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Dear PoP – Biking Hazard at 9th and L St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth December 13, 2010 at 10:04 pm 66 Comments

“Dear PoP,

There are metal tracks at 9th and L. Sorry that I don’t have pictures. (check this out: http://www.shorpy.com/node/5130 – but numbers suggest this is closer to 9th and D)

My guess (after a google) is that the metal tracks are a remnant and not part of any future plan…from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streetcars_in_Washington,_D.C.): On July 1, 1864, a second streetcar company, the Metropolitan Railroad, was incorporated. It opened lines from the Capitol to the War Department along H Street NW. In 1872, it built a line on 9th Street NW and purchased the Union Railroad (chartered on January 19, 1872)

The issue is that when biking down 9th there’s some kind of construction barricade that has been there for as long as I remember in the right lane so bikers are in essence forced onto these metal tracks. I got caught in the tracks two weeks ago at the same corner on my bike and got away with just a few scratches. Last night a biker got caught, fell, and I suspect that she broke her arm. When the ambulance arrived one of the drivers when I told him what happened suggested I call the mayor. I think the implication was that this happens a lot right there.

Anyway, wondering if others have also got caught in the tracks and if there’s a plan for future track use there or maybe something a little cement might be able to fix – or an explicit bike lane.
Until then, I’ll avoid biking down 9th”

I headed down to take some pictures and noticed these metal areas at 9th and L and 9th and Mass.  But I think this are rather new and somehow affiliated with the new convention center.  But I can see how bike wheels can stuck in them.  But maybe there is another metal section that I missed?  Anyone know what these things are? Any other bikers having trouble here?

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