Event planners need to be mindful of common bikeway access points when setting up street closures. It is not appropriate to use a one-size-fits-all security approach anymore where people are treated as cars or non-cars. Fine, close off the Mall. Set up a perimeter. But take into consideration those of us who bike and go about our daily lives as residents of this city.
There is no need to close off bike access on 15th Street. This is how cyclists, including many tourist cyclists, access some of the area’s best trails. Moreover, there is no security interest that is being protected by closing this street.
When setting up a security perimeter, please look closely at these locations instead of blankly eyeing a map and setting up roadblocks. There are freeways and overpasses in this area not just a flat street grid. Many of these roads are dangerous for pedestrians and bikers, both of whom will be forced to use these areas when left with no choice but to wait in a security line.
WABA is attempting to work with Park Police on a number cycling-related issues including clarity of signage, authority for bicycle prohibition/access on NPS property, and treatment of cyclists post-crash. We will also specifically focus on bicycle access during periods of heightened security.
Did others experience similar access issues at any other locations over the holiday weekend? Let us know in the comments so that we can adequately express the detailed areas of concern.