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I think I trust what DDOT staff announced at the BAC meeting more than a student newspaper or spokesperson being able to decipher the differences in bike lanes and cycletracks. As I'm sure "W" will soon point out, cycletracks and bikes lanes are synonymous in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, etc.

Good luck with making a bike lane work on I Street. I work on I and the traffic is choking, compunded by the most pedestrians anywhere coming out of McPherson Square metro and fanning out regardless of crosswalk lines and Don't Walk signals. The buses are like a train there are so many; I usually ride (slowly) on the sidewalk, the street is so impassable. With the turning cars and buses, and turns into parking garages, I'd like to see it work, but...

jeff, that's kind of my thought about the bike lane/cycletrack disconnect.

Although I just ride through congestion myself (not on the sidewalk), I think Amy's got a point here. Building an infrastructure is useless without enforcement on how that infrastructure is used. All you need to do is take a look at the two Bus/Bike lanes downtown to figure that one out.

Useless is probably too strong a word in my opinion. Most drivers do stay out of the bike lanes despite almost no enforcement. Even the bus/bike lanes downtown are respected by some drivers (maybe even a majority). But, it only takes a few to muck the whole thing up. The beauty of a cycletrack is that it doesn't rely on enforcement, because it's almost impossible to drive in it when one isn't supposed to. Have there been a lot of problems with drivers using/stopping in the 15th street contraflow lane? If so, I haven't heard about it.

Enforcement does help, but some people will follow the law just because it's the law.

The jury is still out on K Street. I've heard that DDOT is still looking at ways to accomodate bikes in the project. I think that an I Street will likley be a non-starter. It is an absolute parking lot during the evening rush.

Let's not talk about the K Street Transitway as if it is a forgone conclusion. It's far from it.

I couldn't disagree with you more, Washcycle, on the enforcement issue. The bus/bike lanes downtown are a total farce! When you have the police themselves using it freely, you know there's a problem with enforcement.

On a cycletrack, again, I disagree. Yeah, you don't have motorized vehicles whizzing through it, but if you're putting it almost anyplace downtown, you'll have loads of pedestrians. Ours is a culture with lots of rules and almost nobody following them - we just aren't disciplined, like the Germans or Dutch!

Besides, given downtown congestion, I'm not sure I understand the need for separate facilities for bikes. I mean, it's not like a cyclist is going to get side-swiped by a car whizzing by!

Chris, I don't disagree that the bus/bike lanes are a farce, my point is only that many drivers do stay out of those lanes (except when turning, etc...) despite the farce.

Pedestrians are an issue with cycletracks, but I'm less worried about pedestrians than cars. Cyclists don't get sideswiped by cars whizzing by, but they do often die when they're hit from behind by an overtaking car.

Cyclists don't get sideswiped by cars whizzing by, but they do often die when they're hit from behind by an overtaking car.

I wouldn't be so sure. The statistics don't differentiate between the two types of collions -- both are "car overtaking cyclist" types -- but anectdotally a lot of area fatalities seem to occur when a motorist passes a cyclist closely and the cyclist "swerves" into the automobile. Other than the Leymeister case I can't think of a recent rear-end type fatal collision.

From VaBike:

Recent Bicyclist Fatalities: 11 cyclists were fatally struck by Motor Vehicles in 2009 in Virginia, and most of them were hit from behind. Several were high-profile incidents: Daniel Hersh in Virginia Beach, Kevin Flock in Dinwiddie County, and Dr. Joe Mirenda near Harrisonburg, all of whom were apparently hit squarely from behind.

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