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View Full Version : 4-Mile Run connector at Shirlington



Dirt
09-09-2011, 04:41 AM
A friend said that the 4-Mile Run trail from Shirlington to the MVT is fenced off and closed this morning. He sent me an e-mail a few minutes ago. He unofficially hopped the fence and rode through and survived to send me e-mail. That's all I know. Might be good to choose a different route this morning.

Pete

consularrider
09-09-2011, 09:24 AM
I took the old route from Shirlington over the I-395 bridge this morning because I was expecting a lot of mud under I-395 and especially W Glebe. They weren't horrible last night at 5:30, but the water was just rising then.

Dirt
09-09-2011, 09:43 AM
Wise choice. I avoided the whole issue and took Custis in. Usually after a storm like this there are a lot of trees down, but I was pleasantly surprised... Just one huge puddle to cross.

Overtone
09-09-2011, 10:52 AM
I just arrived in the area a couple weeks ago. Been commuting along four mile run. This morning I snuck through the 395 underpass and it was fine. In case things are worse this afternoon: How do I find the detour "through Shirlington over the I-395 bridge". I'll be coming down the WO&D (from Ballston).

Thanks,
John



I took the old route from Shirlington over the I-395 bridge this morning because I was expecting a lot of mud under I-395 and especially W Glebe. They weren't horrible last night at 5:30, but the water was just rising then.

Dirt
09-09-2011, 11:01 AM
I just arrived in the area a couple weeks ago. Been commuting along four mile run. This morning I snuck through the 395 underpass and it was fine. In case things are worse this afternoon: How do I find the detour "through Shirlington over the I-395 bridge". I'll be coming down the WO&D (from Ballston).

Thanks,
John

This is a variant I use from time to time: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/703595

Welcome to the area! I'm sorry that our local automobile drivers are so clueless in regards to sharing the road. Other than that, this place is pretty dang nice for cycling. :D

Overtone
09-09-2011, 02:10 PM
Pete- Awesome, that ridewidthgps cue sheet is very helpful!

As for the automobile drivers - just moved here from Boston where I cycled to MIT and back through Cambridge traffic. What I've seen so far here in Arlington/Alexandria has been much easier to cope with. It helps that I'm on the trails for 75% of the ride. As we get closer to winter I'll be asking the Forum what routes are good in the snow/ice season. For now the trails are great.

-John

Dirt
09-09-2011, 02:55 PM
Hahaha. Boston definitely has some lovely drivers. I always liked the "If you don't like my driving, get off the sidewalk" attitude. :D

Arlingtonrider
09-11-2011, 09:16 PM
Does anyone know whether the 4 mile run trail from Shirlington to the MVT is still fenced off? Or still muddy? I was hoping to get out there this weekend to check it out, but didn't get a chance to. Thanks to anyone who knows --

consularrider
09-12-2011, 12:02 PM
Only the section with the West Glebe underpass was fenced off this morning (7:30am). You just need to take the street level crossing. From what I could see, it didn't look any worse than after other heavy rains (some mud), but there may be structual issues that can't be seen. No notices, just the gates closed with an ectra barrier on the west end to keep you from detouring around the gates.

consularrider
09-13-2011, 09:15 AM
For what it's worth, the West Glebe underpass was still closed off this morning. Anyone know what's going on? The section of the 4 Mile Run Trail from Columbia Pike to Glencarlyn Park is now open again.

consularrider
09-14-2011, 09:54 AM
The West Glebe underpass was cleaned out and open yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.

OneEighth
09-14-2011, 10:06 AM
Now if only the PD would do regular sweeps for the loiterers...

Arlingtonrider
09-15-2011, 06:55 AM
I'm concerned that the last post might discourage some, esp. women, from using that trail or bike commuting. When I started bike commuting a couple of years ago, I asked about that area, and someone I trust a lot on this forum told me that although there had been occasional loiterers, they had never bothered or hassled anyone. I ride there almost every day, and have rarely seen people who are not walking purposefully, pushing strollers, jogging or fishing. When I do see a few people hanging out together, I've never seen them being obnoxious to anyone. Has anyone experienced a problem there? I think that the more cyclists we have out there, the safer we'll feel, esp with the shorter days of Fall coming on, so I don't want people to have the wrong impression or be afraid to bike there.

consularrider
09-15-2011, 09:15 AM
It's not unusual on my afternoon commute to see groups of three to five men in the underpasses (Mt Vernon, W Glebe, or I-395) or hanging out under the trees just east of W Glebe. However, I've never seen them hassle anyone or heard about it, but then I'm a 50 something male. I give a bell warning as I'm approaching and they will make sure there is room for me to pass.

OneEighth
09-15-2011, 09:25 AM
I certainly agree that more trail users will help with safety and had no intention of discouraging anyone from using the connector.

However, I am a big fan of situational awareness.

I don't see loiterers every day. But since the trail opened, I have seen public drinking and have smelled marijuana in the underpasses where folks tend to hang out. That's also where I tend to find broken glass or trash on the connector trail. I've also witnessed several individuals urinating on the concrete walls of the underpass.

That is the sort of unacceptable behavior that needs to be nipped in the bud in any public park/space. Think of it like the broken window theory.

Any group of guys (in particular) with nothing to do and nowhere to go has the potential for mischief, especially if you mix in alcohol and/or drugs.

Tactically, I don't like where I've seen them gather either. The underpasses are a choke point, are hidden from general view, and put anyone entering from the outside at a disadvantage because your eyes need to adjust to the lower light level.

Bear in mind that many crimes are opportunistic and situational.

Most of the folks I see on the trail aren't bothering anyone and that's great. I really want to keep it that way.

Ride friendly but please ride aware.

rcannon100
09-15-2011, 02:54 PM
In a different area of the forum talking solutions to Custis and Lynn. And one of the solutions is a tunnel. Well, there are LOTS of tunnels in Arlington. LOTS of tunnels that are closed with steel gates blocking them, because while they were bright ideas, they are great security risks. There is one at HB Woodlawn. There is one near 395.

Fortunately this underpass is relatively open and well lit. But the security concerns of places like this is well established - and should be considered when thinking about future bike path solutions. This becomes a more significant problem as the days get shorter, and these spots become darker during commuting hours.