In a perfect world, the M Street cycle track would be protected from vehicular traffic for its entire one and a half miles from Thomas Circle NW to 28th Street NW. However, a large church at 15th and M has asked DDOT to change the design so its congregants won't lose their parking, meaning the cycle track will turn into a regular unprotected bike lane for an entire block.
"I am concerned that if we start allowing individual private adjacent landowners to essentially opt out of public transportation projects that are proven better for public mobility and safety, we are allowing private convenience to trump publc safety," says Shane Farthing at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
This isn't the rapture or anything. A regular bike lane is still pretty good and I doubt it will have much impact on cyclists, but it just shows a real unwillingness of DC officials to make the right decision, to back up their engineers and subject-matter experts. At the M Street meeting there was a real willingness to work with the church to come up with a reasonable compromise and no one with DDOT thought that removing the cycletrack was the right call. So this comes from farther up the chain (just as the Penn Ave cycle track redesign came not from DDOT's experts but from Mayor Fenty). Sigh.
As for the 15th Street cycle track that runs north-south, DDOT says a resurfacing project should begin the first week of September, take about 4 to 6 weeks, and cycle traffic will be shifted next to the construction zone for a few blocks at a time during the repaving, possibly protected by traffic cones.