January 17, 2010

Lane Champlain

Photo by M.V. Jantzen

The District recently renovated and reopened Champlain Street to cars under the Marie Reed Center.  The new street is one-way southbound for cars and includes a northbound contraflow bike lane.  The reopened street will improve street connectivity between Adams Morgan and the U Street corridor.  Currently, much of the car traffic is forced onto Ontario Road on the east and Eighteenth Street on the west.

The northbound contraflow bike lane will connect nicely to the westbound bike lane on V Street (mapped below).  Though bicycles are entitled to ride on all District streets, LeDroit residents who prefer bike lanes will find a more relaxed route along V Street (from Vermont Avenue) westward to Florida Avenue, then northward on Champlain Street.

Champlain Street and vicinity. The blue line marks the northwestern edge of the L'Enfant Plan

The roadway just south of the Marie Reed Center has been renamed Champlain Street to signify its continuation from the north.  Its old namesake, Old Morgan School Place,  has since been shortened from its former L-shape to its one remaining block between the Reed Center and the PEPCO substation.

We applaud DDOT and Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who spearheaded the reopening, for accommodating cyclists and connecting the street grids.  Connected streets alleviate traffic jams as they provide more alternatives routes when the main streets become unexpectedly crowded.

Categories: Bicycles, Transportation
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2 Replies

  1. A welcome improvement. I used to bike to work via Champlain street and had to heard around Reed because it was blocked off.

    Is it true bikes are allowed on all streets, including Whitehurst Freeway?

    Justin - January 20, 2010 @ 2:20 pm
  2. Before the road was restored, you could bike through, but you had to jump the curb or find a nearby sidewalk ramp.

    I should’ve been more specific when I said “streets”. I meant city streets, as opposed to highways, but a more accurate description would clarify that bikes are permitted except on Interstates and where specifically noted (e.g. circle underpasses and the streets in Georgetown that still have the streetcar rails in them). Yes, you may bike on the Whitehurst Freeway, Justin, but if you do, I’ll tell your mother.

    Eric Fidler - January 20, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

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