Norton claims a few parking spots blocking Capitol Hill bike lane approval

WASHINGTON — While local commuters are urged to find alternatives to cars, a long-planned bicycle lane connecting Union Station to the Capitol is being blocked, said D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

“I believe it is being held up by the (Senate) Sergeant at Arms, for the sake of a few congressional parking spaces,” Norton told WTOP.

Norton said the project — which would construct a protected bike lane between Union Station and the U.S. Capitol grounds on Louisiana Avenue — has received bipartisan support since 2015.

“Mind you, every senator and representative has a free parking space, and most of our staff do, as well,” Norton said. “If they don’t get this together, I’m going to ask them all to come into my office to negotiate this right here.”

Norton said for the sake of public safety, and relief of traffic congestion on Capitol Hill, she wants U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Frank Larkin to drop his opposition to the plan, which has been approved by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

The bike lane would be built using local D.C. Department of Transportation funds.

“Throughout the region, and here in the Congress as well, we’re calling for the use of alternatives, to the use of the automobile,” said Norton. “So, if we mean it, let’s do it.”

Norton said existing bike lanes along Pennsylvania Avenue NW and First Street NE have been successful in minimizing car traffic in Downtown D.C.

“We all ought to be very grateful to those who use the bike lanes, that they’re not crowding our buses or subways.,” said Norton.

Calls for comment from the Senate Sergeant at Arms’ office were not immediately returned.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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