DC To Get 40 Miles of Bike Lanes!

DSCN3854, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I was just thinking how many bike lanes have recently popped up and then I received this press release:

District/DDOT Reach Cycling Milestones:

40 Miles of Bike Lanes & 1,000 Bike Racks

New Lanes Boost DC’s Overall Bike Network

(Washington, D.C.) Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Department of Transportation (DDOT) Bicycle Program Manager Jim Sebastian and Department of the Environment (DDOE) Director George Hawkins today announced that the District is on track to complete 40 miles of bike lanes in the District. In all, 8 miles of bike lanes will have been installed in 2008, more than any single year to date. This accomplishment keeps the District on track to meet one of the goals of the DC Bicycle Master Plan: to install 60 miles of bike lanes in 10 years.  Press release continues after the jump.

“We’re keeping our promise to make the District more bicycle-friendly,” said Mayor Fenty. “And to really move people out of their cars, we have to make sure the infrastructure is in place for them to pedal safely on our streets and trails.”

The District has also made a significant investment to ensure cyclists have a secure place to park their bikes with DDOT workers installing the 1000th bike rack this week. DDOT bike racks are located all throughout the city as part of the District’s commitment to provide ample parking for bikes.

“Under the Mayor’s leadership, we are making rapid progress in our bicycle program,” said Mr. Sebastian. “Few cities can boast about doing more to make two-wheel travel easier and safer.”

Men’s Health Magazine recently named Mayor Fenty as one of its 20 “Heroes of Health and Fitness” for his commitment to making DC more bike-friendly. Also, earlier this year, the District was named “Most Improved City” for bicycling by Bicycling Magazine. The new bike lanes and racks are just a couple of the bicycle and pedestrian initiatives currently underway at DDOT:

* A Bicycle Transit Center is being built at Union Station. The 1,700 square foot facility will be the first of its kind on the East Coast and will offer bicycle parking, rentals, repairs and retail accessories. It is expected to open for business in spring 2009.

* The SmartBikeDC bike-sharing program, launched in August 2008, is off to a fast start. More than 900 people have signed up and the program is averaging close to 150 trips a day (www.smartbikedc.org).
* The District recently joined a national campaign to advocate for a dramatic increase in funding for biking and pedestrian-focused programs in the next surface transportation authorization bill. This effort is led by the Washington-based Rails-To-Trails Conservancy which released a report this week illustrating the benefits of investing in active transportation options. DDOT submitted a case statement in support of the organization’s initiative.
* Construction is expected to start by the end of the year on Phase II of the Metropolitan Branch Trail. The MBT is a planned seven-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail between Union Station and Takoma Park, MD, that will connect underserved areas of the city with the region’s extensive trail network.

* The highly publicized Draft Pedestrian Master Plan was released earlier this year and is currently undergoing its final public review process. The plan recommends new traffic safety policies and roadway improvements to improve pedestrian safety and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities.

* Now that school is back in session, DDOT representatives are visiting schools as part of the DDOT pedestrian/bicycle education program. This program looks to educate both children and adults on safe pedestrian and bicycle practices.

8 Comment

  • ….woohoooo!!!! More bike lanes are a big deal.

  • I love the IDEA of bike lanes, but they’re basically unusable in DC currently for a few reasons. Primarily, they’re used for double parking and loading zones, and there’s no enforcement against this. I don’t even think there’s a law on the books making it illegal to park in a bike lane – so folks do. Just check out 14th Street between P St and U St. You’ll find a handful of cars & delivery trucks parked in the bike lane on every block. Secondly, the lanes often seemingly begin and end with no logic. In many places they just ‘merge’ into the curb and -poof- no more bike lane. Whoever picked the locations for lanes clearly had no big-picture forethought and just a scatter-brained notion like “hey lets put a bike lane here…and here…” And bikes lanes in a traffic circle as they are in Thomas Circle? Just. Plain. Stupid. and an accident waiting to happen.

    What we need are bike boxes and bike lanes separated by a curb, bollards, or some other physical barrier. We also need to get law enforcement to actually start enforcing traffic laws against automobile drivers. [/rant]

  • Fenty needs to stop grandstanding and demand that cops do their jobs and aggressively enforce the laws on the books. What a disappointment he is.

  • i think council just passed a law to fine anyone parked in the bike lanes. I would love to see seperated lanes as ontarioroader described but that costs a lot of money, painted lanes are cheap and easy and just a start. it helps educate drivers to expect bikers and leave some space to their right. it’s a slow process, but there’s plenty of people out there who do not even think bikes should share the road, so we gotta take the small steps first before we can transform the city.

  • I’m a big fan of all the new bike lanes, and do think they are very helpful for bike safety. For example, 5th St NW heading south through Petworth used to be 2 lanes of traffic — unnecessary for a residential street, and unsafe for bicyclists who had to share their lane with cars. It feels much more safe now than it did previously.

    My only gripe with the new bike lanes is that they need regular street cleaning to be useful. The amount of broken bottles by the McMillan reservoir makes me think one of the main pastimes at Howard must be drinking while driving and hurtling beer bottles out of your car. SIGH.

    I’m happy to see the plan for the additional miles of lanes – I agree with ontarioroader that the placement seems a little random, and bike lanes don’t necessarily connect with each other.

  • Jeez, here come the bike-lane naysayers, curmudgeons, cynics. If you’re holding your breath to get fully separated lanes…

    Sure, there are problems with it. And the legendary bike fleets in Amsterdam often end up in the canals, should they can the whole concept? Give it time people, and applaud bold and rapid steps in the right direction. Most US cities should be so lucky.

  • agreed on the need to clean the bike lanes along mcmillan. there needs to be a massive increase in bike racks downtown and in every commercial area of the city. there aren’t enough road signs out there to tie your bike up to in most places…

  • I think the deluge of broken glass is mostly the fault of the dc trash collectors. reason i say is ive often ridden up 11th st nw in the bike lane following the trash guys and its amazing how much they lose from the trash that ends up broken and shattered in the bike lane. And beleive me its always on Trash day that the lane is covered in glass…
    luckily no flats yet for me, but its got to be a matter of time.

Comments are closed.