Bike Lanes on K, Water Streets Questioned

The DC Water setup at the corner of Prospect and Potomac Street last week.

A proposal to install protected bike lanes on K and Water Streets — as well as on part of Wisconsin Avenue — was met by different degrees of concern at the June 29 Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting. Commissioners voted 7-0 for the District Department of Transportation to extend the public comment period for their notice of intent to remove some 40 parking spots along Water and K Streets east of Wisconsin Avenue. The project would also require the removal of six parking places on Wisconsin Avenue south of South Street.

Some ANC members argued that the benefits of clearing the chaotic and hazardous conditions arising from bicyclists negotiating the unstriped waterfront streets and cars maneuvering for parking was worth the loss of the parking spots. Others, particularly merchants in the area, argued that parking in the area was already extremely limited, inhibiting business development.

Reportedly, the total number of parking spaces in the project area is 142 and would be reduced by 48. “People will still be driving to Georgetown,” Commissioner Monica Roache declared.

The project could be carried out toward the end of 2017, after Pepco’s reconstruction work along the waterfront is completed, according to DDOT’s Bicycle Program Specialist Darren Buck. “It’s the Wild West down there,” said Commissioner Lisa Palmer, who lives in the area with her family. “We need a comprehensive solution.”

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