DDOT is considering a 3-block cycle track on 1st Street, NE from K to M Streets to help people biking between the Metropolitan Branch Trail or NoMa and Union Station and places farther south.

Drawings of the proposed cycle track.

The off-road segment along west side of the railroad tracks currently runs from L Street in the south to Franklin Street in the north. However, it has a set of stairs just north of L, so cyclists using this portion will generally get on and off at M Street.

From there, users continuing south toward Union Station can go west to 1st Street NE, which leads to the Metro station, the Bikestation, Columbus Circle and more. DDOT is reconstructing the segment from K Street north, and has designed this cycle track for the portion up to M.

According to Mike Goodno of DDOT, they aren’t looking at extending the cycle track north of M because because of parking and hotel drop-off issues north of M Street. That means that someone riding southbound on 1st Street from NoMa will have to cross over somehow to get to the cycle track, either by queueing up in front of the traffic on M Street and then turning right into the track, or turning left onto M, or crossing as a pedestrian at the crosswalk.

A few streets cross the segment in question. Drivers can turn right from the northbound lanes or left from the southbound lanes across the track. Therefore, turning conflicts might be an issue. Goodno says they haven’t yet decided how to handle these turns.

There are also a few curb cuts accessing the adjacent properties, like the Greyhound bus terminal. The diagrams show some of these potentially being closed. The project wouldn’t immediately close them, but DDOT would want to work with property owners to locate any curb cuts on side streets instead as those properties are redeveloped.

The project is currently slated for 2013 or 2014. DDOT also hopes to continue the cycle track south of K eventually, though that is not part of this current project.

They’re interested in hearing feedback. What do you think of the plan?

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Surface Transit. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions here are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.