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Pennsylvania Ave. to have dedicated bike lanes

Under the plan, the 15th Street NW bike lane between U Street and Massachusetts Avenue would be extended to Pennsylvania Avenue.
Under the plan, the 15th Street NW bike lane between U Street and Massachusetts Avenue would be extended to Pennsylvania Avenue. (Gerald Martineau/the Washington Post)
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L and I streets, both one-way, would give up the left lane to bike-only traffic. On L Street, the lane would stretch from 12th to 25th streets; on I it would run from 11th to 21st streets.

Sebastian said the lanes would be clearly marked and might be painted a distinctive color -- green, blue or red. Parking considerations and use of yellow posts are under discussion.

A left-turn-only lane at each intersection will be shared by cyclists and motorists, he said.

"Our models show that losing a lane on these streets won't have a major impact on traffic," Sebastian said.

If the program is a success, he said, concrete barriers like those used on some New York City streets will be considered.

The plan for Pennsylvania Avenue is more dramatic. The two center lanes, one in each direction, will be converted to bike-only traffic. Traffic signals will be recalibrated so that drivers wanting to turn left will await a left-turn arrow, while cyclists will be allowed to turn left on the general "green dot" signal.

If yellow posts are used to delineate the lane, Sebastian said, they would be removed for "a major event, such as the inauguration." He said the cost of the new lanes was being calculated, "but they're pretty inexpensive."

"It is Pennsylvania Avenue," he said, "and it will be kind of a statement about bike-friendly America."


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