Greater Greater Washington

DDOT lays out its plans for new bikeways in 2014

It may be snowing today, but spring is approaching. With construction season therefore around the corner, DDOT has released its list of planned bike projects for 2014.


Map of 2014 bike projects. Image from DDOT.

Most exciting, the highly anticipated M Street and 1st Street NE cycletracks are listed as "ready to go."

Also ready to go are contraflow bike lanes on G, F, and I Streets NE, and standard bike lanes on 13th Street NW, F Street NE, I Street SE, and New Hampshire Avenue NW.

Several other bike lane projects are still in planning, although it doesn't appear DDOT is actively moving any other cycletrack projects after M and 1st Street.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

Dan Malouff is a professional transportation planner for the Arlington County Department of Transportation. He has a degree in Urban Planning from the University of Colorado, and lives a car-free lifestyle in Northwest Washington. His posts are his own opinions and do not represent the views of his employer in any way. He runs the blog BeyondDC and also contributes to the Washington Post Local Opinions blog. 

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The First Street NE cycletrack is certainly going to be a fantastic addition to NoMa and the MBT.

There appears to be an error here (I hope!). The plan is for the cycletrack to be from M NE to Mass NE, not just to K as the DDOT graphic shows.

Next up, it would be wonderful to have the M Street cycletrack extend to the MBT (at 2nd NE) or all the way to Florida Ave NE (near 7th NE). This is in the DDOT bicycle master plan, but I haven't seen any movement towards this.

by Tony Goodman on Feb 25, 2014 12:57 pm • linkreport

A 50' stretch of bike lane appeared last month on southbound Washington Avenue SW. This would be a useful bike lane to allow cyclists to get out of the right-turn lane, but the problem is that the right-turn lane isn't marked as such and the general purpose lane continues across the intersection. As currently laid out, it's creating a dangerous situation for cyclists because it encourages them to work to the front of the line of cars stopped at C Street SW, but then it dumps them right back into traffic. I hope DDOT has plans to correct this and extend the bike lane from Independence Ave SW to E Street SE. Unfortunately, it doesn't show up in this map.

by KG on Feb 25, 2014 12:58 pm • linkreport

Also glad to see the contraflow lanes on F St NE from the circle to 2nd St designated "ready to go". I frequently use the CaBi dock at Union Station and while the one-way portion of F St NE is signed as a bike route, drivers traveling eastbound cannot see the sign and are often surprised/annoyed when I'm cycling the "wrong" way. Using the sidewalk is not an option as there are too many peds and parking garage aprons along the way. DDOT needs to make this one a priority. Extending the lanes to 8th St as indicated will also be nice, finally connecting to those on 4th & 6th, but not nearly as important as the contraflow portion.

Not understanding why 6th north of Florida requires additional analysis. It's plenty wide and a no-brainer to connect to Union Market, Eckington, etc.

by dcmike on Feb 25, 2014 1:02 pm • linkreport

A couple of nice additions--especially 14th street--but overall disappointingly meager.

by JoeyInDC on Feb 25, 2014 1:03 pm • linkreport

That 14th st lane would be so nice. 11th st is really the only pleasant option in the area until you get down to southbound 15th.

by BTA on Feb 25, 2014 1:05 pm • linkreport

Since I assume that any bike lane on 14th NW from Florida to Columbia is going to have to take away parking, having it tagged as "additional analysis and outreach required" is pretty discouraging. That's going to be a tough fight.

I'd be happy to see the southbound side mostly left alone and just focus on the northbound (and uphill), since that will be an easier sell, but I'm still not optimistic.

by Jon Renaut on Feb 25, 2014 1:23 pm • linkreport

Still waiting for the MBT to head north past the transfer station into Takoma.

by TS on Feb 25, 2014 1:39 pm • linkreport

Well, Jon, there are plenty vocal residents here fortunately. Hopefully they will host a series of public meetings actually in the area, I'm sure we can put a lot of bodies in the room. Ward 1 has the lowest car commute mode share of the entire city after all.

by BTA on Feb 25, 2014 1:42 pm • linkreport

My only requested change is please add crosstown routes. I've had drivers nearly hit me or honk or otherwise act like @$$holes several times on Park. Harvard of Columbia would also be really nice.

by BTA on Feb 25, 2014 1:45 pm • linkreport

On 14th St, there really is no need for the existing second northbound lane. It only serves to rush cars up to the bottleneck at Columbia, etc.

ROAD DIET!

If there's only one lane through downtown Columbia Heights, there's not much point to a second northbound lane here.

by JoeyInDC on Feb 25, 2014 1:49 pm • linkreport

BTA-- I second the motion for more east-west routes up the hill.

I'll never understand why the redesigned and rebuilt a huge section of Irving St and skipped any bike facilities at all, even tho they included them on 14th. Dumb.

Also, the Sherman Ave redesign that was supposed to be bike friendly included a huge median that squeezes cyclists between angry traffic and parked car doors. It is virtually unbikeable now. Thanks a lot DDOT!

by JoeyInDC on Feb 25, 2014 1:53 pm • linkreport

@JoeyInDC - agreed on one lane. Especially since whatever genius decided the left lane should end in a turn at Columbia failed to put up any kind of sign anywhere notifying drivers.

I wonder if a single lane north of Florida with a left turn lane at Girard and Columbia would work. I never take 14th NB because 15th is so much more convenient, so I don't know what traffic would be like. But it sure seems like the only real bottleneck there, even at peak rush hour, is when it goes to one lane at Columbia.

by Jon Renaut on Feb 25, 2014 2:03 pm • linkreport

@BTA I feel your pain regarding the east-west routes in Columbia Heights. Columbia and Harvard are an awkward width; they're wide enough that most cyclists stay to the right, but too narrow to add a bike lane. To make them truly bike-friendly would require taking away parking from one side of the street, which would see a ton of opposition from residents.

I used to bike along Park Rd between 11th & 14th, and got harassed the same as you. Monroe St is slightly better than Park Rd IMO if you're going north of Park Rd. Just make sure you control the lane as it's quite narrow.

by Gerald F on Feb 25, 2014 2:11 pm • linkreport

[Deleted for violating the comment policy.] how is bladensburg rd an "existing off-street trail"???
(light blue line)
[Deleted.]

by bll on Feb 25, 2014 2:16 pm • linkreport

Also I'd love to see Connectict with bike lanes north of Florida, ideally up to Woodley. If the bridge is a deal breaker at least the south section. Columbia Rd is great but my friend got a bit flustered when it dumped us onto Connecticut with no markings. Also the full length of Florida Ave would be really nice at least up to North Capitol but beyond would be nice. Overall I'm pretty happy but those would be nice.

by BTA on Feb 25, 2014 2:54 pm • linkreport

@bll -
That caught my eye too. That stretch is absolutely horrible unless they are counting the crappy sidewalk as an off-street trail. In which case they should count the whole city.

H St in general still has poor E/W connectivity (though the G/I lanes will help once in the neighborhood).

by chuck on Feb 25, 2014 3:05 pm • linkreport

On an unrelated note, has there ever been any conversation about re-doing Bladensburg Rd? It is a huge road. Paired with MD Ave it could be a beautiful tree lined boulevard leading into the city instead of the current barren concrete wasteland.

by chuck on Feb 25, 2014 3:11 pm • linkreport

I would like to see something in lower Foggy Bottom. There are a lot of bikes but wide roads that cars speed on. E street and Va. Ave would be good starting places.

by Cap HIll Keith on Feb 25, 2014 4:36 pm • linkreport

There should be a separate color denoting cycle tracks that are no longer proposed and are in fact a year late in completion.

by dno on Feb 26, 2014 12:03 am • linkreport

Does this d.dot map show a bridge carrying Massachusetts Avenue over the Anacostia River? Cool.

by trulee_pist on Feb 26, 2014 12:13 am • linkreport

Of all these changes, the most exciting by far are the cycle tracks and neighborhood greenways, both of which are tremendously effective at getting more people on bicycles. Portland is the #1 city for cycling largely because of neighborhood greenways, which knit the city together on a network that is comfortable for rider of all ages and experience levels. There are many many locations in DC where this type of intervention would work well, and I'm excited to see this be implemented and, more importantly, expanded.

by TransitSnob on Feb 26, 2014 8:45 am • linkreport

I would really like to see more along South Capitol and Overlook, south of the Douglas Bridge. The whole area is extremely unfriendly to bikes, and makes it difficult to commute from DC to the Naval Research Laboratory or Blue Plains.

DDOT says they're planning improvements, but 2015 seems to long to wait. There's no need to wait until after the ramps to and from the Douglas Bridge are redesigned.

by David on Feb 26, 2014 9:27 am • linkreport

trulee, it does show a bridge over the Anacostia at Mass. This was in the original Anacostia Waterfront Initiative plan and it would have either been a bike/ped only bridge or a bike/ped/occasional NPS vehicle only bridge. But the later part of that freaked people in the neighborhood out.

As I recall, DDOT nixed it because of this opposition, but then it still shows up in the MoveDC bike plan, so I remain hopeful. But it is, at best, a long way out.

by David C on Feb 26, 2014 9:39 am • linkreport

trulee, it does show a bridge over the Anacostia at Mass. This was in the original Anacostia Waterfront Initiative plan and it would have either been a bike/ped only bridge or a bike/ped/occasional NPS vehicle only bridge. But the later part of that freaked people in the neighborhood out.

It's a great idea, but aside from the merits of the proposal, the issue is that the linked map shows that bridge as an existing off-street trail.

The problem, of course, is that the bridge does not exist.

by Alex B. on Feb 26, 2014 9:45 am • linkreport

DDOT should include a warning on this map: "Watch out for the first step, it's a doozy."

by trulee_pist on Feb 26, 2014 10:31 am • linkreport

@David: I would really like to see more along South Capitol and Overlook, south of the Douglas Bridge. The whole area is extremely unfriendly to bikes, and makes it difficult to commute from DC to the Naval Research Laboratory or Blue Plains.

I used to bike commute from Capitol Hill to the NRL nearly every day, and it really is a pain. Thankfully I never got run over, but there were some harrowing moments. When I was able to cut through Bolling it was great, but sometimes the guards at the gate didn't want to let me in because I didn't have a CAC. Basically it was doable, but a trail would have been fantastic. If they ever get it built, I'm looking forward to doing loops down through Barry Farm and National Harbor, across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, and back up the Mount Vernon Trail. (or the other way around)

by Ampersand on Feb 26, 2014 11:22 am • linkreport

So THAT's why DDOT hasn't made any progress on extending the MBT from the CUA campus to the Fort Totten Metro station and beyond - they think it's already done! On this map it appears as an "existing off-street rail" all the way to Takoma Park.

So, if we point out their error, they'll get back to work on it, right?

by John Henry Holliday on Feb 26, 2014 12:31 pm • linkreport

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