Support for Protected Bike Lanes Grows

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Photo illustration of Water Street bike-lane plans. Courtesy Bike Specific.

“Most comments about establishing a wide protected bike lane between 30th and 34th Streets on Georgetown’s K Street waterfront have been supportive,” Department of Transportation Bicycle Program Manager Darren Buck said Aug. 4 in an interview with The Georgetowner. “Some say it doesn’t go far enough.”

“The protected bike lane would be wider than the newly established lanes on 15th Street,” he explained, “more comfortable for the two to three thousand people who bicycle that route each day. And the pedestrian crossings would also be wider and shorter.”

The lane would run along the river side of the road, marked at first by white flexposts. “Later it is hoped that planters would serve as barriers, with flowers and foliage,” Buck said. “We’re looking into how those might be watered and maintained.”

But the concept remains controversial. About 48 metered parking places would have to be eliminated for the pathway, leaving about 100 metered two-hour-limit street-parking spots along the section facing the waterfront shops, eateries and movie theater. “One of the two commercial parking garages in the area has opened up for public parking,” Buck said.  “The second is considering submitting a proposal.”

As more people bike to work and use the growing number of Capital Bikeshare bicycles, the mix of bicyclists and cars on K Street has become a serious safety concern. “Eventually a protected bike path will be extended all the way to the Key Bridge,” Buck said. “But with all the construction there now, that’s on hold.”

DDOT is expected to make a full presentation about the bike-lane project at the September Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Council meeting, “They have considerable weight in the decision to go ahead or not,” Buck said. Comments should be directed to ANC members or to darren.buck@dc.gov.

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