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The Battle for Bike Lanes in the Nation’s Capital

November 19, 2010 By: Peter Smith Category: City Spotlight

By afagan

That is, the US Nation’s Capital — Washington, DC. And, yes, those are bike lanes on America’s Main Street — Pennsylvania Ave. Incredible.

They’ve been making tremendous bike improvements in DC over the past couple/few years, and a lot of it has to do with blogs like, and DC’s DOT head, Gabe Klein and Planning Director, Harriet Tregoning.

We know that a big part of getting the bike infrastructure we require is making biking familiar to folks — right now, for most of America, biking remains ‘the other’ — some activity that they have no realistic way to relate to. But now, thanks to the work of advocates and responsible and responsive government officials like Klein and Tregoning, every time a member of Congress goes out their door to head down to the Capitol, or one of the myriad government buildings in/around downtown DC, they’re going to see bikes — lots of them — and more and more of them as time goes on. I think this will have a profound effect on how elected officials view biking, and it will translate into more political and financial support for biking. It’s super-important to keep DC moving forward on all livable streets policies, but especially on biking — the transformative tool in our Livable Streets toolbox.

Well, there’s about to be a new mayor in town, and one group of citizens (or, at least the executive board of one group of citizens) is urging the mayor-to-be to dump both Klein and Tregoning.

Hundreds of citizens are responding, though — led by A petition has been set up to allow you to show your support for both of these officials who are helping to transform DC into a more livable city. It is especially important to sign onto the petition if you live, work, and/or play in DC. Around this blog, we know that petitions can work, so it is worth your time to let the new Mayor know how you feel about a more walkable, bikable, livable DC.

Here is a StreetFilms video featuring Gabe Klein from just a few months ago:

Get some more third-party context on this issue from the Washington Post blog, D.C. Wire.

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2 Comments to “The Battle for Bike Lanes in the Nation’s Capital”

  1. Ross Nicholson says:

    Bicycle advocates need to be running the show in Washington, DC. People who hate bicycles should not win elections for public office.

  2. The conventional wisdom/ignorance about the incoming Mayor seems to have proved his detractors (and the supporters of the previous Mayor Fenty) wrong. Mayor Elect Gray has kept Tregoning, Cathy Lanier (the previous Mayor’s police chief — that rarely happens in mayoral transitions), he’s a supporter of cyclists, and bike lanes and, and despite the departure of Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, Gray has demonstrated significant and remarkable commitment student education/development and continuing school reform.

    Folks get caught up in these cults of personality — often creed/race/class inspired — which suggests a certain feeble mindedness. There are hundreds of over qualified people working in the Nation’s Capital and other major cities. Progress doesn’t stop or start with one person.


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