9th Street protected bike lane project gets moving

D.C. is getting a new 1.6 mile, two-way protected bicycle track years after the final study on the project was released.

Plans put the track on the east side of 9th Street NW. It will connect Florida Avenue/U Street NW to the north and Pennsylvania Avenue to the south, officials said.

“This project will make our city safer and travel Downtown more accessible,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “With the 9th Street cycle track we are improving D.C.’s infrastructure to make it safer, more sustainable and more efficient for everyone who travels through this corridor.”

News of the project comes a day after Bowser released her $17.5 billion 2022 budget proposal, which focuses on funding affordable housing initiatives, public safety measures, health services and childcare resources and economic recovery.

According to a news release, 10% of all trips originating in the Shaw neighborhood are by bicycle, more than double the average of bike trips District-wide.

“We are thrilled to move forward with such an important project that will make our city safer for those cyclists traveling in the eastern downtown area,” said District Department of Transportation Acting Director Everett Lott. “This two-way cycle track supports the corridor’s strong and growing bike usage, and lower vehicular speeds, making the corridor safer for drivers and pedestrians, too.”

What does that mean for drivers? They’ll be losing a northbound lane from 9th Street NW between Massachusetts Avenue NW to Florida Avenue/U Street NW.

But according to the release, there will be “minimal impact to traffic congestion.”

The project is currently in its design phase. Construction is slated to start in 2022.

A study into the project was launched back in 2015. The final report was released in 2017.

More information is available online.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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