Ride Home 11/2: You'll Never Walk Alone and You Probably Shouldn't Ride a Carousel Alone Either Because of Safety Concerns and Maybe It Wouldn't Even Be That Fun By Yourself

Friday afternoon and it was the new, new normal (not the Ryan Murphy show, but where I ride on the L Street Cycle Track), so it was a quick ride down Mass, to 23rd and then to L. I was meeting up with some friends for some drinks, so I rode L from 23rd to 11th, where I made a wrong turn, soon fixed by a left turn at K and then a left-turn down a wrong way at 10th NW and then some wrong-way riding and then some sidewalk riding until I found myself at M and 9th, where I turned left again and locked my bike up, leaving the lights on for the entire time I was inside, partaking in the imbibery. Afterwards, it was back down 9th, to Mass, around Union Station, back on Massachusetts Avenue and then around the park and home. There's some construction by 395 that makes riding on Mass a bit hairy, but I find that from "the gash" to Union Station, it's not so bad. The ride overall was fine- the bike rode well, allow I have noticed a slight uptick in fender noise, so I'll have to maybe make some adjustments to my front fender using tools and guile. I can't remember very much about my L Street ride on Friday, but I went back out yesterday and here are some pictures and some text. You can supply subtext, if you'd like.

There was a DDOT crew installing the lane (painting green sections, bolting in bollards, changing signs) while I rode the lane, so they'll be featured in some of the pictures. I was there around 1:30 and I don't know how much more they got done after I left, but it seemed like they had made quite good progress and the whole thing might be ready a lot faster than the 3 weeks initially advertised to complete it. I will be very interested to here the total cost of the project. Tomorrow (Monday) morning will be an interesting test because all of the no-parking signs should and the majority of the lane construction should be completed. I'll ride and report, as this has become my "beat."

Signage at Penn/L. Lasciate ogni speranza, drivers. 
How drivers know to mix. And yield.
Drivers parked in the cycle track. In their defense, it not have been a cycle track when they parked. 

More parking spots that aren't parking spots any more. 

Neither bollards, nor paint will keep these steadfast courriers from parking in the bike lane. 
Sanctioned bike lane parking. "15 minutes," LOL.

Was here more than 15 minutes. 
This hotel parking thing is going to be a real problem because there's really no attempt to manage cyclists at all. If someone is parked there, you have just have to leave the lane. I don't know how frequently drivers will use this parking, but I wouldn't be surprised if it became a taxi idling zone. DCDPW needs to really be top of this. Also, cyclists need to be really careful negotiating this.

Parking directly in front of the No Parking sign.

Maybe slightly more forgivable because they were changing the signs while people parked. 
This situation would have made for an amazing example of the kind of predatory ticketing that DC doesn't actually do but people think that it does. Let people park + change the signs + issue tickets = $$$$ + war on cars. I actually asked a parking enforcement officer I saw if he was going to ticket the cars parked in the lane. He gave me some excuse about not knowing if the cycle track was entered into his computer system yet. I don't know whether this answer was total bullshit or only mostly bullshit. 

Parked in the left turn lane. Also, the end of the cycle track. (please imagine Boyz II Men playing in the background) 
So that's the story of my summer vacation. I mean, the time I checked out the L Street Cycle Track on a Saturday. But, that's just my perspective. I'd really like to hear from you all about your experiences riding it from Monday forward. So, I'm going to open up #TFTS to anyone who wants to write anything about L Street. If you'd like to share, please email talesfromthesharrows@gmail.com. Even if it's just a couple of sentences, I'm really curious to hear what you think and/or receive stew recipes if you'd like to send any of those along as well. I'll compile both L Street Cycle Track feedback (and/or stew recipes) in a post later this week. Thanks in advance! 

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