Fill the K St NE Bike Lane Gap
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DDOT is seeking feedback on a plan to add 2 blocks of standard bike lanes on K Street NE between 6th St NE and 8th St NE. While two blocks are usually not much to get excited about, these lanes will close the gap in what will be a 2.7 mile continuous bike route of mostly protected bike lanes on K St NW/NE and West Virginia Avenue NE.
To add bike lanes to K St NE, roughly 23 parking spaces along the south curb will be removed from the south curb, but existing parking and school pick up zones will remain on the north side of the street. Since this proposal has a high potential for pushback, please take a moment to send DDOT a personal message that you support closing the bike lane gap on K St NE. Comments due August 31, 2023. Read the detailed notice of intent here.
In 2019, after significant debate and a successful community-led campaign, DDOT installed four blocks of painted bike lanes on K St NE between 2nd St NE and 6th St NE as part of a broader traffic calming project for the high-crash K St NE corridor. Since then, the bike network has grown substantially nearby. In 2020 and 2021, DDOT added protected bike lanes to K St from 7th St NW to First St NE and on West Virginia Ave to New York Ave. And we are awaiting a final decision to install protected bike lanes on K St NE between First NE and 2nd NE. This leaves just two blocks of K St NE between 6th and 8th Streets NE that lack bike lanes.
Closing the K St bike lane gap will create a more seamless link between Mount Vernon Square, Trinidad, and Ivy City, a vision which has appeared on long range bike network plans as far back as 2005. It will provide parents another transportation option for bringing their kids to school, encourage more predictable interactions between people driving and people biking, and create a more consistent street design to the corridor. Read the Notice of intent letter here.
Any street redesign involves tradeoffs and trading 23 parking spaces for bike lanes will require some neighbors to use off-street parking or park across the street. However, the upside is a safer, more accessible street which will convince more people to hop on a bike.
What’s a Notice of Intent?
Under DC Law, the District Department of Transportation is required to give written notice to relevant advisory neighborhood commissions before making any changes to streets that affect traffic operations or on-street parking in their area. The Notice of intent is a formal comment period when any individual or ANC may submit written comments about a project, typically offering support, opposition, or substantive suggestions on design. Once the comment period closes, DDOT staff summarize comments and tally support and opposition. Finally, DDOT convenes an internal review panel to consider comments, determine a path forward, and provide any required responses to ANCs.
The Notice of Intent comment period is the final opportunity to review the overall plan, show support, and suggest modifications. While thoughtful or substantive comments are most helpful, short, supportive comments can help tip the scales towards action on safety improvements that require more aggressive tradeoffs, like removing car parking.