D.C. to install more bike lanes on L Street
In a move to encourage more people to ditch cars and bike to work, DDOT is expanding D.C.’s biking infrastructure. DDOT's latest project involves installing 10 blocks of bike lanes on L Street - right through the heart of downtown.
Those who already bike to work say cycling is quick and cost effective but at times risky.
Cyclist Sunny Thompson said, "The bike lanes, especially if they are protected, make the bikers feel safer on the roads."
Bicyclists ABC7 spoke with applaud the city's plan to install clearly marked bike lanes along the north side of L Street NW.
"It's almost like you are risking your life driving around the District...cars really don't respect bikers," Kathryn Kobe of Arlington said.
The plan also means a lot of consideration on the part of motorists. New signs will remind drivers that they have to make room for turning bikes.
DDOT Bicycle Program Manager Jim Sebastian explained, "Left turning cars are going to have to get over and look for bicyclists before they make a left."
But Donald Hense, who drives in the District, argued, "Until you get cyclists to obey the laws, you are going to have continued difficulties as drivers and cyclists fight for the road."
Another aspect of the plan that is drawing criticism is the elimination of 150 parking spaces on L Street. The spots have to be removed to make room for the new bike lanes.
But supporters of the city's effort to get more people biking to work say the more bike lanes the better.
D.C. has been recognized as a national leader by the Bikes Belong Foundation’s Green Lane project for sharing best practices and providing strategic and technical assistance.
Under Mayor Fenty and now Mayor Gray, DDOT has multiplied the size of Capital Bikeshare and continues to add bike lanes downtown.