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How D.C. Set 3 Bad Bike Lane Precedents With a Single Decision

On M Street, the city has compromised rider safety, placed private interests above public, and let parking rule the day.
relates to How D.C. Set 3 Bad Bike Lane Precedents With a Single Decision
Flickr/Elvert Barnes

For the most part, Washington, D.C., has done a good job in recent years of improving accommodations for bicyclists. Capital Bikeshare is enormously popular, bike commuting has increased, and a 1.4-mile protected downtown cycle track on L Street was recently completed. But in its efforts to build a companion track on M Street, the city has made a controversial decision that sets three very bad precedents in one fell swoop.

A little background. The M Street cycle track (a semi-protected type of bike lane known to enhance rider safety) is planned to run between 14th and 28th streets [PDF]. The problem occurred between 15th and 16th streets. Currently, that section of the street has four lanes: two moving lanes flanked by parking lanes on both sides. Initial cycle track plans reconfigured this to three lanes plus the bike lane: