ANC 3D votes to delay New Mexico Avenue bike lanes

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3D in Washington, D.C.’s Third Ward voted to overturn a previous resolution to add designated bicycle lanes to New Mexico Avenue NW, according to ANC 3D10 Commissioner Joe Wisniewski.

Commissioners voted 6-4 on Oct. 2 to delay the construction of the bicycle lanes, reversing a 5-4 decision on July 10 that approved the lanes.

Wisniewski, a senior in the School of Public Affairs, said that bicyclists riding uphill block automobile traffic, and some bicyclists don’t feel safe in the road so they use the sidewalk instead.

The lanes are intended to help ease traffic flow, separating cars and bicycles into their own dedicated lanes and giving pedestrians access to the sidewalk, according to Wisniewski.

Some opposed the measure, including managers of apartment buildings on New Mexico Avenue, according to a Jan. 18, 2011, statement from ANC 3D02 Chairman Thomas Smith.

At the Oct. 2 ANC meeting, Smith said that adding the lanes would narrow the existing traffic lanes, while 3D08 Commissioner Mike Gold said that low visibility from the driveways of the Sutton Place and Sutton Towers condomiums would pose a safety hazard for the lanes.

Wisniewski criticized the commission’s reversal of the July vote.

Despite the new vote, the District of Columbia Department of Transportation has contracted with a crew to install the new lanes by Oct. 24, according to Wisniewski.

“You’d be surprised how controversial some white paint on the side of the road got,” Wisniewski said.


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