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Fontinalis
08-15-2011, 03:11 PM
I have a question regarding safety.
I will ride from Cherry Hill Park to DC sometime mid-September.

I am not from DC, nor familiar with the area.
Google directions gives me a nice ride of some 25km (http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Cherry+Hill+rv+park,+dc&daddr=Textile+Museum,+S+Street+Northwest,+Washingt on+D.C.,+DC,+United+States&hl=en&ll=38.969553,-76.984978&spn=0.169231,0.282211&sll=38.969625,-76.98952&sspn=0.169231,0.282211&geocode=FZN6UwIddfdp-yHxSejPzEF4uQ%3BFbjHUQIdGkto-yFDPeYnbxx6QSnDECMFzLe3iTHIhRQAtP1ndA&mra=ltm&dirflg=b&vpsrc=0&t=h&z=12&lci=bike), via Anacostia Trail, etc.
My question regards safety.
One website that I went to advises visitors to the area of safe and unsafe areas... That puzzles me a bit.
Would that path given by Google Directions lead me into seriously unsafe areas ? And is there a need to change those directions.

Thanks for you very much for your input.

Greenbelt
08-15-2011, 03:45 PM
I ride those trails every day -- they are safe and beautiful. You'll cross under University blvd, under Route 1 by the University, under the Green line metro tracks, past Lake Artemesia, under East-West highway on that route -- virtually no traffic to worry about until you're near to DC.

And that section of NE DC isn't bad -- mostly residential and quiet, not threatening at all and lots of bikes usually. I've got a video link for everything, but this one shows the section between Lake Artemesia and the Monroe Street bridge on your route: http://www.vimeo.com/23366829

Fontinalis
08-15-2011, 03:52 PM
NiCE! Thank you very much.
Did I see some riding on ...sidewalks ? BIG no no where I live (Montreal). Are portions of that path on sidewalks in some areas ?

Greenbelt
08-15-2011, 04:24 PM
Riding on sidewalks illegal in downtown DC, but not in the rest of town. There's a short-timed light at one point on my route that requires a slight uphill takeoff -- sometimes I ride on the sidewalk to help let more cars through the light behind me. But it's probably not a good idea.

Fontinalis
08-15-2011, 05:43 PM
Riding on sidewalks illegal in downtown DC, but not in the rest of town.

I see...Noted!

Greenbelt
08-15-2011, 07:47 PM
Have a great ride! As in Montreal, we have bike thieves, so be sure to lock up well. And even though the trails are nice, always take basic precautions. It is the USA after all. If a sketchy person asks for the time, just smile and respond in French that you don't speak English and keep moving!

Here was a weekend ride I did at the Lachine canal on a very windy morning this spring:

http://www.vimeo.com/23054612

Fontinalis
08-16-2011, 05:01 AM
Have a great ride! As in Montreal, we have bike thieves, so be sure to lock up well. And even though the trails are nice, always take basic precautions. It is the USA after all. If a sketchy person asks for the time, just smile and respond in French that you don't speak English and keep moving!
Here was a weekend ride I did at the Lachine canal on a very windy morning this spring:

http://www.vimeo.com/23054612

The museum tells me there is a 'public bike rack' down the road. Is that a safe place to leave a bike for a couple hours, during the day, well locked ?

As for your ride at Canal Lachine, that was one dreary day. Yuk! I hope you did make it all the way to the very very end, where there is a nice view of the seaway.

CCrew
08-16-2011, 07:00 AM
Key statement is "well locked". I don't leave my nice bikes out of my line of sight anywhere in this city unless in my office counts. .

Riley Casey
08-16-2011, 08:59 AM
As others have said this is not a dangerous route from the perspective of bad neighborhoods. That being said I don't imagine that Google's route finding algorithms take the relative security from crime into consideration. Suburbanites often see the whole of DC as a danger zone which is as in this case a false perception but not an entirely groundless one as recent assaults on the MBT and even the Key Bridge. If you are new to the area it would certainly not hurt to make inquires here or on other sites.




snip ... My question regards safety.
One website that I went to advises visitors to the area of safe and unsafe areas... That puzzles me a bit.
Would that path given by Google Directions lead me into seriously unsafe areas ? ...

DaveK
08-16-2011, 09:15 AM
The museum tells me there is a 'public bike rack' down the road. Is that a safe place to leave a bike for a couple hours, during the day, well locked ?

Yes, it's safe to leave a bike well locked outside for a few hours. Make sure it's got at least a u-lock for the frame and a cable for the wheels.

Fontinalis
09-14-2011, 01:57 PM
Asking again about directions. I have finally made it to the area. Today, I rode from Cherry hill rd , just north of I495, all the way to College park Bicycles on Knox road, in part by way of the trails (Anacostia, Paint branch) and I have found that the directions given by Google beta bike mode are worthless when it came for that portion of the route, because of all the twists and turns, and because it omited to give directions at some of the Y, etc. I was following with my bike computer, milleage of the directions, etc. I threw them away and found my way with the help of some students on the UM campus. I plan to ride from the same point of origin (Cherry hill road) on Friday morning, to go to the Textile Museum in DC. The Google directions, again, are just not that easy to follow in the twist and turns of the trail. Is there a more straightforward way to get there ? I am an urban cyclist, used to ride in traffic, so do not hesitate to suggest that kind of route. Thanks again for the help.

ronwalf
09-14-2011, 02:59 PM
Here's the route I would have taken to College Park Bikes:
http://g.co/maps/8kxdw
Text directions are pretty useless on campus.

Short answer: If you don't mind traffic and six lane roads (30mph speed limit), find your way to Rhode Island Ave near the district line, and take that straight in:
http://g.co/maps/uty5k

I don't know of a great way around the trails. The university has decent bike connectivity to the north and east, but it acts as a roadblock going south. I would just study the maps, pick out landmarks, and keep checking the GPS to make sure you're heading in the right direction.

Fontinalis
09-14-2011, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the info!