15th Street Bikeway in DC goes South
I thoroughly enjoyed riding in on the new extension of the 15th St. Bikeway this morning. It now extends all all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue and then changes over to "sharrows" as it goes further south to Constitution. I didn't ride further to see how far the sharrows go.
The bikeway has two-way traffic on the south-bound side of 15th street. It was brilliant until you get past the Treasury building and the church vans decided to park in the bikeway while they wait in line for their White House tours. Construction trucks were also lined up in the bikeway awaiting clearance to enter the the secure area of the Ellipse. That will continue to be a problem. The Methodists with the church vans got a bit upset when I asked them to find a different place for their vans. Oh well. I love them anyways.
Over-all the cycling experience on the new 15th St. Bikeway at the south end was extremely pleasant. I'll post up photos tonight.
Hugs and kisses,
Pete - did you ride studded tires this morning? I got lazy and Metro'd in today. I'm trying to see if I should mount the tires yet or if it's still too early.
Didn't need studs this morning. I used cross tires and they were plenty good. 700x35c Kenda Small Block 8's are sticky enough that they do well with wet pavement and snow on top. The Mt. Vernon boardwalks were slick as snot. I rode across them and had no trouble. I saw (and photographed) the snow-death-angel where someone appears to have taken a digger on the slippery boards.
If the trails are still wet tonight, they'll be icy tomorrow.
I don't think the bike lanes extend below Pennsylvania Avenue. Sort of an odd transition with the southbound lane being normally taken by vendors and---if I remember correctly---the sidewalk being officially off-limits to bicyclists from there all the way down to the Jefferson Memorial. Not sure that prohibition is enforced much. Only heard from one cyclist who was told not to ride on the sidewalk where the path dumps off the bridge by the Jefferson Memorial. But, after all, that's just another excuse to bang a left and do a loop around the point and that's a good thing.
Regarding tires, I have ridden Vittoria Cross XN Pros for the last couple of winters and have found them to roll fast than my Kendas and to be stickier in the wet. They also did fine in the snow.
Looking forward to the pix of the snow angel and sincerely hoping not to make my own...
I also don't know how much further north it goes at this point. Right now it appears to just connect Pennsylvania Avenue east of 15th Street with Pennsylvania Ave. West of 15th Street.
Going bowling on the Mt. Vernon Trail Boardwalk
You can see that two of us rode past this incident. This must have been the first time this individual rode the boardwalks in the snow.
I wouldn't call this a strike, but it is certainly a spare that would be easy to pick up.
All joking aside, these boardwalks are seriously slippery.
Thankfully, they stopped painting them. The paint ony made it worse. Probably not a bad idea to write to the National Park Service when Spring gets here to remind them not to do any more painting unless they are going to add sand to the paint or use a product that has a no-slip finish.
Not that they've got the budget to do anything anyway...so this may just be a moot point.
Back on topic: There was a line of 6 buses parked in the 15th Street bikeway this morning. They looked at me like I was from outer space when I suggested that they should move because they're completely blocking the bike lane.
(My "outer space" comment is not intended to imply that I am NOT from outer space. I will neither confirm, nor deny that.)
I rode the 15th St. cycletrack this morning; I was glad to see that the lanes were painted south of Mass Ave, but there were no barriers to prevent cars from straying into the track, and it appears the parking signage hasn't changed resulting in cars being parked all along the cycletrack, completely blocking the bike lanes from Mass Ave to Vermont Ave. I look forward to when they are fully completed. Still, I had a pleasant ride.
I have not gone south of the Treasury Building yet.
Personally, I thought going south is just plain awful. Pretty narrow and you're pretty close to pedestrians which tend to crowd the path. Especially when it is as cold as it was yesterday and today since they tend to be in a rush. I imagine that leaves and such in the fall will make short run around the building interesting. I went around it today and just rode in the regular lane. Going north, you have an interesting trade off. I can skip two left turns -- south side of Treasury to travel lane of 15th ST to north side of Treasury on Pennsylvania Ave -- but instead travel contraflow with cycling light and car lights on either side of me. Maybe I'll see how icy the Ellipse is ...
Last edited by invisiblehand; 12-15-2010 at 02:11 PM.