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MCL1981
11-10-2011, 06:53 PM
Suggestions for the best route from the end of the Capital Crescent Trail (Water Street / K-Street under the Key Bridge) to the neighborhood of 10th & Penn? It seems the obvious way is to just stay on the bike path onto the Rock Creek trail but there is no way across that conundrum of an interchange to actually get to the mall. So maybe streets are the way to go. But I don't know where the bike lanes are or which ways are best.

planetmike
11-14-2011, 10:39 AM
You have two basic options. Either the mostly trail route or the road route.

Trail Route:
Follow Rock Creek pass the Kennedy Center. You need to cross the on-ramp to the Memorial Bridge. The trail then takes you to a park which is parallel to Independence Avenue. Follow this to 14th Street and then get on Independence towards 10th Street.

Road Route:
Follow K Street out from under the White Hurst Freeway. Connect to Penn. Avenue at the GW round-a-bout. Take Penn Avenue to 10th Street. There is a bike path after you pass the White House.

MCL1981
11-14-2011, 11:01 AM
I did a few dry runs this weekend. I found that I very much dislike the mall, Independence, Constitution. Way too many people and cars with no bike lines. So I coincidentally came up with a little bit of a hyprid of you #2 suggestion.

Bike path through the waterfront but cut UP the rock creek bike path just a bit to the little ramp up to Pennsylvania Ave. At this point it is Penn all the way to the office. On-street with no bike lanes through that death defying god forsaken piece of crap GW roundabout right passed the White House. From the White House to 10th street, there are bike lanes and it is perfect.

I don't like the stretch of Penn with no bike lanes or that stupid circle. But there doesn't appear to be any remarkably better way either. This is why I plan to install enough lights on my bike to rival some fire trucks.

americancyclo
11-14-2011, 11:01 AM
Road Route:
Follow K Street out from under the White Hurst Freeway. Connect to Penn. Avenue at the GW round-a-bout. Take Penn Avenue to 10th Street. There is a bike path after you pass the White House.

I'd +1 this route. The drivers can seem a bit intimidating at the intersection of K and 27th, but you can hop on the access road at 25th to get to the foggy bottom circle. If you're riding this route in the morning, it's not too crowded, and the lights from the circle to the white house are timed pretty nicely for a bike going 15 mph.

This is the route I usually take to get from K/water street to anywhere near the white house.

MCL1981
11-14-2011, 11:18 AM
Here is my official route I think I will settle on. The little red loop by K-Street is how I get around that 27th Street intersection now.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=203910841273122171765.0004a11f85a1ea3227c4 f&msa=0&ll=38.959943,-77.072182&spn=0.154571,0.279808

dasgeh
11-14-2011, 11:24 AM
To avoid the GW round-a-bout (aka Washington Circle), you could fake like you're going to take the trail South, then cross at Virginia, which doesn't have a ton of cars*. That will take you to 18th and you can work your way over to the Ellipse, where you can ride on the road that's really a parking lot and end up at the E Street/Penn Ave bike lanes.

*though I confess I've never commuted this way in the morning, I've ridden this route in both directions a number of times both in the afternoon and evening commute.

MCL1981
11-14-2011, 11:44 AM
The GW roundabout is bearable. Annoying. But bearable as long as one is awake. I wish there were bike lanes the whole way down Penn though.

Dirt
11-14-2011, 12:29 PM
That's part of the commute I've done for a decade. There are a few options. I've never had a problem riding on Virginia Avenue.

Option 1 (http://ridewithgps.com/routes/818995) is more direct. I take the underpass that goes beneath 23rd street. Some folks prefer staying to the right and going across the intersection. With a flashy light, I've never had a problem with the underpass. RideWithGPS didn't want to map straight across the ellipse. The trail is a straight shot and you can ride around the guard station at the east end and directly onto the Penna Ave. Cycleway.

Option 2 (http://ridewithgps.com/routes/819001) is the more scenic route. You get lovely views of GW students, World Bank/IMF protests and generally nicer scenery. I like riding on that side of the white house too. It reminds me that I'm in DC. Pennsylvania Avenue between H St. and 17th is kinda interesting, but I've never had a problem. If people are doing stupid human tricks to park in the right lane, I occupy the center lane and don't worry about it. I use that route 2-3 times per week and have for the last decade. I've never had a problem.

Going home is a little different because of one-way streets. I generally don't suggest that anyone do what I do. I ride Constitution to Virginia Ave and then connect up with either the C&O in Georgetown, or Memorial Bridge to the Mount Vernon Trail depending on my mood. Constitution is very heavy traffic... especially with them doing construction. I enjoy the whole "Dances with buses" thing. I always have. I also know that most don't share the affinity for that dance. For a pleasant ride home, I'd suggest basically doing Option2 backwards. The route from the White House to H street is a little different. I take Penn to 19th Street (south) and then take a right on H Street. Riding through GW campus is pleasant.

If you hate the streets, the sidewalk along the south side of Constitution (on the National Mall) is actually listed as an off-street bike route. It is usable as such except during tourist season where it becomes more like a bowling alley (hint: You're the bowling ball.). There are route to get there that are mostly trail... with a few street crossings. I can map those out if it helps. Let me know.

Hope that helps.

Pete

MCL1981
11-14-2011, 01:09 PM
My coworkers are wondering what I'm laughing at... Dances with Buses and human bowling. Tourists make me want to mount chainsaws to my handlebars.

So you're saying cut onto Virginia Ave from Rock Creek (by the boatyard) then E street to Ellipse? That looks better than the Penn-K Challenge. I will have to try that out this weekend. Do you think DDOT would even notice if we started painting bike lanes down Penn from Georgetown in the middle of the night? Some black and white paint and reflective deliniators won't cost that much.

Dirt
11-14-2011, 01:29 PM
Do you think DDOT would even notice if we started painting bike lanes down Penn from Georgetown in the middle of the night? Some black and white paint and reflective deliniators won't cost that much.
The commuter buses claim bike lanes as their own, so it won't do us any good. Generally I've found that as long as I hold my line and don't swerve erratically, things tend to work out. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever go up the right side of a bus for any reason. Never ever ever ever. It is a great way to get really skinny, really quickly. Other than that, just try and keep in mind what you look like to them as they're approaching you. That generally provides a decent guide for action. Don't think that just because your actions make sense to you that they do to anyone else on the road... including other cyclists. I have very specific reasons for the choices I make when riding in traffic.... I figured them out over many, many years of riding downtown. Occasionally someone will ask my why I do something and when I explain it, it makes sense to them, but they've NEVER been able to figure it out by themselves.

Example: I ride on the left side of the road on parts of Virginia Avenue. From a bystander's limited point of view that is wrong and unsafe. I've learned, however, that the buses coming off the downramp from 23rd St. NW are coming fast, not looking and they want the lane I'd be in if I were riding on the right side. If I'm on the left they get their lane and I get mine. I'm going left 1 block down the road anyways, so we're all gold and silver. Seems logical when I explain it, but no-one's gonna make that leap of understanding on their own.... not even the homicide bus jockeys.

Ride safe and obey the laws. Stop and the stops and never think that the other guy sees you. He doesn't and he isn't going to stop. You'll live a lot longer that way. :D

Rock on!

Pete

MCL1981
11-14-2011, 02:00 PM
That's why I like the bike lanes on Penn as opposed to G Street. G Street, the bikes lanes are nothing more than a space to double park. On Penn, they're in the middle and have deliniators. Much less bafoolary. Other than u-turns in the middle of the road.

DismalScientist
11-14-2011, 02:18 PM
That's why I like the bike lanes on Penn as opposed to G Street. G Street, the bikes lanes are nothing more than a space to double park. On Penn, they're in the middle and have deliniators. Much less bafoolary. Other than u-turns in the middle of the road.

My opinion is the exact opposite. (I don't know specifically about G Street.) Although I would prefer sharrows, regular bike lanes make me feel as part of traffic. I don't feel obligated to stay in them. If they are blocked or covered with gravel, I just move to the left and go around the obstruction. Staying in bike lanes encourage cyclists to pass on the right, which, from a driver's perspective, is unexpected. Riding in bike lanes also encourage drivers to pull right hooks.

The cycletracks in the middle of Pennsylvania cause conflicts with pedestrians crossing Penn (or seeking shelter in the middle of Penn). They encourage left hooks by drivers who "do not see" cyclists riding in an area where drivers would not expect to see traffic. And then there are the U-turns.

Of course, I would not be in such a pissy mood today had not some pedestrian screamed at me to stay in the bike lanes when I was cruising down Clarendon at the speed of traffic as a line of cars was forming with an unknown number of them likely to turn right at the next intersection.:mad:

americancyclo
11-14-2011, 02:24 PM
when I was cruising down Clarendon at the speed of traffic

Ugh, I couldn't handle riding through Clarendon on a regular basis. I'll take the crazy joggers on the Custis any day.

Dirt
11-14-2011, 02:27 PM
Ugh, I couldn't handle riding through Clarendon on a regular basis. I'll take the crazy joggers on the Custis any day.
Spoken like someone who prefers bowling (as the ball) to hockey (as the puck). ;)

I seem to like both. Both have an important place in my commute. :D

DismalScientist
11-14-2011, 02:29 PM
Ugh, I couldn't handle riding through Clarendon on a regular basis. I'll take the crazy joggers on the Custis any day.

Of course, I get to avoid the glorified sidewalk that is the bottom of the Custis and that fine Lynn/Lee "situation." Of course, YMMV.

americancyclo
11-14-2011, 02:31 PM
Of course, I get to avoid the glorified sidewalk that is the bottom of the Custis and that fine Lynn/Lee "situation." Of course, YMMV.
touché!

cephas
11-23-2011, 08:15 AM
Do you think DDOT would even notice if we started painting bike lanes down Penn from Georgetown in the middle of the night?

DDOT actually requested it. They thought bikearlingtonforum readers would be the best at it, since there are so many experienced cyclist-drivers among us. The only difficulty is that we need to have it done by December. I nominate MCL1981 as the lead painter, and that lead as in leader, unleaded please.