East Potomac Park will get a bike and pedestrian path, lose 1 car lane

One of the two car lanes on Ohio Drive in East Potomac Park will be replaced with a two-way bike and pedestrian lane, the National Park Service and District Department of Transportation announced Tuesday. 

The lane will be marked with paint only, and won't feature bollards or concrete barrio protection for bikers and pedestrians, but NPS adds they may be added in the future if needed. 

The area will be closed for about a week in early December for the addition of the bike and pedestrian lane. 

The redesign will put cars in the left lane and bikers and pedestrians in a shared, two-way path. Parallel parking will replace angled parking on Ohio Drive. 

East Potomac Park draws cyclists and walkers, featuring a golf course, picnic area and playground. The lane will stretch from the golf course entrance, loop around and end at the Inlet Bridge. 

"These changes will provide a safer park experience for all visitors by prioritizing safety and reducing conflicts between people who walk, bicycle, and drive while continuing to provide for the fullest range of uses of East Potomac Park," Jeff Reinbold, superintendent of National Mall and Memorial Parks, said in a statement.

The decision to redesign the roadway follows a fatal crash in April. 55-year-old Rhonda Whitaker and 60-year-old Waldon Adams were killed in a hit-and-run crash on Hains Point in the park on a Saturday morning. The pair were described as "tireless advocates for ending homelessness in D.C.," by non profit Miriam's Kitchen.