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While I can appreciate Tommy Wells' feelings on the CS bill, he does need to remember that not all roads in the US travel through already-walkable urban neighborhoods like Capitol Hill. I would definitely want to see any local DC city version of a CS bill written much more aggressively with more accountability and requirements because of our already urban context, but that bill simply won't fly at the federal level.

As it is, just getting MPO's and State DOT's to have to consider all users in the design process (and when refurbishing old roads) is a huge step forward from "move as many cars as possible, as fast as possible."

Part of the idea of complete streets is that not every street has to be made for all users — it's just that they have to think about whether or not other users will need to access it. Some really should be geared towards cars, just like some should be geared primarily towards people and bikes.

Ward 6 is completely different of course. Every new street there should have a wide sidewalk, and if not on all streets, there should be obvious bike corridors/lanes on certain streets to provide connectivity...

I'm a little concerned about the creeping assumption that streets are not made for bicycles unless they have a bike lane. I admit to being biased, as am still not convinced of the utility of bike lanes (and, indeed, avoid some other bike lanes as simply not safe enough), however, I still wonder whether the next step - after building tons of bike lanes - is to deny bikes from roads without those lanes. Or, indeed, deny bikes from the right to ride on the road when there are bike lanes present.

I've heard the 'bike lanes are just the first step to complete segregation' argument before, and I don't think it holds water.
First of all, I've never heard of it happening anywhere - I know that's the case in Maryland, but that's an older law. We're behind other cities on this and I don't see any signs of Davis or Portland banning bikes from other parts of the road.
I think it would be politically impossible for DC to deny bikes from roads without bike lanes. After adding bike lanes which studies show increase cycling, there will just be too many cyclists out there. I think it's important to be vigilant, but the arc is definitely bending in our direction.

Portland has a mandatory bike lane law (Oregon state law actually).

I'm really impressed with everything WABA is doing. I don't want to distract from that with a long discussion of bike lanes, so I'll keep it short. I think they're a good thing but there are places where I wouldn't use them. The picture shown is one of those places... too close to parked cars (though why the double stripe? maybe that's meant to help).

What I like about Complete Streets policies, and what Councilmember Wells point gets at, is that the burden of proof is put on the Dept. of Transportation to say why a street doesn't need bike/ped/transit/accessibility accomodations vs. the current state of having to advocate FOR them. With that said, a wide outside lane can be as much an accommodation as a bike lane. There is no one size fits all facility for cyclists on every stretch of road.

Ok. I stand corrected

Oregon law 814.420 Failure to use bicycle lane or path

Still, running back to my little bit of ground left, I haven't seen this series of steps.

Step 1 - optional use of bike lane law
Step 2 - add bike lanes
Step 3 - mandate use of bike lanes
Step 4 - rinse and repeat

But I'm sure Contrarian's got an example of that too.
Step 2 -

I do hope the 14 miles of new bike lanes are better implemented than some of the lanes we've seen recently -- I'm thinking Thomas Circle and the incredible vanishing bike lane on E street NW, for instance.

"Facilities" like that are worse than nothing.

"But I'm sure Contrarian's got an example of that too.
Step 2 - "

I can't think of any place that implemented a mandatory bike lane law before they had bike lanes. Think about it.

Dude, you are blowing my mind!

But could God make a bike lane so dangerous that even he couldn't ride in it?

By extension, you couldn't have an optional bike lane law without bike lanes either.

The Q Street bike lane shown in the picture is actually one of the ones I approve of, along with its west-bound companion on R Street. It may look like a door zone lane in the picture, but it's a nice wide one-way street, and the bike lane moves motorists out of the center of the road and over to the left. This is good for cyclists because bicycles often travel faster than automobiles on this stretch of road.

Before the bike lane you would have to weave through traffic on this street.

In the picture I can just barely see the house that I used to live in.

The Portland bike lane law has many exceptions for bicyclist safety. Contrarian's statement is too simplistic.
There is extensive discussion of this on the BikePortland site, accessible through the link on the left side of this page.

I agree with Contrarian (and, in doing so, I'm not being contrarian) that Thomas Circle might just be better without bike lanes. I use them sometimes to get around all those pesky motorized vehicles, but I'm really really really careful when I do, 'cause I don't want to get whacked by somebody randomly pulling into the lane without warning.

In terms of a "creeping assumption," honestly I wasn't just referencing laws. I was more thinking about attitudes. Frankly, I think we're already there. There are plenty of people out there who think that bikes are required to only be in bike lanes; believe it or not, I've even met people who think they are allowed only on streets that are designated "bike routes"!

Further, I've seen some bike lane designs where the bikes and the motorists ARE separated held up as a good example. That does, in fact, strike me as segregation. And, if implemented, do you really believe people wouldn't think "that's where the bikes belong." This wouldn't be the end of the world, of course, although in the chaos of DC, I can easily imagine segregated bike lanes, depending on their proximity to sidewalks, becoming just another sidewalk. And, with that, so much for the advantage of getting there fast by bike.

I'll admit I'm colored by my own experiences. For starters, I live in a neighborhood where the bike lane is really a double parking lane. Makes no difference what the law says. Thus, I don't see bike lanes as creating a more inviting street; I see them, rather, as creating a false sense of security.

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