WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The weather has improved, and more people are outside taking advantage of it — including people on bikes. D.C. has over 100 miles of bike lanes, and soon there will be even more.
In some places, this bike lane expansion means fewer lanes for cars. Some drivers are upset, and they’re not alone.
Business has dropped a bit at Brothers Sew and Vac in Cleveland Park.
“I would say (there’s been) a 25% decrease,” said Jay Morris, who has owned the business since 1977.
Morris said that the problem can be found outside the entrance to his Connecticut Avenue store.
Crews installed new protected bike paths and bus lanes along a stretch of the road between Ordway Street and Macomb Street. It’s part of a project started by the District Department of Transportation in 2020 to create 20 new miles of protected bike lanes over three years.
“It’s been really terrible for the merchants. We have zero parking in the front,” Morris said. “We have to rely on people to come through the alley in the back and bring their vacuums they bring in for service or picking things up.”
The project calls for changes along Connecticut Avenue from Woodley Park to Chevy Chase Circle.
“It’s just getting people to come in because our products are heavy, they’re cumbersome and they need accessibility. We don’t have that,” said Morris.
Sidewalks appear to have more traffic on them as well. The space is being reduced as part of the project.
“Obviously it’s a huge mess and a big inconvenience,” said Bonnie Frederick who has lived in Cleveland Park for the last five years.
There are currently three lanes of traffic in each direction along the stretch of road. They will be reduced to two lanes with the changes.
“The sidewalks have been really bad, roads and stuff,” Frederick said. “So it really needed to be done.”
Frederick’s not the only one who will be glad to see the project completed.
“I know for the businesses that were enjoying outdoor seating, for example, for St. Patrick’s Day, it would have been great if they were open. We’re here to support the businesses,” said Mary Porcella.