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I thought it was interesting that when they turned it over to Greta, one of the first things she does is point to a cyclist and say: "that cyclist is SUPPOSE TO BE in the bike lane." That right there is one of the biggest problems transportation cyclists have with bike lanes - we believe we have a right to be in the streets. That said, I hope the Penn Ave bike lanes work out for everyone given that they are now among the most high profile bike lanes in the country.

They also screwed up the part about Mopeds----under DC law mopeds can use bike lanes.

I'm just waiting for the bike on ped crashes to start piling up as the new design certainly doesnt improve safety. The biggest safety complaint about the lanes coming from DDOT (let's for a moment take DDOT at its word that safety issues prompted the changes and they were not just caving to AAA by returning the travel lanes) before the change was that drivers thought they were travel lanes. The changes they've made, aside from a few flexiposts near the intersections, claim to address that issue by narrowing the bike lanes to a more standard width. However, this safety improvment for cyclists required the elimination of a separate pedestrian refuge area at the intersections which will cause conflicts with pedestrians and force cyclists to divert into the travel lanes. I'll be interest to see the before and after data on crashes. Oh wait, there is no before data since DDOT didnt actually open the bikes lanes and study them before the changes were made.

Ha, great post! I love the end, how she makes it sound so onerous that motorists can be fined a whole SIXTY-FIVE dollars just for parking in the bike lane, and ONE-HUNDRED dollars for driving in the bike lane. Gasp! Damn that bloodsucking municipal government! I should be able to drive my car on the National Mall if I wanted to!

wow! another fantastic commentary...seriously! and this one has comedy running through it! thanks washcycle...

cynne doesnt have
a thought in her head...

@think a little - Is that really true? I see mopeds and scooters in the bike lanes regularly and it drives me crazy. I can't believe that it's legal.

Do those pedestrian median spots count as sidewalk?

If so, isn't it illegal to ride in the bike lanes because you are required to go on the sidewalk to do it?

I think its absurd that do prevent taking even the littlest space from cars they are forcing bikes into the pedestrian's turf.

Another concern - the "Segs in the City" Segway tours that leave from the Old Post Office building. Mix a paceline of novice Segway 'riders' with pedestrians hanging out in the 'refuges,' sprinkle in some bollards to keep said Segs from deviating into traffic, and there could be a few bloodstained "You Don't Know Me" t-shirts.

TV reporters are like five year olds -- somebody just needs to dangle something shiny in front of them to break their concentration on the dominant storyline on bicycles, and do it consistently. "No Cynne, bicycles are fun and stylish! Did you know that McDreamy rides one?"

BTW, Wash, you mention ABC7, but the story you linked to/discussed is from NewsChannel 8...

Or are they one-and-the-same?

Ross, Darren, make your voices heard: http://ddotdish.com/2010/06/10/statement-on-pennsylvania-ave-bike-lanes/. It appears the comments are actually being responded to by a staffer. I actually don't think commenting will make a difference though, because this was clearly a political decision, the truth about which we'll never be told. That they caved to AAA pressure is looking more and more likely an explanation, although I'm still trying to figure out what precisely about the AAA allows it to keep DDOT wrapped around its finger. Campaign donations to Fenty? Revolving door opportunities?

I think they're the same. The bug in the bottom of the video is ABC7, but I think they feed stories to Channel 8.

newschannel 8 is owned by the same company, Albritton communications.

Great post! I think its funny how ABC7 tried to put a negative spin to a positive addition to the roads! Bike lanes will improve the safety for everyone including motorists and promote for a healthier environment. I just started to bicycle to work and having bike lanes will put me more at ease. Also I just found out that with commuter benefits I can get up to $20/month to put towards equipment purchases, repairs and more. I learned more at www.commuternation.com/dc. Enjoy!

Sure, ABC's reporting was bullshit, but there's no need to patronize the reporter in the sexist manner that you did. Don't be a dick, Wash Cycle.

How much was spent in the design of these lanes? I thought I saw a figure of $1M but maybe that also includes the bike lanes for L and M as well.

Regardless, a lot of time and effort went into that design and the production of careful engineering diagrams.

As originally put down I though the lanes truly could begin the transformation of transportation in the city away from auto-centrism.

But all it took was one whine from AAA-MA and all those careful plans went for naught and what we are left with is the same old marginal 3rd class treatment.

The present lanes are noth worthy of being called infrastructure. Personally, I would have been embarrassed to have been on the dais yesterday.

@ Dave

18 DCMR ยงยง 1201.17 and 1209


I both bike and scooter commute and using the bike lanes on 14th and 15th save me a ton of time.

Just to confuse matters further, I see the Segway groups on the roads and on the sidewalks, and I see rollerbladers on the sidewalks and the roads too. Where do they all fit in? Are they as big a menace to automobiles as the fearsome special-interest bike lobby? There outta be a law...

I mean, a bike can scrape up a car bumper pretty badly, you know.

I have to admit to using the bike lanes (or lines) a few times already, mostly in non-rush hour periods. I like them so far. I don't always use bike lanes on other roads, mostly because the lanes tend to have a lot more junk on them (dirt, gravel, grit, pieces of glass from car accidents, etc.). Maybe these lanes won't accumulate as much detritus since they aren't adjacent to the curb. I hope so.

I think I'm missing something - don't the lanes currently end @ 14th, not 15th (it's been about a 4 days since I've used them).

The mayor "doesn't really bike"?

Yeah, 'cause biking ~35 miles, 4 times a week doesn't count.

I would venture an accurate guess that the Mayor puts more miles on his bike every week than 99% of your so called real "cyclist commuters".

Jeez, get over yourselves.

DC Cyclists have no idea how good they have it with this mayor and his handpicked, but completely unqualified head of DDOT who "luckily" for cyclists spends all his time and department resources installing bike lanes through the entire city. There have been more bike lanes installed in the past 2 years, than their were collectively in the decades prior, but if Fenty loses the election, Gabe will be gone too. Food for thought.

I'm with Nookie. Fenty has faults, and his perspective is different from biking commuters, but he has done more for biking than any of his predecessors, as far as I am aware. At least he gives a hoot.

One of these days, I will get over myself. And yep, the Fenty administration has been great for DC bicyclists.

But for that, they deserve gratitude, not blind allegiance, or blessings to luck and providence. No one should dismiss the possibility that someone else could take what the Fenty administration has done, build on their successes, learn from their mistakes, and carry it even further.

@toni, it was not my intention to be sexist. I was attempting to belittle the usual local TV news model of respected older male paired with young pretty newsreader. I think of Cynne Simpson's job as that of a spokes model and as such, I didn't think it was any worse than what I might have written about Vanna White.

Having said that, Mrs. Washcycle read it and thinks I crossed the line. So I apologize and will try to be more careful in the future.

[I do think that calling me "a dick" in public kind of undermines your point or at least costs you the moral high ground]


Wrong Fact #1: You misquoted me. I wrote "he doesn't really bike except as part of training."

Wrong Fact #2: "There have been more bike lanes installed in the past 2 years, than their were collectively in the decades prior." Not true. And even if it were, the bike plan wasn't finished until 2005, so really you're just saying that there were more bike lanes installed in the last two years than the previous 3. Still it is factually wrong. Also, Gabe Klein has only been head of DDOT for a little over a year.

Wrong idea #1: The mayor may put a lot of miles on his bike, but it isn't in bike lanes. So it really has nothing to do with all of this.

Wrong idea #2: "DC Cyclists have no idea how good they have it with this mayor." I think we know. But he's not been significantly better than Mayor Williams. Most of the recent accomplishments are things that were started in the previous administration (bike sharing, bike station, met branch trail, bike lanes etc...). Fenty could have killed those things and didn't, but it's not like this was all him. And I'm not sure Gray would make things worse for cyclists.

Wrong idea #3 - "If Fenty loses the election, Gabe will be gone too" Perhaps, bu the city will remain. And any new Director of DDOT will find themselves in the same place - unable to build roads to add capacity and thus forced to make the city more walkable, more bikeable and with more transit or else kill the area with crushing congestion. The last three DDOT Directors have all been bike friendly and odds are high that the next will be too.

That is not to take anything away from Fenty or Klein. They've both been good for cyclists. But it isn't, as I wrote, because Fenty races bikes. It's because Fenty and Klein are smart enough to know that it is really the only choice that makes sense.

Having ridden the old lanes before they changed the design, and the new ones today, I've got to say they are definitely much, much worse. I didn't like the old ones either, but if those were bad, these are bad-bad-bad.

I'm wondering what the consensus is: are these poorly-designed bike lanes where pedestrians and cyclists are thrown together (I came across 4 this evening) better or worse then no bike lane at all? My answer is worse, but I'm biased because I don't put much value in bike lanes to begin with.

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