Only a minority of Washington, DC residents get to work by driving a car. But historically, the vast majority of space on the streets has been dedicated to moving cars quickly, safely, and efficiently rather than moving people quickly, safely, and efficiently. But in recent years, the DC Department of Transportation has tried to change things up a bit and in particular to make the roads safer for bicycles to share with cars. A good new example has been the reworking of the complicated intersection of 16th Street, U Street, and New Hampshire Avenue:
They even made a helpful video and I’m told they had a guy at the intersection this morning to explain things.
None of this is to say that we should have intersections like this all over the country—more cities are too sensible to have created DC’s proliferation of hard-to-navigate three-way intersections in the first place. But the important point is the spirit of the exercise, a Transportation Department that’s focused on people rather than on cars.