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What does it mean though? I absolutely worshipped Arlington's bike facilities when I was a commuter/came to the R-B corridor for nightlife. But now that I've lived in a couple places in Arlington, more realistically it seems that as soon as you pedal out of the east-west oriented "urban villages" all bets are off.

Every major north-south arterial I can think of (George Mason Dr, Glebe Rd, and east end of Washington Blvd for starters) is too harrowing for all but the most dedicated/crazy/showoffy vehicular cyclist. Getting between Ballston/Clarendon and Pentagon City involves two underpasses that are downright scary: Columbia Pike under Washington Blvd, and S Joyce St under 395.

Columbia Pike lacks bike lanes and is generally unfriendly to bikes, especially on the hilly western end, and no improvements are apparently planned, only bike boulevards on 9th and 12th Streets -- which is really treating cyclists as second-class citizens. The destinations aren't on 9th and 12th Streets, they're on Columbia Pike. So that's where the bikes belong, too.

Even in the celebrated R-B corridor, many bike lanes are so close to parked cars they're almost useless -- the entire lane is in the door zone. Quincy St between Wilson and Fairfax Drive, for example. Or Clarendon Blvd between Highland St and Edgewood.

It's nice that Arlington's leaders are publicly so gung-ho about encouraging cycling, but so much more needs to be done to make the whole county truly bike-friendly.

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