Last night, WABA hosted a walk the Track event along the future M Street cycletrack. Thanks to schedule change by the babysitter, I was unable to attend but WAMU and DCist did.
Mike Goodno, a bicycle program specialist at DDOT, explained to a group of avid cyclists that the M Street track will contain several features added in based on experiences with the L Street lane, such as additional signage to alert pedestrians that in addition to crossing vehicular traffic lanes, they are also crossing a high-speed bicycle path.
There will be at least one segment where the M Street lane enters a "contraflow" zone, meaning that cyclists will be routed against the direction of vehicle traffic. M Street hits a complicated intersection at 18th Street NW, where it also merges with Rhode Island Avenue and crosses Connecticut Avenue. Shortly before the complex interchange, bikers along the M Street track will be diverted into a turning lane that veers into the eastbound side of Rhode Island Avenue. There, a protected bike lane will be installed next to oncoming traffic. Cyclists continuing past Connecticut Avenue will proceed on the same green light as M Street, though from that position, left turns onto southbound Connecticut Avenue will be practically impossible, Goodno said.
Unlike L Street, which DDOT repaved last year while installing the cycle track between New Hampshire Avenue and 12th Street, the agency will not be patching up M Street for a while. Credit that delay to D.C. Water, which is scheduled to begin a year-long maintenance job underneath M Street in 2014. After that, and the completion of the reconstruction of the intersection of M Street, 21st Street, and New Hampshire Avenue, and the new cycle track will be smoothed over.
And WAMU adds
Special bicycle traffic lights will be installed at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue, Connecticut Avenue and M Street to improve the flow of traffic and enhance safety on westbound cycle track, Goodno said.
"Also at 22nd Street there will be more bicycle signals where we have heavy right turning traffic," he said.
The bike lane’s installation is expected to cost between $50,000 and $100,000, says Greg Billing, WABA’s advocacy coordinator.
And in a related story, protected bike lanes are good for business
A new study from the New York Department of Transportation shows that streets that safely accommodate bicycle and pedestrian travel are especially good at boosting small businesses, even in a recession.
NYC DOT found that protected bikeways had a significant positive impact on local business strength. After the construction of a protected bicycle lane on 9th Avenue, local businesses saw a 49% increase in retail sales. In comparison, local businesses throughout Manhattan only saw a 3% increase in retail sales.