The United House of Prayer in Washington DC says a proposed bike lane would take away parking spaces and make it hard for people to come to church services

A church in Washington DC is arguing that a proposed bike lane outide its premisis would infringe upon the rights of religious freedom, in an attempt to block it being built.

The United House of Prayer, on M Street, to the north-west of Downtown, says that the proposed segregated bike lane along nearby Fifth Street would be “unsupportable, unrealistic and particularly problematic for traffic and parking”, according to a letter to the District Department of Transport (DDOT) obtained by WashCycle blog.

The church’s issue appears to be that inserting a bike lane outside would take away the on-road parking provisions that it currently enjoys.

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A nearby convention centre is also cited, with the Church arguing that traffic is regularly diverted down the road where the proposed bike lane would be and therefore meaning the road needs as many lanes for traffic as possible.

The letter reads: “As you know, bicycles have freely and safely traversed the District of Columbia throughout the 90-year history of the United House of Prayer, without any protected bicycle lanes and without infringing in the least on the United House of Prayer’s religious rights.

“More importantly, as discussed at various points with DDOT, there is another alternative that would simply entail altering the proposed bike lane’s route by one block, such that the bike tracks would follow 6th Street to N Street for the block or two needed to avoid impacting adversely on any parking adjacent to God’s White House on 6th and M Streets.”


  • FPCyclist

    What would the Madonna del Ghisallo say? Bikes welcomed, by the way.

  • Jon

    Sounds like they need less traffic and quick – if only there was a way to get around without using so many cars!

  • gdjfudge

    Could you not go to church on your bike? Where does it say in the bible that “thou shalt not put foot on pedal on a Sunday”

  • Adam Beevers

    They could always have the bike lane go through the chapel so they hear the good word along their route. Surely a win win for both sides!

  • Mike Markson

    United House of Prayer may view cycling as a competing religion. Perhaps they should adapt and set up an outdoor service.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    I could never understand why you need to go to any church surely you pray if you want in your front room ,but I suppose doing this will not make the church elders rich.

  • Vance Harvey

    The moment religion enters anything, one can expect trouble; there are so many fringe religions in the US, all opposed to the others, and many of them cults that have very bizarre beliefs.
    Keep religion out of Cycling!