Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
The M Street NW cycletrack boasts the only raised bus median in the city, at the 24th Street NW Circulator stop en route to Georgetown. The median was built with the cycletrack in 2014, becoming part of a new wave of transit-bike interaction. The “floating” stop has a mid-street platform for bus passengers and slight up-ramps that let cyclists roll up and through between the stop and the sidewalk, avoiding the dangerous game of leapfrog with city buses. In the words of District Department of Transportation spokesperson Terry Owens, the design “helps to minimize conflict between cyclists and bus passengers by providing a safe passage for bicyclists behind the bus loading zone.” This portion of the track is the bike commuter’s dream, but the whole stretch from Thomas Circle is pretty wonderful, designed so that parked cars protect the bike lane instead of the other way around. If only they’d take this model and adapt it to Columbus Circle.