As summer drew to a close, ULI Washington initiated its Issues Tracking Survey series. Each month, ULI Washington will create a short survey to take the pulse of its members about issues related to land use and development in the region. The first survey focused on Walking, Bicycle Use and Real Estate. In the results, an overwhelming 96 percent of respondents said that they believe that the region will benefit from more people walking and biking to work. In order to accommodate this trend, respondents said that more bike lanes, sidewalks, trails and other facilities are required, which will take increased public and private funding for walking and biking enhancements. Almost 80 percent of respondents said that they are seeing building owners and developers offer bike amenities for employees and tenants and that this trend will grow significantly in the coming years. Examples of buildings/employers providing bike amenities included CoStar building at 1331 L Street, NW; the Elevation project at NY and Florida Avenues, NW; 1310 L Street, NW; 800 North Glebe Road; and the View at Waterfront in DC. The District was noted as being in the forefront of requiring bike amenities as part of the entitlement process. In general, respondents said that areas with new development near Metro, particularly NoMa, were areas where cycling and walking amenities are prevalent. One respondent noted the great success of Capital BikeShare in making cycling a more visible transportation method across the city. Several respondents noted that nationally, Seattle, Santa Barbara, and Minnesota have provided very reliable and useful cycling infrastructure.
Respondents were split almost evenly on whether or not the District and other municipalities are doing enough to support biking and walking as transportation options yet over 80 percent said that the region’s employers are not doing enough to support biking and walking as a transportation option. Only 21 percent of respondents said that their company offers programs or incentives to support biking or walking to work. In the open-ended section of the survey, several comments were included that addressed the problem of biker/car driver interactions and the need for both pedestrians and drivers to accept increased responsibility for their actions, in addition to increased enforcement. Potholes and poor street quality were listed as other deterrents for biking. The need for education and cultural shifts around biking was noted. There were several comments related to land use and the need for greater residential density close to employment and shopping centers and more modest growth. One recommendation in response to the survey was to develop a scooter share program, especially in the more suburban employment centers.
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