According to articles in the Washington Post and the City Paper, the District’s Department of Transportation has taken big steps in making the city more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.
Barne’s dance crossings and hawk signals give pedestrians priority over cars at intersections, and out of a goal of 80 miles of bike lanes, 49 have been completed. The city’s bike-share program is an early success with residents and visitors. Residents find it easier and cheaper to pick up a bike at a corner station than owning their own and schleping it into their homes.
In fact, according to the City Paper, one of the biggest problems seems to be developing enough places to bike to. As they quoted Gabe Klein, Director of the D.C. Department of Transportation, “…the biggest obstacle to the development of a walkable, bikeable city is, in many parts of the city, a dearth of places to walk and bike to.”
Montgomery has a planning tradition of extending District patterns into the county, primarily the major avenues like Georgia, Connecticut, and Wisconsin, as well as the Rock Creek Park system. Why not extend the District’s bike routes and bike sharing program as well. How great would it be to cycle down Wisconsin from NIH to Georgetown? (I admit, the ride back uphill is more of a challenge, but hey, bike over to Foggy Bottom and Metro back.)
Extending the District’s bike services into Montgomery is a natural support for planning goals that seek to create dense, mixed-use communities at Metro stations–that is, places to walk and bike to.