Borderstan

Dupont – Logan – U Street

15th Street: The 2-Way, Multi-Purpose Bike Lane


Borderstan 15th Street NW contraflow bike lane

Sunday at 15th and R NW: A northbound cyclist and a southbound rollerblader in the dedicated southbound bike lane on the west side of 15th. The graphic image depicting a southbound cyclist is visible at the bottom of the photo. (Borderstan)

The southbound bicycle lane on 15th Street NW has turned into a two-way bike lane and, sometimes, a multi-purpose lane. Southbound cyclists now regularly share the lane with northbound cyclists. In addition, the dedicated lane—between the curb and parked cars on the west side of the street—sometimes hosts rollerbladers, skateboarders, parents with strollers, joggers and motorized wheelchairs.

The bike lane opened last November as a pilot program. The lane’s purpose is to give bikers a safe, wide lane between the curb and parked cars to ride southbound on 15th Street—which is a one-way, northbound traffic street north of Massachusetts Avenue. In addition, the city created a shared lane on the east side of 15th Street; the far right lane is to be shared by northbound cars and bikes and there is signage on the pavement to that effect.

The dedicated curb-side bike lane grew out of the DC Department of Transportation’s study of what to do with 15th Street: basically, whether to leave car traffic one-way or turn it into a two-way street. The removal of one lane of northbound car traffic has also effectively slowed the speed of car traffic on 15th Street during evening rush hour.

One danger to northbound cyclists (and other users) is that there drivers are not looking for them. The signage put up by DDoT with the bike lane only instructs drivers to look for southbound cyclists when turning left off 15th. In addition, pedestrians now have to remember to watch for cyclists coming from the south.

So now what?

  • Should the city bow to the reality of the situation and turn the southbound lane into a two-way bike lane?
  • Is the bike lane wide enough for two-way bike traffic? Should the city widen it?
  • What about other uses for the lane? Are joggers and rollerbladers a danger to cyclists?
  • Are people using the bike lane for other purposes because the sidewalks are too narrow and/or in disrepair?

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March 22, 2010 Posted by | politics and government | , , , | 21 Comments

Political Poobahs on Bikes: The New Kissing Babies Shtick?


Now there is video from NBC-4. Photos of Mayor Adrian Fenty and Councilmember Jack Evans and DDoT Director Gabe Klein taking a ceremonial bike ride in Borderstan’s 15th Street NW bike lane were the subject of numerous bl0g postings and tweets yesterday around town.

Being seen on or near a bike or bike lane seems to be the photo op these days for DC politicians in the Dupont CircleLogan Circle area. Will it replace kissing babies?

November 20, 2009 Posted by | news, politics and government | , , , | Leave a comment

15th Street: City Poobahs Speak, Cut Ribbon, Ride Bikes


This morning, 15th & Caroline NW: Mayor Adrian Fenty and Councilmember Jack Evans take a quick ceremonial bike ride on 15th Street.

This morning at 15th & Caroline NW: Mayor Adrian Fenty and Councilmember Jack Evans go for a quick ceremonial ride.

This thing has practically become a tourist attraction for the Dupont Circle-Logan Circle area.

Here is one more story about the 15th Street bike lane. This one started with a flurry of activity outside our house this morning: numerous trucks, mini street sweepers and DDoT workers were cleaning 15th Street. (The sweeping is nice since the city has already stopped with regular sweeping for the winter.)

Then, around 11:15 came the event. DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans and DDoT Director Gabe Klein arrived for a [Fenty] press conference about 15th Street, bicycles and the new bike lane.

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November 19, 2009 Posted by | news, politics and government | , , , | 14 Comments

Watch for 2-Way Bike Traffic in 15th Street Bike Lane


TrafficSigns

These new traffic signs on 15th Street NW warn motorists about southbound cyclists, not northbound ones. The new bike lane has unofficially become two-way.

The southbound 15th Street NW bike lane (yes, the one between the curb and parked cars) has quickly become a TWO-WAY bike lane, with cyclists riding both north and south in it. Not surprising; everyone who lives in this part of Dupont-Logan same it coming

So a warning to bikers who are riding north: Cars are probably NOT going to see you. In addition, people getting out of their cars are opening their doors into the bike lane.

Please be extremely careful. All of the signs that have been put up are warning northbound motorists about southound bikers—there are no warnings for drivers about northbound cyclists. Those of us in the hood may remember to look for you, but that guy in the Mercedes SUV going 50 mph up 15th so he can get home to Potomac 3 minutes sooner? He won’t be looking for you. For one thing, he will be busy honking his horn at me as I try to park on the street.

November 9, 2009 Posted by | news, politics and government | , , | 9 Comments

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


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).

TrafficSigns

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

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November 4, 2009 Posted by | news, politics and government | , , | 9 Comments

New Signage to Go with 15th Street Bike Lane


DDoT workers put up these new street signs on the lamp post at the northwest corner of 15th & Corcoran NW on Friday. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

DDoT workers put up these new street signs on the lamp post at 15th & Corcoran NW on Friday. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

More continues on the contraflow bike lane on 15th Street NW between Massachusetts Avenue and Florida Avenue. The southbound bike lane will be on the west side of 15th between the curb and parked cars.

More Information

November 2, 2009 Posted by | news, politics and government | , | 12 Comments

15th Street NW: Work Underway on Southbound Bike Lane


IMG_1897

At P Street NW: Looking south on 15th Street NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

The rain is gone (for now) and DDoT was finally able to get started on the southbound bike lane on the west side of 15th Street NW. Yes, bikers will ride southbound on a one-way northbound street, between the curbed and parked cars—from Massachusetts Avenue to Florida Avenue NW.

More Information

October 30, 2009 Posted by | Borderstan, D.C. Government, DC transportation | , , , | 7 Comments

15th Street Southbound Bike Lane Installation Starts MONDAY


15thstmap

Starting Monday, Oct. 26, DDOT will install the south-bound bicycle lane on the west side of 15th Street NW between U Street and Massachusetts Avenue. It will be between the sidewalk-curb and parked cars. (Image: DDOT courtesy of TheWashCycle.com Web site.)

We were just talking about this… we had been wondering if/when the city was going to install the south-bound bicycle lane on the west side of 15th Street NW (which is one-way north-bound). This morning there was a message in the Logan Circle News group on Yahoo! Groups (below).

DC Department of Transportation (DDoT) will begin work on the bike lane—which will run from U Street to Massachusetts Avenue NW—this MONDAY, October 26, and be completed the following Monday. DDoT is distributing a flyer to 15th Street residents today.

About the Bike Lanes

  • The south-bound bike lane on the west side of 15th will be next to the curb-sidewalk.
  • Parking will still be allowed on the west side of 15th, but you will park between the south-bound bike lane and the north-bound traffic lanes.
  • A north-bound bike lane will also be installed on the east side of 15th Street—but the lane will be between parked cars and north-bound traffic, the more traditional type of bike lane.
  • There will still be three north-bound traffic lanes when all work is completed.

For those of you not in-the-know, there was discussion (a lot of it) on whether to turn 15th Street north of Massachusetts Avenue into a two-way street (I personally would have preferred it, many neighbors did not and opinions varied). DDoT kicked around several different configurations for 15th Street and finally decided to implement Alternative 5.

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From DDoT: Continue reading

October 23, 2009 Posted by | D.C. Government, DC transportation | , , , | 5 Comments