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I avoid pa. Ave. Lik for the reasons you cite when headed across Sousa bridge, opt instead for the incredible ma. Ave. SE.Great climbs or descents for safety and views, and scarcely a whisper of traffic. Good connections to Sousa bridge or Anacostia park once at the bottom, and terrific bike lane on Alabama avenue at top. Penn ave never feels as safe.

Good analysis. I'm typically critical of Shared-Use Paths, where they're basically designed as wide sidewalks, but in the slow, uphill direction they make sense, and downhill they're extra dangerous, as you wisely point out. Hopefully, a more nuanced approach can be taken on future street designs.

It'll be interesting to see if they maintain it, or (more typical for sidepaths) let it rot in place.

Agree 100% - Widened sidewalks (MUPs) are great for young kids on bikes but are not serious bike infrastructure.

It seems that the black tar surface is never laid over a prepared subsurface with drainage. Instead it seems they just lay the strip of scraped dirt.

Consequently, within a few short years the surface sags and ripples and eventually breaks apart.

Now maybe its cheap enough that you can go back over every so often to keep the surface smooth but usually once it is laid it is not touched again for years & years.

Also - Washcycle didn't bring this up in this article - but another fundamental problem with MUPs is who shovels the snow?

Given how close this one is to the road in a large storm all the snow from the road will be pushed onto the MUP rendering it impassable for many days/weeks while drivers enjoy bare pavement.

I think they should allow cyclist to speed if they want as long as there is good visibility in front while no trail users in front of the cyclist. I would feel much safer riding 40 mph downhill on Pennsylvania ave and if I was going slower, let say 30 mph for example,then I would feel much safer on the side path as long as there are no driveways crossing the trail and no bumps or potholes on the trail.

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