At the Bicycle Advisory Committee's Facility Committee meeting this week, bicycle facilities that are in the planning stage were discussed.
Street SE, SW from 6th St, SW to 11th Street, SE
There are four options being considered, listed here from least to most expensive
1. Mixing zone (Like what was done on Grand Street in NYC) Bike lane would be separated by a painted buffer and parked cars, bicycles would "mix" with right turning cars at the intersection.
2. Bike/bus lane with mixing zone - like the one above, but bikes and buses share a lane and no parking buffer.
3. Bike/bus lane protected crossing - bikes and buses share a lane, but bicycles and cars have their own signals at intersections. Cars have no right turn on red restrictions.
4. Cycle Track - like the one above, but bikes would have their own, narrower lane and buses would travel with other traffic.
The committee agreed that a formal cycle track (#4) is the preferred alternative - which is what DDOT and CM Wells think too, but they were concerned by a gap between Half street SE and SW - across South Capitol. In that area, the street bulges from 3 lanes to 4 before dropping down to 2. DDOT will look
into the possibility of continuing a bike lane or cycle track through the area if 4 lanes are not needed. Option #1 involves adding parking spaces and seems unpopular with everyone including the local BID.
It is an interesting question as to whether buses will move faster in a lane with bicycles or in a lane with auto traffic and what will happen if/when streetcars are added to M. The designs did not include bike boxes but they might in later iterations.
Since buses/streetcars would run to the left of bikes and the sidewalk to the right, this would require crosswalks from the sidewalk to the 7' wide transit islands where transit users would wait. It was unclear if this was wide enough to include a covered bus stop or meet ADA requirements.
In a related project 11th St, SE between Pennsylvania and M will be narrowed from 4 lanes to 3 leaving space for a bike lane in each direction connecting with the bike lanes north of Penn and south of M.
15th Street, NW from Massachusetts Avenue to U Street
Because DDOT has found that
reinstating two-way traffic on this one-way northbound street is
prohibitively expensive due to signalization costs, a contra flow bike
lane is being proposed for south bound cyclists. Northbound cyclists
would get a sharrow. The
plans call for three travel lanes, a shared lane north bound with sharrows and a wide 9 foot counter flow cycle track. DDOT will consider reducing the road to two travel lanes and adding a formal bike lane on the northbound side, or a two way bike lane.
Cyclists traveling south will go on the green pedestrian light, but DDOT will look into changing out the lens over the light to show a person and a bike or creating a two-headed light, triggered simultaneously, for bikes and pedestrians. Final plans for this are due on
Drivers at non-signalized, west side cross streets will need "look left for cyclists" signs - though they should already be looking left for pedestrians.
This intersection will feature several complex elements including contraflow bike lanes on New Hampshire (going south between U and V and north between U and T), a bike-only light cycle and bike boxes on 16th.
On the design we saw (not exactly what is shown here), the bike lanes between U and T were not striped, but the committee suggested they should be as on this drawing and that, as on that drawing, the bike facilities be colorized..
How it will work is like this.1) A cyclist heading south in the New Hampshire bike lane will get to a red light at 16th just north of U. 2) a bike only cycle will allow them to cross over the northbound 16th Street lanes into the southbound 16th street bike box 3) the 16th street light turns green and cyclists can either continue down 16th or make a right onto New Hampshire. Going north is similar.
Ave, NW from 3rd to 15th
Though DDOT can't build anything permanent on Pennsylvania Ave due to parade route requirements, making cycle tracks difficult, they are planing to add bike lanes with painted lanes at the crossing. There is hope to have this done by the next bike summit, and DDOT is meeting with the key players to get this done, as was challenged by Rep. Blumenauer at the last bike summit. The road would be reduced to 8 lanes with bike lanes or 7 lanes with buffered bike lanes.
25th Street SE between Penn and Naylor.
DDOT plans to add a bike lane to this 1 way street with a traffic-calming chicane element.
Alabama Ave SE
DDOT plans to add bike lanes for a few blocks from Mass Ave SE to Beck Avenue
One Way, but for bicyclists
If you rode the 50 States Ride, you came across one street that was signed One Way but for Bicyclists. The committee noted that something on street was needed so that others didn't think cyclists were just breaking the law, and that signs were needed at cross streets to alert users of the possibility of contraflow traffic.