As nice as it was this morning, it was even nicer this afternoon. Springtime bike commutes home are the best, partly because they lend themselves to "taking the long way" home and extraneous use of quotation marks around phrases that don't need them. I decided that I would take the long way home to check out the new bike infrastructure in Eckington and see how the contaflow lane is coming along. Last time I went by there, it wasn't quite done. Now it's quite done and quite exemplary. Look:
For at least one block (and perhaps at most one block), there's a contraflow bike lane between the curb and parked cars. Bravo, DDOT and bravo whomever in the ANCs made this possible. This is a great and worthwhile connection, especially for westbound cyclists. The eastbound cyclists get sharrows, or, if they rode at the same time I did today, a UPS truck. So, that's something at least.
Before I got to Eckington, I got to Bloomingdale (I suspect) and before there I went through a bunch of other neighborhoods I don't know the names of. Maybe one of them was Adams Morgan and another one was Columbia Heights and then I don't know what between roughly Euclid and 11th and along Q between 11th and roughly North Capitol are called. Not only do I not know the names of the neighborhoods (and misidentifying a neighborhood is the greatest transgression one could make and you'll be met with immediate approbation/a job at the Washington Post map department), but I don't really know my way through this part of town. I screwed up riding down Euclid and rode right past 11th and eventually ended up on Georgia Avenue and would have kept going east, had not the street turned into a hospital driveway. I took Georgia down past Florida and it turned into 7th and then there was a bike lane, though one wouldn't know if from a bus lane, at least if one identifies a bus lane by the presence of a bus, regardless of the markings painted therein. Wait, that's not what happened. Before I got to Georgia, I turned right onto Sherman, regretting my decision not to turn on 11th, and then merged onto Florida before turning left onto V and then that's where I encountered the hospital. I'm glad I corrected the record there. I wouldn't want to give anything less than a completely accurate reflection of my trip, especially about the part where those alien robots shot their laser death rays at me.
Here are some things that happened before I got to the part that I had just written about, the part where I'm at 7th and Q for those who skipped a few paragraphs ahead. On Euclid, off Columbia, I passed a garbage truck from the company Good Friends Waste. There's nothing more that I want than for my good friends to be handling my waste, so awesome name guys! I also saw a woman with a novelty bike license plate that said BAD BOY. Hipster irony, I suppose. I also saw a super biker and a fixie rider nearly collide when the fixie guy salmoned down 15th at Euclid. Had they crashed into each other, enough energy would have been released to power a generator hub for 50 years. Eat your heart out, Enrico Fermi.
Back to the present, which was the past, but the nearer past. I'm riding down Q and that's fine and then I approach the North Capitol NEXUS OF DOOM (brought you by, I don't know, some chinese carry out place) and there's a bike lane and then it just stops and I know that the Met Branch Trail is around there somewhere, but there's absolutely no signage about how to get there. In fact, I know exactly where the MBT is and how to get there, but I was still simmering in my own sauces about the lack of a sign for some people that might not know how to make this connection. So, DDOT, what's the right way to go? What's the preferred route to get from eastbound Q to the MBT? Can someone please tell me or even better it, print some white letters and arrows on some green painted metal and hang it up thereabouts?
MBT to M and M to 4th and then 4th past H (if I were writing a play about H Street, I would title it A Desire Named Streetcar. I googled and Randall O'Toole already beat me to it. Sorry.) and then down to D and over. From 4th to 14th is roughly 10 blocks says math, but it always seems longer. From there it was pretty much home and easy, but I have to say that Constitution Avenue, which is 3 blocks from my house in a northerly direction, seems like it's so far away. East Capitol is such a limes, in both a real and and metaphorical way.