Dec 15, 2021 - News

D.C. advances Connecticut Ave redesign and bike lanes

A street-level view of Connecticut Avenue
Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday advanced plans to build protected bicycle lanes on Connecticut Avenue NW, part of a 2.7-mile remake of the major commuter thoroughfare.

Driving the news: The Bowser administration picked a redesign for the avenue amid criticism from activists that the city is not moving fast enough on bicycle lane enhancements during a spike in traffic deaths.

  • Bowser set a goal earlier this year to build 10 miles of protected bicycle lanes annually.
  • The Washington Area Bicyclists Association praised the news and called the Connecticut Avenue project a “transformative change.”

The redesign of Connecticut Avenue removes reversible rush hour traffic lanes and installs one-way, protected bicycle lanes. The project runs from Legation Street to Calvert Street.

  • “After considering several options, it was clear that this design best meets the needs of our city and moves us closer to a greener DC, a safer DC, and a DC that is less reliant on cars,” Bowser said in a press release.
  • Before the pandemic, 1,500 crashes were reported over a three-year review period when the reversible lanes were in service, according to the District.
  • The city believes removing reversible lanes will decrease crashes by about 17% and the bicycle lanes will slow down traffic, aiding pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Yes, but: Final redesign is expected to take 18 months, the District Department of Transportation said.

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