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On a related note, I saw snowblowers out on the Wilson Bridge ATL Tuesday, though I haven't ventured over there to see how cleared off the trail is. As of this morning, the connector trail from Route 1 was still snow-covered...

Thanks for the post (I am coming down the MVT from Alexandria to downtown). I am really disappointed in the National Park Service's behavior regarding snow removal. It is tough for me to get to work w/o my bike. I can choose to pay $15 for parking or $8 for bus/ metro and of course neither one is a satisfying alternative. They just ignore the many people who commute by bike and they do it with full intent.

Nevertheless: Merry Christmas!

Besides on the Key Bridge, one can legally cross the Potomac without using the sidewalks (aka "trails") on the Arlington Memorial and Chain Bridges.

In other words, roadway bicycling is only prohibited on the four Potomac River crossings that are part of the Interstate Highway System: the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (I-95/I-495), the American Legion Bridge (I-495), the 14th Street Bridges (I-395), and the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge (I-66). Moreover, I'm not certain that bicycling is actually prohibited on the Roosevelt Bridge roadway.

I approach and cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge frequently without using any "trails". The Chain and Key Bridges are even easier to cross without using any trails.

You can cross the Arlington Memorial without trails, but getting to it is tough. Washington Blvd rides more like a highway. Getting across the Chain is easy, but what do you do once your in DC? Canal is another tough road to ride. Not undoable, but unappealing to a lot of cyclists. Hence the legal AND "safe".

From Chain Bridge you can go right up Arizona and get on Canal, that's not too bad.

I don't believe it is actually illegal to bike on any of the bridges. They are all in DC, the Virginia state line is the water's edge of the Potomac. DC has no statutory language allowing cycling to be prohibited on any road. As Wash points out, what you do once you get over the bridge is the rub.

From Chain Bridge you can go right up Arizona and get on Canal, that's not too bad.

Oops, meant to say you can get right on MacArthur.

Contrarian: DC may not have statuatory language, but they do have signs at the freeway entrances prohibiting bicycling, at least on I-295. Since Interstates in general prohibit bicycling (at least east of the Mississippi), it's safe to say that the other freeways prohibit it as well. Nevermind that while the DC limits may go to the edge of the Potomac, you'd still have to cross into Virginia physically to get anywhere else, and biking on the Virginia Interstates is definitely illegal.

I would argue for clearing the CCT, but leaving the towpath snowy all the way to Georgetown. It's a great place for cross-country skiing when we actually get enough snow, and there's no reason to clear to parallel trails.

Belated thanks on the post (I think this was in response to my email....).

I had no idea how frustrating it would be to have to leave the bike commute behind, and actually I didn't really think I'd have to give it up--I figured I'd be able to find SOME way into town. Turns out, I was wrong (and already a couple pounds heavier thanks partially to the absence of the bike but mostly due to the presence of ridiculous amounts of Yuletide baked goods).

I think your list is great--but really even just ONE reasonable route to get on any one of the bridges to downtown would be "good enough" in my book so that the commute could still be possible (even if it adds milage/time/hassle....it should still be POSSIBLE, right?)

Does anyone know the status right now of the Mount Vernon trail for biking, particularly the portion between 4 mile run and the 14th street bridge? Is there ice? Would I be stupid to try biking it? This is my first winter commuting by bike, so I have no experience with what usually happens on this trail when there's snow. Help -- I need my daily bike ride!

I nominate the 4 Mile Run and IH 395 intersection, from East Glebe overpass to Arlington Mill Road. The trail itself could be kept clear or the old overpass from Parkfairfax to Shirlington could be kept clear.

Rachel--that part of the MVT is in pretty good shape. I've biked it the past two days with no issues. There are some icy spots, but they are easy to spot and shouldn't be a problem to avoid. Happy riding!

Thanks Ian for the info. I'll be biking home when it's dark. I have a good light, so hopefully I'll be able to see the icy spots with it. (How did a California girl like me end up riding in such conditions?!?! I have no idea how to navigate around ice and snow.)

As is obvious from my post, I nominate the MVT from 4 mile run to the 14th street bridge to be cleared.

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