Safety First on Q And R Streets NW / NE

Recent progress has been made in building protected bike lanes on north-south routes across the city. Thank-you DDOT!

Meanwhile the essential east-west links intended to join these facilities — narrow, painted lanes on Q and R streets — present serious danger to hundreds of bicycle and scooter riders each day. 

Those who use these lanes must navigate stopped vehicles, drivers veering into the bike lane, inch-close dangerous passing, and the constant threat of being “doored.” Unsurprisingly, these lanes do not meet DDOT’s own low-stress bikeway design standards.

Crash statistics back up our lived experiences: First responders report an average of 1 crash every week on Q and R Streets over the past 5 years – resulting in injuries to 53 bicyclists, 31 pedestrians and 171 vehicle drivers and passengers. There is no accounting of the unreported crashes and near misses that users experience every day.

We urge DDOT to fix these dangerous routes by building protected bike lanes on Q and R streets from Connecticut Avenue NW to the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) so people of all ages and abilities can be safe when they bike or scoot to work, to school, to go shopping, or for recreation. 

A protected east-west route will benefit communities across a wide swath of our city – stretching from the MBT in Eckington to Bloomingdale, Truxton Circle, Shaw, Logan Circle and Dupont Circle. Pedestrians will benefit from the traffic calming effects of the PBLs, which also will safely separate bicyclists from the main roadway.

People choose to bike when it is safe, convenient, and low-stress. Even when most of the route is blissful, it is the most stressful blocks that turn someone away. These narrow painted bike lanes squeezed next to high-volume driving lanes are no substitute for a truly low-stress and safe bikeway.

We, the undersigned, call on DDOT and our elected representatives to support the construction of protected bike lanes connecting Eckington and Dupont Circle.

Map: Q and R streets NW / NE from Connecticut Avenue NW to MBT with PBL Connections

Bring the Bicycle Safety Stop to DC

Update: The hearing record closed at the close of business on Thursday, May 19.

The DC Council is considering two important changes to the rules of the road for drivers and people who bike in DC. The Council’s Transportation Committee held a hearing last week and advocates have until May 19 to send in written testimony to be included for the record.

The Safer Intersections Amendment Act of 2022 makes two changes. First, it adopts the Bicycle Safety Stop in DC, allowing a person riding a bike, scooter or ebike to treat a stop sign as a yield at intersections and treat a red light as a stop sign. This change would give a bicyclist greater visibility to drivers and reduce the time they spend in the intersection when no other road users are present. The bill also prohibits right turn on red for drivers at all signalized intersections unless permitted by signage.

So far, nine states have adopted stop as yield, including Delaware, where reported crashes at intersections involving bicycles dropped 23% in the 30 months after the change. For more information on the Bicycle Safety Stop, read our blog post explainer or this fact sheet from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Read the full bill text here.

DC Protected Bike Lane & Trail Progress: May 2022

May is Bike Month, so it’s a great time to get out there and enjoy DC by bike. Seriously, go for a bike ride! Take your friends and family. There are so many new safe routes, new trails, and newly accessible corners of the city to get to. Our Low Stress Network is growing!

Bike Month is also about taking action, stepping up, and speaking out for safe street designs and policies that make biking, walking and transit the best, and most joyful, ways to get around.

So join our monthly Low Stress Network Advocate Meetup on Monday, May 16 at 7pm. Meet up virtually with advocates from across the city, share relevant updates, and join a work session on a campaign to build a piece of the low stress network near you.

Register on Zoom

Did You See This?

The Met Branch Trail is complete to Fort Totten! – At long last, this half-mile trail extension is complete, offering a direct connection to Fort Totten Metro and a comfortable bypass of stressful, hilly Fort Totten Dr. Here’s a great summary and photos.

Major Protected Bike Lane Progress – New protected bike lanes are nearly complete on Virginia Ave NW in Foggy Bottom and Maine Ave SW at the Wharf, under construction on Warder Pl in Park View and C St. NE in Kingman Park, and breaking ground soon on Minnesota Ave SE at Randle Circle. Last month, DDOT reached the final milestone before construction for 3+ more miles with even more this summer. More info on those projects here.

Things To Do

Good things happen when advocates like you are speaking up for DC’s Low Stress Bike Network. Here are some quick actions to support building parts of that network. Find the most recent actions at waba.org/action.

Support DDOT’s Plan to Finish the Met Branch Trail on 8th St. NE

DDOT has a new, thoughtful, & all-around better plan to complete the Met Branch Trail on 8th St. NE with wide protected bike lanes, orderly school pickup/dropoff, and traffic calming. Sign your support!
Take Action

Take The Bladensburg Rd NE Survey

DDOT wants your help reimagining Bladensburg Rd NE from Maryland Ave to the Maryland line. Drop your thoughts on the map and survey. Protected bike lane anyone?

Take Action

Sign the Petition to put People First on I (Eye) St. SE/SW

Sign the petition to support DDOT’s plan for protected bike lanes, traffic calming, and safer intersections on I St. in SW Waterfront and Navy Yard ahead of the June ANC discussion.

Sign the Petition

Weigh in on Columbia Road NW Bus Priority & Bike Project

DDOT wants your ideas for making Columbia Rd in Adams Morgan work better for buses and bikes. Take the survey.

Take Action

Walk/Bike lanes for Ohio Drive at Hains Point

The National Park Service wants to make Ohio Dr in East Potomac Park safer to walk and bike with dedicated, painted lanes. See the plan & share your feedback by May 19.

Take Action

Support Traffic Calming on New Jersey Ave NW

New Jersey Avenue between N Street and Florida Avenue NW is a dangerous and a glaring gap in the low stress network. Sign this petition to support DDOT’s plan to fix it.

Sign the Petition

Safe Biking & Walking on Lincoln Road NE Now!

Join us in urging DDOT to take this next step in connecting the bike lanes of Northeast DC, and taking the next step towards a safe commuting future for the District.

Take Action

Events & Places to Go

Low Stress Bike Network Citywide MeetingGet updates on campaigns across DC and get involved in one near you.
Monday, May 16 at 7pm
Register on Zoom

Bike Anywhere Week!

WABA’s third annual Bike Anywhere Week captures some of the magic of bicycling in our region and reminds us of the incredible community we have in our fellow bicyclists, both in person and online. 

Where is this event? Well, it’s anywhere: around your block, on the way to the grocery store or the park, from the comfort of your home, or with us virtually.
May 16-22
Register & Learn More!

Bike to Work DayIt’s the best commute of the year with 101 pitstops around the region!
Friday, May 20
Register

A New Vision for Pennsylvania Ave NW “America’s Main Street”
The National Capital Planning Commission wants your feedback on their early concepts on a new vision for Pennsylvania Ave NW aka “America’s Main Street” between the White House and Congress. Attend to learn more about the alternatives and how to weigh in.
Saturday, May 21 at 10am

Register on Zoom

Open Streets On MLK Ave
Open Streets in Your Neighborhood is kicking off with Ward 8’s Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE! The event will close 0.3 miles of MLK Ave to cars and open them to people to ride, bike, walk, socialize, and take in exciting programming!
Saturday, May 21, 9am-1pm
Event Details

Military Road Bike/Pedestrian Trail Study Public Meeting

Join NPS and DDOT for a virtual presentation on a proposed multi-use trail along Military Rd connecting Ward 3, Ward 4, and Beach Drive through Rock Creek Park.

Tuesday, May 24 at 6:30 PM

Join on Teams

Bladensburg Rd Multimodal Safety and Access Study Kickoff

DDOT is kicking off a study of Bladensburg Rd from H St. NE to Eastern Ave looking at big picture changes for safe walking, comfortable biking, and a more livable corridor. Attend to learn about the study and give your feedback.

Thursday, June 2 at 6:00 PM

Join on Webex

What We’re Reading

  1. Why We Can’t Afford to Ignore the Needs of Non-Drivers With Disabilities (Streetsblog) – A new study looks into how people with disabilities who don’t drive are being left behind by accessibility efforts that ignore their unique and diverse needs, and how centering them can carry benefits for everyone.
  2. DC’s current car trip reduction goal is woefully inadequate (GGWash) – What actions are behind DC’s goal of reducing driving modeshare to 25% of trips? Is it working and is that even the right goal?
  3. NHTSA Releases the Facts on Bicycle Stop-as-Yield Laws: They Increase Safety (Streetsblog) – As DC Council considers allowing bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield and red lights as stop signs, Federal safety experts have some data to share.

Step Up Your Advocacy

  • WABA’s Low Stress Network campaign is powered and lead by community advocates like you. So we have tons of resources to share. Visit waba.org/netowrk for videos of past trainings, helpful how-tos, and more. 
  • Grab a slot at my Advocate Office Hours to dig into an issue, find opportunities to get involved in a campaign, or plot the first steps of your own. Sign up for office hours here.