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Bicycling has long been a part of the transportation mix in the District of Columbia. In the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, bicyclists, pedestrians, buggies, and streetcars all shared District streets. Today, bicycling still makes DC one of the most livable cities in the country.
The Department of Transportation has a well established and very successful Bicycle Program which is committed to providing safe and convenient bicycle access throughout the city. Evidence of the program's efforts is visible on a great number of streets across the District.
DDOT has created 56 miles of marked bike lanes and installed 2,300 bicycle parking racks; launched the first public bike sharing program in the United States; built the striking Bikestation DC facility at Union Station offering secure bike parking and related services; and installed the first separated counterflow bike lane on 15th Street, NW.
DDOT's Bicycle Program does a lot more to promote bicycling and safety in the District and details about its various initiatives and services are provided below.
The Bicycle Master Plan will move the District to the next level, creating an even more bicycle friendly city. This Plan is a guide to establishing high-quality bicycle facilities and programs over 10 years. Safe and convenient bicycle transportation is part of a broader initiative to create a sustainable, multi-modal transportation system in the nation’s capital.
Established by law and appointed by the DC Council, the BAC advises the Mayor and city government on bicycling issues.
The Bicycle Advisory Council meets on the first Wednesday of odd numbered months. Meetings are held in room 1117 of One Judiciary Square (441 4th Street, NW) from 6 to 8 pm. All meetings are open to public. Check with the Bicycle Program Manager to confirm the date and location.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing ride, commuting route to work, or just going out doing errands, the user-friendly Washington DC Bicycle Map will introduce you to the District’s extensive bicycle network of cycle tracks, new Capital Bikeshare stations, bike lanes, bike routes, trails and safety information.
Printable maps of DC bicycle routes, lanes, trails, and traffic conditions are available from the following links.
- DC Central Business District Map - No Bike Riding on Sidewalks
- Complete DC Bicycle Map
- DC Bicycle Map - Tiled
On average, 265 bicycle and 600 pedestrian crashes are reported to the Metropolitan Police Department each year in the District of Columbia.
To promote bicycle and pedestrian safety, DDOT:
- Participates in the regional Street Smart campaign which focuses on both enforcement of traffic laws and education for drivers, walkers and cyclists.
- Partnered with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) to launch Biking for Kids, classes on pedestrian and bicycle safety held in District elementary schools.
- Teamed up with the Metropolitan Police Department to give away helmets to children under 16. Helmets for this age group are required by law. A child can go to a District police station, accompanied by an adult, to have a helmet fitted.
Bicycle to Work
Thousands of DC area employees bicycle to work every day. The following link refers to a guide designed to ease the transition to commute by bicycle for Washington metropolitan area employees and to assist employers to encourage this smarter way to work.
Bicycle Route Planner
There are two online options for finding bike routes in DC. Google Maps offers directions by bike, and Ride the City is based on the Washington, DC Bicycle Map. Not only will both online route planners help bicyclists get from point A to point B, but Ride the City will show bike shops and bike share stations that exist along the way.
The two online resources are generated by a private web services. Please report any problems you find with the route suggestions directly to the providers. Cyclists are cautioned to follow all traffic laws. DDOT assumes no responsibility for damages resulting from the use of this data. No warranty of accuracy or completeness is expressed or implied.
The goal of DDOT is to promote safe and convenient bicycle access throughout the District. For more information, contact DDOT Bicycle Program Specialist, Mike Goodno.