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Can We Get Some of These DC Protected Bike Lane Features in NYC?

A few days ago I was in Washington, D.C. for a shoot. After leaving Union Station with my gear I made a beeline to check out the newest improvements to the 1st Street bike lane that runs adjacent to the station. I'd heard it was pretty fab, and upon close inspection, it really is.

The separation on this two-way lane varies between three treatments: 1) a concrete curb, which is substantial and well done and runs about half the length of the lane; 2) A combination of green paint, plastic bollards, and armadillos, which all work extremely well in conjunction; 3) paint and plastic bollards for the long block connecting to the Metro Trail. All of the variations feel comfortable on streets where car lanes are narrow and motorized traffic tends not to exceed the 20 mph range.

I was in town to meet up with former D.C. and Chicago transportation commissioner Gabe Klein, who has a new book debuting this week called "Start-Up City" that you should read. We shot some short vignettes, the first of which is above, where Gabe talks about the genesis of the Pennsylvania Avenue two-way, center-running bike path.

I am posting these videos largely for selfish reasons. NYC is currently considering protected bike lanes for Fifth Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, and DOT could do better than its existing designs. For the next round of protected bike lanes, I'd love to see much better protection for cyclists. Both of these DC lanes have features that NYC should consider.

I'm also posting another useful Streetfilms snippet from Stockholm, where they are experimenting with inexpensive concrete humps to discourage drivers from encroaching on bike lanes. This could be another great option to try out on New York's wide avenues.

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