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Thread: Crossing GW Parkway south of Old Town

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default Crossing GW Parkway south of Old Town

    Hi all, I'm new to the area and planned on commuting from Hybla Valley to DC. The Mt Vernon Trail is great, but crossing the GW Parkway is really dicey. Any tips on the best place to cross over from the west side of the GWP to get to the trail? Or will I just have to suck it up and take my life in my hands every morning?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Crystal City to L'Enfant Plaza
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    Welcome to the cycling community!

    How about the getting on the MVT between Fort Hunt and the Alexandria Ave Bridge, where the trail is on the inland side of the GW Parkway? Sounds like you are in that area. North of the Alexandria Ave Bridge, the MVT briefly shares a neighborhood street and then turns back into a multi-use trail. Crossing the GWMP is always exciting because it has become a major commuting route in the area.

    The Fairfax County Bike Map should help you plot a route.

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/bike/bikemap.htm

    I'd expect you will find the modest additional distance to get to a safe crossing to be a far better tradeoff than attempting a grade crossing. To help you understand the issues, here is a thread discussing the crossings further north.

    http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showth...=accident+gwmp

  3. #3
    Amalitza Guest

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    Agree with dbb that Alexandria Avenue or points south are a good choice if that works for you. If not, I cross to the trail at Belle View Boulevard (and actually find this significantly less scary on a bike than making that left turn in a car because there's enough of a median for a bike to cross one direction of traffic at a time then wait for a break, but in a car you need to do it all in one swoop), since that's where I live, but I don't commute so I'm not generally doing it in rush hour traffic. I've never tried crossing at Tulane, but again there's a median there, so you can cross one direction of traffic at a time. I definitely would not recommend trying to cross GWP anywhere without a median.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Alexandria
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    Welcome Big_V. I cross at Alexandria Avenue or Tulane. There's plenty of median at Tulane to wait for an opening in traffic. How do you get from Hybla Valley to the GWP? If you ride Sherwood Hall Lane and Morningside, turn left on Park Terrace. Park Terrace intersects with Tulane. Bonus is a nice downhill in the morning (and climb on the way home ).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Thanks to everyone for the great recommendations! I'll definitely give both Belle View and Alexandria Ave a try!

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