11th St bike fix

11th-St_no-bicyclesThe section of 11th Street between L St and Jazz Alley (the alley south of J St) is largely a pedestrian place, but it is also a bike route. For bikes wanting to enter from L St, there are two choices, using the sidewalk area to the right of the fenced seating, or riding the wrong way on the parking garage exit. It is signed against bicycles (see photo at right). And to be honest, it should be signed against bicycles in the sidewalk area because this walkway gets such heavy pedestrian traffic from the Capitol and all the retail and offices in this area.

11th-St-L-StSo, I’m proposing that a short protected bike lane be created that would carry bicyclists from L St to the open part of the pedestrian plaza. The roadway here is 27 feet wide, wide enough for two traffic lanes exiting the garage, and one contra-flow bike lane heading north. I’ve watched traffic exiting the parking garage, particularly at the end of the work day, and there is a lot of crazy, erratic driving, and almost continuously an attempt to form three lines of traffic and cut around other cars. A stripe of paint on the ground is not enough. There must be either delineators or a curb (asphalt or concrete) separating motor vehicles from bicyclists. The Google maps at right shows the general setting.

Below is a graphic showing how the traffic lanes and the contraflow bike lane would be installed. Southbound bicycle traffic would use the left hand of the two traffic lanes, which could be marked with a sharrow.


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