This is Not a Bike Lane

15th St cycletrack under construction
15th St Cycletrack under construction.

Progress in this city is as rutted and uneven as the bike lane pictured above. This is the 15th St Cycletrack. It’s supposed to be a bike lane running along the curb, protected from traffic by white, reflective bollards and a line of parked cars on the left.

The DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) is rebuilding the lane – great! But they tore it up and left it this way, with no detours or accommodations for cyclists. Without white painted lanes or bollards, drivers don’t know it’s a cycletrack. They drive and park in it while cyclists come the opposite way – a recipe for accidents.

DDOT was warned. WABA asked to help during the planning process – and was ignored. And once the construction started, cyclists tweeted at them, including me, after witnessing WABA Bike Ambassador Pete Beers nearly get killed. I asked that orange cones be put up to mark the lane. DDOT assured me that they would fix the problem. But they did nothing.

 

This infuriates me. I work in government. I respond to citizen concerns every day. Civil servants have a duty to fix problems. DDOT under the Fenty administration responded to and fixed problems the same day.

This DDOT project has been poorly planned, reckless and negligent. It would not have happened under Adrian Fenty. But is commonplace under Mayor Gray. Cast your vote accordingly.

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is the author of The Swamp, a funny new novel that mocks the city America has come to hate.

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