Bike Lanes Under the Microscope
If you've biked across U Street at 16th Street lately, or along the 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue cycletracks, you might have been stopped by someone who handed you a postcard with a link to a survey site about what it's like to use the new contraflow lanes that sometimes take a while to figure out at this extremely complicated intersection. If you followed it, you would have learned about something called the "D.C. Neighborhood Street Project." You wouldn't have known what that is, because it doesn't really exist—it's just a name for a series of studies being done on three pieces of bike infrastructure that the city is using as test cases for new things all over the city.
If you fault Terry Bellamy's District Department of Transportation, after all, it won't be on failing to study things. The holdup on the L and M Street crosstown lanes is in part due to DDOT's determination to see how the other cycletracks have worked out. For these studies, the agency has subcontracted with Jennifer Dill, an associate professor at Portland State University and Director of the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium—the academic affiliation, Dill says, helps reassure participants that the study is neutral. She and a colleague are coordinating the surveys of more than 150 cyclists and 300 residents around each facility, along with video observations of how people use them.
Just in case you were worried that the Gray administration wasn't being deliberate enough on this bike lane stuff.