Capital Report III

May 29, 2014

washingtondc

Clearly Pierre L’Enfant set about designing the layout of this nation’s capital in the late 18th-century with cyclists in mind. Take it from someone who has made his way around Washington by all sorts of modes, biking in D.C. is the way to go.

When the city introduced its bike share program back in the fall of 2010, it did so with a certain degree of gusto. It now has more than 300 stations and 2500+ bikes in use. Compare that with Toronto’s BIXI or whatever it’s called now and its 80 stations and a 1000 bikes. While a far cry for the Velib in Paris (1230 stations, 14,000+ bikes), finding a place to grab and drop off a ride is relatively easy. Even during a busy Memorial Day long weekend, we found ourselves bikeless only on a couple of occasions and not for very long.

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And, oh the places I have seen by bike this week! Neighbourhoods and off the beaten track sites that might have otherwise remained unseen. Would I have hopped onto the Metro to go see the grave of John Philip Sousa buried in the Congressional Cemetery? No. But by bike? Why not. Who knows the places we might discover along the way? The ‘Historic Capital Hill’ neighbourhood, in fact.

The city is still catching up in terms of bike lanes. There are a fair amount but you get no sense of a network yet. Yet. The big difference between riding here and in Toronto is the politeness of the drivers. Maybe it’s all that southern hospitality but drivers don’t really seem to mind sharing the road with cyclists.

Washington on foot is an undertaking. Pleasant to walk but there are significant distances between monuments and museums. Travelling by Metro is fast but you can miss some of the more quiet asides.

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Biking in D.C. is the way to go. You might almost call it, capital! (But you wouldn’t because that’s British and people are still touchy about having their White House burned down.)

pip-piply submitted Cityslikr


D.C. Photo Album

April 12, 2011

Yesterday Washington DC mayor Vincent Gray, six councillors and over 30 others were arrested (no, not for doing crack) protesting restrictions that will be imposed on the city with the budget deal struck last week that averted a federal government shutdown. It is the oldest of American traditions, agitating against taxation without representation. Moreover, it represents the problem facing most urban centres throughout North America. Senior levels of government playing political football with municipalities. A more detailed post on that to follow but first…

Photos of our trip!

A little Canadiana along the way to the Capital

Taken from the top balcony of the Newseum, a relatively new site in DC, situated beside the Canadian Embassy on Pennslyvania Avenue. A building dedicated to the quaint notions of the positive contribution made by the field and journalism and the importance of free speech. Crazy, eh?

A bike sharing program, Capital Bikeshare, is up and going in DC. While I wouldn’t say bike lanes are everywhere on city streets, where they are is pretty cool.

Imagine the 1st green president, with a bone to pick with congress, jumps on his bike share bike and rides straight up to the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue right to Capital Hill.

Hotel Harrington. Home of the Kitcheteria. What the hell’s a ‘Kitcheteria’? Part cafeteria, part ironic embrace of cheese?

And finally, who doesn’t love lion cubs?

Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals alike can agree on at least this one thing. Those cubs are adorable!

swooningly submitted by Cityslikr