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MBernier
06-18-2011, 05:22 PM
I live off Columbia Pike and have started biking to work downtown, but have to schlep over to N. Arlington and catch the Custis Trail, or over to the Four Mile Run trail to Mt. Vernon. Columbia Pike is simply not bike friendly, although once I get to the Pentagon, it's fine. Anyone have suggestions on how to cut THROUGH central Arlington, without having to go around the edges? It would be great to have bike lanes on Columbia Pike....

PotomacCyclist
06-19-2011, 02:22 PM
Arlington is planning to build/designate "bike boulevards" on a couple streets that are parallel to Columbia Pike. But that probably won't happen right away.

Central Arlington isn't as bike-friendly as FMR and Custis/Wilson/Clarendon Blvd. I haven't even found any good north-south routes through that area, between Pentagon City and Clarendon/Court House. I'd be interested to hear if other people know about good routes.

JustinW
06-19-2011, 06:01 PM
Where are you on Columbia Pike? Can you pop up to Rt 50 and use that eastbound?

5555624
06-20-2011, 03:25 AM
Arlington is planning to build/designate "bike boulevards" on a couple streets that are parallel to Columbia Pike. But that probably won't happen right away.

Even when they are done, traveling east, once you get to South Courthouse Road -- if you're using S 9th St -- you're back on Columbia Pike. I take that stretch, down to the Pentagon, every morning, but I am lucky enough to be riding while virtually everyone else is still asleep.


Central Arlington isn't as bike-friendly as FMR and Custis/Wilson/Clarendon Blvd. I haven't even found any good north-south routes through that area, between Pentagon City and Clarendon/Court House. I'd be interested to here if other people know about good routes.

I'd argue that once you get off designated trails, Arlington is not bike friendly at all. I have far more "problems" -- inattentive drivers, scooters in bike lanes, etc. -- riding in Arlington, than I do in D.C. To go north-south, I take a winding course through neighborhood streets, resigning myself to a trip that is longer than it needs to be.

5555624
06-20-2011, 03:28 AM
To echo JustinW, where are you on Columbia Pike? Another option might be S 2nd St and through Fort Myer. While I don't go that way (and did not when I lived on S 2nd St), I know some people who do.

donkeybike
06-20-2011, 09:46 AM
Columbia Pike will never be bike friendly. I rather like meandering north through neighborhood streets, up Irving usually, but it is time-consuming. It is once I get to 10th St N and Clarendon blvd that I have probs, but anyway...my husband rides through Ft Myer and loves it.

elbows
08-26-2011, 10:45 AM
Agree with everything everyone's said. After 8 years of being car-less in various parts of Arlington, I think the Columbia Pike area is the worst for cyclists in Arlington. I wish the County cared.

The bike blvds are fine but they won't help with the worst sections.

Still haven't tried Ft Myer. I'm dreading the summer ending and traffic on the Pike picking up again. Among other things, the County school buses are a bit of a monster. In my opinion, the Pentagon isn't the end of the scary part, it's really just 27 where things get better.

americancyclo
08-26-2011, 11:07 AM
I'm not super familiar with that area, but what about 18th st S to Army Navy Country Club Access Rd between S Glebe and Army Navy Dr? will that help at all or is that still too far out of the way?

elbows
08-31-2011, 09:46 AM
Are cyclists allowed to ride on the Army Navy Access Road? That would help me avoid the worst part of Columbia Pike.

DaveK
08-31-2011, 12:00 PM
Are cyclists allowed to ride on the Army Navy Access Road? That would help me avoid the worst part of Columbia Pike.

Technically it's a private road that doesn't allow through traffic, but I've done it. It all depends who you do or don't run into on the way. It's a great shortcut.

paytonc
11-16-2012, 12:08 PM
Where are you on Columbia Pike? Can you pop up to Rt 50 and use that eastbound?

50 just dead-ends into the cemetery, though, with its weird access restrictions.

For all intents and purposes, there are three ways to bike into Arlington from the east (never mind the Potomac bridges): Custis Trail, Rosslyn streets, and the Four Mile Run trail. Otherwise, the cemetery and I-395 are insurmountable barriers. In the next few years, the new Washington Blvd/Columbia Pike interchange will have wider sidewalks and won't be quite so awful for bikes.

In the very long term, a combination of the Country Club Bypass (http://www.arlnow.com/2012/03/29/army-navy-country-club-bike-path-still-on-hold/) and a fully linked-up 12th St. S. (as shown in the Columbia Pike area plan) will create a low-traffic east-west link paralleling Columbia Pike over to Pentagon City, and by that time Long Bridge Park will connect to a new Potomac bridge, and perhaps pigs will fly.

acorn
11-16-2012, 02:23 PM
It's actually pretty easy to go through Fort Myer and the cemetery, I do it every day. Just show the guard an ID. If you have a federal ID they wave you though, otherwise they will log you in. One of the main entrances is on South 2nd St.

The cemetery gates inside Fort Myer don't open until 8 am but then you can just sail through. If you come before 8, you can just go down McNair Drive (I think that is the name) and out Wright Gate.

You can't go through the cemetery going back up, but you can go back up through Wright Gate.

Steve
11-16-2012, 05:24 PM
I've done the ride through ANCC a number of timed and never been bothered.

One good thing about the Ft. Meyer cut through is that going eastbound you can go through Arlington National Cemetary downhill which is a really cool ride. It is one-way, but for the morning commute it would be great.

Woops! Didn't see that acorn already provided this.

off2ride
11-16-2012, 11:51 PM
I rode once ON Columbia Pike to go to Performance Baileys from 4MR Trail. It reminded me of Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon dodging asteroids with Chewy. Kinda sketchy.


I live off Columbia Pike and have started biking to work downtown, but have to schlep over to N. Arlington and catch the Custis Trail, or over to the Four Mile Run trail to Mt. Vernon. Columbia Pike is simply not bike friendly, although once I get to the Pentagon, it's fine. Anyone have suggestions on how to cut THROUGH central Arlington, without having to go around the edges? It would be great to have bike lanes on Columbia Pike....

paytonc
11-19-2012, 12:56 PM
Well, for someone like me who doesn't use the route frequently, having to remember:
- hours that the Fort part is open
- hours that the Cemetery part is open
- proper credentials
- weird place names like "such and such gate"
- unmarked street names
- proper directionality (which still leaves someone climbing Columbia Pike westbound)
- Will I Be Stopped By Someone Heavily Armed?
...all qualify as "weird access restrictions" = "might as well not go there."

Distance-wise, it also doesn't help someone on Columbia Pike to go north around the cemetery and into Rosslyn, not when in theory it's almost a straight shot to the 14th St. bridges.

dasgeh
11-26-2012, 04:14 PM
I find that you can get to George Mason pretty easily on side streets just north and south of 50. I rarely got West of George Mason, but pretty quickly you end up at the W&OD trail. You can also use Fort Myer to bypass the Columbia Pike/Washington Blvd interchange -- go through the 2nd Street gate, then head to Henderson Hall -- follow the main road from the gate straight through the 3 way stop and around to the right. Take a left at the T, and that will take you around to a gate that will put you on Southgate Road, South of the cemetery. From there you can take the Washington Blvd trail to Memorial Bridge, or cut through the Pentagon the Marina to get to the 14th Street Bridge. (Complicated, but not far).

mtneer92
10-29-2014, 01:43 PM
Greetings... the last thread in this topic was sent in 2012... I work at the Pentagon and usually ride the W&OD home, via other ways and the Four Mile Run trail... is Columbia Pike a safe route from the Pentagon to where it connects at Four Mile Run/W&OD? Just curious to see if anything has improved on Columbia Pike as far as conditions mentioned in this thread since 2011.

TC

MattAune
10-29-2014, 02:10 PM
Greetings... the last thread in this topic was sent in 2012... I work at the Pentagon and usually ride the W&OD home, via other ways and the Four Mile Run trail... is Columbia Pike a safe route from the Pentagon to where it connects at Four Mile Run/W&OD? Just curious to see if anything has improved on Columbia Pike as far as conditions mentioned in this thread since 2011.

TC

No.

Have you tried Army-Navy Drive to the 4mr trail? Have you thought about cutting through JB Myer-Henderson hall?

P.S. I also work in this monstrosity if you have any other questions.

elbows
10-29-2014, 02:16 PM
Greetings... the last thread in this topic was sent in 2012... I work at the Pentagon and usually ride the W&OD home, via other ways and the Four Mile Run trail... is Columbia Pike a safe route from the Pentagon to where it connects at Four Mile Run/W&OD? Just curious to see if anything has improved on Columbia Pike as far as conditions mentioned in this thread since 2011.

TC

Hello. FWIW, my two cents is that if I were going from the Pentagon to the W&OD, I would probably take the Pike, but just after Courthouse, would scoot to the right and take some combo of 8th, 9th, to parallel the Pike and get on the W&OD via 7th St. (The combo f[your preferred Glebe crossing, hills, traffic light efficiency, distance, etc]). On the plus side, the Pike headed west by the W&OD has been repaved so that is one nice feature but you're still dealing with few miles of close passing cars and breathing exhaust.

Also, I would occasionally throw my bike on a bus like the 16x to get to better, safer biking faster, especially if I were riding to Herndon.

chris_s
10-29-2014, 02:54 PM
Hello. FWIW, my two cents is that if I were going from the Pentagon to the W&OD, I would probably take the Pike, but just after Courthouse, would scoot to the right and take some combo of 8th, 9th, to parallel the Pike and get on the W&OD via 7th St. (The combo f[your preferred Glebe crossing, hills, traffic light efficiency, distance, etc]). On the plus side, the Pike headed west by the W&OD has been repaved so that is one nice feature but you're still dealing with few miles of close passing cars and breathing exhaust.

Also, I would occasionally throw my bike on a bus like the 16x to get to better, safer biking faster, especially if I were riding to Herndon.

As elbows says, biking ON Columbia Pike still sucks, but there are some nice parallel routes starting from Wayne Street West. Washington Blvd up the hill to Wayne is just abysmal though. Lots of traffic, up a hill, bad quality pavement, buses, etc.

Southgate Road >> Ft Meyer >> 2nd street and then taking the neighborhood streets down to the W&OD is far, far, far, far superior if you don't mind the security checkpoint.

kingman762
10-29-2014, 03:10 PM
While the Pike is not ideal, I presonnaly don't think it's that problematic. It's not great but if the option is not riding or taking Columbia Pike, I'd ride the Pike.

If you are coming from the pentagon your best bet is to go up southgate rd (between what used to be the navy annex and ANC) up to Ft. Myer and then taking the left on Orm to go to the Pike. Take the Pike up to Courthouse and then get on the 8/9th streek bike blvd. Or go through Ft. Myer. I wouldn't let the Pike's traffic stop you from riding. Particualry as you only need to be in it for a short time.

PotomacCyclist
10-29-2014, 03:33 PM
There is ongoing construction for the new Washington Blvd. bridge over Columbia Pike. Expect various lane closures and detours on and off until the project is complete next summer or fall. During some weeks, the sidewalks are closed off completely on one or both sides of Columbia Pike. The lanes might be pitted with potholes and there may be construction debris everywhere. On other weeks, that area is a little better, but still far from ideal.

VDOT posts occasional updates on the project website: http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/route_27-244_interchange.asp

When the project is finished, Columbia Pike will have a 10' wide shared-use path (sidewalk), which will make that area much better for cycling. Of course, the rest of Columbia Pike will still be inconvenient and/or hazardous. The Navy Annex building has been demolished, but the old sidewalk along Columbia Pike hasn't been improved yet. (But the last time I checked was a couple months ago. I don't think anything has changed, but maybe someone finally decided to put down a temporary asphalt path. Probably not.)

Info on the bike boulevards: http://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/bike-boulevards/

Alcova cyclist
10-31-2014, 09:48 AM
Southgate Road >> Ft Meyer >> 2nd street and then taking the neighborhood streets down to the W&OD is far, far, far, far superior if you don't mind the security checkpoint.

I wrote a long reply, but then realized it was just a wordy way of saying exactly what chris_s said.

FWIW, so far I've had no trouble at any of the Myer gates w/ a Fed or military ID. The two gates on this route (Gate 1 and Hatfield) are open 24/7. Wright Gate (the one you take to go around to the north side of the cemetery) is open 5 am to 6pm for visitors and till 11pm for military.

Some useful links:
Ft Myer/Henderson Hall map: http://www.jbmhh.army.mil/web/jbmhh/JBMHH%20Maps%20&%20Directions/myermapMAR14.pdf
Ft Myer/HH access info: http://www.jbmhh.army.mil/web/jbmhh/JBMHH%20Maps%20&%20Directions/JBMHHMapsDirections.html

dasgeh
10-31-2014, 10:18 AM
Wright Gate (the one you take to go around to the north side of the cemetery) is open 5 am to 6pm for visitors and till 11pm for military.


Some ladies on the Women & Bicycles FB group were reporting that they could bike through the Wright Gate past 6pm without a military ID.

Alcova cyclist
10-31-2014, 10:50 AM
Some ladies on the Women & Bicycles FB group were reporting that they could bike through the Wright Gate past 6pm without a military ID.

That doesn't particularly surprise me - I supposed it's really more visitor motor vehicles they prohibit since I think they have to search them and I guess after 6pm they close down the vehicle inspection point that's just inside the gate. I use a mil ID when I bike through there, so while I've been through the gate after 6pm, my experience doesn't shed any light for those without a mil ID.

Chris

PotomacCyclist
05-21-2015, 03:13 PM
Traffic shift related to the Washington Blvd. bridge over Columbia Pike rebuild:

Washington Boulevard Bridge over Columbia Pike in Arlington

***** NOTICE *****

Major Traffic Shift

Between 9 p.m. Thursday, May 21 and 5 a.m. Friday, May 22, VDOT will be performing a major traffic switch on Columbia Pike (Route 244) at the Washington Boulevard (Route 27) interchange.

The traffic switch includes:

- Opening the realigned ramp from eastbound Washington Boulevard to Columbia Pike. The new ramp aligns with the S. Queen Street intersection.
- Permanently activating the new traffic signal at the S. Queen St/ramp/Columbia Pike intersection.
- Permanently removing the existing signal at Columbia Pike and S. Quinn Street.
- Permanently changing S. Quinn St to one-way, entrance only from eastbound Columbia Pike. No northbound traffic on S. Quinn St. will be permitted between 10th Street S and Columbia Pike. Also, traffic will not be permitted to turn left onto S. Quinn St from westbound Columbia Pike.

This shouldn't have a major effect on cyclists. But it appears to be a major step forward in the process of completing the new bridge. I noticed that the estimated completion date has been moved up, from Fall 2015 to Summer 2015. That could still mean August or early September. But at least it looks like it won't be October or November.

The new bridge will include a 10-foot sidewalk. At least one block of Columbia Pike won't be horrible for cycling. No updates on any new bike/pedestrian trails along other parts of the east end of Columbia Pike.

http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/route_27-244_interchange.asp

PotomacCyclist
07-09-2015, 02:36 PM
Is the Washington Blvd. bridge over Columbia Pike nearing completion? The project website lists Summer 2015 as the estimated completion date. (That date was changed a couple times after the usual construction delays.)

Now there is the following notice at the top of the page:

***** NOTICE *****

On the nights of Monday, July 6 through Friday, July 10, and Sunday, July 12 through Thursday, July 16 (from 9 p.m. until 4:30 a.m. each night), VDOT will be performing milling and final paving on both Route 27 (Washington Boulevard) and Route 244 (Columbia Pike). Lanes along both Route 27 and Route 244 may shift multiple times each night to accommodate the paving operations.

The work for each night is weather dependent.

I haven't ridden through there in a few months. Maybe I'll take a look over the next week or two to see if the project is wrapping up.

cyclingfool
07-09-2015, 08:37 PM
I can say from a few times I ended up driving (instead of biking :-o) from Del Ray to my current workplace in Clarendon over the last couple months that work does seem to have progressed significantly with fewer construction barrels/cones and straighter lane marker alignments.

Starduster
07-09-2015, 09:36 PM
[I haven't ridden through there in a few months. Maybe I'll take a look over the next week or two to see if the project is wrapping up.[/QUOTE]

I deal with it daily, ferrying my wife to work. Considering I've nearly wiped out on the bike twice on this road, I am eagerly awaiting completion of the bridge *and* repaving of that downhill stretch of the Pike. I need that section for a Papillon ride I'm leading in August. Ft. Myer's no longer an option, remember?

I shall gladly update.

PotomacCyclist
07-19-2015, 11:49 AM
I ran through there yesterday. All the sidewalks are finished. So is the bridge, from what I could tell.

What work remains? Some of the road lanes/ramps only have a base layer of asphalt, so there is a gap between some of the new sidewalks and the road. Don't be fooled by all the smooth surfaces in that area just yet. If you ride on the sidewalk (which many people do along the Pike), watch out for those short dropoffs from the sidewalk to the road. It's only a couple inches, but it's abrupt and it could be a problem on road tires.

They didn't finish the work on Thursday/Friday morning as scheduled. It shouldn't take them too long to add the top layer of asphalt for the remaining ramps and road lanes. But that could depend on the weather.

I was running so I don't know what the rest of the road surface is like on the eastern part of Columbia Pike. I noticed some rough patches when I walked through the crosswalks. Based on that, I'd say that the rest of the road is the same as it was before. They are only paving the sections in the bridge project area.

The new sidewalks are very wide. It might be wide enough for two-way bike traffic and pedestrians, all at the same time. At least one small section of Columbia Pike now has a decent side path.

-------

On a separate note, the Army/DOD is not cutting the grass on the areas that will be turned over to the Cemetery. This includes the site of the former gas station on Joyce Street and the site of the former Navy Annex building. The grass and other plants are a couple feet high, including new plants/weeds on the sidewalks. It looks like a mess. Even if the land swap with Arlington County hasn't gone through, why would they let this land look like this? Joyce St. and Columbia Pike lead up to the revered Arlington National Cemetery. Those unkempt plots make the area look like a junkyard. It shouldn't be that difficult for the Army to order some soldiers to cut the weeds and grass. They have the equipment and the personnel.

I'd send the contact person an email, but he doesn't take too kindly to questions. I asked him a question a couple years ago about the land swap with Arlington County and the proposed bike paths along Columbia Pike. For some reason, he became very defensive about it. All I did was ask a simple question.

Raymo853
07-20-2015, 07:03 AM
As someone who drives, rides, and runs through that intersection all the time, it is so much better for all three modes. It is still not 100% done.

dasgeh
07-20-2015, 12:56 PM
Some ladies on the Women & Bicycles FB group were reporting that they could bike through the Wright Gate past 6pm without a military ID.

This (old post that someone recently liked) reminds me: the new access restrictions have changed the Wright Gate hours: anyone allowed through (Federal ID, Military ID, AIE) is allowed through whenever it is open, which I believe is 5am until 11pm.

Starduster
07-20-2015, 04:49 PM
I will verify PotomacCyclist's assessment of the bridge area as accurate. Almost there. Almost. There is no bike lane striping in that section, but the sidewalks on both(!) sides are nice and wide. One concern- I need to see how safe it will be to use the south side sidewalk where it crosses the ramp to Washington Blvd & 395.

Now, about the Pike: Found the map showcasing the County's paving projects for what I *thought* was this year. http://arlingtonva.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2015/02/DES_Paving_Map_20151.pdf The title in the bottom right, though, says "...2016". Anyway, the section of Columbia Pike between Walter Reed and Washington Blvd is marked for paving. But *when*? We didn't have an answer at the last ABAC meeting. I was counting on it being paved *this year*, not next. For those who haven't run that stretch, the pavement is too degraded to go downhill quickly and safely. Both sidewalks are narrow, decidely lumpy, and of course we must yield to pedestrians. The big ring is not an option. All of this to get whatever immediate fixes we can, and then concentrate on the goals that require more time.

PotomacCyclist
07-21-2015, 04:52 PM
Columbia Pike

July 21, 2015

Construction Notices for Washington Boulevard Bridge Project

The following notices are for VDOT's Route 27/244 Interchange project, which is replacing the Washington Boulevard bridge over Columbia Pike and improving the interchange.


Eastbound Columbia Pike Lane Use Change Starts July 22

Beginning Wednesday, July 22, the eastbound lanes of Columbia Pike on the approach to the I-395 ramps will revert back to the time of day lane use that was in effect prior to the construction of the Route 27/244 Interchange.

Between 6:30 and 9 a.m. weekdays, motorists will access the I-395 north/south ramp and eastbound Washington Boulevard from either lane on eastbound Columbia Pike, and only the left lane will provide access to eastbound Columbia Pike under the bridge.

At all other times of the day, motorists will only be able to access the ramp from the rightmost lane, whereas both lanes will provide access to eastbound Columbia Pike under the bridge.

Motorists are asked to pay attention to the overhead signs, as these will be lighted with arrows indicating the appropriate lane use for the respective time of day. See VDOT's notice for an image of the overhead signs.

Nighttime Paving July 26-30

On the nights of Sunday, July 26 through Thursday, July 30 (from 9 p.m. each
night until 4:30 a.m. the following morning), VDOT will be performing milling and final paving on Columbia Pike. Travel lanes may shift multiple times each night to accommodate the paving operations. The work for each night is weather dependent.


http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/VAARLINGTON/bulletins/1107f8a

Raymo853
08-27-2015, 09:31 AM
As someone who drives, rides, and runs through that intersection all the time, it is so much better for all three modes. It is still not 100% done.

Now that the work is nearly done, I think the situation is now worse for bicycles and pedestrians. Primary two causes: 1. The automotive speeds through the area are much higher. 2. The section allowing cars traveling NE along Columbia Pike to expand from two lanes to 2.5-ish (bold on the ish) for the merge onto I295 is just poorly laid out and causes all sorts of unpredictable car movements.

scoot
08-27-2015, 01:08 PM
Now that the work is nearly done, I think the situation is now worse for bicycles and pedestrians. Primary two causes: 1. The automotive speeds through the area are much higher. 2. The section allowing cars traveling NE along Columbia Pike to expand from two lanes to 2.5-ish (bold on the ish) for the merge onto I295 is just poorly laid out and causes all sorts of unpredictable car movements.

The new configuration is awful. The eastbound splitting into 3 lanes just before S Queen is a disaster. And the idea of lane-control signals (to determine whether the left lane can go up the ramp or whether the right lane can stay on the Pike) is overkill. My current approach eastbound there:
- take the right lane (while staying in the left half of it for added visibility and assertiveness)
- keep an eagle eye on anyone overtaking on my left
- try to time my arrival at the 2-3 split point not to coincide with an overtaking vehicle
- then continue straight ahead in the middle of the right lane under the bridge.
Disclaimer: I don't ride that route too often, and I've never had to do it in morning rush hour.

Pedestrians also have it worse now. Longer crosswalks to deal with, and the vehicles are traveling through them much faster than they were previously.

This new interchange alone should bump Arlington back to Bronze...

Raymo853
08-27-2015, 01:39 PM
The new configuration is awful. <snip>

This new interchange alone should bump Arlington back to Bronze...

I had such high hopes of improvement, they were beyond dashed with it becoming worse.

elbows
08-27-2015, 02:02 PM
Pedestrians also have it worse now. Longer crosswalks to deal with, and the vehicles are traveling through them much faster than they were previously.

...

Even though it requires more effort for me to get myself to 9 am meetings on time properly attired and bathed, I wait until 8 am in order to go through JBMHH in order to avoid biking east through this area. It is nice to have smoother road, but the wider lanes encourage dangerous speeds and I worry even more about being hit. Kind of ticks me off but I try to avoid it so the anger doesn't consume me. I don't find all the loss of trees along there worthwhile either.

Coming home west, I just abandon my principles and ride on the sidewalk until Orme and that is preferable to being on the road. Agree that the waits are longer for pedestrians. BTW, it doesn't involve the bridge but the waits at the Scott crosswalk can be absurd. Like 5 minutes when there are barely any vehicles on the road.

Also, I know I'm not going to change minds, but I respectfully disagree with the person who criticized the "weeds" and junkyard appearance on the site of the former Annex. After riding through a sea of ivy, cement, and artificial turf, it is one of my favorite places to gaze upon. Disrespectful? I don't know. Not to me. I enjoy seeing what plants are popping up in there.

Tim Kelley
08-27-2015, 04:08 PM
This new interchange alone should bump Arlington back to Bronze...

Don't blame Arlington for VDOT's sins! http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/route_27-244_interchange.asp

chris_s
08-27-2015, 05:50 PM
How quickly we forget.


Pedestrians also have it worse now. Longer crosswalks to deal with, and the vehicles are traveling through them much faster than they were previously.
They now have a signal-controlled crossing. At the old interchange they had to take their chances on uncontrolled crossings and hope oncoming cars would yield.


And the idea of lane-control signals (to determine whether the left lane can go up the ramp or whether the right lane can stay on the Pike) is overkill.
There were lane controls before, but they were static signs with a time on them. So far, people seem to be doing a better job of obeying the dynamic ones - the static ones were ignored by about 1 in 6 people.


1. The automotive speeds through the area are much higher.
I'm not sure they're any higher than pre-construction. The construction (and resulting pavement "quality") certainly had a traffic-calming effect.

scoot
08-28-2015, 08:07 AM
How quickly we forget.

Fair enough. The construction has been ongoing ever since I moved to Arlington, so I did not have a point of comparison pre-construction. Repaving aside, the design is worse for bicyclists now than it has been over the last two years.

Somehow I never noticed any lane control signage previously. I don't see the point of a time-dependent variable lane configuration at this location, and I think it is confusing and dangerous. What problem is VDOT trying to solve, that cannot be solved by choosing one of the two solutions full-time?

scoot
08-28-2015, 08:13 AM
I wait until 8 am in order to go through JBMHH in order to avoid biking east through this area.

Are you waiting until 8 am in order to go through the cemetery? If the cemetery gate is closed, you can still go down McNair to Marshall, exit JBMHH through Wright Gate, and then take the 110 Trail to get back over to Memorial Bridge. Not as nice or as direct a ride as the cemetery route, but it is open earlier.

dasgeh
08-28-2015, 08:38 AM
Are you waiting until 8 am in order to go through the cemetery? If the cemetery gate is closed, you can still go down McNair to Marshall, exit JBMHH through Wright Gate, and then take the 110 Trail to get back over to Memorial Bridge. Not as nice or as direct a ride as the cemetery route, but it is open earlier.

And if you're just trying to avoid the Pike, you can exit through the gate off of Southgate Road -- it puts you parallel to the Pike and is a nice ride down to Joyce.

PotomacCyclist
09-13-2015, 10:11 PM
The new Freedman's Village Bridge was dedicated last week by Gov. McAuliffe.

https://www.arlnow.com/2015/09/10/gov-mcauliffe-dedicates-bridge-over-columbia-pike-in-honor-of-freedmans-village/

Although I don't ride through there often, I'm not sure I understand the complaints that it is worse now than it was before. During construction, the road and sidewalks were in horrendous shape. There were often detours, although some of those slowed overall traffic speeds so it wasn't always so bad. I ran into one of the construction ditches that the contractors cut into the road or sidewalk, with no warning signs anywhere. If I hadn't been riding on a CaBi bike, I might have flipped over the handlebars.

The rest of Columbia Pike could still use some improvement. Well, a lot of improvement. I would really hope that Arlington and DOD sort out the remaining issues for the proposed land swap on the eastern end of Columbia Pike. That could allow for construction of a decent paved trail along the eastern section of the Pike, from S. Joyce St. to the new bridge. There are no good bike routes from Pentagon City to points north and west. If the Columbia Pike path is built, then it could connect Pentagon City with the Washington Blvd. trail that will connect Columbia Pike with Clarendon. I think that trail is supposed to be built by the end of next year.

DismalScientist
09-14-2015, 05:33 AM
Southgate and Orme is a fine substitute for the Pike east of Wash Blvd. The real problem with the Pike is Wash Blvd to Courthouse, west of which there are calm side streets.

Starduster
09-14-2015, 08:46 AM
Agreed that Orme to Southgate is a much safer route. West and up the hill to Courthouse (and on to Walter Reed)... is on the schedule to be paved. I am still hoping it will done *this* year as "promised". That one step step will make the route a little safer.

Yet nearly *all* of the Pike is not safely ridable. Yet you see people doing so, out of necessity. The Bike Boulevards are good only as far as the streets exist, and not everyone knows about them.

My friends at Papillon Cycles would love to see a safer-to-ride Pike, and the developers and merchants who came here with the expectation of a streetcar route would benefit as well.

Improvements that "take the black off" the Pike on the Bicycle Comfort Level Map. Who's in?

PotomacCyclist
10-19-2015, 07:39 PM
Southgate Rd. could be removed, depending on the specifics of the land swap between Arlington and DOD/Arlington Cemetery.

Previous plans showed the addition of wide paved bike paths on both sides of Columbia Pike, from S. Joyce St. to the new Washington Blvd. bridge. This was when the County was still planning to build the Columbia Pike streetcar. The Pike would have been straightened out along the Air Force Memorial hill.

With the streetcar canceled and the land swap still in limbo, it's anyone's guess what the eastern section of Columbia Pike will look like. But if the Army wants to use the former Navy Annex site for an expansion of the Cemetery, they will still remove Southgate Rd. after a land swap deal is finalized.

Nothing will happen in the short term. But eventually Southgate Rd. will probably be removed or closed to through traffic.