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That area is a nightmare on a bike; I cross through it every morning on my commute. Drivers tend to be aware of and sympathetic to bikers, but I've had my life flash before my eyes through there many more times than I ever have while biking around the city itself.

"Desire line?" How about, "dangerous-muddy-track-that-causes-erosion-and-deposits-water-and-mud-on-the-trail-causing-asphalt-buckling" line? Seriously - ride the 200 meters to where the paved trail intentionally crosses the road.

I sympathize that those are extremely dangerous at-grade crossings. That piece of single track makes the situation worse, not better, though. People (rightly) aren't looking for someone to cross the parkway there. In addition, it's destroying that section of trail. Look where the puddles and the bumps in the trail are one day; there's an amazing correlation to the terminus of that so-called "desire line."

Again, I agree that the official at-grade crossings are dangerous, I realize that the anecdote occurred at one of the paved crossings, and that the BMW driver was a typical selfish idiot. The "desire line" is a bad thing, though.

What are the crash statistics on this crossing?

Hundreds of bikes navigate this crossing every morning and afternoon as well as pedestrians going to and from the national cemetary. If it is dangerous, the statistics should tell that story.

I cross one of these intersections twice daily. I have been involved with several (3 or 4 in a year) incidents that look like close calls but were really a just a car screeching to a halt when I had no intention to cross.

My advice to anyone crossing here is wait for either both lanes of traffic to stop or cross when the intersection is clear. Don't let the well intentioned driver in the inside lane get you killed. A firm "no thank you" is an appropriated and polite response to the offer.

Tom said, "A firm "no thank you" is an appropriate and polite response to the offer."

Well said, Tom. It's nice when people give you extra consideration, but that particular act creates ambiguity, and ambiguity can get you killed by another driver.

Precisely because crossing the GWP is so hairy, I have changed my commute to use the George Mason bridge instead -- I never knew life could be so easy...OK, except for having to now cross the Humpback bridge, which I dislike, but it's better than crossing the GWP!

Is the multi-use path at the Humpback bridge going to be more user-friendly after they finish the work they are doing now? I admit that I forget what the p[lans were...

I occasionally bike down there around Memorial Bridge (I take the George Mason as well but come from the South) and it is no picnic. Just no good way to cross there and definitely a spot worthy of some consideration.

Yes, the new Humpback will have a bike/ped path that is wider, flatter and separated from the roadway by a wall.

"Desire Line" is a landscape architect term I learned. I think people should avoid it, but making a real trail connection there makes sense.

I definitely second (or third) Tom on the firm "no thank you". Whenever I see someone slowing down in one lane for me, I just wave them on. I feel guilty when they stop, but I consiously remind myself that I would rather feel a little guilty than be run over...

That crossing is lethal...If they just put in a curb-cut on Memorial bridge on the DC side and a small traffic island you could cross over to the southbound side of the bridge and then drop down to the trail easily....whomever thought that crossing 6 entrance/exit ramps of a freeway style interchange was a good idea needs to be forced to do it on a daily basis

Are you talking about an at-grade crossing from the upstream bike/ped lane to the downstream one.

[Both sides BTW are DC. You aren't in VA until you leave Columbia Island]

Washcycle said, ""Desire Line" is a landscape architect term I learned."

I wasn't criticizing your use of the term, there. Sorry if it sounded that way. I was trying to heap derision upon the muddy track that takes people across the parkway at a dangerous spot, and channels water and mud directly to a low spot on the MVT.

If the muddy track was a diagonal on, say, a college quad, I'd be right there, arguing for some paving.

I am talking about an at grade crossing on the DC side of the river-just before you enter the circle, pretty much at the lion's feet...there are enough pauses in the flow of traffic that you could cross the outbound lanes, wait at a traffic island and then cross the inbound lanes pretty safely. At this point I either cross at the 14th st bridge or the Key bridge and deal with the extra distance rather than do that crossing....

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