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New L Street NW Cycle Track (Bike Lane) Officially Open, M Street Cycle Track to be Installed Next Year

by Prince Of Petworth December 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm 26 Comments

In early Nov. we noted the cycle track was looking good, if slightly confusing at times.

From a press release:

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Terry Bellamy, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and other local bicyclists today cut a ribbon to officially open the new separated bike lane on L Street NW. The celebration was held at the intersection of L Street and 15th Street, where the new lane intersects with one of the District’s other cycle tracks.

“Here, where the L Street and 15th Street bike lanes cross paths, you can see a new transportation network taking shape – one that treats cyclists with respect and concern for their safety,” said Mayor Gray. “I believe that having such a network is critical if we are going to meet our goal of becoming a more sustainable city by reducing our dependence on the automobile to get around town. Increasing safety for cyclists and growing the number of bike lanes in the District are parts of my One City Action Plan.”

The L Street NW cycle track runs east from New Hampshire Avenue to 12th Street and gives cyclists more protection from motor vehicles than a typical bike lane. A painted buffer and plastic bollards separate the bike lane from the through lanes for vehicular traffic on L Street, which is one-way eastbound. Vehicle loading, unloading or parking in the bike lane is not permitted at any time.

At intersections, the bike lane is painted green for greater visibility. Merge zones permit vehicles to carefully cross the bike lane to gain access to the left turn lanes.

“Every street is a little different, and we designed this bike lane with two primary goals in mind: to protect cyclists as best we could from turning vehicles, and to ensure we did not severely degrade the level of service for other traffic in this busy corridor,” said Director Bellamy.

The District now has almost four miles of protected bike lanes, including the existing bike infrastructure on 15th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

“I think it’s no accident that we’re seeing a healthy increase in cycling in the District,” added Mayor Gray. “The safer you make cycling, the more people will choose to bike.”

DDOT plans to install another cycle track on M Street NW next year. It will parallel the L Street lane and serve westbound bicycle traffic.

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