(Washington, DC) – Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-Min), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore), and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Gabe Klein, along with other local and federal officials today inaugurated new bicycle lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue, the most famous street in the District, and the nation’s “Main Street.” The new bike lanes are part of a pilot program to expand the infrastructure for cyclists on carefully selected streets with enough capacity to accommodate all users.
“There is no better place for the District of Columbia to demonstrate its commitment to traffic safety than right here on America’s Main Street,” said Mayor Fenty. “We believe there is room here for everyone – on four wheels, two wheels and on foot – and we will use this pilot to determine how best to share Pennsylvania Avenue and make it safer.”
“Bike paths like this one – which will provide cyclists with access to the most historic corridor in Washington, DC – are part of a cleaner, greener future in American transportation,” said Secretary LaHood. “I applaud the efforts of Mayor Fenty, DDOT Director Klein and their dedicated staff to make our nation’s capital a model livable city.”
The new dedicated bike lanes run both east and west down the center of the venerable roadway, from 3rd Street to 15th Street, NW. They 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.
“We want to thank everyone for their patience. Before we officially opened the bike lanes we wanted to make sure they provide safe areas for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians,” said DDOT Director Gabe Klein, “and now I’m confident that they do. With a better design we have a better chance of success, and this could prove to be a pivotal moment for cycling in the nation’s capital.”
DDOT will continue to monitor the bike lanes and make adjustments as needed over the next 12 months. DDOT also plans enhanced enforcement to discourage commercial vehicles parking in the travel lanes along Pennsylvania Avenue and the department is working to educate cyclists about how to safely enter and exit the bike lanes, using the pedestrian signals at the cross streets.
For more information about DDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian programs, please visit the “On Your Street” section online at ddot.dc.gov.