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Thanks, this was an informative read on a hunk of my daily commute!

I see this is an old post, but I just came upon this website.

There is another, much more cost effective option not stated in the list above: allow bicycles to use the GW Parkway to access the Route 1 bridge over the Potomac during the PM rush hour. The virtually unenforced speed limit on the GW Parkway in that area is 40mph, which is less than on many arterials where bikers are allowed to ride. On the bridge the shoulder is very wide and virtually unused by car drivers. VDOT statistics show that the average speed during PM rush on the bridge is at or less than biking speed. No pedestrians, rollerbladers, dog walkers, or fair-weather lolligagging bikers ever go there. Tour buses do not stop on the freeway and disgorge passengers onto the shoulder as they do on multi-user trails/sidewalks. And perhaps most importantly, there are no intersections, which are demonstrated "crash magnets" on regular surface streets and multi-user trails.

Counterintuitive as this idea might be to those who don't ride much, the GW Parkway-Rt 1 bridge route is a safer way to get from Alexandria and Crystal City than the trails.

In opposition to any widening of trails, I would point out that joggers on residential streets that are 20+ feet wide frequently run in the middle of the street when they perceive that nobody else is in the vicinity. Widening the trails will only encourage gangs of joggers, inexperienced bikers, and other trail users to spread out to fill the space available. It will be yet another grossly expensive failure in fundamentally incompatible mixed use traffic infrastructure. None of which will stop it from being highly lauded by local bike advocates.

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