As part of the ongoing effort to increase commuter options in D.C., the new bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue are finally open for business. These dedicated bike lanes run east and west down the center of the road, stretching from the White House to the Capitol. These new lanes should come as a welcome addition to those who commute by bike- two percent of all commuters in the D.C. area according to a Census Bureau survey.
The bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue were installed in the median to limit conflicts with buses, right-turning vehicles, parked vehicles and entrances on the right-hand side of the roadway, and changes have been made to the traffic signals to give bikers dedicated turning arrows. The new lanes are part of a larger pilot program designed to expand the existing 50 miles of bike lanes to 80 miles in the coming months. The city also hopes to expand its SmartBike rental program from 100 bikes in 10 locations to 1,000 in 100 locations; the program has proven so successful there are often no bikes available at the various drop points throughout the city.
Looking for more information about bike lanes in D.C.? The District Department of Transportation has downloadable maps on its website; a broader regional bike map is available from ADC for $8.95. If you currently commute to the city on your bike, we would love to hear your thoughts on the new lanes as well as tips for drivers unfamiliar with them.