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[we have revised plans for L and M Streets to a 50% design]

What's a 50% design?

Half-assed.

Is there really that much parking available on-street on M or L? I don't see it, at least during commute times. If it were a lane for biking, it'd be more useful than to be blocked by parked cars. It'd help people get to businesses easier than if the lanes were blocked by parked cars. Seems like if any streets 'qualified' to have a lane converted from autos to bikes, it'd be the 3-4 lane one-way L and M Streets. Redirect that traffic to the already full K and I streets. Do it, DDOT.

A problem arises when you have a class of users (aka the single occupancy vehicle) that sucks up ALL the available road space.

The starting point for DDOT planning is to do everything possible to minimize the impact for these users.

Truly innovative planners would start at the other end. Do everything possible to maximize the mobility of PEOPLE not CARS.

That means dedicated rapid bus lanes. Traffic light signaling priority. And wide lanes for cycletracks.

Any room left over then can be given for use by the motorist.

@ Shawn; lots of parking, rush hour restrictions.

I'm glad JeffB wants to preach bicycling in one country -- or one district -- but I'm pretty sure the good people of Washington aren't ready for revolution. Yet. Although it looks as if the dreaded NPS is leading in that regard.

I think it is fair to wait and see how the 15th and Penn tracks have done. Empty during the winter. Clearly the 15th is being used today, although I'd be curious to see actual counts.


I think it is fair to wait and see how the 15th and Penn tracks have done. Empty during the winter.

As the roads were almost all year long. The reason both of those roads were chosen is that there was more road capacity than traffic warranted.

I didn't see the Penn and 15th cycletracks empty last winter. I was very surprised at how many all-weather cyclists there were, and that they were using the Penn Ave lanes (I don't ride the 15th St lanes daily to know one way or the other). Are there accurate stats or just suppositions?

@Greenbelt,

How many cyclists do you think use the PA avenue bike lanes, either during last winter or now?

I wish I'd had my camera today -- lots of people out. I was 3rd or 4th in line at a couple lights on 4th Street southbound, on East Cap westbound, and waiting to enter the PA Ave lane at 2nd street. That said, I have no idea what that amounts to in terms of hourly or daily use.

I am just curious what the users think...I know you haven't counted but if you have to ballpark it, what would you say?

I use it on the way into work, going past the Capitol and picking it up where it starts and taking it to 15th Street. I think it gets more use for commutes home, or the use is just denser than in the morning when it might be spread out. That's part of the reason I avoid it between 5 and 6pm.

I think it's just as useful an indicator to look at the average number of people who were in bike accidents prior to its installation vs. post-installation.

The Pa Ave and 15th St. cycletracks connect with each other, more or less, but not all trips can be made using only those routes. We can't know how many people would use them if they had better access.

I think it's a bit misguided to consider a user count to be an important metric at this point, a bit like looking at the first few thousand telephones ever installed and wondering if such a cumbersome and exotic device would ever become common.

Ask this question again once there's a decent network of major and minor routes all connected and running through the whole city - or count all the people in the city who ride bikes today even though the facilities are so limited.

(I call this "phase 2" of opposition to bike lanes: first non-cyclists do everything they can to diminish the utility of road space for cyclists, then they point out that nobody wants to use the deficient space they already have. It plays out over and over when cities try to establish cycling networks that share space with other vehicles, leading to stalled and fragmented development plans. Improvements only happen when DOTs and elected officials stick to the broader plan, something DC is usually pretty good about.)

The Pa Ave lanes were important enough to me last winter that I asked Jim Sebastian for help getting the central bollards marked so they can be seen in the dark (didn't happen) and to DDOT in general about snow and ice removal. And I saw quite a few other people and wheel tracks all winter long, so I couldn't have been the only person out there.

Improvements only happen when DOTs and elected officials stick to the broader plan...

I always come back to this, but I never cease to be amazed at how civil the bike system is in Montreal. Cars, buses, bikes, Metro seem to work well together there. I think Montreal is a good model for what DC could be if we stuck to a solid, well-reasoned plan. With a few exceptions, Montreal is laid out with generally lots of fairly wide roads in grids, more like DC than like older European cities. Like us, they have a good, pretty extensive and very popular Metro and OK bus service.

Unlike DC, they have created a network of long cycletracks, which connect most parts of town and extend in fairly straight lines out in to the close-in suburbs. What you realize when you ride there is that there aren't really that many cycletracks. However, the tracks they have are thoughtfully designed, with much attention to making sure all parts of the city have some access and to reducing unsafe bottlenecks and creating connections.

As a result, tens of thousands of Montrealers commute and utility bike. It's just another safe, convenient option, like driving or taking the Metro. And they have some pretty rough weather to deal with much of the year. There's still excellent car access, and surprisingly little gridlock, except in the high-rise downtown area at rush hour. You do have to park in garages in non-residential areas -- not much on-street parking on non-residential streets.

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