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Thread: Commuting from Springfield to Pentagon

  1. #1
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    Default Commuting from Springfield to Pentagon

    I'm going to start riding from Springfield to the Pentagon a couple times a week. My desire is to park near the PAC entrance. Is anyone familiar with the best routing to get from the Pentagon City area to the north side of the building? I've considered riding the MVT to the LBJ park and entering from there... but is there a more direct route?

    Thanks,
    CT

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    DismalScientist is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Joyce St, down Columbia Pike, Route 27 sidewalk/trail to Boundary Channel exit.

    I think you can also go Fern St under 395 and cut over to Boundary Channel through the South parking lot (on Connector Road--see map below).

    Also take Long Bridge Drive (from where 12th goes under Route 1) past the soccer fields direct to Boundary Channel and go under 395 there.
    Last edited by DismalScientist; 04-05-2016 at 10:09 AM.

  3. #3
    Steve O's Avatar
    Steve O is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    There is also a tunnel you can walk your bike through to get to the south parking lot here:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    There is also a tunnel you can walk your bike through to get to the south parking lot here:
    Name:  tunnel.JPG
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    - You have to walk your bike through that tunnel, but usually it's pretty pleasant. I was even threatened with a ticket for coasting 3mph sidesaddle with one foot on the pedal. The intersection on the P-Mall side of the tunnel is sketchy with people trying to turn left out of the parking structure usually ignoring you. Getting to the tunnel from Joyce street -> cut through the parking lot between the Pentagon City Mall's parking structure and Pentagon Row is usually fairly pleasant and safe compared to the other roads and even bike lanes around there which are perpetually filled with standing cars and/or glass shards.

    - Riding on up through on Fern street is OK - it gets very dodgy with all of the traffic around COSTCO in the afternoons - but it is more direct to the north side once you get to the parking lot.

    - Going around up crystal drive to long bridge drive to boundary channel drive is usually great with very little car traffic to deal with. BUT the (perpetually unlit) road under the bridge is very badly paved and you will have to deal with close passing speedsters entering/exiting 395 sometimes. Though in my experience people driving around the north side of the Pentagon are much more courteous to bikers taking the lane than drivers on the south side. I wonder what the freakonomics of that psychology is.
    Last edited by LeprosyStudyGroup; 04-05-2016 at 10:36 AM.

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    Thanks for all the replies! I was curious about how the rush-hour traffic was in/around Pentagon City so thanks all for the run down!

    Cheers,CT

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    If you are trying to end up at POAC, I would suggest you consider Eads north to 12th then left on Long Bridge Drive and left again onto Boundary Channel. While the folks getting on the interstate at the south end of Boundary Channel are often inattentive, the motorists on the Pentagon reservation are generally pretty well mannered.

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    I commute from Pentagon City to L'Enfant Plaza and cut thru the Pentagon reservation. I don't know the Pentagon well enough to be able to determine exactly where you are going; I'm simply cutting through to get to DC via Columbia Island. I prefer using the Connector road route rather than going around the western side by the Memorial; it is safer.

    Riding on Reservation property is really easy and safe. Drivers pay attention and drive relatively slow; all those cameras and police cars are good for something! That said, make sure you follow the laws too, especially the one way roads and being courteous to pedestrians. Watch out for the tour buses; sometimes they get a little lost and starting zig zagging across the lanes.

    I often take the tunnel under 395. Yes, you really do have to walk your bike though I will occasionally cheat if it is really late at night. I take a right out of that parking lot (at the lights) during rush hour and don't have any problems with the traffic; I just think and act like a driver. I've never tried to make a left turn however.

    The drivers are generally very well behaved on Boundary Channel drive though it always feels weird to me riding on the southern side because the lack of a sidewalk makes it feel more like a highway. You can always take the sidewalk if you don't like riding in the road; very few peds.

    I'm not a fan of South Joyce Street between Columbia Pike and Army Navy Drive. Drivers go too fast along that stretch and always seem impatient. I don't know why since there are lights at both ends. This past winter I started cutting through the tunnel on the way home to avoid it but still take Joyce in the morning because it is hard to get to the tunnel from that direction given curb cuts and having to make a left hand turn at the lights. Columbia Pike from Joyce Street to the Pentagon has never been a problem.

    Boundary Channel drive under the 395 tunnel is an abysmal mess of moguls from bad patch jobs with the occasional pothole thrown in. It's quite dark in there too so you really have to slow down to be sure you don't hit anything. The rest of the paving is fine so it is always a mystery to me as to why that stretch is so bad, especially since it is protected from the elements.

    Army Navy Drive east of South Joyce Street is not cyclist friendly; I completely avoid it. Arlington is supposed to be putting in bike lanes at some point however. The side streets off of it are fine though. I do ride Army Navy Drive west of South Joyce and it is fine, esp at non-rush hour.
    Last edited by KLizotte; 04-05-2016 at 01:39 PM.

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    It's been a few years, but I used to take the Connector Road (runs just east of the bus bays) from south parking to boundary channel drive to the long bridge that leads to the PAC entrance. Seems like and easy connection if you're coming up Eads (which has pretty decent bike lanes for most of its run between 4MR and the Pentagon).

    To get there you take Eads onto the Pentagon reservation, and turn left at the intersection where buses go straight for the bus bay area. Then an immediate right onto the connector road. It dead ends at boundary channel.

    Another option to consider is that it might actually be just as quick to park your bike at the bike racks outside corridor 2 and walk to the PAC. Assuming you can change in your workspace for the ride home that will have you on your way south much quicker.

    ETA: I would also recommend against the western route -- the ride along 27 is unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst. Since you have to go around the helipads and cross 110, I don't think it saves any time. Even coming in from the west, I go around the east side.
    Last edited by Alcova cyclist; 04-10-2016 at 04:25 AM.

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