Alex Schneider, a first year law student at GW, cares not for the L Street cycle track
These lanes need to be designed for bikers. They can’t be one-way. They can’t take over a lane once dedicated to drivers. They can’t give bikers a false sense of security while complicating traffic patterns.
I still think it's too early to really criticize the cycle-track, since it will take time for everyone to adjust to it, but what are Schneider criticisms?
In the first few blocks, the path runs between parked vehicles and a narrow driving lane. At some points, cars can park right in the lane itself on weekends.
It's true that the bike lane is a bit narrow at first, but the location between parked cars and all-traffic (not driving) lanes is pretty normal for bike lanes. Schneider doesn't seem bothered by bike lanes in the door zone - just this bike lane in the door zone.
These rods are not marked with orange reflecting material and are easy for unsuspecting drivers to miss at night.
Not orange, but definitely reflective.
This bike lane makes access more difficult. Along the stretch separated by these rods, 150 parking spots have been displaced, according to the Washington Examiner. Garbage collection and delivery to businesses is complicated, as the bike path separates the road from the curb.
He's all over the map here. He doesn't like the lane next to parking, but he also doesn't like the cycletrack with parking removed. I'm honestly not sure what would make him happy.
To make matters worse, drivers turning left must actually enter the bike path. But that defeats the purpose. Cars cross the bikers' lane, and then drive in it until they turn left. Mere white lines drawn in the ground – not physical barriers – keep these cars only inches from bikers.
As long as drivers are going to turn left, at some point they have to enter the bike path. That's physics, so the question is where do you want that to happen. If he were arguing for the intersection, that would at least make sense, but he seems to be arguing never - and that doesn't. Also, the cars are not in the bike lane once they cross it, they are to the left of it. And as for only have paint to separate - that is the norm in the city. It would be great to have more separation, but it's hardly malpractice to not have it.
He also accuses the bollards (actually safe-hit flex posts. Personally, I think bollards should refer to more solid structures - like the security bollards around the Capitol - in keeping with the maritime bollards the word refers to, but it appears that I'm losing that battle) of "protruding awkwardly" from te road's surface, whatever that means. How would their protruding be less awkward?
He also seems to be bothered by it's one-wayness
After a bike trip downtown, returning to campus is made difficult by the one-way path....These lanes need to be designed for bikers. They can’t be one-way
But if he thinks the current facility is too complex, what does he think will happen with a two-way path. Besides, the addition of the L Street cycle-trakc really has had no impact on going west, which is just as easy or difficult as was before the cycle-track was installed. He later complains that they can't go in just one direction, seemingly unaware that an M Street cycletrack will soon go in the other direction.
And his argument gets more confused when he describes what they should be,
Instead, they need to be physically offset from the road and given their own traffic lights.
They can’t take over a lane once dedicated to drivers.
Ok, so where does the space come from then?
Finally, Schneider appears to be upset about the lack of facilities on GW campus.
This city needs to make biking easier, and bike paths ought to service the many college campuses around the area, particularly GW. It is unconscionable that 23rd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue do not have bike paths. These central arteries service a campus of nearly 20,000 students. Students certainly bike to school – try finding a Capital Bikeshare bike on campus in the evening.
They need to be built throughout the city, especially on GW's campus.
But he also thinks that a path across Washington Circle is going to be a good bike facility (I don't. Just ride the circle and leave the path to pedestrians).
I don't want to make it sound like the cycle-track is above criticism. But this article came off as particularly harsh and ill-informed (always a bad combination). There were many difficult decisions to make in creating (or not) this facility and certainly reasonable people will disagree with the choices DDOT made, but I think on balance this is a good one and will likely find many more people praising it than criticizing it.