Washington Examiner Calls Parking Spaces “Valuable”; Bike Lanes are a “Deterrent to Customers”

Today, the Washington Examiner published an article about 15th Street merchants “protesting” the 15th Street “bike lanes.”
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    In our view, it has a few problems:
  • It never uses the term “cycle track” or explains the sort of facility it discusses.
  • It quotes one manager saying bikes should ride on the sidewalk, which is illegal there.
  • It quotes another business owner saying she wishes the cyclists would not use her street (which is not technically incorrect, but a strange customer attraction policy).
  • It clumsily brings in anger over the parking meter rate increases to let an employee of another business call bike lanes a “‘deterrent’ to customers.”
  • It never asks these business interests why they did not raise these concerns with DDOT during the extensive planning of the bike facility, or with downtown commercial property owners and the Downtown DC BID, who “helped plan the lanes.”
  • It lets objectors make incorrect statements and unsupported assertions without correcting or challenging them, while giving them a free pass on their failure to express these concerns during the actual design process when they could have been constructive.
  • Finally, it implicitly reinforces the view that all downtown public space planning should be evaluated based on how it impacts cars, their movement, and their short-term storage.
So in sum: We disagree. Our letter to the Examiner is below. 15th Street ‘Protest’ Examiner Response