Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pennsylvania Bike Lane Opens for Business

Today the long-awaited- or oft-dreaded, depending on who you talk to, bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue officially opened for public use. Bike enthusiasts hailed the lanes as a sign of the coming of equality for alternative forms of transportation. Car enthusiasts bemoaned the loss of auto lanes in favor of the lines of zippy bikers getting their exercise as they commute to and from work. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) scaled back the original lanes, which would have taken over a car traffic lane, in favor of designated lanes in the center median of the roads. Officials at the ribbon cutting and inaugural bike ride praised the $150,000 pilot program for setting an example for the rest of the country.

DC Mayor Adrian Fenty lauded the new route saying the "bike lane on Pennsylvania Avenue, literally connects the Capitol to the White House" a sign he said shows that America is "catching up" to other more multi-modal countries. Other officials clearly trying to quiet concerns from drivers emphasized the fact that more bikers means fewer cars and less competition on the roads and for parking.

In a press release, DDOT Director Gabe Klein explained in so many words the change in the bike lane design and the delayed opening, which was originally set for bike-to-work day several weeks ago. Klein said "before we officially opened the bike lanes we wanted to make sure they provide safe areas for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians...with a better design we have a better chance of success."

Washington, DC real estate development news


Anonymous said...

yes for bikes!!

Anonymous said...

How long until someone is killed in one of these lanes? And what is the likelihood it will be by a Metrobus?

Also, is there any measurement of how many people have to use this lane for it to be considered a success?

If only a dozen or so people use it a day by the end of this year, it seems to me they should be removed and an announcement should be issued by the local government about how much of a financial waste it was to create such a lane.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2, does such a "success" metric exist for ANY road? Why should a bike lane meet a standard that doesnt exist for any other mode of transportation?

Anonymous said...

Bikes should have license plates. "Sharing" the road doesn't mean they follow the same rules as a vehicle. They run red lights, go against traffic, cut in and out of "their" lane.....and why is it when I am turning right, do bikers slap the hood of my car, give me the finger and curse at me, doesn't the dotted white line mean I can cut over the lane to turn right?

Anonymous said...

I can see the lanes from my office and a dozen cyclists go by in 15 minutes, many more during rush hour. And that's in 90 degree weather.

Anyway, now that the lanes are in the median and not reducing traffic lanes at all it seems particularly difficult to claim the space should be used for cars. It was essentially wasted space before used only by taxis for illegal u-turns.

And if someone is killed by a bus, isn't that the bus driver's fault? Why should they drive in the bike lanes any more than the wrong side of the street. Or a crosswalk with pedestrians (legally) crossing?

Anonymous said...

@june 25 7:39 AM

They are slapping your car because you are illegally turning into their space, putting them at extreme risk for bodily harm.

It is your responsibility as a driver (and mine) to ensure your access to the right is clear, and that includes bicyclists.

Anonymous said...

if it keeps the bikes out of car lanes - no problem. As long as the cyclists follow traffic laws, which they seem to have difficulty doing. Stop means stop for bikes too!

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