Cyclists; it seems as though they’re everywhere. You’ve probably noticed them around your neighborhood one too many times. Clad in tights, sporting a helmet atop their head, straddling some top of the line bicycle. I’m proud to admit I’m among the large percentage of those individuals, minus the tights. I take pride in my baby blue cruiser with an adorable basket in the front. Seeing how I was born and raised in D.C, I never got around to learning how to drive. What with public transportation surrounding the city, it seemed redundant to learn.
However, with metro being what it is today, biking seems to be the only reliable way to get around the city. Not to mention it’s the ultimate way to burn calories. But lately, riding around town seems to becoming slightly more dangerous. The reason for this is the unpredictability of drivers. I have had four close encounters with an oncoming car within the past two weeks. Which, if you’ve experienced, is extremely unnerving. Now, I’m familiar with the understanding that biking in the city can be extremely tumultuous. This is why I’ve taken the necessary precautions.
But even with all my knowledge, I still feel vastly unsafe on the road. I honestly wonder how some individuals have been issued a license. It seems as though the drivers in this city truly have no consideration for bikers. Maybe I’m being slightly harsh on the drivers. After all, the blame doesn’t solely lie with them. The fact of the matter is there aren’t enough biker lanes within D.C. I cannot stress this enough. Although it was announced in February that the Department of Transportation (DDOT) would be adding seven new miles of biking lanes, I can’t help but wonder if that’s enough.
It is a known fact that 4.5 percent of D.C. working residents bike to work, with that number increasing 20 percent each year. And yet it seems as though the city is taking it’s sweet time when it comes to better accommodating bikers. Rather than spending more money on metro lines which prove to be inconvenient, the DDOT needs to spend more time catering to cyclists.
Bikers are just as important.