D.C. to add downtown bike lanes in April

Bike riding downtown may become easier for cyclists this year as construction on new bike lanes is expected to start in April.

The District Department of Transportation plans to add lanes to five major streets as part of a 2005 plan to change the bike infrastructure of D.C., as well as to prepare for an expansion of its bike rental program, SmartBike D.C.

By May, new bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue are expected to be complete, followed by more lanes on other streets. On Pennsylvania Avenue in particular plans call for the median to be converted into two bike lanes from 3rd Street to 15th Street NW.

Near GW’s campus one proposal would remove a vehicle lane to make a bike lane on the left side of I Street NW from 11th Street to 21st Street NW.

A bike lane already on 15th Street will be extended south to Pennsylvania Avenue.

On L Street, DDOT plans to remove a vehicle lane on the left side of the street so cyclists can travel from 12th to 25th Street NW.

Plans also call for removing a vehicle lane on 9th Street to flow south to Constitution Avenue.

On March 18, DDOT held a meeting to get public input on the proposals and other options for the lanes, from how they will be painted to where posts will go to separate the lanes from cars.

According to an announcement about the proposals on DDOT’s Web site, cities like New York and Montreal were used as guides for designs for the District.

While cyclists wait for the new lanes, they can check out new biking paths that were added this month to Google Maps, as well as DDOT’s Web site for a bike map of D.C.

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