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

by Borderstan.com November 4, 2009 at 7:00 am 1,675 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.

Earlier Postings

  • I just noticed this today, as I accidentally found myself headed south on 15th and was so excited! (Yes, I was on my bike). I think drivers are just going to have to get used to it–most of the time its coommuters who are going way to fast, anyway, trying to get out of the district. Still as a biker I’ll have to be extra careful.

  • lgomez66

    Dear sydc: Reader Borderstan.com more often so you’ll be in-the-know!

  • Pat

    The bike lanes seem innovative. But what did the study show? How many bikes would use it and is it worth deleting one or possible 2 lanes of cars? I live hanf a block away from 15th and rarely see a bike rider on it. The last thing DC needs to make it harder to enter and leave the city.

  • washcycle

    It’s actually two lanes of car traffic and one shared lane. So cars will be able to use three lanes (so will bikes really) with one lane having “share the lane” markings.

  • gr

    Are they putting in a curb to protect the contraflow lane? Because there were a bunch of parked vehicles in it this morning.

  • Chuck

    The whole notion that you would subject the residents of 15th Street and the surrounding neihgborhood to increased traffic congestion to accomodate very parochial and selfish interests of bikers is appalling to me. As a biker and driver, I can not understand the attitude that anyone’s particular interest or endeavor requires or deserves the inconvenience of the greater population.

  • CS

    I had a good laugh after someone pointed out that the new pavement markings between Mass and Rhode Island say “Yeild” instead of “Yield.”

  • Wayne

    To all you naysayers and parochial thinkers—–this City is trying to be more green by providing incentives to get out of your automobile—-notice the bike lanes showing up on more and more streets and the bike rental sites appearing through the city—-wake-up and embrace the change!


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