"Wave Delineator" bikeway barriers on Potomac Avenue in Crystal City. Image by BeyondDC licensed under Creative Commons.

On two streets in Crystal City, Arlington is testing out new ways to separate protected bikeways from cars. If the barriers prove more effective than traditional flexposts, you may see them built elsewhere.

First, on Potomac Avenue just south of its intersection with Crystal Drive, “Wave Delineators” separate about a block of what had previously been a normal non-protected bikeway.

Wave Delineators on Potomac Avenue. Image by BeyondDC licensed under Creative Commons.

The plastic waves snap simply into place. They look like they probably offer about the same level of protection as normal flexposts, except they're wider so there are fewer gaps, and they're prettier.

Second, a few blocks away at Eads Street and 22nd Street, “BikeRail” barriers separate a stretch of the Eads Street protected bikeway.

BikeRail on Eads Street. Image by BeyondDC licensed under Creative Commons.

The BikeRails are noticeably sturdier than the Wave Delineators, being metal. But they're more purely functional, less aesthetic.

BikeRail on Eads Street. Image by BeyondDC licensed under Creative Commons.

Both the Wave Delineators and the BikeRail are temporary pilot projects. The wave is just a popup and will be gone sometime this week, while the rail will stay in place longer.

They were installed as part of the National Bike Summit, happening March 9-12 in Crystal City. You can see conference attendees discussing them via Twitter, where reaction is pretty positive.

Julie Strupp is Greater Greater Washington's Managing Editor. She's a journalist committed to building inclusive, equitable communities and finding solutions. Previously she's written for DCist, Washingtonian, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and others. You can usually find her sparring with her judo club, pedaling around the city, or hanging out on her Columbia Heights stoop.