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Despite the support for cycling demonstrated by Secretary of Transportation LaHood, federal facilities often treat cycling as a nuisance to be avoided. As near as I can tell, all Dept. of Defense facilities have mandatory helmet rules, which are usually out of step with local laws.

Big deal. If you ride a motorcycle,you also have pass an MSF course,wear helmet/gloves/long sleeves/pants/obver the ankle shoes,and use a reflective vest. Bicyclists have it pretty easy.

Bolling does have a gym with showers.

You're not going to get all of the shoreline, either. There's a marina and Coast Guard facility along the water on base.

Anyone that thinks that JBAB can or should open up the shoreline to the public and force the military residents to contend with the kind of crime that exists outside the base is nuts.

I'm sure that's exactly what will happen. Criminals who live in SE are pressing up against the fence like the zombies in Day of the Dead, itching for a chance to mess with people who are likely armed, know how to use those weapons, and aren't afraid to do so. And, do we really need to debunk the "trails bring crime" myth again?

We certainly need to debunk the "JBAB residents are armed" myth. Residents aren't permitted to keep firearms in their homes on the base. There are gates on JBAB for a reason - to keep people out that don't have business on the base. The benefits to the public of having access to the waterfront would be far outweighed by the loss of security for the residents, and to a much lesser degree, the employees on the base. When we lived on base, we were thrilled that our kids could come and go, bike and walk to the pool, basically "roam the neigbhorhood" and the base, without fear of them being robbed, raped, or the victim of a drive by shooting. Why take that away from families on the base? Everything the city of DC touches turns to crap - why ruin the one bright spot on that side of town?

We certainly need to debunk the "JBAB residents are armed" myth.

So, you're worried about crime and you want to debunk that myth? I'd want everyone to think the base was the residence by Seal Team 6.

The benefits to the public of having access to the waterfront would be far outweighed by the loss of security for the residents, and to a much lesser degree, the employees on the base.

I disagree. Navy Yard opened their waterfront, Fort Myer allows anyone with ID to access their base (and there are residences on base), at Old Soldier's home, I don't even think you need to show ID, I've played golf at Fort Meade on several occasions etc...And I don't know of any cases of crime causes by non-base personel.

When we lived on base, we were thrilled that our kids could come and go, bike and walk to the pool, basically "roam the neigbhorhood"[sic] and the base, without fear of them being robbed, raped, or the victim of a drive by shooting. Why take that away from families on the base?

First of all, I don't think this would. It's a trail, so there won't be any drive-by shootings. Like I said, other such accommodations have not led to widespread crime. They'd just be moving the perimeter, not removing it.

Second of all, I bet it was nice. We'd all love to live in a gated community with our own exclusive waterfront paid for by taxpayers. But the question is, is this the best use of such a resource? Or would it be better if more people could use it. Trails don't bring crime.

Everything the city of DC touches turns to crap - why ruin the one bright spot on that side of town?

And so it comes out. DC's nicest areas shouldn't be for DC residents, but set aside for a special class of outsiders. Your whole comment is in direct contrast to the image of the military as courageous individuals willing to sacrifice for others. I guess "others" in your case doesn't include poor black people. And you kinda sound like a wuss frankly. "I'm scared of strangers walking by on a path" is not exactly being all you can be, is it?

As for everything turning to crap, despite the obvious hyperbole, you make an excellent point. DC's prisons are almost as bad as Abu Ghraib. The water is so dirty that it's almost as bad as having Agent Orange in it. The government is so wasteful that it's almost as bad as the F-35 (or any of 10,000 other Pentagon procurement programs). The snow removal is almost as poorly planned as the Army Corps of Engineer's levees in New Orleans. The "fully-loaded" scandal is almost as bad as the military's history of secret human experimentation on its own citizens and soldiers*. If only DC were run with the efficiency, ethics and quality demonstrated by the U.S. military who never turns anything to crap. I say this all as an Army brat - not to criticize the military so much as to say "glass houses".


*I could list more.

It's a federal installation, not city property. And yes, it should absolutely be reserved for the people that live or have business there. I'm a taxpayer too, but I don't have the right to walk onto the White House grounds on the premise that "I pay for it, so I should have access to it".

You want to open it up? No problem - make every walker go through the same process that pedestrians coming in the front gate have to go through. Show an ID that provides proof that you have a reason to be there. And since workers on the base have to go through a background check, either put that in place (impractical), or make every "trail walker" undergo a thorough search of any bags they are bringing with them.

There's a reason it's a "gated community" - it's a military base, not a public park. DC should have to prove it can protect it's own citizens from the local criminal element before they start inflicting that element on military families. We've been here 11 years, and in all that time, I've never met a single military member that volunteered to work in DC - like us, they were told to come here, and so they did. We lived on Bolling for six years, and made the best of it - kept out kids out of the crappy public schools, and only went into DC for basketball/hockey games and to see the monuments/museums/federal landmarks. The one nice thing about living there was having a nice place to call home...that should continue for other military families, rather than simply providing DC residents with another piece of waterfront for dumping bodies.

, it should absolutely be reserved for the people that live or have business there.

Why?

You want to open it up? No problem - make every walker go through the same process that pedestrians coming in the front gate have to go through. Show an ID that provides proof that you have a reason to be there. And since workers on the base have to go through a background check, either put that in place (impractical), or make every "trail walker" undergo a thorough search of any bags they are bringing with them.

I know that you support the status quo. Why? The Navy Yard doesn't do this. Why should Bolling be different.

It's a federal installation, not city property.

Same can be said for the Lincoln Memorial, Ft. Myer or the Navy Yard.

I'm a taxpayer too, but I don't have the right to walk onto the White House grounds on the premise that "I pay for it, so I should have access to it".

And you believe that JBAB requires the same level of security as the White House? Even though what it does is mostly ceremonial support?

There's a reason it's a "gated community" - it's a military base, not a public park.

So is Ft. Myer and the Navy Yard

DC should have to prove it can protect it's own citizens from the local criminal element before they start inflicting that element on military families.

Again, do you really think that opening up the waterfront to walkers and cyclists is going to cause crime to flood onto an active military base? Do you not understand how crime works (as in, not like that)? If so, why hasn't crime ticked up at the Navy Yard?

We've been here 11 years, and in all that time, I've never met a single military member that volunteered to work in DC - like us, they were told to come here, and so they did. We lived on Bolling for six years, and made the best of it - kept out kids out of the crappy public schools, and only went into DC for basketball/hockey games and to see the monuments/museums/federal landmarks.

Well then, I would argue that you really haven't lived here at all. That's sad, because DC really is one of the world's great cities.

The one nice thing about living there was having a nice place to call home...that should continue for other military families, rather than simply providing DC residents with another piece of waterfront for dumping bodies.

You do know that Bolling is in DC, not an episode of the Sopranos right? Nothing will happen to the homes people live in. The perimeter would be moved in 20 feet from the water's edge, a few hundred people would enjoy part of the city - their city, clearly not yours - that they aren't now able to and otherwise everything will continue as normal. What a world class scardy-cat you are. Seriously, man up.

If you're under the impression that JBAB conducts mostly ceremonial duties, then you obviously have no idea who the largest tenant organization on JBAB is. I recommend you do your homework before you continue to discuss things about which you obviously know nothing.

DC one of the world's great cities? That's a laugh. With some exceptions, it's a crime ridden cesspool. And the citizens aren't interested in improving it, evidenced by the fact that they got rid of a mayor that wanted to make the city better.

The base doesn't belong to the city, you do understand that, right? The people that live there have every right to want to keep it to themselves and keep it livable. DC has enough housing projects, no need to try to create another one.

As for manning up, get back to me when you've served in the military, and we'll talk. Until then, you're just another DC leach to bring base residents and employees down to the level of DC residents.

If you're under the impression that JBAB conducts mostly ceremonial duties, then you obviously have no idea who the largest tenant organization on JBAB is.

That's straight from JBAB's website.

The base doesn't belong to the city, you do understand that, right?

Depends on how you define "belong". It's in the city, but the city doesn't own the land. DC laws apply on base though, and DC law enforcement can enter the base to enforce the law.

The people that live there have every right to want to keep it to themselves and keep it livable.

True. People have the right to be selfish. [And you do know that the personnel on the base don't own the land, right?] But since the government owns the land, it is natural for them to ask how the land can best be utilized to serve the people the government represents. If they can open up the waterfront trail - thus providing a benefit - without decreasing security - at no cost, it stands to reason that this is what they should do.

Your broad generalizations clearly come from a sad and ignorant place, so I'm done with you.

I wasn't in the military but I was in the Peace Corps, and it's clear to me that you wouldn't last a week in a small village in Central Africa. If American dog walkers scare the bejeezus out of you, you wouldn't be able to handle it. It's not like you've served in combat or anything.

Look up Defense Intelligence Analysis Center...5000+ employees, and anything but ceremonial.

I'm not sure how you see it as selfish for people to want to preserve a high quality of life...why should they have to sacrifice that?

The land is best utilized by keeping it available for the people that live there - it's bad enough they have to be here in the first place, must they also bring their quality of life down to the rest of Ward 8 just to make the DC Council feel better?

And it isn't the dog walker or cyclists that will be the problem - it will be the DC criminals that will have the same access as the dog walkers and the cyclists. The path is just across the street from family housing. If the goal is to get everyone to move off base, this would be a great first step.

Selfish - Holding one’s self-interest as the standard for decision making.

If DC is such an awful place to live, why are homes so expensive? Doesn't that indicate high demand? You no longer live behind the security perimeter, how many times have you been robbed, murdered, raped or dumped into a river?

Again, criminals will not use this trail to access the homes on the military base. No one's quality of life will be changed except for those people who can now enjoy the waterfront, but before could not.

You really need to learn to get over your irrational fears. Perhaps a psychiatrist can help you.

How are the housing values in Ward 8? All I saw when I drove from Bolling to Ft. McNair for 6 years were housing projects. Has gentrification reached Ward 8 yet? I bet not.

I haven't been robbed, raped or dumped in the river because once I retired, we moved out of DC into VA.

There is nothing selfish about wanting to maintain a good quality of life and security for one's family. Who in their right mind would welcome drug dealers, pimps and whores into their neigbhorhoods with open arms? Would you?

There is nothing that keeps DC citizens from enjoying the waterfront - JBAB doesn't have the only waterfront in the city. You've touted the Navy Yard (which strictly limits access times and entry points) - let the locals go there to get their waterfix. No need to take amenities away from military families.

BTW, a bike trail (open to the public without ID check) runs through Camp Pendleton in California, and the trail we're discussing was open until 1999 when the new base commander decided it posed a "security risk" even though there had been no events to trigger such a fear. The Air Station followed some time after that.

Prior to 1999 - when crime was much more of problem - there had been no murders or rapes on the base perpetrated by people using the trail.

For a rational person, this would cause them to reconsider their position on the safety of the trail. But I realize you're a man consumed by your fear of black people, so that won't work on you.

http://www.ohbike.org/bikesbelong/bolling/index.htm

Ward 8? Housing values are up and crime is down.

You live in VA but you drive through DC to get to JBAB right? And still no drive-by shootings? How can that even be. Ward 8 is SOOOO dangerous. You must pee your pants every time you drive to work.

First, I'm not a man, I'm a woman. Women can serve in the military too, welcome to the 21st century!

Second, were the areas around Camp Pendleton as nasty and crime ridden as the areas around JBAB? No on in their right mind would leave the base and wander the streets outside JBAB after dark. Yet, you see no problem with letting that same criminal element into JBAB and giving them access to military housing areas. Why is that? Military families sacrifice enough - now you want them to sacrifice their personal security so that people can have yet another place to walk their dog along the waterfront? Why is the safety and peace of mind of military families less important, in your mind, than the supposed right of locals to access a federal installation?

Nah, I stay on I-295. I don't have to interact with the locals that way. Just go to the base, do my job and go home. And I make it point not to spend a dime in the city. Excepting the federal areas, the whole city could rot away for all I care.

Why is the safety and peace of mind of military families less important, in your mind, than the supposed right of locals to access a federal installation?

It isn't. But you have not convinced me that the safety of military families is at risk. It wasn't prior to 1999, why would it be now?

My point is that their is a benefit - that's pretty self evident. And I see no cost. Criminals are not interested in messing around on the base. Too risky. The trail can be closed at dark (which happens in many places). Security cameras can be used (as is done at Navy Yard).

Why do you think it's reasonable to take a large chunk of DC's riverfront and reserve it for a handful of people? Why not all of the riverfront? Why not make the mall a military base and reserve it for only flag officers? Don't they deserve a nice lifestyle?

Excepting the federal areas, the whole city could rot away for all I care.

And you've been a lovely neighbor.

It's reasonable because that piece of the waterfront doesn't belong to DC, it belongs to the federal government. Now, you may not like it, but that's the way it is. As such, the federal government, in this case, the Navy, has every right to say "No - we're not going to open this up to public access". They don't owe you or me or the DC City Council anything other than that, period.

If DC wants it so badly, why don't they offer market price for that strip of land? Right...just like everything with DC government, they just want a freebie, handed over from someone else.

You see no cost because you don't live there. Let's see, we'll let the city have the river trail...then they'll want the parks and the pavillions. And while we're at it, let's allow them to shop in the commissary and the BX. Oh, and the Starbucks, that should be free public access as well. And the gas station.

If you want to access the river trail on JBAB, then join the military or get a job there.

As such, the federal government, in this case, the Navy, has every right to say "No - we're not going to open this up to public access".

And they have every right to say "Yes". I want them to say yes.

You see no cost because you don't live there.

I see no costs, because there are none. You're afraid of something that won't happen.

Yes, they have every right to say "yes", however, as the installation commander has the responsibility to do his/her best to ensure the safety of residents and employees, I have every confidence that the answer will continue to be "No".

The citizens of DC have nothing to gain by bringing the quality of life on JBAB down to the sorry level of the surrounding area.

The citizens of DC have nothing to gain by bringing the quality of life on JBAB down to the sorry level of the surrounding area.

Well, we couldn't have made DC what it is today without your complete lack of interest and absolute dedication to give us the finger at every possible turn. Your selfless dedication to not contributing to our community has made all the difference. When you look at across 295 you can say to yourself with pride - I didn't take the time to give a shit about anyone but myself and my family.

You're right, my family is my number one priority, and I'm proud to say that. Are you saying that I should really care more about other people's kids than I do my own? That's quite odd.

BTW, are you actually trying to deny that the area surrounding JBAB is a mess? Seriously?

It's not a mess. It is not without problems, but it is not a "cesspool" or any of the other terms you use to describe it. I bike through those neighborhoods by myself all the time. People either keep to themselves or are very friendly.

Are you trying to claim that you know anything about Ward 8? You only go to see hockey games or to the Mall, what would you know about Ward 8? You've clearly heard a lot of rumors and you've let them get the better of you, but clearly you don't know anything about Ward 8.

Or DC, you find it very convenient to switch from generalizing about DC - where no one wants to live - and then to Ward 8 (when housing prices come up) and then back again.

Clearly, you don't want to live here. And you don't care about the people who do. You see no value in them - they are just objects to fear. So naturally you wouldn't care about something that would help them while costing you nothing.

I'm not accusing you of putting your family first, I'm accusing you of putting no one second.

You live in VA but you drive through DC to get to JBAB right? And still no drive-by shootings? How can that even be. Ward 8 is SOOOO dangerous. You must pee your pants every time you drive to work.

A friend, retired military enlisted, was in a guard unit deployed to Iraq. He is physically active and used to bike or jog from the Metro to JBAB. He was shot at more times in his commute from Metro to the base than in his six month deployment. After a fairly close call he stopped biking to work. He now drives into JBAB with the rest of the people who are worried about going out into DC, or in CommutesToJBAB's case, worried the problems in SE DC will start coming on Base.

These are personal stories, not statistics, everyone's opinion is different.

I've done a lot of work at NRL. I've biked from my home to there and I've never been shot at. I know a few others who make the same trip daily - also not shot at.

Lord is CommutestoJBAB an embarrassment to military families everywhere.

Rolled right past JBAB twice last week, and didn't even have to use my AK. So I guess it was a good day?

My husband and I live on JBAB and even though we are not stationed on this base, we chose to live here because the proximity to DC and the strict security on the base. 
My first time cycling just a few months after moving, I rode to Alexandria to pick up my car from the shop. I mapped out my course which involved traveling thru Oxon Hill park and over the WW bridge. It was a lovely spring weekday afternoon at around 2:00 pm... I did not for see this as being an unsafe time to travel. First, right along the bay of water, I came across two homeless men wheeling their belongings. When I passed them, I smiled and said "hello". In return, one man lunged at me forcing me to take my skinny tires thru the grass. Already spooked, I continued past the grassy field to the wooded uphill. I saw two bikes and two people on the side of the path. My first thought was that one of them was injured, but as I came closer, I saw a fully clothed older black man over a nude, young white woman who was positioned on all fours. He was violently fingering her. I didn't stop, I didn't ask questions, and I had obviously surprised the man. When I felt I was at a safe distance away, I found two security officers at National Harbor and notified them of the incident. I have not and I do not wish to ever return through that park alone again. The only reason I still feel safe where we live is knowing that these people will remain on the other side of the gate. 
Second, regarding the path on JBAB along the Potomac River, I find it very difficult to ride my bike along it any time after 3 pm. It is heavily congested with runners, families with strollers, and kids. I do not feel it could handle additional traffic. 
Finally, although the Bolling side of JBAB may be primarily ceremonial, the base also holds important units such as the Defense Intelligence Agency, the White House Communications Agency, and HMX-1 - the President's Helicopters. When you allow just anyone to travel through the base, it becomes more difficult and more expensive to restrict others from these highly secure areas. Other bases may be able to allow others onto their premises because they aren't housing such restricted agencies as JBAB. 

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