Bike to Work Day – A Great Celebration, but it’s Just the Start

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    Steve O

    I saw this from another thread (Route Recommendations: EFC to Farragut) , and it makes me want to pull out my soapbox.
    @Tania 115817 wrote:

    I’ll only do Key Bridge through G-town if I’m in a group and even then (a) I’m terrified and (b) they usually drop me because I just don’t feel safe going that fast through that kind of traffic. I hate every second of it.

    All us helpful commuters are trying to give the best advice for getting across the river and into the CBD from the bottom of the Custis. The problem is that every single option is just not that great. The TR Bridge is just sh*&%ty; only the dauntless will ride on the Whitehurst; and M Street makes virtually everyone a bit uncomfortable–even experienced riders. Sure, there’s a percentage of us who can and do make these rides. But the vast majority of people won’t. They just won’t. It’s not pleasant, and/or it’s scary.

    Even after (if ever) we fix the Intersection of Doom, we are still left with lousy, insufficient infrastructure beyond. It bugs me that the best we can do to help out this rider looking for a good way to get to work is to give options that no one would ever give to their 12-year old child. That’s what we need to strive for and push for: ways to get around on bikes that we would let our children use. Until then it will remain just a small percentage of us who will use our bikes for transportation.

    So let’s enjoy Bike to Work Day. It’s awesome that there are 13,000+ registered. The local jurisdictions are moving in the right direction, but there’s a lot more to do and it needs to be accelerated. We need to keep advocating and pushing and communicating and working. When we have 130,000 registered, we’ll have made some good progress.


    When every day is a normal Bike to Work Day and 10-15 percent (or more) of the people are biking in, then we know we’re pretty good with the infrastructure.

    4.5 percent of D.C. commuters traveled by bike in 2013. That’s much better than the 0.8% in 1990. Still a ways to go, but the progress in the last 10 years and especially over the last 5 years has been amazing, and rapid.

    As for Georgetown, interested parties should offer up comments and support for better bike routes, and participate in the Georgetown 2028 planning. Help to make those plans as open to cycling and walking as possible.

    The Appendix has vague statements about studying bike connections and turning K Street into a major multimodal gateway and about a direct bike connection along 33rd St. to Water Street.

    The addition of a Metro station could help indirectly, if that removes a lot of the local automobile traffic off of Georgetown streets. (However, much of the traffic is through-traffic, heading to downtown DC.)

    For the near term, wouldn’t it be better to turn down 33rd St. and walk the bike over the pedestrian bridge? I don’t remember if that ramp on the south side of the canal is conducive to walking a bike.

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