In 2013, Arlington began installing bike boulevards on the streets a block north and south paralleling Columbia Pike. The bike boulevards offer cyclists an alternative to Columbia Pike itself, which will one day have streetcar tracks.

Arlington bike boulevard street sign, with a wayfinding sign to the right. Photo by BeyondDC.

What’s a bike boulevard?

Bike boulevards are slow-speed neighborhood streets where cars and bikes share lanes, but which are optimized for bikes. They’re quiet local roads, usually lined with single-family houses, where there’s such light car traffic that separated lanes for bikes and cars aren’t necessary.

So far, Arlington’s bike boulevards include special signs and sharrows. In the future they may add other elements, like specialized bike crossings at intersections, or improved trail links.

Bike boulevards are common on the west coast, but as far as I know Arlington’s 9th Street South and 12th Street South bike boulevards are the first in the DC region.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.