Kate Hinds is an Associate Producer for WNYC News. She also reports for WNYC and Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
D.C.'s Pennsylvania Avenue Bike Lane Gets Presidential
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 02:21 PM
Monday's inauguration went off without any serious hitches. Sure, there's some Tuesday morning quarterbacking. It turned out that Beyoncé lip-synched the national anthem. Michelle Obama might have directed a sarcastic look at John Boehner during the post-inauguration luncheon. That could be a Supreme Court justice nodding off during the proceedings.
But the District's Department of Transportation (DDOT) couldn't have been happier.
"See that?! See that?! NO, not that great coat, the bike lanes!!!" the agency tweeted, referring to a photo of the First Couple walking on the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes.
The photo, which was circulated by the First Lady's Twitter account, quickly made waves among bike advocates.
"One of the things that we were most proud about was that the inaugural parade was the chance to show off our bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue," said DDOT spokesman John Lisle. The lane, which was installed in 2010, did not exist during the last inauguration.
Lisle added that about 600 bikes were parked in the DDOT's bike corrals and bike parking lots as well -- a lower number than the 1,000 bikes parked during the 2009 presidential inauguration -- but then again, Capital Bikeshare didn't yet exist.
As it turned out, fewer people rode Capital Bikeshare than expected. According to Lisle, there were 4,572 total trips on Inauguration Day -- but 5,772 the day before.
Meanwhile: D.C.'s Metrorail recorded 779,787 trips during the 2013 inauguration. That's about 70% of the ridership reached during the 2009 inauguration.
The transit agency chalked up the lower crowds to Monday's federal holiday, which cut down on work commuters.
(with reporting from Martin DiCaro)