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June 15, 2020

A Bike-Friendly Washington, DC

by goDCgo

As the saying goes, “You never forget how to ride a bike,” so it’s a skill that you carry for a lifetime. Put those skills to good use by exploring the 150 miles of bike lanes and trails that Washington, DC has to offer! goDCgo encourages you to join the rising number of residents who already commute by bike, making DC a healthier, greener, and more sustainable city. Our prospering bike community continues to grow year over year, with an emphasis on the District’s commitment to improving bike safety, infrastructure, and accessibility. In fact, we’re nationally recognized as one of the top cycling cities by popular advocacy groups like People for Bikes and the League of American Bicyclists!

In 2018, our nation’s capital was named a “Gold” Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, establishing DC as the first large eastern city to receive the designation. The League’s Bicycle Friendly America (BFA) program has tier-based awards in bronze, silver, gold, and platinum levels. To reach gold-level, the District had to show a comparatively high commitment to bicycling in five categories known as the five “E’s”:

  1. Engineering – Physical infrastructure and hardware to support cycling
  2. Education – Programs that ensure the safety, comfort, and convenience of cyclists and fellow road users
  3. Encouragement – Incentives, promotions, and opportunities that inspire and enable people to ride
  4. Enforcement – Equitable laws and programs that ensure motorists and cyclists are held accountable
  5. Evaluation – Processes that demonstrate a commitment to measuring results and planning for the future

Washington, DC earned its gold status thanks to the high percentage of residents like you who bike to work (2nd nationally among large cities); the amount of bike lanes, cycle tracks, and multi-use trails in the city; and the Capital Bikeshare system. In particular, DC has been a national leader in biking options, such as Capital Bikeshare and now with dockless bikeshare and scooters. Currently boasting 6,100 bikes and 600 stations throughout the DC metro area, Capital Bikeshare has also recently launched a new affordable access option, Capital Bikeshare for All. If eligible, you can get a $5 annual membership if you qualify for certain state or federal assistance programs.

This year, People for Bikes ranked Washington, DC the 4th best biking city in 2020 with a score of 3.2 stars! The overall score is based on the following factors:

  1. Ridership – Measures how many people are riding bikes
  2. Safety – Measures how safe it is and feels to ride a bike
  3. Network – Measures how well the bike network connects people to destinations
  4. Reach – Measures how well the bike network serves everyone equally
  5. Acceleration – Measures the city’s commitment to growing bicycling quickly

Looking towards the future, you can count on DC reaching platinum-level status soon as the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) welcomes e-bikes to the Capital Bikeshare system, and plans to install 20 new miles of protected bike lanes by 2022.

You can make a difference too! By 2032, we aim to get 10% of commuters to bike to work instead of driving alone. Take goDCgo’s pledge to “Pedal for Wellness” by June 30, 2020, and commit to biking and help grow DC’s bicycle-friendly community. For more information about cycling in the city, visit goDCgo.com/bike. Download goDCgo’s 2020 Bike-Friendly DC Snapshot for all of the latest statistics.



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