GM took a ride down the almost complete Water St./K St. bike lane this week, and filmed his journey.
It’s pretty great! There are obviously some problems, of course. The main one being that cars are already parking in it. Hopefully this will be fixed once they install barriers. But it will likely be an ongoing problem because people don’t think it’s really breaking the law to park their cars illegally. It’s typical behavior with scofflaw car drivers.
Another problem is that where there used to be painted parking lines, the asphalt has been ground away a bit. That causes the road to be a bit bumpy. But that’s a minor problem, and the overall improvements are more than enough to overlook these small gripes.
There’s still more to be done to improve this stretch though. The city really ought to install the mini-roundabout that Toole Design recommended for the intersection of Water and 34th:
If you visit the far west end of Water St., especially on the weekends, all you see are a constant stream of cars driving down, realizing there’s no parking and doing a dangerous u-turn to reverse direction. Toole’s design would discourage cars from heading west of 34th St., limiting it to local traffic only.
Once the Key Bridge construction is over, hopefully they can build an extension of the bike lane all the way to the entrance of the Capital Crescent Trail. And on the other end, the goal is to construct a new foot bridge across Rock Creek to give a safe path for cyclists to connect to the Rock Creek Trails.