In October 2019, the FHWA granted DDOT permission for a trial of the advisory bicycle (bike) lane pattern on five corridors in the Capitol Hill area of the District of Columbia. The concept for advisory bike lanes is that the vehicular lane is a single, 11’ – 18’ wide lane for two way traffic, with no centerline, while the bike lane is 5' wide and continually dashed on the outer edge to indicate that vehicles may cross over this line when necessary to give sufficient clearance to oncoming vehicles. This configuration will allow for bike lanes to be placed on more streets without affecting parking. An ancillary benefit is the anticipated reduction in vehicular speeds on neighborhood roads due to the narrower overall travel lane and absence of a centerline.
Advisory bicycle lanes are not part of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). In order to install these facilities and to support the ongoing evolution of permitted roadway features, DDOT must conduct an experiment and evaluate the designs.
Desired Outcome & Expected Benefits
This configuration will allow for bike lanes to be placed on more streets without affecting parking. An ancillary benefit is the anticipated reduction in vehicular speeds on neighborhood roads due to the narrower overall travel lane and absence of a centerline.
The evaluation process will be guided by Section 1A.10 of the 2009 MUTCD. “Before” and “after” studies will be performed to assess the performance of the experimental device. Bike lanes or shared lane markings do not exist on either of the facilities identified to receive the experimental treatment. As such, the evaluation process will be primarily focused on their performance after implementation. Bicyclists and motorist behavior will be observed by staff and volunteers along the subject streets after the application of the experimental devices. Variables to be studied and recorded in the field will be:
Bicycle and vehicular volumes (before and after)
Vehicular speeds (before and after)
Intersection crash data for the entire roadway (before and after)
Observations along the corridor (before and after)
Where do bicyclists tend to ride? Does this vary by the presence of parked vehicles or oncoming vehicles?
Where do motorists tend to drive? Does this vary by the presence of bicycles or oncoming vehicles?
Are motorists yielding to bicyclists before merging into the advisory bike lane? (after only)
When a motorist overtakes a bicyclist, are they leaving a safe passing distance?
Do the advisory bike lanes and lack of centerline appear to create conflicts among bicyclists and motorists?
Does the lack of a centerline appear to create conflicts between motorists?
Are bicyclists using the treatment as intended?
Are motorists using the treatment as intended?
Intercept survey of users (after only)
Do bicyclists feel safer with the addition of the advisory bike lanes?
Do motorists understand the purpose of the advisory bike lanes?
Observations will be made prior to the installation of advisory bike lanes, and once a year after implementation.
A final consideration on this approval is the close proximity to the USDOT headquarters. In prior advisory bike lane installations, the applicants have not always been diligent about the after-installation data collection, leading to inconclusive results on the efficacy of this treatment. In this case, DDOT seeks not just a one-off lane, but five corridors which have interconnections with our existing bike network, and in a location where FHWA staff can personally visit and observe behavior on this facility type. The scale of this installation will also help with the evaluation as it will be a common striping pattern to encounter for daily travelers in this section of Southeast DC.
DDOT is approaching this project as a multi-disciplinary effort, with oversight and participation from Transportation Operations & Safety Division (TOSD), Transportation Engineering & Signals Division (TESD), Vision Zero Division (VZD), Parking & Ground Transportation Division (PGTD), and Planning & Sustainabilty Division (PSD).
The design will be completed through our bicycle infrastructure design contract, currently awarded to VHB, with Drew Gingras, P.E. as our principal designer/engineer on the project.
Each corridor will also go through DDOT's standard public engagement process, starting with community notice (Notice of Intent), engagement with the area Advisory Neighborhood Commission at their request, a public comment period, incorporation of comments into design changes, and finally installation.
Derek Voigt (TOSD) Sonela Ardekani (TESD) Christine Mayeur (VZD) David Lipscomb (PGTD) Mike Goodno (PSD) George Branyan (PSD)
Designs are also shared with FHWA staff (David Kirschner & Darren Buck) for consultation and review.
Progress this quarter
E Street ABLs - finalized design and installed.
Kentucky & Tennessee Aves ABLs - Design started, NOI to communities
Overall delays getting project started due to COVID19 adaptations taken by DDOT.
Kentucky & Tennessee Aves - Design finalized, scheduled for installation
Installation in Q1 is weather-dependent and subject to contractor completing prior assignments.
Kentucky & Tennessee Aves - Installation started & completed
Some slight installation delays due to rainy weather
12th St SE and North Carolina Ave SE - Notices of intent sent out announcing project development. Designs for both projects complete. Installation anticipated for latefall 2021.
12th St SE construction underway - 90% complete, North Carolina Ave SE installation will be in spring '22.
Data collection commenced on 3 completed sections in November.
The shorter NC Ave segment was de-prioritized for installation at the end of striping season to complete other projects
Any relevant materials, including problem statement, scope of work, interim deliverables, reports, data can be uploaded below.