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I've ridden this a couple times on weekend rides as well as on a trip from work to Arlington Cinema and Draft House to see Chasing Legends a few weeks ago. I agree with you, Washcycle, the suggested changes do look like a good improvement.

Looks good-- the construction will screw up Rush Hour traffic, but that's the price to pay, eh?

I guess this might induce me to ride there more often. I've only ridden by that spot once, last January. That also happened to be where I had my only somewhat bad bike accident this year, mostly because of my stupidity.

It was cold out so I was wearing long tights and other winter gear. I was riding the mountain bike. Some guy was walking along the narrow sidewalk, heading westbound. He had a small cart behind him with a banker's box. I got frustrated because he was moving so slowly. I suppose I could have ridden on the grass and passed him but I was still getting used to the mtn. bike. Thus, I decided to turn onto the road (Columbia Pike, I assume). I passed the guy and then turned to go back onto the sidewalk, just before the bridge. There's no curb cut there so I tried to hop the curb. Since I hadn't practiced bunnyhops before, that didn't go so well. My front tire rammed straight into the curb, sending me off the bike. My right knee slammed straight into the sidewalk. Ouch. It swelled up about an inch. Fortunately I didn't break anything but I still have a rectangular scar on my knee.

Anyway, that's what I thought of when I read this post. Not a big fan of Columbia Pike and that sidewalk, even though I really didn't need to do what I did in January.

This interchange along Columbia Pike is a critical gateway in South Arlington, and this project is supposed to accommodate bicycling both on and off (sidepath and sidewalk on opposite sides) of the roadway. Unfortunately, the installation of well-designed bike lanes is greatly complicated by the various right-turn vehicle movements to access the Rte 27 freeway, especially along eastbound Columbia Pike.

Currently, Columbia Pike at S. Quinn St allows right turns onto Rte 27 and I-395 from *both* eastbound lanes during the morning peak, but this right-turn movement is only allowed from the cub lane at all other times. This changing pattern is confusing to motorists and on-road bicyclists, precludes the installation of a bike lane at this location, and requires on-road bicyclists to control the left (inside) lane during the morning peak.

If I recall correctly, this reconstruction project will not significantly change this situation, although better electronic signs may be used to display the currently allowed turning movements.

An eastbound bike lane is also contraindicated in the underpass itself due to a right exit ramp to westbound Rte 27 at the east end of the underpass.

Westbound from S. Orme St (beside the Sheraton National Hotel), a bike lane (or sharrows) should be located to the left of the right-most lane which will be a mandatory entrance to westbound Rte 27.

Fortunately, the proposed Columbia Pike streetcar would operate in the median of the roadway through the project area, so on-road bicyclists will never have to contend with parallel rail tracks along this segment of roadway.

Arlington's bicycle and pedestrian staff and interested citizens will hopefully be able to review and comment on a more detailed design before construction begins.

Does anyone know how wide the lanes are currently along Colombia Pike? I ride the section along Colombia Pike from Walter Reed to Rolfe St., to and from work. I have been riding in the right lane, but not always far to the right because the abundance of potholes and other road traps on the right side, and because the lanes appear to be smaller than 14 ft. So sometimes it necessary to be in the middle. However, today I was honked at by an ART bus, who waived at me to get out of the way. I really had no where else to go, though, and felt harassed by the bus driver. It seems too dangerous to ride in the little white strip on the right side of the road (there is very little room for error), but it seems like drivers expect you to squish into a 1ft. space. My bike is old and not easy to control. Any suggestions on how I can better navigate this route?

I used to ride this section regularly. I wish 12th were an option, but it really isn't. Nor is riding to the right of the white line. My advice is to take the whole lane. If a bus driver honks at you, get his or her plate and report them.

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