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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 06/ 9/2010

Cycling advocates rankled over new bike lanes

By David Alpert

Reasonable people disagree about whether the change to the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes is for the better or worse. Personally, I'm not sure. But the experience makes it more difficult to keep defending DDOT against criticism that they're not planning or communicating adequately.

I've slightly modified my comments in yesterday's post (with a note saying so). The new lanes use the median and part of the pedestrian refuges. That could be better because drivers don't expect to drive in the median and the lanes will more clearly look like bike lanes. Or, it could be worse because cyclists have to travel over stone pavers which could be slippery, and might have to dodge pedestrians who expect to wait in the refuges.

Some are saying there were indeed major traffic tie-ups on Pennsylvania Avenue. The traffic analysis actually only looked at a few intersections. It's certainly possible it missed something. We still don't really know.

But this whole episode frustrated me, and I believe other bicycle advocates, because of the way it happened. Bike lane supporters fought hard to defend DDOT on the lanes, from pushing back on AAA to getting large numbers of favorable comments to the TPB.

I had some trepidation about that process. DDOT had presented just one version at a single public meeting, without posting the plans, though it had been talking to stakeholder groups for months. Officials presented the plans for Pennsylvania Avenue, and plans for other roads, as virtually a done deal. But I didn't make a big issue of it because the lanes, on the whole, seemed good.

Then, at the last minute, we found out the lanes were being redone, and found out from the press. There was no explanation of the issues with the lanes at the time, no discussion about whether the problems that had cropped up warrant redoing the lanes or not. There still isn't even clarity about whether this is coming from Mayor Fenty or Gabe Klein.

Continue reading this post by David Alpert on Greater Greater Washington here.

David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By David Alpert  | June 9, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network  
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I wouldn't consider myself rankled. Gruntled, maybe. Flummoxed? Discombobulated?

Posted by: krickey7 | June 10, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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