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Thread: Route question: how to get across Roosevelt bridge, DC to Rosslyn

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    Question Route question: how to get across Roosevelt bridge, DC to Rosslyn

    I have a reverse commute tomorrow, from Farragut West, down the National Mall, to Ballston, ideally across Roosevelt Bridge to I-66 bike trail. Is there a way onto Roosevelt bridge from DC (near the automobile E Street/I-66 westbound ramp?) and from the bridge onto the bike trail? Or do I have to detour down to the Memorial Bridge and all the way back north to Rosslyn? If the latter, how do I find the I-66 trail in Rosslyn from the Mt Vernon Trail? Never tried this before.

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    The easiest way to access the Roosevelt bridge from the east is by the Kennedy Center off Virginia Ave. I'm not sure of the streets south of K (as I normally take M), but I would suggest that you take G west to Virginia and go around the funky circle and take New Hampshire south in front of the Kennedy Center. The sidewalk on the left side becomes the sidewalk across the Roosevelt bridge. On the other side, where the trail comes in from the right, go straight on the northbound Mount Vernon trail. After going by the parking lot at Roosevelt Island, go over the bridge over the parkway and this continues straight as the Custis Trail by the infamous Lee/Lynn St. intersection. Be careful here and scads of threads on this forum would suggest.

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    As Dismal said, it's a piece of cake. Go straight when you come down the trail off the Roosevelt Bridge (watch for bikes merging from your right - they have a stop sign but it's easy to forget and easy to miss bikes coming from your direction). Follow that trail to the bridge over the parkway, carefully cross the Intersection of Doom, then the sidewalk, then trail again, and you're on the Custis.

    Once you've done that, an alternate to the Custis Trail that's not as hilly is to take the sidewalk straight after you cross I-66, following Lee Highway, and then turning left at Veitch St. and right on Wilson Blvd., taking the bike lane from there to Fairfax Drive and into Ballston. That's one of my routes home and I think Dismal uses it too.

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    This is part of my regular commute home:
    http://goo.gl/maps/q2iK3

    I cross Virginia Ave at the zebra crossing and ride on the sidewalk for a little bit after crossing. You could also just turn right proper onto Virginia and go through the funky circle to make the left on the road towards the Kennedy Center.

    Another variation is to use I St NW and then left on New Hampshire, but you have to go through Foggy Bottom metro. I used to do this but I prefer 21st and G now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    Once you've done that, an alternate to the Custis Trail that's not as hilly is to take the sidewalk straight after you cross I-66, following Lee Highway, and then turning left at Veitch St. and right on Wilson Blvd., taking the bike lane from there to Fairfax Drive and into Ballston.
    To avoid the traffic on Wilson, I turn right on Key Blvd from Veitch and left on Highland to Clarendon. Key is a quiet residential street, while Wilson is an arterial with bike lanes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aljones View Post
    I have a reverse commute tomorrow, from Farragut West, down the National Mall, to Ballston, ideally across Roosevelt Bridge to I-66 bike trail. Is there a way onto Roosevelt bridge from DC (near the automobile E Street/I-66 westbound ramp?) and from the bridge onto the bike trail? Or do I have to detour down to the Memorial Bridge and all the way back north to Rosslyn? If the latter, how do I find the I-66 trail in Rosslyn from the Mt Vernon Trail? Never tried this before.
    So I saw your other post first, asking from Capitol Hill to Ballston, and posted the following in the other thread:
    You have lots of options, depending on what you like (hills v. fewer; trails v. roads) and exactly where you're going. The rough answer I'd give you is this:

    1) Most on-trail: get to the 14th St Bridge (entrance is near the Jefferson Memorial, how you get there depends on where on Cap Hill you're coming from), take the Mount Vernon Trail (turn left after the bridge) to Rosslyn, stop at the pit stop then continue on the Custis Trail to Ballston (or to Quincy, which has bike lanes and will get you to the eastern end of Ballston).

    2) Most on-street (and I think "flattest", though there's a big hill): get to the Memorial Bridge then to the Iwa Jima. Take a right on N Meade St, then left on the Arlington Blvd access road (the temporary light, where turning right would put you on 50). Take a right at the 4 way stop onto Rhodes, and a left at the next 4 way stop onto 14th street. Go up the big hill. Stay on 14th until you wrap around to Wilson. Left on Wilson. From you can stay on Wilson or take Fairfax, depending on where you're going.

    3) Other bridge: get to the White House. Take Virginia Ave towards the Kennedy Center ( you can go under 23rd st). Turn left either onto the sidewalk after 24th st, or at the light with New Hampshire -- either way you're headed to the KC. Take the path along the Roosevelt Bridge -- either stay on the sidewalk across from the KC, or if you're on street, turn left where cars can turn left onto 66, and get on the sidewalk there. That path puts you on the MVT, which takes you up into Rosslyn. See #1.

    Oh, and welcome! It's a nice commute, especially on the way home (downhill)
    #2 let's you avoid the North part of Rosslyn (because of the cemetery, you can't go in a straight line from cap hill to Ballston), which is the straightest and probably the flattest. Tomorrow, however, you'll want to go through Rosslyn because the pit stop at Gateway park (you'll see it from Lee and Lynn) will be awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    So I saw your other post first, asking from Capitol Hill to Ballston, and posted the following in the other thread:


    #2 let's you avoid the North part of Rosslyn (because of the cemetery, you can't go in a straight line from cap hill to Ballston), which is the straightest and probably the flattest. Tomorrow, however, you'll want to go through Rosslyn because the pit stop at Gateway park (you'll see it from Lee and Lynn) will be awesome.
    If you're coming from Farragut, Roosevelt Bridge --> Rosslyn (#3 above) isn't much of a detour. Even more direct would be to take K --> Penn --> M --> Key Bridge, and through Rosslyn. That's way more trafficy, and depends on your comfort level. People do it every day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    To avoid the traffic on Wilson, I turn right on Key Blvd from Veitch and left on Highland to Clarendon. Key is a quiet residential street, while Wilson is an arterial with bike lanes.
    I do that too sometimes, but I didn't want to give aljones too much information at once.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    To avoid the traffic on Wilson, I turn right on Key Blvd from Veitch and left on Highland to Clarendon. Key is a quiet residential street, while Wilson is an arterial with bike lanes.
    I'll turn right earlier on Rhodes St and then left at Key Blvd to miss the congestion at the top of Courthouse hill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by consularrider View Post
    I'll turn right earlier on Rhodes St and then left at Key Blvd to miss the congestion at the top of Courthouse hill.
    As a point of clarification for the OP, this is an alternative if you are starting out of Rosslyn on Wilson rather than starting out of Rosslyn on the Custis trail.

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