Earlier this week, Washington D.C. had a major artery of their next-generation bike infrastructure showcased during President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. The Pennsylvania Avenue green lane was on display to those who congregated on and around the National Mall during the president’s motorcade procession and inaugural speech. The lane was built since President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
As District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Terry Bellamy told the Washington Post, “We are very proud that the nation will get to see why D.C. is now regarded as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the nation.”
The green lane was a result of hard work done by the DDOT, with the support of groups such as the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), and shows the city’s commitment to making D.C. a better place for biking. Pennsylvania Avenue is an early example of separated, protected bike facilities in American cities and led D.C. to become one of the Green Lane Project’s focus cities.
“We are thrilled that D.C.’s state-of-the-art facility was highlighted at this national and historic event,” said Martha Roskowski, director of the Green Lane Project. “Pennsylvania Avenue is a model green lane. Its long-term, measureable success in safely accommodating bicyclists and reducing congestion in D.C. has inspired the strategic engineering of more bicycling facilities across the country, in an effort to connect complete streets within major urban areas.”
After its construction in 2010, DDOT found that bicycling volumes on Pennsylvania Avenue increased by more than 200 percent and that nearly three out of four residents in the area indicated that they supported the lanes, believing them to be a valuable asset.