I like to imagine an alternate version of the National Mall when the roads aren't mostly set aside for parking and also where maybe the old Tourmobile kiosks are turned into breakfast taco stands. I don't think either of these events are forthcoming, but maybe someday fuel scarcity or the whims of of an evil despot will turn the Mall into a place that's less concerned about vehicle storage, like a kind of linear Walmart parking lot. Would the spots really be missed? Would anyone really notice?
I will spare you my 12,000 words on the western end of the Mall by the Lincoln. Maybe I should write a newsletter. PS- I am not a crank. (fun aside: I emailed someone at NPS today about the plan to put parking meters on the Mall. The 9 of you reading will be the first to hear about when I know more.)
I decided to take New Mexico Avenue home and then ride through Glover Park, which has recently been besharrowed (to little ill effect) and then down into Georgetown and over to a grocery store where I bought some things and then it was the L Street cycletrack across town to 11th street. There are shitshows and there are disasters and then there are shitsasters (when after one shitshow and one disaster fall in love and get married...) and then there's 11th Street, which is a true hot mess on the night of games at the Verizon Center (on 7th). The street has bike lanes, but you wouldn't know unless you checked under the commuter buses and more than once (twice) I had to yell some combination of 'hey' and 'no' to alert drivers to not hit me with their cars when casually pulling out of parking spaces. It's just bad news and it's really unfortunate. I've been bike commuting in the city for a long enough time and I've developed a bit of too much comfort in shitsasters, but it's remarkably unfair to have a street like this and expect normal people to be ok bicycling on it. They don't deserve that. People have dignity and that doesn't go away when they get on a bicycle.