Photo by Eric Gilliland.

As Pennsylvania Avenue gets its new bike lanes, DDOT has adjusted and improved its plans for the other downtown cycle tracks.

A DC government source said that the agency has eliminated the proposed westbound cycle track on I Street and shifted it to M Street between 15th and 29th Streets. The reasons for this change are twofold.

First, traffic models indicated that removing a car lane on I Street would have a far greater impact than removing one on the much wider M Street. Second, DDOT did not want to preclude any bus improvements that it is studying with Metro for I Street. Unlike I, M Street is not a major bus corridor.

M also provides better connections to Georgetown and the regional trail system at Rock Creek Park, and the 2005 Bicycle Master Plan calls for a lane on M.

Looking ahead, DDOT’s next goal for cycle track expansion is 15th Street from Massachusetts to Constitution Avenues, though a design issue remains where vendors have set up shop on 15th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania. Following that, the new M Street lane must be designed and will be constructed in tandem with an eastbound cycle track on L Street. Cycle track proposals along 9th Street and M Street SE/SW are further in the future.

DDOT is also planning to study a cycle track for Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 17th and 29th streets. The Pennsylvania Avenue cycle track poses challenges both at wide intersections where lettered streets intersect the avenue and at Washington Circle. This facility would connect to standard bike lanes on New Hampshire Avenue between Dupont and Washington circles when that road is reconstructed in the future.

This new plan fairly closely matches our recommendation, created after DDOT announced its plans:

GGW proposal for downtown mobility. Purple: Cycle tracks. Blue: Existing bike lanes. Red: K Street Transitway. Orange: Bus lanes that also allow bikes, or bus lanes as well as bike lanes.

DDOT listened to feedback from Greater Greater Washington, WABA, cyclists, BIDs, transit riders and more, and has created a better plan as a result.