The M Street cycletrack is under siege. Last week, I wrote about an M Street church’s successful effort to scrap a block of the planned protected bike lane in order to preserve a few curbside parking spaces for churchgoers. The District Department of Transportation’s capitulation, I wrote, set a terrible precedent by sending the message that if a property owner or business found a bike lane inconvenient, the agency would alter its plans and disrupt its transportation network in order to appease that property owner or business.
Well, it seems the lesson is already being learned by another local business—-specifically, a strip club.
Newly minted Washingtonian writer Ben Freed reports that Camelot Show Bar, a nudie joint on the 1800 block of M Street NW, is looking to get in on the anti-cycletrack action. Camelot’s owner, Nicolas Triantis, is worried that the bike lane will make his (presumably carbound) employees late to work.
“I wasn’t aware that AME got an exception,” Triantis told Freed. “I’m going to give DDOT a call to see what’s going on.”
As he should. Once DDOT gives out one slice of the pie, others are going to come calling. After all, though churches and strip clubs may be at opposite ends of the gentility spectrum, the city shouldn’t really be making moral judgments on who gets to dictate transportation choices and who doesn’t.
Of course, I’m not advocating another block of lost cycletrack to make Triantis happy. The real issue is that DDOT opened the levees by handing out a concession in the first place. Hopefully, if enough other less-than-holy businesses start picking up the phone and asking DDOT for their own exemptions, the agency will learn from its mistake and stick to its guns on what’s best for the city’s transportation grid.