I just recently came back from a fun-filled week with Peace Corps and friends. While staying in DC for the week, like the investigator as I am, I looked closely at public spaces, planning, and overall environment of DC.
One thing I spotted was the DC Bike Share Program! I was so excited to see it in person, I took a picture with it (as if it was a celebrity!) lol. I saw two stations located next to metro subway stops. I think it's a great idea, however, there was no literature posted on the post that educated people about the project, how they can sign on as a member and maps that shows all avaiable locations. I believe it's a test run, but that was one flaw I saw.
The Metro System in DC is great! It's very accessible and there is police security at night. Their seems to be a large number in ridership because of convenience and how it extends out into Virginia and Maryland.
The pedestrian walks are expansive, with trees and beds of flowers in place of a block of pavers. It provided shade and more trees in the city. Many people were walking and all crosswalks were very visible.
In terms of biking, I was happy to see quite a few people riding bikes. I even saw professionals in business suits riding bikes! Most roads have clearly marked bike lanes, but are not physically separated, it's a shared lane. However, most roads in DC are single lane or two lane traffic at the most. I have to say though, many bicyclists were not following road signs and were just making up their own ways. As a bike advocate, we cannot see any changes in policy and replanning for more bikes if bike users are not following the current rules.
All in all, it's a very calm environment walking and riding through DC. I decided to make the move to live in DC because of its accessibility without the use of a car. I hope to be part of more change for less cars when I move there. Until then, be a responsible consumer and demand change for the betterment of our health and lives.