Photo by AJfroggie.
Monday night, DDOT finally began construction of the long awaited separated bicycle lanes (or “cycletracks”) on L St. from the West End to downtown. This will hopefully precede another lane to be installed on M St. from 29th to Thomas Circle. This will bring improved biking facilities right to the threshold of Georgetown, but not through it. Will this mean that Georgetown will miss out?
For those unfamiliar with these types of bike lanes, the parking lane is moved one lane away from the curb, and the bike lane is installed with barriers between the parking lane and the curb. Studies have shown how dedicated lanes like these can cut cycling injuries by up to a half. And when lanes like these have been installed on 15th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., bike traffic along those routes skyrocketed while the impact to car traffic has been negligible.
The new lanes on L and M will provide a very much needed east-west route for bikers. However for Georgetown bikers, the lanes are tantalizingly close, but not close enough.
The L St. lane will travel eastbound from 25th (by Trader Joe’s). That means that if someone wants to bike from Georgetown to the lane, they will probably have to travel on M St.and Pennsylvania Ave.
GM is a confident city biker, but even he gets seriously unnerved trying to ride on M St. and Pennsylvania Ave. This gap between the heart of Georgetown and safe separated bike lanes will discourage people from riding bikes to Georgetown. But what can we do about it? Continue reading