The recommendations section in DDOT’s new study of three bicycle “facilities” (industry speak for the Pennsylvania Ave. cycle track, the 15th Street NW cycle track, and the intersection of 16th Street, U Street and New Hampshire Ave. NW) has some pretty smart-sounding ideas, and a few that could probably bear further study.
DDOT found that two-way cycle tracks are not always the best solution—even though they separate cyclists from drivers (which was preferred by cyclists surveyed):
Installation of two-way bicycle facilities on one-way streets also has the potential to require more significant signal modifications. The 15th Street results show that the use of signs indicating that bicyclists should use the pedestrian signals is not effective. Bicyclists should use either the motor vehicle signal indications or bicycle-specific signals depending on intersection specifics. This may require installation of additional poles to accommodate two-way bicycle travel on oneway streets.
While there are unique situations where a two-way bicycle facility on a one-way street works well (such as along 15th Street north of Massachusetts Avenue where there is no parallel southbound street that does not require significant out-of-direction travel), oneway bicycle facilities on paired couplets is generally preferred.
Photo by thisisbossi via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License