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DC Bike Projects Look to Expand Routes, Prevent Bicycle Accidents & Protect Victims

By: Dan Hausman

The District of Columbia has really emphasized biking since I last lived in the city in 2010. Bikes were more or less an afterthought in the city’s transportation plan back in 2010 and now bike lanes and bike share systems are everywhere and are also supported by rules and regulations that promote biking throughout the city.

What the local legislators and executives, with support by group’s like the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, have accomplished is to make biking safer and more efficient which has in turn helped decrease pollution and traffic in the city.

There is so much to complain about when it comes to politics; we should all step back to commend politicians when they do a fantastic job like they are with biking in the city. Below are a few ongoing bicycle projects in Washington, D.C. that aim to expand biking routes, protect riders against preventable bicycle accidents, and ensure the rights of victims.

Protected Bike Lane Projects

15th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW are two streets that already have significant and long bike lanes. There are three more bike lanes that the District is working on getting into operation. They are to be located on:

  • ​Two-way protected bike lane on either 6th or 9th NW between Florida and Pennsylvania.
  • Two-way protected bike lanes on Irving Street NE/NW between Kenyon Street NW and Michigan Avenue NE and then up either 5th or 7th Street to Grant Circle.
  • Protected lanes on either 17th, 20th, 21st, or 22nd St NW.

No More Blocking Bike Lanes

The District of Columbia’s Department of Transportation often makes rules and regulations regarding transportation. One such rule has been recently made and will go in effect if the public comments, which are due March 11, 2019, do not lead to changes. The rule will eliminate the loopholes for blocking bike lanes, which currently allow people to block bike lanes for things like passenger or freight pick-up or drop-off and to avoid blocking other traffic.

E-Bike and Electric Scooter Compensation for Injuries

Now some bicyclists don’t view riders of e-bikes and electric scooters as peers, but we can all agree those riders deserve a safe environment as well. D.C. council member Mary Cheh introduced a bill in January to amend a law in DC to grant e-bikers and electric scooter riders the same right to recover compensation from crashes as bicyclists and pedestrians currently have. Namely, the law would allow scooter and e-bike riders to recover damages in personal injury claims when they were partially negligent as long as they exhibited a lesser degree of negligence than the combined negligence of all the defendants in their lawsuit.

Our firm is tuned in to the biking community in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. To learn more, please check out our eBook, “Top 10 Things to Do After a Bicycle Crash.” If you have specific questions please call or contact our firm to speak directly with an attorney for a free legal consultation.