Bikes and controversy on M Street. The District’s public meeting May 15 on its plans to build a protected bike lane on the north side of M Street brought out crowds on both sides. About 100 people packed the West End meeting room to hear the Department of Transportation’s plans and then make their views known. A large group of Metropolitan AME Church members (in 2B05) described how the bike lane would disrupt arrivals and parking at the church. Metropolitan complained strongly about not being told of the pending plans earlier. DDOT will meet with the Church to see what better arrangements can be worked out, but Sam Zimbabwe from DDOT was clear that there will be a bike lane. Church members asked about routing around their block of M. Another 2B stakeholder identifying himself as owning a restaurant –bar in the 1800 block of M street complained that he’d lose business because of access problems caused by the bike lane. Many – less clearly identified by residency – spoke in favor of the bike lane and even argued that it would increase business as bicyclists became aware of businesses along their new routes. DDOT is committed to raising the percent of trips by bicycle from 1% in 2000 to 5% in 2015.
Submitted by Abigail Nichols ANC2B05.