With DC becoming more bike-friendly, I am always using Strava to come up with planned routes through the city. Most times I like riding out at night after the traffic has calmed to roll through and admire DC’s many different neighborhoods. Even after living here for around 15 years, I still marvel at how beautiful the city is.
The routes I choose though, are almost completely dependent on bike-friendly routes. And when I say bike-friendly, I don’t mean simply having paved roads. I don’t like riding with traffic, so I look for bike lanes. The Pennsylvania Ave and 1st Street NW cycle tracks are great. L Street NW cycle track is good, but I find myself having to weave into traffic because of cars blocking the lane. The Metropolitan Branch Trail is still my go to because of how close it is to my house.
But then I read about a proposed bike lane and it gets me thinking. I mean, if I feel I can safely get from point A to point B without having to play Frogger, I’m interested. And the proposals which may include bike lanes for Connecticut Ave NW in Dupont Circle look promising.
Curious, I mapped a route to Dupont Circle, seeing what roads I’d take. From Fort Totten Metro, I’d ride south on the Metropolitan Branch Trail to Michigan Ave NE where I’d have to mingle with cars until I reached Irving Street NW. I’d still have to share the roads, but there’s a sidewalk I’m comfortable with. I’d take Irving through Columbia Heights until I reached 14th Street NW, go a block to Columbia Road NW and keep going south until I reached Connecticut Ave NW. And that’s where it gets tricky. Connecticut Ave is six wide lanes of chaos for a noob biker like me. It has odd angled cross streets, crowded and narrow sidewalks for refuge, and an apparent understanding that exceeding 35 mph is a given.
One day, hopefully, that stretch from T Street NW all the way down to M Street NW will be bike-friendly and I’ll be able to create a Strava route to and through Dupont Circle while still being able to enjoy the view.