City considers adding bike lanes to nearby streets

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The District Department of Transportation is considering plans to add bike lanes to Eye and L streets, a spokesperson for the agency said last week.

The lanes would likely be installed in lieu of adding two-way bike paths on K Street as part of a redevelopment plan for the road, department spokesman John Lisle said.

Lisle said that because L and Eye streets are one-way, it is “more likely” that the bike lanes will appear there than on K Street, because the proposed bus lanes in the center of K Street would make it difficult to add bike lanes.

A decision will be made within the next year about the bike lanes and where they will be placed, Lisle said.

“We’re working on the plans right now and then we’ll present them to the community and let people know and weigh in on what we’re looking to do,” he said.

If the department decides to install the lanes, the agency will hold community meetings to inform people about the potential decision, gather input and give formal notice regarding their intentions to change the makeup of the street. Local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions would have 30 days to comment on the proposal, Lisle said.

Senior Josh Pusateri said he rides his bike around Foggy Bottom and supports the addition of new lanes.

“I think opening up bike lanes on streets around Foggy Bottom would be great. I always ride during rush hour and I find myself having to either go up on the sidewalk or constantly stop because the cars all pack together right up to the curb,” Pusateri said. “I usually try to avoid I and L streets during these times, but I think if bike lanes opened up, it would make getting around the city a lot easier.”

Senior Josh Balser said he often chooses his bike routes based on the availability of bike lanes or the safety of the street, and supports the proposed lanes.

“Bike lanes make everyone safer and happier. Cyclists riding in designated areas helps to separate them from drivers on the road and pedestrians on the sidewalk. It also encourages cyclists to obey the driving laws because they have a safe, unchallenged place to ride,” Balser said. “Adding more bike lanes can only be a good thing, and it hardly impedes the current flow of foot and road traffic.”

While DDOT “hasn’t set a timetable for [the project] yet,” Lisle said once they decide, it “wouldn’t take that long.”

“We’re still designing what it will look like.[and] we’re still looking at several months to make that happen,” he said.

Overall, Lisle said the plan “fits in with our director and our department’s goal of providing more infrastructure for bicyclists and for a balanced transportation system where we have facilities not just for cars but for other modes of transportation as well.”

“We see biking as an important piece of that,” he added.

Gabrielle Bluestone contributed to this report.

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