I almost never bike downtown. I mean, I have, but it can feel pretty chaotic for a newbie biker like me. I prefer the trails where there are fewer witnesses if I crash. And from where I live, it’s much easier to streak down the Metropolitan Branch Trail to Union Station then to the National Mall.
From time to time, though, I have ventured downtown. I’ve traversed the L Street NW cycle track, but the amount of dodging cars in the lane keeps me from being motivated enough to give it another shot. Pennsylvania Ave NW cycle track is nice, great view, but it doesn’t really connect anything to anything.
But because I love the architecture all over the city, the vistas, and simply being in the mix of everything, I am starting to look for routes that take me from the north side to the south side [well, more south than where I live]. Being the newbie biker that I am, I want as bike-friendly as possible. I haven’t scooted down any of the existing north-south lanes yet, and apparently there are some like 15th Street NW, but I would like to see more.
The more the variety of ways to get around town, safely, the more I’ll make that ride. I want more protected likes like the proposed two-way protected bike lane for 17th Street NW.
One street over from my home is a shared road. The bike sign is painted on the roads, but drivers don’t seem to get it. There are bike lanes throughout Capitol Hill, but I still feel like I’m in the road, especially on C Street NE crossing 15th Street NE. I keep feeling like one day a driver not realizing our lanes cross will send me to 14th Street under someone’s chassis.
But some bike space like on 1st Street NE from Union Station to NoMa would give me just enough confidence to make a route part of my regular random riding around town.