Proposed Bike Lanes for PA Avenue SE Will Reduce Travel Lanes – May Affect Parking

DDOT Officials Mike Goodno standing (left) and Greg Matlesky (right) brief Chair Kirsten Oldenburg’s ANC6B Transportation Committee on the plan to install bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue SE at a meeting last Wednesday night. 

Proposed Bike Lanes for PA Avenue SE Will Reduce Travel Lanes – May Affect Parking

By Larry Janezich

Wednesday night, Mike Goodno and Greg Greg Matlesky, managers of DDOT’s Pennsylvania Avenue SE Corridor Study, told ANC6B’s Transportation Committee some of the details of a plan to put bike lanes on PA Avenue between 2nd Street, SE and Barney Circle.

According to Goodno, the goal is to help get people out of cars, and would accomplish this by redesigning the avenue to provide for safer, more accessible, multi-modal transportation options – in this case, buses and bicycles.  This is in keeping with DC’s long term goal of significantly improving non-motorized transportation conditions in the city.

Currently, PA Avenue from 2nd Street to Barney Circle has three travel lanes and a parking lane, but no bike lane.

There are three alternatives being considered to provide bike lanes. All of them will reduce the number of travel lanes and two of them would provide for restricted parking during rush hour.

The first proposal would provide two travel lanes, restricted parking during rush hour, a rush hour priority bus lane and a curbside bike lane.

The second alternative would provide two travel lanes, a full-time parking lane, a curbside bike lane, but  no dedicated bus lane.

A third alternative would provide two travel lanes, restricted parking during rush hour, a rush-hour bus lane, and a median-side bike lane.

6B Transportation Committee resident member Floyd Brown raised the concern that few drivers on the commuter route would be likely to use the bike or bus options and a reduced number of travel lanes would divert auto traffic onto secondary residential streets.  The managers said they would take a look at that before the upcoming community meeting when more details of the plan would be presented.

Resident commissioner John Manley pressed Goodno and Metlesky about what happens to bikers after 2nd Street as they travel west, since the bike lane would not continue on to Independence Avenue.  DDOT has no clear answer on that, or on what happens to bikers traveling east after they reach Barney Circle.

A community meeting was scheduled on March 25 at 6:00pm at Friendship school until a Commissioner Kelly Waud pointed out that it conflicted with Councilmember Charles Allen’s Budget Town Hall scheduled for the same time at Maury Elementary.  Goodno said the date of the DDOT community meeting may be changed.

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11 responses to “Proposed Bike Lanes for PA Avenue SE Will Reduce Travel Lanes – May Affect Parking

  1. Carl Ford

    After the bike lane ends at Barney Circle, cyclists can get on the sidewalk of the Sousa Bridge, which is already a bike route.
    If cyclists don’t like traveling on Independence Ave, they can take 2nd St north to East Capitol, Constitution, D Street, or Mass Avenue. Or perhaps DDOT could connect a Pennsylvania Ave bike lane with Washington Ave via D Street or E Street SE.

  2. Hillcurmudgeon

    Why doesn’t DDOT start by coordinating with MPD and DPW to address evening rush hour double-parking on Pennsylvania between Second and Seventh? And are there any plans to address the bottleneck on Pennsylvania at Third Street where traffic backs up due to two lanes of vehicles turning left onto Independence and Third? Finally, what consideration is being given to traffic calming and pedestrian safety, including shorter wait times for crossing Pennsylvania?

  3. Vince Mareino

    I’m hopeful that adding bike + bus lanes and reducing car lanes will make it safer to walk across Pennsylvania. My wife and daughter have both been hit crossing that street, because there are too many spots where a right turn puts a driver on top of a pedestrian.

  4. Sam

    I like how the headline of this post only lists the down sides of the bike lanes. As if that’s all there is.

  5. A. G.

    If there are existing bike lanes on adjacent streets, let’s not bring more bikes into traffic, a lot of which is commuters, on Penn avenue. Bad idea. We don’t need a bike lane on every street in this city.

    • Josh

      We don’t have a bike lane on every street. More like a bike lane on 1% of city streets. Pennsylvania ave is used by many cyclists including myself, and I can attest to it not being very safe. There are no good options for bikes coming up independence. Why should cars have total rights to 99% of city roads. Makes no sense.

    • w

      The argument about diverting cars to side streets is weak. Cars already do this and many of them drive aggressively around cyclists on smaller neighborhood streets. There are no protected bike lanes east of the Capitol on the Hill, and the this effort is the correct approach to remedy this problem. Pennsylvania badly needs traffic calming, not just for bikes but to make the entire neighborhood more pedestrian friendly

  6. Josh

    100% behind putting bike lanes on Pennsylvania SE. As a cyclist, can say that the stretch from the Capitol to Eastern market is especially dangerous, with car double parked everyday, and busses and cars speeding by. About time!!

    • w

      Penn Ave SE speedway is tolerated until 2nd street. It’s built to move commuter traffic at the expense of the neighborhood livability. It’s grossly out of proportion with the human scale of the neighborhood. Easy street parking and the ability to move 45 mph + through city streets are not entitlements we should confer to drivers.

  7. lol biased reporting

    This headline is a prime example of the writer caring about one side of a story but not the other.

  8. ET

    I support any/all ways to calm Penn. Avenue down. Between the double parkers on the 300 block, the evening rush our lane dance at second, and the crazy situation related to staying on Independence at 3rd (I was about 6 inches from being hit by an SUB going about 30 who ran the red) attention needs to be paid. The city needs a better balance between efficient traffic flow and remembering that this is a place people actually live.

    However, in the AM speed seems to be a real issue. I walk to and from work down Penn Ave every day and in the morning I notice that the speed with which commuters travel down the street from the park to 2nd scares me and I am on the sidewalk. That part of Penn seems to be either no parking because of driveways or bus stops or parking restrictions in the AM, so people use it as a third lane and sometimes as the passing lane.