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D.C. expands 'Green Lanes' bike initiative

Tuesday - 6/5/2012, 3:28am  ET

Amy Freedman, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - D.C. will join Austin, Chicago, Memphis, San Francisco and Portland, Ore. in a partnership with the non-profit Bikes Belong Foundation to expand the Green Lanes Projectbicycling initiative. Green lanes are dedicated spaces for cyclists in the roadway and are protected by curbs, planters, posts or parked cars. The goal of the Green Lanes Project is to support cities in their efforts to install bike- friendly spaces.

Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th street NW have become the national showcase for "Green Lanes" since the installation of the protected lanes on that corridor has tripled bicycle volume. The District is now in the planning stages of new projects on L and M Streets NW as well as near Union Station. Capital Bikeshare is another major success helping to elevate D.C.'s stature as an up-and-coming bike friendly city.

The green lanes can be good for pedestrians and drivers in addition to cyclists as they provide a clear definition of where other city street users can expect bicycles, cutting down on accidents and confusion.

However, the greatest benefit is with more people on bikes, there's less traffic congestion and pollution. The Green Lanes Project should be a welcome addition to D.C.'s growing bike culture.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)