DC Bike Lane Beats the Traffic

15th Street now quicker, safer for cyclists

By Tom Sherwood
|  Friday, Nov 13, 2009  |  Updated 6:53 PM EDT
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Relief for Bicyclists; Shift for DC Drivers

NBCWashington.com

Cars form a barrier to protect bicylists on 15th Street.

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Relief for Bicyclists; Shift for DC Drivers

Plan creates separate lane for cyclists and keeps cars away from the curb.
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Driving on 15th Street north of Massachusetts Avenue can be like a mini-raceway. As trucks and cars shoot up toward U Street -- pedestrians and cyclists have to beware at all times.

But that's changing for cyclists.

The District's transportation department has blocked off the left-hand lane and turned it into an innovative bike lane that's separated from the cars by bright yellow posts that clearly mark the area.

In another twist, cars that used to park along the west side curb now park further out into the street -- forming a barrier between the bike lane and the fast-moving traffic. Local residents say it'll take some getting used to but mostly told News4 they like it.

So do the bicyclists who, at least on this portion of a city street, don't feel like targets.

It's only a "pilot project" for now, but if the innovative bike lane gets a lot of use and traffic adjusts, similar lanes for bikes may be installed on other busy streets.

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