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Thread: 14th Street Bridge to Potomac Center North... is this the best route?

  1. #1
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    Default 14th Street Bridge to Potomac Center North... is this the best route?

    I am getting back into bike riding after a multi decade long break, and want to start commuting. I live in Alexandria and work at Potomac Center North, and have most of the route figured out. I did a test ride yesterday, and other than the high use and poor cyclist manners on the MVT, everything went pretty good until I got off the 14th Street Bridge. I guess I thought it would be a little more obvious how to get over to 12th Street, but not so. I ended up turning right and taking the side walk up to Maine, and by using a series of cross walks finally got over to D Street at 14th, by the big surface parking lot. I can't imagine this route is going to work very well in rush hour traffic and tidal basin sidewalks full of tourists.

    So from searching the posts here, it looks like a lot of people take a few lefts off the bridge ending up at L'enfant promenade. Google maps came up with this route to get me over to 12th Street from the Promenade.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Does this look like a good route? Is this suggesting I ride in traffic on Maine Ave. until it turns into 12th after the underpass, or are there sidewalks in this stretch of Maine? Any better routes getting to PCN?

    I appreciate your help with this!

    Bob

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    Once you've made Banneker Circle, you could take L'Enfant to D to 12th.

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    I thought the cirlcle/promenade was elevated above D street? Is there a ramp that goes to street level near D?

  4. #4
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    Here is the link to the discussion of a route for you

    http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showth...ght=l%27enfant

    Once you hit Banneker Circle, turn left rather than right and take the ramps down.

    I generally come in around the Tidal Basin, up 15th Street, east on Jefferson (one way, generally polite motorists), south on 7th and then west on D. When the tourist traffic is heavy or I want to do Hains Point, I do the Case Bridge route.

    I don't think I would recommend riding on Maine in the roadway.

    Welcome back to the cycling community!
    Last edited by dbb; 09-02-2012 at 10:05 AM.

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    Thanks for the information, and great link! I missed that post. I will give you route a try as well. I little variety with the route will be good!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbb View Post
    ...I generally come in around the Tidal Basin, up 15th Street, east on Jefferson (one way, generally polite motorists), south on 7th and then west on D. When the tourist traffic is heavy or I want to do Hains Point, I do the Case Bridge route.

    I don't think I would recommend riding on Maine in the roadway.

    Welcome back to the cycling community!
    Since OP is shooting for 500 12th (old BCBS building) he could turn off Jefferson onto 12th.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Smith View Post
    Since OP is shooting for 500 12th (old BCBS building) he could turn off Jefferson onto 12th.
    For some reason I had it in my head that 12th Street didn't extend between Jefferson and Independence. But if so, even better.

    What about my evening commute home, since Jefferson is one-way? 12th to Madision west to 15th?

  8. #8
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    I've never tried 12th south from Jefferson so it might work.

    In the afternoon, I take Madison west to 15th but I doubt the ride across the Mall would be pleasant as the Smithsonian Metro exit would be along your route (way too many peds). Although I have seen cyclists salmoning (wrong way riding) west on Jefferson, the cycling collective doesn't think much of that behavior. I take 7th across the Mall to Madison and then west to 15th. I gave up riding on Independence and have been pretty happy with that decision.

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    I commute to L'Enfant (from Pentagon City) and usually take 15th to Independence, then a right on L'Enfant Promenade to my office (at the glass pyramid). 12th St. is the turn right before the promenade. Independence certainly has some traffic, but it's a short distance and drivers don't seem to mind (more than usual anyway).

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    Quote Originally Posted by benbhsu View Post
    I commute to L'Enfant (from Pentagon City) and usually take 15th to Independence, then a right on L'Enfant Promenade to my office (at the glass pyramid). 12th St. is the turn right before the promenade. Independence certainly has some traffic, but it's a short distance and drivers don't seem to mind (more than usual anyway).
    Thanks for posting. Where do you get on 15th Street, and are you riding to the east of the Jefferson Memorial and taking the sidewalk along Maine?

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