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I think the link needs fixing.

As for the NPS announcement it says bikes are not allowed on Clara Barton from Chain Bridge to MacArhtur Blvd...but apparently they are allowed on the Clara Barton after the MacArthur turnoff? That's actually where traffic really speeds up (50-60mph as opposed to 40-45 on the prohibited stretch). IIRC it does open up to two lanes there - with a shoulder, but still, the delineation doesn't make a lot of sense.
And apparently riding on Canal Road (basically the Clara Barton from Chain Bridge in towards Georgetown) isn't illegal.

Might be because Canal Rd is under DDOT jurisdiction, not NPS.

NPS works hard to keep up its anti-bike, anti-pedestrian reputation.

Link fixed

Is there not an APA case here? After the latest SEC-related ruling, it seems that courts are being tough on agencies. We should use this to our advantage. At the very least, we could start with some strategic FOIA requests.

This is a familiar issue in the Boston area, where some roads are "controlled" by a parks department, and others by cities and states. The parks department has historically been very shortsighted about bikes, seeing them as toys instead of transportation. It's getting a bit better recently, but it's still an uphill battle.

"Both of these have speed limits and neither is available all year as they aren't cleared of snow, flood before the roads or - in the case of the C&O Canal - can be washed out. Nor does the MVT go all the way to the American Legion Bridge."

Funny, I am pretty sure that the GW parkway has a speed limit as well. It's just that most bikes can't go at that speed -- and the lycra dudes who can probably aren't riding at a safe speed for them. Opinions differ.

Exactly why would a bike want to get to the American Legion bridge?

Yea! NPS is taking away are freedom to ride bicycles... wait we can still ride the MVT and C&O with very limited speed limits for bicycles.... so they are trying to limit people from being fit? Ah, they are trying to grow obesity :)

Seriously, it's obvious that someone high up in NPS is anti bicycle. NPS is currently doing far more to limit and stop people from riding bicycles then promoting cycling, a far more heathly mode of transportation and recreation AND far more heathly for the environment than the motor vehicles they are currently favoring.

Does the NPS have a line in it's mission statement about providing bicycle free roads?

I am pretty sure that the GW parkway has a speed limit as well.

But that speed limit isn't set for recreational walkers. The MVT is great, but it doesn't meet the transportation or recreation needs of all cyclists, in part because they have to share it with other users. NPS is moving the conflict from the road to the trail.

this is typical.

NPS is clueless.

seen the new pierce mill rehab? access for buses, but not bikes; the new "trail" is NOT paved -- it's loose gravel -- and so there is no easy access to the road to go uphill towards conneticut.

one can ride under the bridge and then cut across a field to access the road to conneticut and cyclist are doing that, clearly, given the PATH THAT HAS BEEN BEATEN INTO DIRT...will the NPS pave it? of course not. this would be too many impervious surfaces...

but repave the road? sure? asphalt speed bump? sure..

thanks NPS...

Maybe we should aim higher and begin pressuring the Administration to consider replacing the senior leadership of the NPS? After all, nothing says "national parks" like restricting public access to public spaces to only citizens encased in speeding cars or smoke-belching tourbuses, right?

What's so bad about speed limits? Speed limits are merely the highest speed at which a vehicle can travel safely, in optimal conditions. And if a faster vehicle approaches someone going slower, the proper response is to slow down and wait for a safe opportunity to pass.

Oh wait, that only applies to cars.

Alternate universe WashCycle Guy:

The GW Parkway is great, but it doesn't meet the transportation needs of all drivers, in part because they have to share it with bicyclists. NPS is moving the conflict from the trail to the road.

Really, some of your other reasons make sense, especially about clearing the trail during the winter. But this one's a fail.

Christopher, the difference is that when cyclists complain that they can't, on the trail, go at the speed they are used to, they are told that the trail is not where they should be. They should be in the road. But here they're told that isn't an option either.

There is no equivalency for cars.

What's so bad about speed limits?

On trails they're set at an arbitrarily low level. And cyclists don't often have speedometers to know how fast they're going. But in general I don't mind since it's rarely enforced and they can just get on the road, but that isn't the case here.

NPS is moving the conflict from the trail to the road.

Bikes in the road is the default. They are modifying that. So the conflict is being moved to the trail. But its natural place is in the road. And yes I get that I'm saying there will be conflict between cyclists and drivers. That's unavoidable. It's being moved because it is a modification of the default. But it doesn't go the other way.

The GW Parkway is great, but it doesn't meet the transportation needs of all drivers, in part because they have to share it with bicyclists.

This would be true if adding bicyclists caused them to lower the speed limit. That isn't the case. In this case they removed cyclists and left the speed limit the same. The speed limit never considered, or was unchanged, by the presence of cyclists.

But this one's a fail.

I think the fail is on your end.

Bilsko, the Clara Barton Parkway ends at an intersection with Mac Arthur blvd. By saying that the ban applies to the parkway from Chain Bridge to Mac Arthur Blvd, they are saying that it applies to the entire parkway.

If NPS was at all serious about enforcing the speed limit on any of its parkways, the cyclist conflict would be minimal. I frequently ride Beach dr, the speed limit is 25 mph, and I can usually maintain 22 - 24 mph, but I always have a line of cars behind me, and as soon as they pass, they go 35 - 50 MPH. As an exercise, I was in a work vehicle on that road a few weeks ago, and decided I would faithfully drive the speed limit (varies from 25 - 35)from Tilden all the way to Ohio Dr. Even as a driver it felt painfully slow, but sure enough, cars were backing up behind me and passing me with lead footed accelerations. Speed cams or actual enforcement would make biking and driving compatible on these roads.

Ironically, throughout DDOT's network, speed is controlled much better by signals and traffic calming measures, so there are fewer bike/car conflicts in the same lane. NPS, in maintaining the pastoral character of their roads by eschewing signals has created a system of natural speedways that make any other use besides driving a difficult proposition.

And what is to keep them from deciding to ban bikes on the Rock Creek Parkway. It has cars that move fast and a bike trail next to it? Or how about Beach Drive? Same thing.

I am an avid cyclist who rides daily in the city and I actually agree that bicyclists should be banned on Rock Creek Parkway from Calvert to the Lincoln Memorial.

Every cyclist I have seen on that stretch of road have created a hazard for themselves and others.

You do know the speed limit there is 25 mph right? If cyclists can't ride there, where can they ride? And exactly how do they create a hazard? What do you think might happen?

washcycle is right in every regard.

this discussion is transportation bigotry at its finest.

the opposititon keeps repeating what they affirm, as if doing so, because they have the power act autocratically, is ALSO an explanation...

whats clearly a fail is democracy in this culture, and genuine citizens rather than just critically informed consumers. from obama to just about anything else associated with meaningful, participatroy inclusive democracy of the sort this MLK moument is supposed to herald, this culture simply isnt democratic any more.

can someone also tell me: can i ride, as i have done for years, north of the macarthur exit on the clara barton parkway -- or not?

why in the world, given ALL THE SAME REAONS the NPS *claims* informed their decision here -- why in the WORLD is there bicycling allowed on BEACH DRIVE!!!???? the guy who signed that order needs to get on a bike and ride on Beach Drive...after 30 minutes the danger to cyclists by cars will be crystal clear...

although i shudder to think what his solution will be...

NPS is anti-bike. clearly.
they should be sued...

The real problem on the GW Parkway is speed, not bikes. One of the anti-bike advocates down here claims that bikes need to be banned for cyclist safety because.....get this......drivers have a tendency to be distracted because the scenery is so nice. So, as a cyclist, you're banned for your own good because drivers suck at driving. My humble opinion is that the park police should aggresively enforce the speed limit and let cyclists use the parkway on weekends.

There are actually two points of intersection with the Clara Barton and Macarthur - the language on the NPS announcement doesn't refer to either one. You're right that its safe to assume that its for the second (terminal) intersection. Just pointing out unclear wording

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