Best Nonfunctional Road Art

The Pennsylvania Avenue NW zebras
Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 12th and 13th streets
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
The bike lanes down the centers of Pennsylvania Avenue NW are among the most useful in the city—and the most likely to lead to a bicyclist being flattened. So bicycling advocates cheered the District Department of Transportation’s installment, last year, of heavy-duty plastic “zebras,” a measure meant to prevent motorists from taking illegal U-turns that could endanger bike riders. The cheering petered out quickly: Turned out motorists were able to drive in between—and sometimes right over—the zebras, which were placed 15 feet apart from each other instead of the eight recommended by their maker, the Spanish company Zicla. D’oh. At least they look cool.
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