Greater Greater Washington

Every DC & Arlington cycletrack, in one map

With DC's M Street and 1st Street cycletracks on the ground, the central city network of protected bike lanes is starting to actually look like a network.


Image by the author using Google.

This map shows every cycletrack in town. In addition to M Street and 1st Street, there's L Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, good old reliable 15th Street, and the diminutive R Street lane near the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

For the sake of completeness I also included Rosslyn's super tiny cycletrack, which exists mainly to access a popular Capital Bikeshare station.

Between DC's proposed 70 mile cycltrack network and plans coming together in South Arlington, hopefully future iterations of this map will look even better.

Notice anything missing or wrong?

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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Nice to see the cycle tracks developing!

by DaveG on May 21, 2014 11:50 am • linkreport

More, more. I just returned from Copenhagen, where they are decades ahead of the US on bike/pedestrian planning. I was blown away by how well it works there. Bring it all to DC!

by Gary on May 21, 2014 11:59 am • linkreport

Arlington could easily have one on Clarendon Blvd if they had switched the parking the last time they widened the bike lane. It's currently very wide but the parking prevents any and all bollard placement.

by drumz on May 21, 2014 12:01 pm • linkreport

There are also protected lanes on G & I Streets NE from 2nd to Maryland (for G) and 5th to Florida (for I).

by Tony Goodman on May 21, 2014 12:05 pm • linkreport

Once again, Arlington is showing fiscal restraint. LOL

by Ben Bradlee on May 21, 2014 12:25 pm • linkreport

I should probably know this -- what's the difference between a bike lane and a cycle track?

by Ignorant on May 21, 2014 12:30 pm • linkreport

@Ignorant

A cycle track involves some level of separation of the bike lane from regular traffic - bollards, curbs, etc.

by JDS32 on May 21, 2014 12:37 pm • linkreport

Are cycle tracks actually safer than bike lanes, or is it all about perceived safety that encourages more cycling?

They would seem to make dooring incidents more rare (as the separation distance is usually greater), but don't the majority of accidents occur in the intersection, where there is no barrier? And in that case, wouldn't bike lanes make the cyclist more visible to traffic entering the intersection?

by engrish_major on May 21, 2014 12:47 pm • linkreport

Dan,
This map is really interesting, but it would probably be more useful if you also included the bikeable off-street paths (not the crap around the mall). This would show the network of low-stress bicycle infrastructure, highlighting the gaps in the network and obvious next steps for its expansion.

by TransitSnob on May 21, 2014 12:52 pm • linkreport

@Tony Goodman,
G & I streets do not have cycle tracks, they have a combination of sharrows and contraflow bike lanes. The bike lanes there are not protected by anything, and are therefore not cycle tracks.

by TransitSnob on May 21, 2014 12:54 pm • linkreport

@engrish_major

I think the jury is still out on most of those questions. But the data pretty clearly shows that it increases cycling.

by David C on May 21, 2014 12:57 pm • linkreport

@TransitSnob

Yep, right.

by Tony Goodman on May 21, 2014 1:00 pm • linkreport

There are at least some studies suggesting that cycle tracks are safer

This http://cyclingincities.spph.ubc.ca/injuries/the-bice-study/

suggests they are moderately safer than bike lanes even when the bike lane is on a street with no parked cars (and thus no risk of dooring) and are much safer compared to bike lanes where dooring is an issue. Note thats for bike lanes on major roads, but such roads are typically the highest priority for cycle tracks.

Note like all such studies, they cannot adjust for the abilities of specific riders.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 21, 2014 1:11 pm • linkreport

I'd love to see the 15th st track extended up to Irving. 16th just isn't a friendly place to bike and 14th is arguably too narrow to fit one in now so one of the densest parts of the city has no cycle track.

by BTA on May 21, 2014 1:14 pm • linkreport

@BTA - I'd love to see this too, but I do believe they plan to put bike lanes in the gap that currently exists between Florida Ave and Columbia Rd on 16th.

by JoeyDC on May 21, 2014 1:33 pm • linkreport

@Tony Goodman - "There are also protected lanes on G & I Streets NE from 2nd to Maryland (for G) and 5th to Florida (for I)" - Almost as good as bike lanes on H St. itself :-) Is it possible to reverse the directions of G & I so as to better complement their relationship to H St? That is, for G to be eastbound and I to be westbound. I don't know if it really matters either way, or does it?

by DaveG on May 21, 2014 1:36 pm • linkreport

Awesome, I assume you mean 14th?

by BTA on May 21, 2014 1:41 pm • linkreport

@DaveG

The idea behind the contraflow lanes is that bikers can go either direction on either street. Both streets are quiet, so sharrows are sufficient for traveling in the same direction as traffic. The contraflow lanes were added so that there was a designated place for people who want to travel in the opposite direction. Previously I believe there were bicyclists who, dangerously, chose to just barrel down the street the wrong way. Now they have a designated place to do so and cross traffic will be more aware of the potential for two-way bicyclists.

I will note, however, that the G St contraflow lane goes over some downright terrible patches of road so I usually don't ride in it. Nice idea, but the substandard pavement kind of defeats the purpose. I just go up to F or E instead.

by Ampersand on May 21, 2014 1:45 pm • linkreport

@Ampersand - OK I don't know if doing what I suggested for motor vehicle traffic is desirable or not. At least that way the bike lanes would not need to be contraflow. Again, I don't know if this would be better or not. Or worth the cost of making the change.

by DaveG on May 21, 2014 1:53 pm • linkreport

Dan,

If you want to make the most inclusive list possible, you might also add the very short segments of protected contra-flow lane on New Hampshire Ave at the intersection with 16th and U Streets.

by Will Handsfield on May 21, 2014 2:23 pm • linkreport

Will: Good point. If I'm showing Rosslyn then it's fair to show New Hampshire.

Tony Goodman: Wait, the G&I lanes are protected? How so? I thought they were just striped.

by BeyondDC on May 21, 2014 3:15 pm • linkreport

For definition sake: cycle track = protected bike lane

G & I Streets NE are not protected bike lanes. They are painted contraflow lanes.

@Will - New Hampshire Ave NW is not protected bike lane either. It's striped contraflow lane.

by Greg Billing on May 21, 2014 3:22 pm • linkreport

@BeyondDC

I wasn't paying enough attention to the map... you're right to not include G & I! :)

by Tony Goodman on May 21, 2014 3:28 pm • linkreport

A VERY small part of New Hampshire & U is protected with bollards.

by MLD on May 21, 2014 3:35 pm • linkreport

I commute by bike on 1st St NE every weekday and I'm delighted by the new 1st St cycletrack. I'm amazed at the difference in riding experience it makes to ride on a physically separate lane. Suddenly I'm legitimate, acknowledged, and valued. To me it sends a signal that it's not just a car world anymore. The experience of riding through the intersections at 1st and K, and 1st and L is transformed by the installation of the red faux brick crosswalks. It feels calmer and friendlier, and again, acknowledges and supports the existence of people who are not in cars. More please.

by likedrypavement on May 22, 2014 9:20 am • linkreport

The one-block gap on First Street's new track and the crossing @ Union Station is dangerous. The track dumps riders on the left side of the road facing traffic, with no painted lanes or sharrows in a busy area between G Street NE and Columbus Circle. I hope they close the gap with something, anything, for bicyclists.

by S.M. on May 22, 2014 1:16 pm • linkreport

S.M., that gap will be fixed by "Phase II" which starts this fall.

by David C on May 22, 2014 1:18 pm • linkreport

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