Georgetown Popular with Bikes

Photo by Thisisbossi.

M.V. Jantzen recently put together a nifty map charting the results of a survey done by DDOT measuring bicycle use at 48 different spots. And two spots in Georgetown were among the most heavily traveled.

They were Water St. and Key Bridge, which were second and fourth overall. Water St. saw an average if 198.4 bikes pass per hour. The most busy hour saw 351 bikes pass. The crowd was pretty male, with 81.3% of them men. And 91.8% were wearing a helmet. (This high helmet usage probably reflects the fact that most of the riders passing here are from the Capital Crescent Trail). Only .1% were using Capital Bikeshare.

Key Bridge saw an average of 138.9 bikes an hour with a peak hour of 227 bikes. Male ridership was slightly less dominant at 76.4%. Helmet use was much lower at 77.9% (although that’s still pretty high compared with other spots). A still minuscule 1.4% were using Capital Bikeshare.

This all raises the question of whether the city is providing safe routes for bikers through Georgetown. Water St. is probably pretty safe, but once a biker gets up to M St., they’re much more at risk. In fact, 31st and M was recently identified as one of the most dangerous intersections for bikes in the city.


Filed under Bikes

6 responses to “Georgetown Popular with Bikes

  1. RNM

    Actually the question your data suggests, is should the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many? Or to be specific is the city already doing too much for bikers at the expense of the majority?

    You could also take from that data that what we are really talking about is helping healthy, generally younger, generally well educated, generally white males with more government subsidies? And in doing so do damage to the other demographics that are not well represented or will never be represented in the biking population as well as using funding to help the underprivileged white, college educated, males with good jobs at the detriment of the rest of our city. It only makes sense if you got the religion.

  2. RNM — actually, the data shows that most of the people bicycling at these two spots last June were male. The data shows nothing about white, college-educated, or younger.
    (In my experience, the average age of long-haul commuters on the CCT seems to skew into the 40s, while cyclists within the city skew a bit younger and less male).

    If one were to take the assumptions that you made, however, it would follow that to expand cycling to other populations, DC should look at what the barriers are that are keeping non-20-to-40-something males off of bikes. Much of the research shows that it’s a lack of designated and/or protected lanes between where they live and work. Lo and behold, if you look at the 15th Street cycletrack figures, the male-female split is more like 60-40.

  3. jacquer

    Meanwhile, anecdotally, I find the cyclists I pass on my usual morning commute route along R and Q streets to be quite varied in gender, ethnicity, and age. So perhaps the data is more about who’s attracted to riding on K.

  4. Meg

    It is great to see the numbers here and would be a good next step for the city and biking community work on getting the hundreds of bikers per hour to obey traffic rules on K St. Most but not all of those bikers blow through every stop sign and weave around cars and pedestrians at high speed.

  5. As a cyclist, I agree with Meg. I think the K/Water street riding patterns of many bicyclists is fairly reckless.

    One thing that would be great is a way to bridge the 2-3 block gap between the end of the trail at Georgetown Waterfront park and the Rock Creek Trail. In other words, fix the situation in front of Washington Harbor. As it is, there is no cycling on the riverfront (which makes sense in the afternoon, but not necessarily during morning rush hour, when there is no restaurant/ice rink traffic, and little foot traffic overall). And the combination of pickup lanes in front of Washington Harbor just forces cycling traffic back onto the street.

    Two possibilities that could help (I’m putting these up for discussion, though I haven’t fully explored the pros and cons of either approach):
    1. Narrow the driving lanes on K/Water, either by expanding the northside sidewalks or by adding angled parking on both sides, or
    2. Add bike lanes in both directions, at least where there is no parallel bike path.

    As it is, the configuration of K/Water Street is too wide for the amount of traffic, and it contributes to dangerous speeding by some driving racing from stop sign to stop sign, as well as dangerous behavior by some cyclists, skipping through the 4-way stops altogether.

  6. maggie

    Don’t have time to take K St or Rock Creek Parkway or CCT. Commuters who work at GU coming from the East, like me PG County – all is well on WB R Street OR EB Q St east of Georgetown. As soon as we’re West of the bridge we become a nuisance to rushed drivers and get pushed up on the sidewalk. DDOT may wish to consider a east-west bike lane to continue westward, maybe making R & Q one-way to accommodate.

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