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MoveDC plan proposes 70 miles of cycletracks

DC could one day have 70 miles of protected bike lanes, if the latest proposal from DDOT becomes reality.

The proposal comes as part of the latest draft of MoveDC, DDOT's master plan. It's still only a proposal, and has not been approved by the DC Council. But what an exciting proposal it is!

Existing & proposed DC cycletracks. Maps by BeyondDC, using base maps from Google.

And that's not all, just for bikes. The proposal also includes over 60 miles of new off-street trails, and another 70 miles of new regular bike lanes.

Of course, it's easy to adopt great plans and harder to accomplish them. DDOT is still struggling to implement the M Street cycletrack, after all. But one must start with a plan, and this appears to be an extremely progressive plan.

Tomorrow I'll share the latest recommendations for transit.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and professor of geography at George Washington University, but blogs to express personal views. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado, and lives in NE DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post


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A Mass Ave cycletrack would fill my heart with glee.

by Ampersand on Nov 21, 2013 12:17 pm • linkreport

We just need a transportation department that wants to push, hard, to make this happen. And an executive that gives them the leeway to do so.

In other words, full, unadulterated buy-in from the top to the hourly worker on the street in a blaze-orange vest and hardhat.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 21, 2013 12:18 pm • linkreport

There are certainly a lot of exciting possibilities!

Another cycletrack that should be in the "imminent" map is 1st Street NE. It's currently under construction, and should be complete (along with the rest of the adjacent road & sidewalk work) by the end of February.

Also, hopefully we'll get a cycletrack for Florida Ave NE. There's plenty of extra ROW, and DDOT is currently working on a road diet study which will hopefully include bicycle infrastructure in its recommendations.

by Tony G on Nov 21, 2013 12:21 pm • linkreport

It'd be nice to have another crosstown route between downtown and the one proposed on South Dakota/Missouri aves. Though it's hard to think of an obvious route which may mean that there are significant technical challenges.

by drumz on Nov 21, 2013 12:29 pm • linkreport

Nice. I would love to see Columbia Rd in there as a cycle track but it's not a deal breaker and I know circulation patterns in that area are Fubar enough as it is.

by BTA on Nov 21, 2013 12:35 pm • linkreport

It's an impressive vision, based on the highlights in the PDF. A downtown cordon charge for cars! 25 miles of dedicated transit ROW! A new Potomac Metro crossing and separated Blue line!

by Gavin on Nov 21, 2013 12:41 pm • linkreport

Glaring omission of Penn Ave in SE! I'm all for bike lanes and cycletracks, but some of this seems a little overly ambitious. I think we should focus on core arteries and completely outfit these major streets with bike lanes. Anywhere these streets are in the district, there should be a bike lane, preferably protected. Here's my wish list:
-Rhode Island
-16th Street

by MJ on Nov 21, 2013 12:48 pm • linkreport

I like the idea of a Connecticut Avenue cycletrack, but just imagine what will happen when Cleveland Parkers freak out. It could make the battle over the service lane seem like a minor skirmish.

by Michael_G on Nov 21, 2013 12:51 pm • linkreport

DDOT tried to put at least one major improvement on each main corridor, and the Columbia/Irving corridor is slated for transit priority lanes.

by TransitSnob on Nov 21, 2013 12:53 pm • linkreport

I would love for this to happen! The Mass Avenue cycle track, in particular, would be a lifesaver.

However, there are just too many churches and service lanes to make these routes practical. Plus, I saw a cyclist run a red light a few evenings ago; even though I always obey the law as a cyclist (even the stupid ones), I don't think any more bike infrastructure should be built until everyone else associated with me (by anonymous comments on the interwebs) has also stopped breaking the law. Besides, if we build safe places for bikes on the road, how will we keep them from riding on the sidewalk? Also, Pierre L'Enfant didn't mention bike lanes at all--most likely because they block the viewsheds--so we shouldn't take any more road space from cars.

Sorry, but as a taxpayer, I shouldn't be allowed to have nice things.

by Steven H on Nov 21, 2013 12:56 pm • linkreport

I'm just going to go ahead and say that Conn Ave cycle track is never going to happen.

Would be great to see the 15th St track extended up 14th, though!

by skeptic on Nov 21, 2013 12:58 pm • linkreport

Thanks TransitSnob! That's a good reason then.

by drumz on Nov 21, 2013 1:00 pm • linkreport

Yeah I think they might actually have a better shot at a Wisconsin Ave bike lane. Once you get to Georgetown it's comfortable enough to ride without a protected lane. Yay traffic! And then improve the Woodley Park connections.

by BTA on Nov 21, 2013 1:04 pm • linkreport

Ah thanks Columbia Irving makes sense for transit priority! I'm ok with this!

by BTA on Nov 21, 2013 1:05 pm • linkreport

It's great that they've proposed protected bike infrastructure on Bladensburg Road, which is currently the easiest (and terrifyingly unsafe) way for me to connect to the Anacostia Tributary Trail System.

What's mind boggling is that there's still nothing proposed for West Virginia Avenue NE, a *signed bike route* with plenty of ROW to work with. Even more maddening is that DDOT drafted plans for bike lanes on West Virginia Ave. back in 2005 - that's 8 years ago - and we've got nothing to show for it. A link to the pdf of the plans:

by Jaime Fearer on Nov 21, 2013 1:14 pm • linkreport

West Virginia. I still remember when they repaved that and didn't paint the bike lanes. When I asked DDOT about that at the BAC meeting, they said the repaving went on without the bike planners being informed.

by David C on Nov 21, 2013 1:29 pm • linkreport


But it's a shame that there is a gap in the "Fort Parkway" route, along Nebraska Avenue.

Some of my other fantasy routes -

-A continuation of the Fort Parkway route through the Arboretum, across the River and through the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, to Texas Ave. SE.

-A path connecting Upshur St. NW with Tilden St., across Rock Creek Park. Or along Park Rd./Porter St. or trough Klingle Parkway. (Drumz, is this what you were thinking of?)

by Frank IBC on Nov 21, 2013 1:42 pm • linkreport

Not sure what map you're looking at, Jamie, but on the website West Virginia Ave, NE Is proposed as a bike lane.

by Annonymous on Nov 21, 2013 1:43 pm • linkreport

@Annonymous - My name's spelled Jaime, and there's nothing on that map proposed for West Virginia Ave. NE.

4th Street NE, Mt. Olivet Rd. NE, and Bladensburg Rd. NE are on the map with proposed bike facilities. Here's a map of West Virginia Ave. for reference:

by Jaime Fearer on Nov 21, 2013 1:52 pm • linkreport

The bike facility map in the "Latest Draft" link (pdf pg 3) shows WV Ave. NE as a proposed bike lane. The image on this site only shows cycletracks.

by MLD on Nov 21, 2013 1:58 pm • linkreport

Correction - *6th Street NE*, not 4th Street NE, between the Florida Ave. Market and Gallaudet. And I'm strictly talking about the map posted here, which is of the proposed cycletracks. As I mentioned, there have been plans on paper since 2005 for bike lanes on West Virginia Ave., and I'll believe it when I see it.

by Jaime Fearer on Nov 21, 2013 1:59 pm • linkreport

West Virginia. I still remember when they repaved that and didn't paint the bike lanes. When I asked DDOT about that at the BAC meeting, they said the repaving went on without the bike planners being informed.

That isn't as blatant as simply ignoring the bike lane striping plan that they're given, which has happened. In these instances, despite the stated mission and direction of DDOT/city leadership, no one is ever reprimanded.

Also, at the rate DDOT is going, it will be 70+ years before this is built out.

by jeff on Nov 21, 2013 1:59 pm • linkreport

I like the one-block cycletrack on Connecticut Ave. right in front of Ardeo.

by Crickey7 on Nov 21, 2013 2:07 pm • linkreport

Also, the portion of the cycletrack on Arizona Avenue between Canal Road and Carolina Place seems strange. It just ends at Canal Road? Why not create a connection to the Capital Crescent Trail via Potomac Avenue or to a future bicycle path along the Glen Echo trolley right of way via the foot bridge that spans Arizona Avenue just south of Sherier Place? Canal Road isn't very friendly to bicyclists, especially that last downhill portion between Carolina Place and Canal Road.

by Michael_G on Nov 21, 2013 2:23 pm • linkreport

Two very short but very useful links:

-A paved path connecting the Capital Crescent Trail and the C&O Canal Towpath, at Arizona Avenue.

-A paved path connecting the Capital Crescent Trail just east of the tunnel under Macarthur Blvd., with Macarthur Blvd. at Sangamore Road. And a marked trail along Macarthur Blvd., Maryland Ave. and Broad St. in Brookmont, crossing the Clara Barton Parkway and connecting to the C&O Canal Towpath at Lock 6.

by Frank IBC on Nov 21, 2013 4:01 pm • linkreport

Oops, my second proposal is completely within Maryland. But I still would like to see it.

As well as an improved connection between the end of the Capital Crescent Trail at K St., and Key Bridge.

by Frank IBC on Nov 21, 2013 4:03 pm • linkreport

A paved path connecting the Capital Crescent Trail and the C&O Canal Towpath, at Arizona Avenue.

You can literally ride between the two about half a mile down the trail...

by MLD on Nov 21, 2013 4:18 pm • linkreport

I would say on the majority of Mass. Ave, there is enough room for a bike lane.

by Crickey7 on Nov 21, 2013 5:30 pm • linkreport

A paved path connecting the Capital Crescent Trail and the C&O Canal Towpath, at Arizona Avenue.

Connectivity between those two isn't too bad. What is needed is ways of getting onto either trail from surface streets. There isn't a good connection from the Foundry Tunnel to the Dalecarlia Reservoir. A connection at Arizona Avenue, the Palisades Rec Center, or Fletcher's Boathouse would open up that part of the city to Georgetown, Rosslyn and Bethesda by bike.

by contrarian on Nov 21, 2013 5:39 pm • linkreport

A cycletrack on Military? Oh god, that is going to be a hard fight.

by Neil Flanagan on Nov 21, 2013 5:58 pm • linkreport

@ Neil Don't be so sure. The people who live on the West side of Military constantly complain about the traffic.

BTW: I think this plan needs to be cleared first with Jack Evans to see if he dries on any of these routes.

by fongfong on Nov 21, 2013 6:53 pm • linkreport

@ MLD - Yes, the two trails connect at Fletcher's Cove. Which is just fine if you're headed south/east on the towpath.

However, if you want to head north/west on the towpath, that's an extra two miles for your trip.

There is already a steep, narrow, unpaved path of convenience at the viaduct crossing Arizona Avenue/Canal Road and the Canal.

@ contrarian - yes, those are all very desirable connections, too. Hopefully things will improve when the "trolley trail" is extended through that area.

I tried riding on the right-of-way of the trolley south/east of Arizona - it's mostly clear of trees but some sections are so soft and swampy that they were impassable.

by Frank IBC on Nov 21, 2013 10:01 pm • linkreport

Neil Flanagan - if not Military, then perhaps south of there, along Broad Branch and 36th Street, along the proposed alignment for the Fort Parkway.

by Frank IBC on Nov 21, 2013 10:04 pm • linkreport

Frank IBC,

Come to the December PCA meeting if you want to see the Trolley Trail (or the Palisades Neighborhood Trail) become a reality.

by David C on Nov 21, 2013 10:29 pm • linkreport

Today is the last day for public comment on the Broadbranch Road Environmental Impact Assessment. Option 4 includes a bicycle facility and is the only one to do so. I urge readers interested in this option, consistent with the WeMoveDC study to please weigh in via the email:

See: for more information.

by Andrew on Nov 22, 2013 7:00 am • linkreport

I agree that a path on Military would be great but yeah that's going to be a tough fight. Considering the pretty high grade on Porter and the distance that's not a good alternative.

I can't believe I'm saying this but it seems like military would be a good candidate for expansion so they could add transit lanes and cycletracks in the long term.

by BTA on Nov 22, 2013 8:59 am • linkreport

I would love to see this happen! I recently started riding my bicycle to get around and love it! I'm in the best shape of my life and am saving so much money. Biking is good for DC's economy and citizen health!

by JayceFlores on Nov 22, 2013 12:10 pm • linkreport

I just don't see Military happening. It is really quite steep on both ends. I wouldn't want to bike that hill.

by Kyle-w on Nov 22, 2013 12:12 pm • linkreport

Living across the bridge in SE means that I care about getting across to the other side. Does not appear any of these help me cross the river.
The Alabama Avenue SE on is unnecessary, so put those resources into the bridges: Benning Road, East Capitol Street Bridge, Sousa Bridge, etc.
These crossings are dangerous and can be fixed...

by John Capozzi on Nov 22, 2013 2:10 pm • linkreport

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