The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is thrilled that on Monday, visitors from across the United States and the world will see the inauguration of President Barack Obama—as well as state-of-the-art bicycle infrastructure. The Pennsylvania Avenue cycletrack, a lane that keeps bicyclists comfortably separated from motor traffic, will be on display to those who congregate on and around the National Mall.
As District Department of Transportation Director Terry Bellamy told the Washington Post, “We are very proud that the nation will get to see why D.C. is now regarded as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the nation.”
The cycletrack is a result of DDOT and the city’s continued commitment to making D.C. a better place for biking. It’s widely acknowledged that physically separated bike infrastructure increases the number of cyclists, and Pennsylvania Avenue is a prime example of a well-planned cycletrack that allows cyclists to ride safely and efficiently on a major arterial. The bike lane is an early example of separated facilities in American cities and has led D.C. to become a part of the Green Lanes Project, an initiative to increase the number of such facilities throughout the U.S.
Separated bike facilities are safe, attractive, and encourage those who might not otherwise bike to do so. According to a 2012 study by the University of British Columbia, dedicated bike lanes have one-tenth the risk of major streets with parked cars and no infrastructure. The study also found that cyclists prefer to ride on routes built explicitly for them, a conclusion that’s proven by use of the Pennsylvania Avenue cycletrack: After its construction in 2010, DDOT found that bicycling volumes on Pennsylvania Avenue increased by over 200 percent and that nearly three in four residents in the area indicated that they supported the center bike lanes, believing them to be a valuable asset.
WABA thanks DDOT for its dedication to building state-of-the-art dedicated infrastructure, and is proud that the city will be able to show off the Pennsylvania Avenue cycletrack during inauguration festivities.
If you’ve got any questions regarding the Pennsylvania Avenue cycletrack during inauguration weekend, contact Alex Baca, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 518-0524. National inquiries should be directed to Lauren Fallert, Green Lanes Project, email@example.com, (970) 259-3555 x3.