The Gripe: Bike lane stops abruptly at Northwest D.C. intersection


A cyclist rides on a bike lane in the District. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)
May 9, 2013

In recent years, the District’s Department of Transportation has made a concerted effort to add dedicated bike lanes to roadways, a response to the growing number of cyclists on city streets.

Despite some confusion, the lanes have helped to make streets safer for cyclists and drivers alike, according to DDOT. But some cyclists have found that not all bike lanes are created equal.

Gripers on the citizen reporting Web site SeeClickFix, a Washington Post partner site, have been complaining for nearly three years about a portion of the bike lane on Rhode Island Avenue NW. Specifically, they are concerned that the westbound bike lane abruptly ends at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and R Street NW.

The two roads intersect between 6th and 7th streets NW, creating a potentially dangerous situation, users say.

“The westbound bike lane on R St. does not continue through the intersection at Rhode Island Ave. (as it does at other dangerous intersections like Connecticut and R),” wrote a SeeClickFix user. “Painting the bike lane through the intersection would improve safety for both drivers and cyclists as it would indicate where each vehicle is obligated to drive. This improvement has been made elsewhere in the city and it makes a huge difference for separating bicycles and cars in dangerous intersections.”

Since this initial complaint in 2010, the report has garnered 30 votes from other users and drawn comments as recently as this spring.

SeeClickFix reports, which include a variety of civic issues such as parking violations, graffiti and rat infestations, are funneled to appropriate government agencies — in this case, the District’s 311 service. In many instances on the site, 311 responds directly to these reports, acknowledging the problem and sometimes stating that the issue has been taken care of.

In the case of the Rhode Island Avenue bike lane, however, 311 has not responded.

Tell us: Is the Rhode Island Avenue bike lane a hazard as you cross R Street NW? Are there other potentially dangerous bike lanes that the District should know about? Share your experiences in the comments below or log complaints with SeeClickFix at The Gripe.

The Gripe: You vent. We get answers.

Related: The Gripe: Out-of-state drivers hog parking spots in D.C.’s Zone 6

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