Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Legal to ride through tunnels?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    South Arlington (Columbia Heights)
    Posts
    323
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Legal to ride through tunnels?

    Is it legal for a cyclist to travel through DC tunnels? Not 395, of course, but under Dupont Circle, Scott Circle, VA Ave, etc. Some of them have signs that say "Pedestrians Prohibited" but I don't think that applies to cyclists. I sometimes ride them and sometimes get nervous and my WABA and forum searches came up empty.

  2. #2
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,178
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I don't see why not. I ride under 23rd on Virginia twice daily and have never had a problem. I believe there's been some discussion of riding on K under Washington Circle as well.

  3. Likes Steve O liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Mount Vernon
    Posts
    495
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I ride through tunnels whenever it feels safe. It's probably safer than going around a traffic circle.

  5. Likes Steve O liked this post
  6. #4
    Steve O's Avatar
    Steve O is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Dominion Hills in Arlington VA
    Posts
    3,659
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    One can certainly ride under underpasses. What distinguishes an underpass from a tunnel? How long does it have to be before it qualifies?

    "Tunnels" I can think of that I have used include: K st. under Washington Circle, Virginia Ave under 23rd. Ft. Myer drive in Rosslyn, Ct. Ave under Dupont circle, Rock Creek tunnel near the zoo, and probably some others that don't immediately come to mind. If the road is legal to ride on, then why would only that little section of it not be? Go for it.

  7. #5
    KLizotte's Avatar
    KLizotte is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Arlington, VA by way of MA and London, UK
    Posts
    3,639
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I figure if it is legal to ride on the road then the tunnel should be fine. The only place I've seen a tunnel marked as a no go zone for peds and cyclists was in Williamsburg on the Colonial Parkway and I thought it was very odd they would prohibit cyclists.

    The only thing that bothers me about tunnels is reduced visibility for drivers. Going from sun to dark is sometimes an issue and if you don't have lights on you may be hard to see. I also don't think drivers expect to encounter cyclists in tunnels. So I would judge each tunnel individually but it may be a safer alternative than dodging cars in a roundabout.
    Last edited by KLizotte; 06-22-2017 at 05:07 PM.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,475
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by elbows View Post
    Is it legal for a cyclist to travel through DC tunnels? Not 395, of course, but under Dupont Circle, Scott Circle, VA Ave, etc. Some of them have signs that say "Pedestrians Prohibited" but I don't think that applies to cyclists. I sometimes ride them and sometimes get nervous and my WABA and forum searches came up empty.
    If you're in the roadway on a bike, you're legally a vehicle, not a pedestrian.

    It could be a safety hazard though since motorists going into tunnels have a moment where their eyes are adjusting to the dark and they may not see you, or they might try to pass you and you have little room to avoid them.

    Addendum - I see KLizotte has already posted the exact same thoughts.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    MoCo
    Posts
    883
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I regularly ride K Street through the tunnel. I know of no reason it would be illegal, therefore it is legal. I would recommend flashies and taking the lane like you mean it.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Falls Church
    Posts
    203
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    If it's not legal then good thing I've never done it.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Rosslyn
    Posts
    449
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KLizotte View Post
    So I would judge each tunnel individually but it may be a safer alternative than dodging cars in a roundabout.

    after settling legal/illegal, I think this is the key line of this whole convo.

    I personally haven't attempted it in DC, but I've started taking the Ft. Myer tunnel/underpass under Wilson in Rosslyn. I'd try the tunnel option sometime when traffic is low (or so gridlocked they're paralyzed) so you know what the patterns are on the other side. That way you know which lane to take and where you may need to shift to

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •