Cyclists push for safer bike lanes in the District

A group of D.C. cyclists says if they can't have physical barriers protecting their bike lanes, they've got another idea -- use data to serve the same purpose.

On Wednesday, cyclists in D.C. found more than 700 vehicles illegally parked in bike lanes. It's all part of what they're calling the "Data Protected Bike Lane Project."

Cyclist after cyclist will tell you the same thing.

"I have to look behind me, make sure there's no cars coming, go into traffic and then find my way back in," said Cassie Blass. "It's not safe."

Most would like to see bike lanes completely separated from drivers, but if that can't be done, they've got another idea.

Mark Sussman is a co-founder of the popular 'How's My Driving App,' which helps users report dangerous drivers by taking pictures of illegally parked cars in D.C.

Sussman and more than 60 other cyclists took things to the extreme Wednesday by fanning out across the city during the morning, lunch and evening rushes, keeping track of every illegally parked vehicle they could find.

Eventually, they'll send the data to the District, hoping they'll take note and increase enforcement.

"We want more enforcement of the bike lanes so that we can safely move around the city," said Sussman.

Cyclists like Jermonte Green say it sounds like a great idea to them.

"It's my life on the line. It's safety, you know what I mean? Safety first before anything," said Green.

Christopher Geldart, acting director of D.C.'s Department of Public Works, released the following statement to FOX 5 Wednesday:

"Ensuring the safety of District cyclists is a top priority. Mayor Bowser's budget proposal includes funding for 20 parking enforcement officers who will be focused exclusively on ensuring District bike lanes are safe and free of obstructions."