D.C.

DDOT considers zebra barriers to protect bicyclists on Pennsylvania Avenue

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Three years after clearly marked bike lanes were installed on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, bikers and drivers continue to have near daily contact with each other.

It’s one of the busiest one-mile stretches in D.C. - between 14th Street and 3rd Street - a congested confluence of bikers, drivers and pedestrians.

“They'll cut through and miss you by less than a foot sometimes,” says Joe Meier, a bike messenger. “It’s pretty funny.”

Meier has made changes to his route.

“Half the time I don’t even ride the bike lane, because it can be really dangerous,” Meier says. “Half the time I just hug the lanes because the cars then have to watch out for you.”

DDOT recently placed stanchions at corners, but that hasn't stopped the problems and dangers.

Now the city is proposing installing permanent zebra barriers, that would prevent cars from making turns straight into the bike lanes.

“Those would help us be seen a lot, those kind of barriers, for sure,” says a biker.

After holding public forums on the permanent barrier proposals, the multiple agencies that oversee roads are now taking comments from bikers and drivers through June 13, on whether the zebra barriers would be a good move for all who share this road.

“I'm not sure that's the best answer.,” says Henry Wigglesworth, a cyclist. “The best answer is for people to respect each other.”

 

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