Construction of M Street Cycle Track to Begin in August

The westbound protected bike lane will connect downtown DC with Georgetown.

Plans for the installation of the M Street cycle track are underway. The protected bike lane that will run west to Georgetown is scheduled to begin construction in August, according to DDOT. Photograph by Melissa Romero.

With the support of DC City Council members Tommy Wells and Jack Evans, the DC Department of Transportation expects an August start date for the installation of the M Street cycle track.

“It’s not just about painting some lines on the road. It’s much more complicated than that,” said Wells at Monday night’s Walk the Track event, during which a few dozen cyclists walked the proposed 1.3-mile M Street cycle track from Thomas Circle to Georgetown.

The M Street cycle track will be installed on the north side of M Street between 14th and 28th streets, Northwest, and run west to Georgetown. The bike lane’s installation is expected to cost between $50,000 and $100,000, says Greg Billing, WABA’s advocacy coordinator.

Cyclists and drivers can expect some major differences between the L and M cycle tracks. Unlike the eastbound L Street lane, which eliminated 150 parking spaces, parking along the M Street track will be shifted to the outside of the bike lane, explains Mike Goodno, a bike planner at DDOT. A narrower cycle track will also prevent cars and trucks from parking in the bike lane, an issue cyclists currently deal with on the wider L Street lane.

Parking from 17th Street to Connecticut Avenue will be removed due to high traffic congestion. Some parking spaces will also require rush-hour restrictions.

Bike markings and signals will be added in major intersections to continue guiding bikes through, explains Goodno. DDOT plans to add the same markings in intersections along the L Street cycle track, as well.

As cyclists wait for the installation, Goodno says DDOT’s next project will involve the current bike lanes by Union Station. The project will reconstruct the road and build a two-way cycle track on the east side to guide cyclists toward K, L, and M streets and connect to the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

DDOT will host a public meeting to present and take comments on the proposed M Street cycle track on Wednesday, May 15, at 6:30 PM at West End Library (1101 24th St., NW).