Bike D.C.: A Biker's Paradise

20-mile route through D.C. and Arlington was void of any cars

By Arlene Borenstein and Derrick Ward
|  Monday, May 24, 2010  |  Updated 8:00 AM EDT
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Bike D.C., No Cars Allowed

A Cleaner Way to Commute

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Bike D.C., No Cars Allowed

With the biking trend getting more and more popular in the district, some drivers are feeling a bit left out.
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Bicyclists claimed up to 20 miles of roadway for this year's Bike D.C. Some anxious bikers hit Pennsylvania Avenue as early as 5:30 a.m. They rode along as the sun rose over the District, taking in some of our nation's most treasured buildings. The scenic ride, however, was interrupted by some of this:

HONK! HONK!

Some steering mad drivers weren't afraid to show their frustration. Cars weren't allowed on Bike D.C.'s route, which included the Whitehurst Freeway and Key Bridge.

Some folks, however, weren't just mad about Sunday's closures. As D.C.'s biking trend grows, so does the steamy battle between the gas-driven and pedal-pushed.

"It's kind of like the bicyclist takes the attitude where 'I have the road so get out of my way' and car drivers do the same thing, but you should be sharing the road," said cyclist and motorist Mike Holliday.

What some would consider by many accounts a healthier and environmentally friendly mode of transportation is not looked at as favorably by others.

"It’s just a respect that has got to be learned, and unfortunately there is no way to do it, but kind of work your way through it," said Bike D.C. organizer Rich Bauman.

Can't we all just get along? It is relatively difficult to get both sides of any issue to agree around here. Maybe, with some compromise?

"Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of motor vehicles. So that means if you are going to be sharing space with cars, it's your responsibility to share all the rules of the road that cars do," said Washington Area Bicyclist Association spokesperson Chantal Buscher.

Mayor Adrian Fenty, however, is an avid biker along with members of his administration, and the proof lies in the bike lanes. Three new ones were just opened along Pennsylvania Avenue -- one of the most well known avenues in the world. 

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