approved to study extending the 15th Street cycle track all the way to Constitution Ave. One step forward in saying goodbye to the t-shirt truck gauntlet, yay!

    And more: Project is approved to widen the path up the hill to the 14th Street bridge (next to Jefferson Memorial) and improve that transition. The utility pole can't be moved, but the pavement will be widened significantly to avoid it and (no, really) the pole will be wrapped in goalpost-like padding.

    So..... who drank a beer for me at TdF, hmm?

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  11. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    So..... who drank a beer for me at TdF, hmm?

    Thanks, Gina!! I had about 5 beers - so I'll say two were for you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Thanks, Gina!! I had about 5 beers - so I'll say two were for you!
    I also had 5 beers, but three of them were for you, because I'm better than Steve O.

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