DDOT to Unveil Plans for Innovative Bike Lanes for Downtown

Photo by PoPville flickr user ddoubleud

From a press release:

Public Meeting Scheduled for Thursday, March 18

(Washington, D.C.) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is developing innovative new bike infrastructure in the greater downtown area, to accommodate increased bicycling in the city, and to prepare for the expansion of the bikesharing program. To see the latest plans, DDOT and the Downtown and Golden Triangle Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) invite the public to attend a meeting on Thursday, March 18, at the Heritage Center of the United States Navy Memorial.

Because of the high demand for curb space, including a large number of buses and delivery trucks, DDOT has looked to other cities such as New York and Montreal for designs which both protect cyclists and accommodate other downtown activity. Based on what we found, DDOT has developed creative proposals for new bike lanes on the following streets:

· Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

· I Street, NW

· L Street, NW

· 15th Street, NW

· 9th Street, NW

More detailed plans for each street will be discussed at the meeting.

Meeting Information:

What: Public Meeting on Innovative Bike Lanes

When: Thursday, March 18, 6 pm – 8 pm

Where: The Heritage Center of the United States Navy Memorial

701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

The Heritage Center is located above the Archives/Navy Memorial Metrorail Station on the Green and Yellow lines. Also, bicycle parking will be provided for the meeting.

28 Comment

  • hopefully they can expand this to the whole district.

  • There was a similar meeting last night to discuss cycle tracks in SW, particularly on M street.

    This is good news. I’m tired of walking downtown and sucking in needless exhaust.

  • Vonstallin

    If they do 9th street then I will ride in more. As it is I see about 3 accidnts a year on 9th street…but to be honest…I think part of it is bad bikers. Some have no clue or riding in a daze.

    When i ride downtown I feel as thou im being tageted by maniac cabs, people following the new law that says you stop 4 to 5 feet “Past” the stop sign.

  • The city needs to start enforcing the rules that it already has on the books first. You can’t ride a bicycle on the sidewalks in the downtown business district. You can’t jet through red lights and stop signs.

    I hope they actually build some sort of system with a small wall or ridge. Painting on a bike lane doesn’t do anything.

    • I agree with your last statement.

      I’d prefer to see a set of streets that’s bike and bus ONLY. I’ll even nominate my own. The bike lane, which is shared by the “I’m going to open my car door” lane which is next to the “I’m a self important cell phone user driving 45 in a 25” lane has got to be the stupidest use of resources I’ve ever seen.

      Bikers and car drivers are both overly aggressive on the roads. I think that the bicycle is going to lose the battle.

      In other news, I’m starting to carry a baseball with me when I walk to the park. For those instances when cars don’t want to yield right of way in the crosswalk.

      • It’s the same reason I drive a car, for when those bikes don’t stop at lights or signs

        • A biker swerved purposefully in front of the car in front of me the other day so that the driver wouldn’t pass him. I think that’s a really good way to end up dead. Because if I accidentally hit you when you did that, I’d be damn tempted to finish the job.

  • i would LOVE to see all cars parked for free at massive parking lots at the district line, allowing for only mass transit (metro/metroaccess, bus, bike, trolley, walk, maybe cab) within the city proper.

    i am thinking of allowing golf carts and those dopey segways, on the fence with those…


    • agreed. grew up in dc and I have never had a car. with increased investment in mass transit and bikes there really is no need for personal automobile ownership. could still have taxi service for the disabled. Think how much cleaner and quieter DC would be without cars.

    • ah

      yeah, that will work. And within a few years the lots will be empty because there will be no businesses located downtown any more.

      • the federal gov’t isn’t going any where. nor are all the related industries that sprang up with solid roots in dc as a result (lobbying, lawyering, think tanks etc.), nor is tourism and the museums and sports teams, nor are all the bars and restaurants and shops that cater to all above.

        why anyone would *want* the opportunity to pay $20 a day to park a few hours and deal with one of the worst rush hours in the country 2x a day is completely beyond me.

        washington dc proper is only 60 square miles (20% of which is park land). this becomes easier and more realistic the more i think about it…

        • Doesn’t matter that it’s beyond you. Lots of people make that choice. Because it’s a choice that’s theirs to make.

          I drive everywhere. I work from home now, but I drove to work from the Hill downtown for years before. I LIKE to drive. Not that I need to justify it to anyone or explain myself to anyone, but I enjoyed the time alone to transition from home time to work time.

          There is nothing that’s going to change the fact that I am going to choose to drive. I will never understand why some people think that they should be allowed to make that choice for me. You don’t want to sit in traffic? Awesome – ride your bike or walk. I don’t care. You want to take Metro or the bus? Cool. It’s not my business. Just like it’s not your business if I want to drive and spend the money to do so. You can keep making it more expensive or difficult if you want, but as long as I’m willing to pay for it, or maneuver the challenges, why do you think it’s any of your concern?

          • >why do you think it’s any of your concern?

            in short, one city at a time:

            lessening our dependence on foreign oil effecting human rights records and diplomacy worldwide, consumption of fossil fuels effecting human caused global climate change, lessening the amount of local and regional pollution, encouraging physical exercise to combat a growing problem of obesity and lowering health care costs and related illnesses, increasing productivity and worker output to remain globally competitive, among a plethora and myriad (pletheriad?) of other reasons, none of which, i assure you, concern me wanting to be all up in your business


        • ah

          Much of the federal government would go somewhere. A lot of it already is in NoVa and MD. If this pie-in-the-sky idea came about most of the staff at agencies probably would be relocated because agencies couldn’t hire.

          Of course the top-level politicos would like it because their black cars (SUVs) wouldn’t have to contend with any traffic and would be exempt anyway.

  • Are cyclists going to actually use the extra infrastructure? Or just kind of do their own thing, sort of like they do now?

    We spent $100,000 on the bike lane on 15th and almost no cyclist uses it because the lights are untimed for cyclists traveling the “correct” way in the contraflow, there are safety concerns, 14th street is quicker, and there is always debris in the lane – just to name a few issues. If this is the model, we should spend the money elsewhere.

  • The 15th street lane hasn’t been in for very long, and most of that was during the winter. Wait until it warms up a little more before passing judgment on it. As of now, I see too many people using it going the wrong way, and I think the fact that you have to follow walk signals and not traffic lights is confusing and potentially dangerous. So I’m not sold on the idea, but it could work.

    To the idiots in this thread: 99% of the time that cyclists run stop signs, they aren’t putting anyone in danger or holding up traffic. You’re just jealous that they’re going faster than you.

    • They aren’t going “faster” then people in their cars. They are just maneuvering through cars at lights and then running the lights. I understand the need to avoid a right hook, but when I have to pass a cyclist on 14th street 3 times because he runs the lights, it’s a little frustrating and slows down all traffic.

      This moring a freaking roller blader was using an entire lane on 14th and kept running the lights. I had to pass him twice only to get stuck behind a guy occupying entire lane on a freaking kick scooter. Maybe we should dedicate an entire lane downtown to roller bladers, cyclists, foot scooters, horse drawn carriages, and segways? Or maybe just eliminate cars in downtown DC altogether.

      • Bike often go faster than cars when there’s heavy traffic. Try it sometime.

        The cyclist who slows you down for a couple seconds is a person who is not adding to the car traffic on the roads. Cars are the cause of 100% of the traffic jams in this city. I drive in the city a great deal and have never been held up by a cyclist for more than a couple seconds. Cars, on the other hand…

        We don’t need to eliminate cars entirely, but drivers need to learn to deal with the fact that more people are choosing to ride bikes.

      • hnc makes a good point. perhaps eliminating left turns in the district would actually make your life better? or would that ruin your poor little day?

  • The individual who made the comment (either on this blog or DCist) “When I am a pedestrian I hate drivers, when I am driver I hate pedestrians; I always hate bikers” was a genius.

  • The biker hate always amuses me. First off, a biker yielding at a red light and rolling through a stop sign does not actually impact your life as a driver. Furthermore, as it has already been done in more bike friendly towns, it will most likely be written into law that bikers have the right to do this. As they can more clearly see traffic at intersections. At that point your pathetic grumbling about bikers not following the law will no longer hold water and your argument will be reduced to what it is at it’s core. Jealousy. The second point I’d like to make is that for all the talk of bikers holding you up as you wait for an opportunity to pass them. Think about if all the people that biked places decided to hop into cars instead. You think DC has bad traffic now? HA. You all should be thanking those that chose to ditch their cars. To think that most on this blog are environmentally conscious and still hold these views leaves me a little dumbfounded. If you harbor hate for bikers you are an ignorant ass. And would you believe it. I don’t even own a bike!

  • people from DDOT should spend some time in the Netherlands, learn everything they can about how the Dutch do bike lanes, then replicate it here.

    I have not seen any other place anywhere that remotely approaches the efficiency of the dutch bike lane system. or, actually, now that I think of it, the efficiency of almost everything in the netherlands.

    (one thing i’d like to learn from them is how they are all able to ride bikes around and never look rumpled, sweaty, or muddy, yet I can barely touch a bike without looking like I am halfway through a triathlon)

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