Inauguration will put Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes on display for the world

The nation’s capital thrives on its obsession with irrelevant minutiae and this week one topic is: Will or won’t President Obama get out of the limo and march down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day.

Frankly, D.C. officials don’t much care, because either way, they say, one of the city’s jewels will be on display.

No, not any of the imposing stone edifices that line the boulevard, grand though they may be. They are excited by the fact that nothing the TV cameras do can avoid putting the bike lane that runs down the middle of Pennsylvania on display for the world to see.

“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,” said Terry Bellamy, director of the District Department of Transportation.

The bike lane is a new addition since Obama passed down the avenue on Inauguration Day four years ago.

The District has put in more than 14 miles of bike lanes on city streets and installed 1,000 new bike racks.

“Since then we’ve added miles of separated bike lanes across the city and launched America’s largest and most successful bike-sharing system,” Bellamy said.

Bellamy said he expects many people to ride bikes to the inauguration. A bike-parking area for 700 bikes will be set up at 16th and I Streets, NW. Bike corrals for Capital Bikeshare bikes will be established at 17th and K Streets, NW and the USDA building at 12th Street and Independence Avenue, SW.

Inauguration resources:

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.
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Dana Hedgpeth · January 17, 2013