Part of my commute goes through downtown DC, and I ride on the streets. The downtown core of DC has traffic circles every few blocks. The circles are problematic for traffic. They predate automobiles, and they are usually the intersection of three or more multi-lane streets.
At some circles, the city has tried building underpasses, where the most major road goes under the circle. While the underpasses are a little scary-- think of a 50-yard tunnel -- a lot of cyclists use them. These are city streets, speed limit 25, and outside the tunnel, parking on both sides, no median.
One of the circles on my route is Thomas Circle. Here's a map:
Massachusetts Avenue is the street that goes under the circle.
About a month ago, I noticed that bike lanes had been added to the circle. The city has been doing a lot of striping lately, part of a program to make the city more "bicycle friendly." I don't think much of the bike lane in the circle -- to navigate the circle you need to negotiate with traffic, and the bike lane doesn't help. But I didn't really care, because I always go through the underpass anyway.
Yesterday, I noticed a sign prohibiting bicycles on the underpass.
This is really annoying. To go straight on Massachusetts, a motorist goes through the underpass. A cyclist has to exit onto the circle, navigate three intersections, wait through at least two light cycles, and then rejoin Massachusetts -- all to cover 50 yards.
This is "bicycle friendly?"