The first modern bicycle plan for the District of Columbia, "Bicycle transportation plan and program for the District of Columbia", was written in 1975 (and then revised in 1976 and 1978, I believe) and I feel like I've seen a copy of it, but can't find one online. It had a lot of ambition for the time, but when Jim Sebastian was hired over 15 years ago, the plan was described as "in a drawer for a quarter of a century."
The 1975 plan proposed 75 miles of "bicycle pathways" to existing routes in the District. The 75 miles was to form a continuous citywide system of about 170 miles and cost a little over a million dollars at the time. The 75 miles would consist of
- 17 miles of exclusive bikeway out of the roadway (MUTs?)
- 22 miles in lanes reserved from motor vehicles either by a physical barrier or by lane markings and signs. (so, bike lanes)
- 35 miles of signed bike routes
According to a phone survey of residents done in 1974 in preparation of the bike plan, approximately one-fourth of the city's residents owned and used bicycles.
The survey showed that approximately 60 percent of bicycle use is for purposeful trips; 40 percent is recreational. Estimates derived from the survey indicate that 14,000 accidents and 13,700 bicycle thefts occurred in the year preceding the survey.
Both the number of "accidents" and thefts seem very high.