Bicycling in Washington, DC
In May, 2011, Washington, DC was upgraded to the Silver Level on the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Communities list. A host of recent innovative bicycling projects contributed to the award, and the District Department of Transportation continues to show its commitment to providing bicyclists with the infrastructure necessary to make moving about the city safe and convenient. For more information about DDOT’s plans, view the Bicycle Master Plan.
The largest bikesharing system in the United States, Capital Bikeshare has been offering bicycles as an alternative to other modes of travel in the DC region since its launch in September 2010. For a reasonable price, members get access to over 1,400 well-maintained bicycles located at over 165+ stations (by the end of 2011) in the District and Arlington, 24 hours a day—to make all your quick trips around town. Memberships are available for 24 hours, 3 days, 1 month or 1 year, and once purchased, the first 30 minutes of any ride are free. For more details about how the program works, the fee schedule and a map of stations, visit, www.capitalbikeshare.com.
Bike Lanes and Trails
The District currently has more than 57 miles of marked bike lanes within the District and installed its first separated counterflow bike lane on 15th Street, NW. The Capital Crescent, Rock Creek, and Metropolitan Branch trails all run through the District, and numerous other trails radiate from the city into surrounding counties.
DDOT is painting many bike lanes green in "conflict zones" around the city to improve visibility of both the bike lanes and the cyclists. Read DDOT's highly informative blog post to learn more about the slip resistant, skid resistant, green paint. This safety measure has been proven to increase vehicle yielding behavior and is just another method increasing biking visibility around the District.
L Street Cycletrack
This new, separated bike lane is designed to give bicyclists extra protection from cars and prevent vehicles from illegally parking in the lanes. The lane will have a painted buffer zone with flexible bollards to separate it from motor vehicle lanes. Motorists and cyclists can check out how to use the lane with this diagram of an L Street intersection.
Trails and bicycle lanes are available to view on both printed and web-based interactive maps. To order a printed map, contact Commuter Page. If you would like bike maps in bulk, please email goDCgo at email@example.com. goDCgo’s interactive map is another great resource for planning your bike route in the District. Simply enter the point of origin and/or destination, check the boxes next to bike lanes and trails, and all cycling route options will appear (denoted by colored lines on the map).
Opened in October of 2009, Bikestation provides residents, employees and visitors of the District with secure bicycle parking in a prominent 1,600 square foot facility located directly outside of Union Station. The facility is staffed by Bike and Roll 66 hours per week and offers a private changing room and rental lockers, bike rentals, repair services and retail sales. For more information and to become a member, visit www.bikestation.com.
To date, over 1,000 bicycle racks have been installed throughout the District. Businesses and organizations wishing to add a bike rack to their property should contact DDOT through the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at 311 or (202) 727-1000, and they will install it free of charge. Art bike racks are also available from a variety of companies and range in price from $500 to $1,500. Businesses or organizations that opt for an art bike rack need only pay the cost of the rack, and DDOT will again install it for free. Contact goDCgo if you need assistance with ordering an art bike rack.
Please note that bike parking is required in all buildings with car parking in the District. For more information please read the Bike Parking Regulations.
Education & Resources
The Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) continually offers courses for bicyclists of all skill levels, as well as for motorists learning to navigate the roads with bicyclists present. The WABA website also has a host of information about other bicycle-related resources.