DC vows more tickets for bike lane blockers

Bike lanes that run along 15th St. NW, south of Massachusetts Avenue, in D.C. are among the most dangerous for cyclists in the country. (WTOP/John Domen)

City leaders have set aside a number of parking enforcement officers to focus strictly on violations that happen in bike lanes throughout D.C.

So, even though D.C. has added bike lanes to downtown roads and neighborhood streets in recent years, it hasn’t always meant that cyclists were free from parked cars and trucks, much less vehicles driving in lanes set aside for those on bikes.

Just three months ago, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said bicyclists who ride in the bike lanes that run up and down 15th St. NW, south of Massachusetts Avenue, face the greatest risk of injury compared to any other protected bike lane in the country.

But city leaders are trying to reduce the risk of injury there and along all the other bike lanes around the District.

The Department of Public Works has tasked more than two dozen of the nearly 300 parking enforcement officers who work for the city with focusing strictly on bike lanes, including a particular focus on vehicles that block the bike lanes.

And even if you’re caught blocking one of those lanes but manage to drive off before the ticket can be slapped on your windshield, don’t think you got away with it.

Officers will be able to take photographs and mail tickets to drivers who zip away before actually getting the ticket.

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