The contraflow bike lanes planned for New Hampshire Ave’s one-way blocks north and south of U Street will tie in with signal changes at the intersection of 16th and U, according to DDOT’s Mike Goodno. The light will turn red for vehicles in all directions, allowing pedestrians to more safely cross U Street without dodging turning vehicles; at the same time, a new bicycle signal will let bicyclists turn off New Hampshire and onto 16th. They can then enter new bike boxes in front of the traffic on 16th Street, ensuring cars see them. When the light on 16th turns green, the bicycles can then turn onto U, continue straight across 16th, or reeter New Hampshire on the other side.
Here’s the recent DDOT diagram of 16th and U, with its great mega-bulb-outs. The bike boxes will be on 16th approaching U from both directions, where arrows are in this diagram, and making cars stop farther back. Bicycles will come out of New Hampshire and enter those bike boxes in front of the stopped traffic on 16th.
This project won’t have to wait for the complete intersection redesign, Goodno said. In the meantime, DDOT will put in new striping and a plastic median curb to protect the bike lane from oncoming traffic.