Despite its history of infrequent use and various safety concerns, cyclists flocked to the Metropolitan Branch Trail on Wednesday when Metro closed its rail system to conduct inspections and repairs, the District Department of Transportation says.

MBT saw 1,280 bike trips yesterday, an increase of almost 200 percent as compared with those it saw on Tuesday. “This was DDOT’s highest ever bike day on the MBT, beating Bike to Work Day 2015 by 100 rides,” the agency explains in a post on Facebook.

Per DDOT, the 15th Street NW and I Street SW bike lanes both saw about double their usage as compared with the preceding day:

  • 15th Street Cycletrack – 2,579 trips. An increase of 80 percent over Tuesday. It’s 89 trips short of the highest ever day, Bike to Work Day 2015.
  • I Street SW – 380 trips (eastbound only). This was an increase of 115 percent over Tuesday.
  • Met Branch Trail – 1,280 bike trips. An increase of 194 percent over Tuesday. This was DDOT’s highest ever bike day on the MBT, beating Bike to Work Day 2015 by 100 rides.

Wednesday’s data for the MBT and 15th Street NW track appear below, respectively (DDOT generally tallies ridership along the MBT and other bike lanes with small electronic counters that can sense direction of motion):

Not to be overlooked when thinking about these increases: Wednesday was a beautiful day, unlike what’s predicted for this Sunday.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery; screenshots via DDOT

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