DC East Neighborhoods Weigh In on Bike Lane Plans

The District Department of Transportation hosted a public meeting on Saturday to get feedback from residents about a protected bike lane in the eastern part of the city.

News4’s Derrick Ward said it's one of those issues that was surprisingly contentious with a room full of people, both pro and con.

The alternatives being studied for northbound and southbound travel, roughly between New York Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue, includes a protected bike lane on Fifth, Sixth or Ninth Street. There is also an option to leaving things as they are, but the travel from cars and bikes in the neighborhood is already heavy.

Ward said on any given Sunday, churches in the city’s eastern neighborhoods allow parishioners to park perpendicular to the curb, essentially losing a travel lane.  They are concerned about what an added bike lane mean for that situation.

In some options being considered, they'll lose some of those spaces, which doesn’t please some religious leaders in those communities.

"The concern is that the city is being made over for the convenience of newcomers,” said William Lamar, pastor at the Metropolitan AME Church.

Saturday’s meeting in the Shaw neighborhood is just the beginning of the informational phase of the bike lane discussion. 

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