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View Full Version : Pentagon Metro to Jefferson Memoral, about 7:15 AM



lordofthemark
05-15-2013, 01:51 PM
Commuting newbie.

I will be taking my bike on the express bus from Annandale, to Pentagon metro on BTWD. Will ride across the 14th street bridge to Jefferson Memorial, where a retired former coworker will meet me, and ride in to Canal Park together (I've only done a test ride across DC once, and he used to commute regularly. ) He wants to meet at 7:45, so I will try to get to take the 6:40 bus (oy!) which should get to Pentagon around 7:10 to 7:15. Leaving me abundant time to cross the bridge.

If there are others gathering around there to do the crossing, I wouldn't mind joining them (though they may find me going painfully slowly up ANY grade). Don't want anyone going out of their way though.

Alternatively since probably few are doing the bike on bus to the pentagon thing, can I assume there will be lots of people crossing the 14th street bridge? Actually Im not sure why Im even asking that - I guess there would be lots of such people at that hour in May even if it wasn't BTWD.

Mikey
05-15-2013, 03:57 PM
Commuting newbie.

I will be taking my bike on the express bus from Annandale, to Pentagon metro on BTWD. Will ride across the 14th street bridge to Jefferson Memorial, where a retired former coworker will meet me, and ride in to Canal Park together (I've only done a test ride across DC once, and he used to commute regularly. ) He wants to meet at 7:45, so I will try to get to take the 6:40 bus (oy!) which should get to Pentagon around 7:10 to 7:15. Leaving me abundant time to cross the bridge.

If there are others gathering around there to do the crossing, I wouldn't mind joining them (though they may find me going painfully slowly up ANY grade). Don't want anyone going out of their way though.

Alternatively since probably few are doing the bike on bus to the pentagon thing, can I assume there will be lots of people crossing the 14th street bridge? Actually Im not sure why Im even asking that - I guess there would be lots of such people at that hour in May even if it wasn't BTWD.

I bike this stretch everyday and I can say that there will be a steady stream of bikes across the bridge (heck there were a steady steam of bikes back in January). Taking the route across the connector road (first left if walking from the bus depot to the slug line) to Boundary Channel, over to the LBJ park/columbia island, around the marina, and over the humpback bridge to the 14th street bridge access it should take you no more than 20 minutes (even if you are very slow.) I'm not sure of your route beyond that. I ride the wide sidewalks along the Jefferson, cross over to the East Sidwalk just before the Washington Channel outlet, and then ride along the path near the fish market. You can then ride along Water street to 7th. Turn left on 7th then right on Eye street across to SE. Canal park is easily accessible off of L or K streets SE.

The entire route usually takes me around 30 mintues including walking time at the pentagon and ride time on the Navy Yard. If you find that you want to have a little more fun, you can take the MVT south to the Crystal City cutoff and up the hill to the Crystal City Water Park for an extra pit stop. This would add about 2.5 miles round trip to your commute.

lordofthemark
05-15-2013, 04:22 PM
The one time I test rode this, it took me about 45 minutes. I'm probably in better shape now, but not that much, and still riding the same clunker MTB with the same knobby tires. My friend wants to be at Canal Park at 8:15 to meet some other of his friends - and since we've been talking about my eventual commute on BTWD for almost a year now, and I haven't seen him since he retired, I'd like to ride with him. 7:45 should give plenty of slack for anything. I need some slack on the other side due to the unpredictability of the 29G bus (should be fast on a Friday, but part of the route is on the non-HOV lanes of I395, so one can never tell). If I get in to the Pentagon really early I suppose I can do Crystal City, but won't have much time to hang out.

lordofthemark
05-15-2013, 04:24 PM
"you can take the MVT south to the Crystal City cutoff and up the hill to the Crystal City Water Park for an extra pit stop. This would add about 2.5 miles round trip to your commute. "

I would think its faster, IF I go to Crystal City, to bypass the MVT and just head through the Pentagon lot and through Pentagon City?

ShawnoftheDread
05-15-2013, 04:43 PM
"you can take the MVT south to the Crystal City cutoff and up the hill to the Crystal City Water Park for an extra pit stop. This would add about 2.5 miles round trip to your commute. "

I would think its faster, IF I go to Crystal City, to bypass the MVT and just head through the Pentagon lot and through Pentagon City?

Yes, it is faster to bypass the MVT from the Pentagon to Crystal City. But you don't go through Pentagon City. From the Pentagon Connector Road, make a right on Boundary Channel, go under the freeway, make another right and go past Long Bridge Park, then a left into Crystal City.

dasgeh
05-15-2013, 04:45 PM
Yes, it is faster to bypass the MVT from the Pentagon to Crystal City. But you don't go through Pentagon City. From the Pentagon Connector Road, make a right on Boundary Channel, go under the freeway, make another right and go past Long Bridge Park, then a left into Crystal City.

On the map it looks like Eads --> 12th would be shorter. What makes the Long Bridge Park route better? Fewer stop lights and cars?

ShawnoftheDread
05-15-2013, 04:53 PM
On the map it looks like Eads --> 12th would be shorter. What makes the Long Bridge Park route better? Fewer stop lights and cars?

It's only better because I forgot about Eads and remembered Long Bridge.

Yes, Eads would probably be the quicker route, though I've never gone that way.

Mikey
05-15-2013, 08:35 PM
It's only better because I forgot about Eads and remembered Long Bridge.

Yes, Eads would probably be the quicker route, though I've never gone that way.

Yes I agree completely, I didn't want to confuse you with my post, Yesterday when I rode from the bus depot at the pentagon to Crystal City, I took Eads to 15th, which puts you closer to the water park and avoids salmoning on the one-way portion of Crystal drive.

dasgeh
05-16-2013, 09:28 AM
FYI, I rode Joyce to 15th to the Water Park today and it was lovely. You should be fine on 15th and Crystal. The WP is on the East side of the street, so you may want to cross on use the sidewalk for at least the last block. It's easy to spot the tent.

The ride from the WP to and over the 14th St Bridge is really lovely, and mostly flat. Planes flying overhead, cool breezes in the swamp beside the water, wild life and beautiful vistas of DC... You MVT commuters are lucky.

jopamora
05-16-2013, 09:31 AM
The ride from the WP to and over the 14th St Bridge is really lovely, and mostly flat. Planes flying overhead, cool breezes in the swamp beside the water, wild life and beautiful vistas of DC... You MVT commuters are lucky.

Until the next windy day

KLizotte
05-16-2013, 10:40 AM
FYI, I rode Joyce to 15th to the Water Park today and it was lovely. You should be fine on 15th and Crystal. The WP is on the East side of the street, so you may want to cross on use the sidewalk for at least the last block. It's easy to spot the tent.

I live in the neighborhood and generally tell people to take 18th street instead of 15th. Nice wide bike lanes and a lot less traffic. Takes you within a block of the entrance to the Crystal City connector tunnel to the MVT.

BobK
05-16-2013, 01:18 PM
Until the next windy day

Which lately has seemed like everyday! :(

But the route is nice. One of the reasons I started commuting to begin with.

lordofthemark
05-17-2013, 09:11 AM
I did it!!!! Made it to work! Got the t-shirt!

I passed on Crystal City - while my bus got in on time, I didn't want to chance keeping my friend waiting (we were also meeting another friend of his). I got from Pentagon to Jefferson Memorial early. The ride from Jeff Memorial to Canal Park was easy (easier than the ride from the Pentagon) despite an (auto) accident at I and S South Capital. We took a picture to show the passing of the baton as the agency's official bike commuter, and there was a Department BTWD picture. I now have a nice t-shirt, and some bottled water, as swag. Got a muffin, but they were out of regular coffee so I passed on the decaf. Fitness center shower worked out fine. Forgot to wait around at Canal Park for the raffle - not sure when or even if they did that.

Next year, when I'm more of a regular, I will try to do the multiple pit-stop thing.

Looking forward to hopefully an easy ride back to the Pentagon this evening.

PotomacCyclist
05-17-2013, 12:14 PM
I live in the neighborhood and generally tell people to take 18th street instead of 15th. Nice wide bike lanes and a lot less traffic. Takes you within a block of the entrance to the Crystal City connector tunnel to the MVT.

15th St. will be nicer next year when they realign the road between Crystal Drive and Rte. 1. Traffic lanes will be reduced to two in each direction, instead of the four lanes on one section of the road. That makes more sense for a short, local road. It's not supposed to be a limited-access highway, but that's what it feels like now.

The small park in the median of the road will be expanded and upgraded with pedestrian walkways. 14th Rd. and Bell St. will be modified to provide a direction connection, instead of that awkward curved route of 14th Rd. in front of the Crowne Plaza hotel.

I think the project has received initial approvals. Construction is scheduled to start next spring and finish up by the fall (ideally). The Clark St. overpasses will be demolished at a future stage, but not next year.

http://www.crystalcity.org/area/transformation/15th-street-south-realignment

http://www.crystalcity.org/_files/docs/h-between-south-clark-street-and-crystal-drive.pdf

(I'm puzzled about why this project wasn't coordinated with the Crystal Drive two-way project though. The small park at the corner of 15th & Crystal Drive is undergoing renovation and construction this year. A new sidewalk was added on the curved section of 14th Rd. But when 15th St. is realigned next year, much of that new sidewalk will be removed. I guess the sidewalk will be useful through Fall 2014. But it just seems like a waste to build a sidewalk and then remove it the following year.)

http://goo.gl/maps/9cGoh

KLizotte
05-17-2013, 07:11 PM
I'd rather they decreased the width of the park to put in truly protected bike lanes; right now the plans only indicate sharrows (with on street parking).

Also, I don't understand why Crystal Drive is a four lane road (2 lanes each direction). That road doesn't get that enough traffic to warrant so much asphalt and it makes it ped/cycle unfriendly. Perhaps they are planning on removing a lane or two in case the street car ever arrives.

KLizotte
05-17-2013, 07:13 PM
I'd rather they decreased the width of the park to put in truly protected bike lanes; right now the plans only indicate sharrows (with on street parking).

Also, I don't understand why Crystal Drive is a four lane road (2 lanes each direction). That road doesn't get that enough traffic to warrant so much asphalt and it makes it ped/cycle unfriendly. Perhaps they are planning on removing a lane or two in case the street car ever arrives.

PotomacCyclist
05-18-2013, 01:38 PM
The bus rapid transit system is supposed to start up next spring. Only part of the route will have dedicated lanes. I don't remember if that includes Crystal Drive or not. The BRT would eventually be replaced by the streetcar several years later.

It seems like Crystal Drive used to be even wider, or not. All of the restaurants between 20th and 23rd Streets were added about a decade ago, I think. None of those smaller structures were there before. Did they remove a traffic lane to add the restaurants? I never walked (or rode) around there much before the neighborhood changed (for the better). I remember thinking that back then, there was very little reason to visit that area, when it was just offices and a couple residential buildings. The road was also one-way. It was designed to be a circulator route, combined with the Clark St. overpasses. Terrible design, but at least they have been changing it. By the end of the year, most of Crystal Drive will be two-way. Eventually, even the southern end, near Rte. 1, will also be two-way, partly to accommodate the BRT and streetcar projects.

FYI - Eads Street is supposed to be repaved and the bike lanes will be extended north to cover most (or all) of the road. Currently there are bike lanes only on the southern section.

lordofthemark
05-18-2013, 07:54 PM
Made it back the Pentagon myself, completing the bike commute day.

1. Riding UP the ramp from the parking garage is not my favorite way to start my ride home.
2. The parking folks at USDOT nicely put a BTWD parking permit on my bike for me - I will have to find out the standard procedure for parking.
3. The I Street bike lane was fenced off for construction westbound.
4. I was pleased to note that at 7th and Maine I, of all people, was riding more VC style than some other cyclists (taking the center lane to cross to Water, while someone else was in the right turn lane, even though he was clearly proceeding through to Water) and that someone was drafting me for several blocks.
5. I still dislike riding on the Pentagon Reservation, but will have to get used to that

But all was justified by the satisfaction of completing the day.

KLizotte
05-19-2013, 02:51 AM
Made it back the Pentagon myself, completing the bike commute day.

1. Riding UP the ramp from the parking garage is not my favorite way to start my ride home.
2. The parking folks at USDOT nicely put a BTWD parking permit on my bike for me - I will have to find out the standard procedure for parking.
3. The I Street bike lane was fenced off for construction westbound.
4. I was pleased to note that at 7th and Maine I, of all people, was riding more VC style than some other cyclists (taking the center lane to cross to Water, while someone else was in the right turn lane, even though he was clearly proceeding through to Water) and that someone was drafting me for several blocks.
5. I still dislike riding on the Pentagon Reservation, but will have to get used to that

But all was justified by the satisfaction of completing the day.

I presume you work at DOT HQ. I did a detail there last summer and was told I could park anywhere in the garage at a rack (you have to show your ID before entering the garage of course). The hardest part for me was finding my bike at the end of the day since there are numerous entrances to the garage. I never bothered getting a permit because not long after starting my detail I sustained an injury that kept me from riding for the rest of the summer. I've been told by long time commuters that there are bikes parked there that haven't moved in years so I don't think anyone keeps tabs on the bikes in the garage.

I found a number of back road routes to DOT so I could stay off the main roads most of the way coming from Pentagon City. I'm not a morning person so I was arriving at the height of rush hour and wanted to avoid the worst.

Too bad you live so far away from work.

lordofthemark
05-20-2013, 11:52 AM
Too bad you live so far away from work.


Working on that ;)