Much of last week's confirmation hearing for DDOT Director Terry Bellamy went smoothly. He said the right things, including stating support for improved bicycling. But when asked about specific projects, things went less smoothly.
Specifically, Director Bellamy said that the L and M Street cycletracks were "on hold" and that "we may not do them" due to concerns over parking removal.
In recent months, we have seen little progress in improving the District's cycling infrastructure. This is especially disappointing given the success, obvious even to the most casual rush-hour observer, of the 15th Street cycletrack and the Pennsylvania Avenue lanes (which are frequently characterized as a cycletrack as well).
The L & M Street cycletracks are crucial to providing a much-needed east-west connection through downtown that is safe and accessible--not only to experienced cyclists but also to the many novices who cycle downtown, encouraged by the success of Capital Bikeshare and other infrastructure improvements.
For many, these cycletracks are seen as a litmus test for the Gray administration's support of cycling. While District cyclists have been consistently reassured that Mayor Gray supports cycling and shares our vision of a bike friendly District, we have seen extremely limited improvement in bicycle infrastructure or enforcement during his tenure to-date. This project provides the Mayor and DDOT Director Bellamy the opportunity to continue the progress in improving the District's downtown for cyclists.
Please take a moment to email Mayor Gray, DDOT Director Bellamy, DDOT Bike & Pedestrian Coordinator Jim Sebastian, and Councilmember Tommy Wells stating your support for the L and M Street cycletracks.
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association