Protected bike lanes or parking on 21st Street NW?

Top, protected bike lane; bottom, contraflow lane.

Update: ANC 2B will debate and vote on a resolution on this project at its January 9th meeting. If you live, work, or bike between Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom, please come support the project at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Room 500. See the agenda here.

Riding a bike between Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, and the Mall has always felt precarious. Without any north-south bike lanes between 15th St. NW and the Rock Creek Park Trail, people on bikes compete with impatient rush-hour drivers, double-parked delivery trucks, and more for a safe space on the road.

Last month, District Department of Transportation planners presented three possible solutions to this problem: two-way protected bike lanes on 20th, 21st, or 22nd St NW. You have until Sunday, January 6 to speak up in support.

Weigh in Now!

Each option would be an improvement, but we think 21st St is best. It is the longest, and best-connected route, linking Florida Ave to Constitution Ave and to east-west bike routes on Q, R and New Hampshire. Adding bike lanes would calm traffic, make the street more pleasant to walk, and encourage more trips by bike!

21st St NW (second line highlighted).

Adding protected bike lanes on any of these streets necessarily comes with trade-offs, and DDOT is already under pressure to keep as much street parking as possible. Planners already proposed an option to cut protected bike lanes from the northernmost half-mile of 21st St, instead striping sharrows and a narrow unprotected “contra-flow” northbound lane.

This compromise would keep quite a lot of residential parking, but it gives away the low-stress bike route that this project is all about. In a neighborhood where nearly every square foot of street space is devoted to moving or parking cars, DDOT should create a bike lane that people of all ages and skill levels can safely enjoy.

To speak up for continuous protected lanes on 21st St. head to the project website, check out the plans, and use the form to weigh in! Comments close January 6.

Speak Up Now!

Read WABA’s comment letter here.