As we all know, Ward 3 continues to lag behind the rest of the city when it comes to bicycle infrastructure. There are still only two blocks of protected bike lanes in the entire Ward, and those were financed by a private entity (Georgetown Day School). We can and must do better.
Retiring Councilmember Cheh has worked to improve the situation. Without her advocacy, the plans for a protected bicycle lane on Connecticut Avenue would not be nearly as far along as they are (current timetable has the lane installed in Spring 2024). She has also introduced and moved legislation to help the city move towards Vision Zero and conducted oversight on DDOT. We will miss her leadership.
In addition to Connecticut Avenue, DDOT is proceeding with plans to improve bicycle infrastructure elsewhere. Most notably, the department intends this year to install protected bicycle lanes on New Mexico Ave./Tunlaw Rd. and Arizona Ave., and to widen the sidewalk on a key stretch of Nebraska between Wisconsin Ave. and New Mexico Ave. These are all incredibly welcome developments. Efforts are needed to improve safety for everyone in the city of course–not just cyclists–and make it easier for people to get around by foot, scooter, and bus as well.
We are fortunate to have an incredibly strong group of candidates running in the Democratic primary who have pledged to support the current changes planned for Ward 3, and expand on Councilmember Cheh’s work to make it safer to bike in Ward 3 and throughout the city.
At April’s joint W3BA/WABA forum, candidates were asked various questions about their support for safer biking and other transportation improvements. Their responses were nearly unanimous. See this chart linked below:
(Note that a ‘?’ response means that the candidate did not give a thumbs up or down to that question. Also note that David Krucoff participated in this forum. Because he is not running in the Democratic primary, however, his responses are not included here.)
Additionally, many of the candidates have been actively working to make Ward 3 safer for people who bicycle. We would highlight in particular ANC 3C chair Beau Finley and ANC 3D commissioner Ben Bergmann, both of whom have successfully pushed for bike infrastructure in their ANCs.
Finally, we would like to point out in a recent Washington Post survey of candidates that Monte Monash was the only candidate who did not feel that D.C. should replace on-street parking in some places with bus lanes or bike lanes.
The enthusiasm for safer biking infrastructure in Ward 3 is clear. We look forward to working with the next Ward 3 Commissioner to make Ward 3 a safe place for people of all ages to ride a bike.