My great-grandfather, John Ashton Garrett, the “boy mayor” of Glen Echo, apparently went to the mat against the State Department defending one of his marshals, Charles P. Collins, who had the habit of firing his revolver (however inaccurately) in the direction of speeders unwilling to obey his orders, shouted from a moving bicycle, to stop.
This is back when the speed limit on MacArthur Avenue was 6 miles per hour. Later it went up to 12. You have to think that cops probably tended to side with cyclists back when they all rode bikes.
Arlington, VA. The Arlington Historical Society (AHS) will host historian Ron Beavers for a fascinating talk about a little-used railroad – the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad – that once ran through Arlington County but is today one of the Washington area’s most popular bike trails. Learn what caused this transformation – from an underachieving rail line to a major contributor to the Union war effort – and what became of this railroad after the Civil War. The presentation will be held at the society’s public program on Thursday, November 14, 2013.
Though now a beloved path for both commuters and recreationalists from Arlington to Loudoun County, the original plan for the AL&H was impressive. Entrepreneurial Virginians hopes to compete with the B&O Railroad for the rich coal fields of what is now West Virginia. But engineering difficulties and financial struggles impeded these plans, reducing the rail line to a local carrier for freight, mail and people just before the Civil War. When the war came, the western portion of this railroad suffered complete destruction. The eastern facilities (Alexandria and Arlington) fared much better. Their contribution to the Union war effort was crucial to success in the Eastern Theater of Military operations. Ownership returned to AL&H directors after the war, but their original plan to reach West Virginia never came to fruition. The rail line went through many reorganizations and mergers, yet continued to serve Arlington and Northern Virginia until the 1960s. Last known as the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad, it ultimately became a 44 mile-long park that we now call the W&OD hiker/biker trail.
Beavers last spoke before the Arlington Historical Society in March 2013 about Arlington County’s retrocession to Virginia in 1847. It was a very well-received and well-attended presentation, with more than 100 people present. Beavers is a seventh-generation Virginian and retired federal employee with a life-long interest in history and railroads. He is a re-enactor, living historian, and speaker at numerous Civil War Living History events, Civil War Round Tables, civic associations and historical societies. Beavers is also a volunteer at Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
The hour-long program will begin at 7:00 p.m. at Arlington Central Library Auditorium (1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA). A question-and-answer session will follow. The program is free and open to the public. For more information about this program, please contact Garrett Peck at 571-243-1113 or [email protected]. For additional Central Library information, please contact 703-228-5990.
About AHS: The Arlington Historical Society, founded in 1956, is a non-profit organization under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The AHS mission is to help Arlingtonians better understand our community through its history. For more information, please visit www.arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org.
A hearty bon voyage to DDOT's Chris Holben who has been the Project Manager for Capital Bikeshare since the get-go. He and his family are moving on to other opporunities and it is DC's loss. One can only hope that the future will allow him to pursue more acting in low-budget commericial videos. The man has a gift.
If you're wondering about the building going up along the Met Branch Trail at V Street, it's the Carlos Rosario School, a three story public charter school focusing on workforce development. The construction project is scheduled to be completed in mid-August.
University of Maryland students who hand in their commuter parking permits to DOTS can now receive a free bike and a refund worth 25 percent of the permit’s initial cost."The percentage of faculty, staff and students without commuter parking permits has grown to nearly 60 percent — up from less than 20 percent in 2005 — and DOTS officials are hoping to reduce the number even more. DOTS will give a brand-new, $200 Fuji hybrid bike along with a helmet, lights and U-lock to students who pledge to turn in their parking registration and agree to become ineligible for parking during the next academic year...“I want to get more people who don’t bike or who don’t bike regularly to consider it as a transport option,” Malone said. “People have already inquired. … We have 20 bikes, so this is available while supplies last.”Interested students must also take a 30-minute bike safety class with Michael Levengood, bikeUMD bicycle coordinator."
Canal Place in Cumberland is trying to establish a trailhead for the Great Allegheny Passage at the eastern edge of the Western Maryland Railway Station. “We are at mile zero for the towpath. We’re the midway point between Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh. We need a nice trailhead,” The trailhead will include new signs, disabled access, two shelters, bike racks and benches. Ritchie has secured a meeting with CSX officials to try to establish an easement or memorandum of understanding that would allow Canal Place to utilize the railroad bridge that is currently off limits.
Easter was historically a big day for biking. (And, it appears they used the Examiner trick of mismatching the picture with the headline, In this case "Natives Shot Like Dogs")
Neighbors are worried about how kids will access the new Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex in Fort Washington. One key connection might be the Henson Creek Trail. The trail will go under the new Bock Road bridge, which is under construction and is being raised six-feet to accommodate hiking and biking on the trail underneath.
"The findings from this paper indicate that while bicycle helmet laws are widespread and thought to be effective, the net effect of these laws on health outcomes is actually not straightforward. It is clear that there are offsetting behaviors and unintended consequences of these laws, and these effects need to be considered by policymakers."
One possible effect of driverless (and thus mistake-free and crash-free, so the theory goes) cars might be Driverless cars will increase the appeal of walking and biking. I think we're much farther from driverless cars than perhaps the cheerleaders think we are, but it's interesting to conisder how much more people would bike if they didn't think it was possible to get hit by a car.
"When asked to describe their bicycle in one word, many cyclists of all kinds use the word “freedom.” Nowhere is this description more appropriate than for the women who make up the Afghan National Women’s Cycling Team."
I found this old DC directory from 1903. One interesting thing is that there are only 9 merchants listed under Automobiles (including the American Cycle Manufacturing Company, and thte Washington Electric Vehicle Transportation Company) and 64 under "Biycles and Sundries." A lot of these are just individuals listed by name (neighborhood mechanics?). But there are a few bicycle shops listed. These include:
Acme Repair and Bicycle Co - 1749 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
American Cycle Manufacturing Company - 819 14th Street NW
GPO Bicycle Repair Co - 33 H Street NW
National Cycle Works - 904 G Street NW
New York Bicycle Company - 424 9th Steet NW
The last two of those are, respectively, where the MLK library and J. Edgar Hoover buildings are today.
This is a pre-war publicity picture depicting marine paratrooper trials using a folding bike called "The Paratrooper". This picture was used by Westfield Mfg during and after the war in ads to promote their participation in the war effort.
"For several years war was brewing with Japan and the idea of a lightweight compact bike was being entertained by the US Military. Almost two Years before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the US Marines were experimenting with take-apart bikes and used a Westfield made Compax in Marine Paratrooper trials. These tests would lead to the Paratrooper name and legend. The fact of the matter is the U.S. Military never approved these bikes for paratrooper use. This did not mean the makers of Columbia bicycles did not give up on the idea of selling these bikes to the military. Many were purchased by the military for use on bases."
A friend of mine and I often kick around the idea of a book about the history of bikes in the military. Working titile: "The Bikes of War"