A group of twenty leaders from the bike industry toured the best of Washington D.C.’s new protected bike lanes on a tour hosted by Bikes Belong Foundation’s Green Lane Project Monday.
The tour highlighted protected bike lanes, also known as green lanes, on Pennsylvania Ave, 15th St NW and L street NW in D.C. Green lanes, like those in D.C., are dedicated, inviting spaces for people on bikes in the roadway, protected from cars and separated from sidewalks. Protection from traffic can come in the form of bollards, planters, curbs or parked cars. The Green Lane Project, which began in May 2012, is working with six U.S. cities, including D.C., to get these facilities on the ground.
Taking place on the eve of the 13th annual National Bike Summit, the tour showcased an important part of making bicycling accessible for people of all ages and abilities.
“In our business, we try to break down the barriers that prevent people from riding. These green lanes show that if you give people a safe place to ride, it doesn’t matter if it is cold out – they aren’t letting anything be an excuse,” said Larry Pizzi, President of Currie Technologies, subsidiary of Accell Group, while on the tour. “Riding these facilities is just a phenomenal experience. I wish everyone could ride them because other cities would be lining up to do the same thing.”
The Washington D.C. green lanes offer some of the country’s best examples of the next-generation infrastructure at work. A recent study showed that bicycling increased 200% on Pennsylvania Avenue after green lanes were installed. The demand for transportation in some areas of Downtown D.C. is expected to grow by 12 percent during peak hours by 2015, and increasing the number of trips made by bike will be a key part of the strategy to improve mobility.
In addition to touring the facilities, the group discussed the impact of green lanes on societal issues such as traffic congestion, pollution, bicyclist and driver safety, the local economy and health.
The Green Lane Project is also hosting a Congressional Briefing to present a state-of-the-practice perspective on the development and benefits of green lanes. The Briefing will be held in conjunction with the National Bike Summit and the Congressional Bike Caucus on March 6 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. and will take place in the Congressional Meeting Room North in the Congressional Visitor Center.
To learn more about the Green Lane Project’s work to get green lanes on the ground in D.C. and other U.S. cities, visitgreenlaneproject.org.