11/8/10

More Two-Way Cycle Tracks, Please

The 15th Street cycle track has been converted from a one-way to a two-way route. DDOT plans to extended the bikeway from Euclid St, NW to E Street, NW, where it'll sorta connect with the Pennsylvanian Avenue bikelanes. Obviously, this is great for DC bicycle infrastructure and we should all be pretty happy about it.
I especially like that it's a two-way cycle track.For some reason, it seems to me like it's more consequential that way- less like a lane (which is a subservient part of the road) for bicyclists and more like a dedicated way (which is coequal with the road). I think making the cycle track seem more like a special "road for bicycles" (please don't yell at me- I know all roads can and should be roads for bicycles, I'm just struggling for terminology that would encapsulate how non-cyclists might see the cycle track), non-cyclists can start appreciating that some of us use bikes for commuting and utility cycling rather than solely recreationally on trails, which tend to be wooded and winding and far-separated from cars (and everything else).
I guess this is how I split the difference between vehicularism and infrastructuralism- I want bikes to be on public streets, where there are stores and restaurants, and not trails, where there are squirrels and rotting leaves. But I also want bikes to have some dedicated space, where new or inexperienced riders can feel more secure. If you hide cyclists and bike commuters from motorists by making them go out of their way through the woods down by the river to get around town, then they remain invisible and uncounted. It's not enough to put people on bikes- you have to put the people on bikes where the people not on bikes can see them. Bikeshare goes a long way towards doing this, but so does separated infrastructure.

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