Last weekend I went to check out the contra-flow bike lanes on New Hampshire. I like them a lot. A friend of mine was telling me about them (My wife has informed me that I have to pretend to not know about these things when people try to tell me about them) and she was very excited since she already rode the wrong way on New Hampshire anyway. Now there was space for her.
I did find the bike signal hard to see when going north, and it wasn't entirely apparent that I could continue into a bike lane where it became one way, but my biggest problem was that I don't think the sensor sensed me. Maybe I wasn't in the exact right spot, or maybe it was the wet pavement, but I really thought I was doing it right.
Some people have complained about the "Get Behind It, The Bike Box" sign. The sign is becoming standard nationwide where cities are installing bike boxes. As I recall, DDOT had to modify the original design that Portland uses to address the unique diagonal entry point for this bike box. And the signs are smaller than Portland's because Portland mounts these on overhead mast arms but DC’s use of mast arms is limited by the overhead wire/viewshed protection issues, and so DDOT had to mount them on vertical poles adjacent to the intersection (they are 22” x 34”).
And it's important to note that this is an official FHWA experiment. DDOT is phasing in changes, such as green paint in the lanes and in the bike boxes. This is being done so that DDOT can measure and record behavior with each design element. Drivers are encroaching into the bike boxes now, but DDOT needs to document it over a period of weeks prior to adding new elements to the intersection. For FHWA’s purposes, it’s very important to understand the incremental effect on behavior of each element.
As an FHWA experiment, it means DDOT has to work with FHWA and sometimes design things the way FHWA wants them. FHWA insisted on the double yellow divider line, for example. DDOT wanted to do a single 6” white or double 4” white line. FHWA sees it as a lane of opposite moving traffic, and thus the MUTCD calls for double yellow. DDOT was concerned about the drivers having to cross a double yellow to park. It's FHWA's experiment and so they won that one.
I look forward to the future phases.