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Poorly Planned DDOT bike lane redesign on G Street NW at GAO

by Prince Of Petworth May 24, 2017 at 1:45 pm 20 Comments

“Dear PoPville,

DDOT has reconfigured the bike land on G Street NW at GAO so that for 2/3 of the block it runs behind back-in parking with no physical barriers. As you might expect, this means cars back right into the bike lane and park, making the bike lane dangerous and unusable.

Update: Barriers appeared today.

Problem 1: The barriers are only placed where there are official parking spaces, not directly in front of GAO, where people frequently park. As a result:

Problem 2: The barriers aren’t secured in any way and they are light – I moved one just by tapping it with my foot. As a result, many of the barriers have already been pushed back from where they were placed:

It won’t take long for the barriers to be in the bike lane itself.”

  • siz

    wow this is truly, truly an impressive level of stupidity on DDOT’s part.

    • Carey

      Easy now. Without DDOT, so many of the mentally incompetent would be unemployed!

      • anonymous2u

        +1!

  • Anon

    I know that bike lanes > no bike lanes for cycling as a general rule but does it really matter in this case? I don’t think I’ve ever seen significant traffic on that stretch.

    • OP

      It’s especially baffling because they replaced what was (as far as I can tell) a perfectly good bike lane that ran in front of the parking. I never bike on this block, but I would feel comfortable taking the lane – it’s low speed and one lane each way.

      • Bobert

        My guess is that the plastic barriers will soon be drilled into the pavement. I’m not sure why that hasn’t happened when they installed them.

        • OP

          That still doesn’t solve the problem of having no barrier in the area right in front of the GAO entrance – where people back in as if they were using an actual parking space. Also, this whole thing seems to be fixing something that wasn’t broken in the first place.

    • Squire of the Squangle

      True, there’s not much car traffic volume along that block, but it does address the big issue for bikes when it comes to angle parking — which is that drivers can pull out so abruptly. You may not get doored like you can with parallel parking, but you also don’t get any signal that a car is leaving the space.

  • Concrete Barriers please

    Just make all bike lane barriers concrete permanently. Enough of this plastic crap all over the city that isn’t keeping any cars from running through it. We need concrete barriers that are as high as a sidewalk.

  • jj

    Like most of DDot cycling lanes, i appreciate the sentiment but the execution is haphazard. The gold standard for cycling lanes in DC are Penn Ave and 15th st NW. The lanes on E st NW, 12th st NW, and 11th St NW are nice but I feel more comfortable taking the lane due to double parked cars.

    • TJ

      Neither of these designs rise to a “gold standard,” IMO. While it has been great to see the city attempting dedicated cycling lanes, both of these designs actually increase hazards/opportunities to get hit over a simple right lane design.

      The 15th St. cycletrack has the sketchy left-turn signals that are sometimes ignored and places where drivers can turn left into alleys midblock with cars blocking their vision into the lanes. It’s OK with vigilance northbound and requires extra care southbound. The previous sharrow arrangement in the right lane was much more straightforward for the cyclist.

      Pennsylvania Ave. is even worse. The stretch has never had enough car traffic for the existing lanes, so it used to be you just rode on the right. Now cyclists are channeled into the middle to face a multiple potential hazards at each intersections from pedestrians, turning vehicles, etc. The barriers preventing mid-block U-turns helped, but it is still far more dangerous than simply riding in the right lane.

  • anonm

    OP, did you reach out to DDOT?

    • OP

      They haven’t responded to my tweet, which is the most reliable way to get in touch with them in my experience.

  • anonymous2u

    Yes, brought to us by the designers, architects, and implementors of the glorious Streetcar! Zero people held accountable and continues on with business as usual

  • Piglet

    Just ride on the sidewalk. It’s for less than a block crybaby

    • Rasputin

      Some people are interested in improving things for the long-term. We’re more than happy to make do, but why accept such overwhelming mediocrity?

    • Northzax

      That’s not legal. Bicycles are banned from sidewalks south of Mass Ave from 23rd to 3rd (ne) and north of D St, SW.

  • JR

    DDOT shits the bed again.

  • iwdc

    I get all the DDOT hating, but no hate for the people who actually put their car in the bike lane? I mean, yes, I suppose DDOT should know to plan for stupid people, but all of the lines are there and the intention and purpose super clear. How did that cab (or any of the cars) in the first picture walk away from that parking job thinking “Yep, that looks right.”

    • ah

      +1.

      But given how crap DC area drivers are, DDOT has to design roads to prevent the crap driving, not just normal driving. . . . and they don’t do enough of it, such as those white posts that prevent people from using the wrong lane to cut off traffic and then cutting over in one way or another at the last minute.

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