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People and bikes in Washington DC: A photo essay


Day on a bike in DC-44
This stylish young woman on a fixed-gear was spotted in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)


In thinking about the quality of a city’s bike network, I think who is riding is often just as important as the type of infrastructure they’re riding on. With that in mind, I spent several hours walking and riding around Washington DC with my camera during my visit there last week. I was on the lookout for two things: bike-specific infrastructure, and people riding bikes. Taken together, observing these two things tell me a lot about a city’s bike-friendliness.

Today I’ll share a sampling of what I saw.

When looking at people on bikes, I tend to notice many things; the type of bike they’re on (drop bars or upright?), the clothes they’re wearing (spandex or suits?), their speed, their compliance with traffic laws, their age and ethnicity, their general demeanor (do they look calm or stressed?), and more.

What do you notice? And what, if anything, do you think it tells us about where DC is on the bike-friendly spectrum?

1
On the Rock Creek Trail.
2
Downtown.
3
Intersection of New Hampshire Ave/U Street and 16th NW.
4
U Street Corridor/Shaw District.

5
At R St and Florida Ave NW.
6
Columbia Rd and Adams Mill Rd NW in Adams Morgan.
7
The auto industry’s worst nightmare. Seen on R St at Rhode Island Ave NW.
8
Downtown.
9
Pennsylvania Ave protected bike lanes.
10
Downtown.
11
Downtown.
12
Downtown.
13
Downtown.
14
Downtown.
15
Downtown.
16
Pennsylvania Ave bike lanes.
17
Pennsylvania Ave bike lanes.
18
Pennsylvania Ave bike lanes.
19
Pennsylvania Ave bike lanes.
20
Madison Drive NW on the Mall.
21
Downtown.
22
Near Union Station.
23
Downtown.
24
I Street SW.
25
Downtown.
26
Downtown.
27
4th Ave. SW
28
Downtown.

What I observed backs up my larger assessment of Washington DC’s bikeway network. I’ll share more thoughts on that tomorrow, along with photos of DC’s bike-specific infrastructure.

— BikePortland’s DC coverage was made possible by Planet Bike and Pro Photo Supply.

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