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Thread: Biking to the Pentagon?

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    Default Biking to the Pentagon?

    Hi,
    been posted to the Pentagon and looking to find a place in the Arlington area, - probably around Pentagon City or Crystal City. Is it possible (and safe) to ride a bike to and from? Are there any specific bike lanes to the Pentagon?
    Thanks in advance.

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    lordofthemark is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreakofNature View Post
    Hi,
    been posted to the Pentagon and looking to find a place in the Arlington area, - probably around Pentagon City or Crystal City. Is it possible (and safe) to ride a bike to and from? Are there any specific bike lanes to the Pentagon?
    Thanks in advance.
    I don't want to overemphasize how safe it is because I have friends advocating to make that area better, and I hate to undercut them in any way.

    But. Lots of people bike to the Pentagon. Lots who do not work at the Pentagon bike on the Pentagon reservation, because it's one of the best ways to get from that part of Arlington to DC (and vice versa)

    The Pentagon reservation is almost adjacent to the Mount Vernon Trail (via a short side path, a little bridge, and then the road on the Pentagon reservation itself) The MVT connects to Rosslyn (in North Arlington) to Crystal City, and Old Town Alexandria, and, via the Four Mile Run Trail, to the southern edge of Arlington. It also connects to several bridges into DC.

    There is also a trail that extends from the 9/11 memorial next to the Pentagon up to Rosslyn via a slightly different route.

    You can access the Pentagon from due south, from Crystal City, via Long Bridge Drive. It has bike lanes a good part of the way, and will get improvements soon.

    Another way in from due south, from Pentagon City, is via Fern Street. No bike lanes, but it's usually not bad for a confident rider (though I only ride it off peak) It connects to various streets with bike lanes of varying quality (which is why my friends are pushing for improvements) Some of the bike routes are currently disrupted by construction of the new Amazon HQ2, I understand.

    There are also bike commuter coffee clubs - one in Crystal City and one in Pentagon City. I haven't been to either in over a year, because COVID, but I am sure someone will chime in to give the current details.

    Biking between CC or PC and the Pentagon is definitely a good idea - though if you don't mind a longer ride, there also options in the rest of Arlington, in Alexandria, even in Fairfax county that are quite bikeable (you could also ride in from DC, but the closer parts of DC tend to be more expensive than Arlington)

    One caveat - usually for a ride that short CaBi, our local bikeshare system, would be a good option. But there is NO CaBi station at the Pentagon.

    Personally my commute (which I intend to get back to after my second vaccine shot) is on the Mount Vernon Trail. But on days when we have coffee club in Pentagon City, I would ride Long Bridge Drive to Boundary Channel (on the Pentagon Reservation) to the Mount Vernon Trail, to DC. Note, in my experience the drivers around the Pentagon are the most careful and least reckless in the greater DC region.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 04-26-2021 at 01:10 PM.

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    An advantage of biking to the Pentagon is that your housing options increase by a few miles, and may drop in cost. Some non-metro neighborhoods in Alexandria and Arlington are cake-walks (cake-rides?) on a bike, and the trails are generally cleared in the winter.

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    I used to bike commute from Springfield to the Pentagon. The bike paths in Arlington and Alexandria are pretty good. There are several popular trails and paths leading to the Pentagon.

    The logistics need to be thought through. A lot of bike commuters park near the PAC and enter there, take a shower, then go to their office. I parked my bike on the racks by the corridor 2 entrance, walked to my office to get my clothes, then walked to the PAC and took a shower. I kept my work clothes in my office and used the dry cleaner in the building.

    If you wind up living in Pentagon City or Crystal City, you could probably walk or run to work.

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    Hope it's not too late, but I am not the best about seeing and responding to new threads.

    Biking to Pentagon is by far the best way to get there - You can get to pretty much any residential neighborhood within ten miles using only bike trails and neighborhood streets. There's plenty of bike racks at pretty much all the entrances, and they're much closer to the entrances than any parking you'll get, unless you're a flag officer, and maybe not even then. Downside is that none of it is covered (or wasn't as of 3-4 years ago). The Pentagon Athletic Club is a great place to shower up if you have a long ride, but you do have to pay to be a member unlike most base facilities. You can enter directly into the PAC from north parking or take any entrance and walk through the Pentagon to get there.

    There are easy bike connections to/from the Pentagon in all directions:
    To the north and east, there's a path from north parking through LBJ grove then through the marina and under the GW parkway -- connects to the Mount Vernon Trail. At that point, you're quite close to the 14th St bridge into DC if you want to go into the city. MVT can take you north to Rosslyn and then the Custis Trail heading west along I-66 (most North Arlington neighborhoods... then eventually connects to the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) trail that heads further west through Falls Church and on to Vienna).

    MVT can also take you south-- You can go via the LBJ grove path mentioned above or cut also through Crystal City to catch the MVT further south, (near 18th street). MVT southbound connects to Alexandria and also the 4 mile run trail (4MR) that connects you to most of the South Arlington neighborhoods (and eventually the W&OD again).

    For shorter distances... To the south into Crystal City/Pentagon City just head south on Eads, which has a bike lane (protected by parking lane much of the way). Connect to local western neighborhoods by climbing the hill past the child development center on Columbia Pike and then up Southgate and through Fort Myer (not a problem with a pentagon badge). This spits you out on second street and easy access to Penrose, Arlington Heights, Alcova Heights (my namesake), and Barcroft neighborhoods. Can also exit Fort Myer near the Iwo Jima Memorial for an alternate path into Rosslyn.

    If you decide to live further out, you could also ride to/from a metro station, leave the bike there, and then metro into the pentagon. Many, many buses go to the pentagon, so you can do the same with bus commutes (most/all WMATA and local buses have a rack for 2 bikes on the front of the bus).

    Don't believe any bike map that tells you the route 50 bike trail is a reasonable route. It's a trap. Unpleasant and dangerous.

    Hope this helps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcova cyclist View Post
    The Pentagon Athletic Club is a great place to shower up if you have a long ride, but you do have to pay to be a member unlike most base facilities. You can enter directly into the PAC from north parking or take any entrance and walk through the Pentagon to get there.
    Minor clarification - As of a year or two ago, the PAC is now free, at least for active duty and government civilians. There are also several large bike racks right outside the PAC that are convenient but actually get pretty full. One advantage to parking your bike at the PAC is that it is inside the guards, and would probably be very secure. When I worked at the Pentagon, I parked my bike at the corridor 2 entrance, which was outside the guards. My bike never got stolen, but it was a minor concern.

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