DDoT: 15th Street Bike Lane Operational by Week’s End

by Borderstan.com November 4, 2009 at 7:00 am 2,648 8 Comments

Can you stand another posting on the 15th Street NW bike lane? I am nearing my limit, but here goes.

DDoT told me yesterday that the contraflow-southbound bike lane on 15th Street NW–the one that will between parked cars and the west curb–should be operation by week’s end. Parked cars on the west side of 15th Street will be between the bike lane and northbound traffic. The lane will run just about 1 mile from Massachusetts Avenue to Florida Avenue NW (its actually W Street at that corner).


Clear as day? Signs of the time on 15th Street NW.

DDoT also said that a northbound bike lane is still planned for the east side of 15th Street, but I did not get an installation time line. In addition, car traffic will eventually be only two lanes, not three, as was shown in the original plan for the street’s reconfiguration.

Call me relieved as I could not see how you could possibly add two bike lanes and still have three lanes of northbound car traffic. View the updated reconfiguration plan (page 2 of PDF): 15th NW Contraflow_100909

Of course, the real implementation begins with everyone–bikes, cars and people–getting used to sharing the street with a bike lane. No disrespect to DDoT or to cyclists, but the general reaction in the hood along 15th Street for the past week has been, “This is nuts. It isn’t going to work. People will get hurt.” So, I am going to make some pre-emptive pleas to all parties:

  1. Cyclists: Please stop at red lights as you ride south in the bike lane. I would also suggest that you not ride north in this lane; cars are not going to be looking for you when you cross intersections. Moreover, please be considerate of pedestrians and their dogs when crossing streets. Note: I know it’s rough riding a bike and that many drivers are less than respectful let alone courteous. Luis rides a scooter and we both walk a great deal.
  2. Drivers: Please watch for bikes in the cross street as your turn left off of 15th Street. And, watch for bikes coming from the north as you park your car and open the driver’s side door.
  3. Pedestrians: Be extra careful. Remember that you will have to watch for both cars and bikes.

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