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I cannot speak for bike commuters during the week. However, groups of riders from 5 to 75+ have used the CBP(pacelines). It is often far safer - and less "discourteous" (I feel) for these big, fast, groups of roadies to be on the 2 lane CBP - usually on a weekend morning - where cars can easily pass - than to be on the single lane MacArthur Blvd, with its narrower lanes, more curb cuts (parking lots, shopping plazas), and side roads. To say the MVT is an alternative for them - or the C&O towpath - is laughable.

"confirms their inability to be courteous to pedestrians and other users of that trail"

amazing how closely bikes vs pedestrians parallels cars vs bikes in this characterization.

"If there had been a car coming the other way, I would have had three choices: head-on collision, run over the bikers or hit the ditch"

What if there was a car broken down in the lane? This isn't an argument against bikes, is an argument against driving like an asshat.

Clara Barton and MacArthur don't go to the same place. Specifically, if you're trying to get out onto River Road outside the beltway, a popular cyclist destination, Clara Barton takes you there and MacArthur doesn't.

i agree with the weekends only suggestion for the GW Parkway (south of old town anyway). Traffic is light on weekends so I see no problem. I would luv to see the park service close one lane to cars on weekends.

Contrarian, MacArthur goes to Persimmon Tree which goes to River in Potomac Village.

As to The Plains driver, wake up. The roads out there are very popular with cyclists. How you could be surprised by coming upon two of them is beyond me.

Contrary to what Contrarian suggets, cyclists in Montgomery are primarily interested in having access to the 35 mph portion of Clara Barton to have more directr access to the Chain Bridge, not to the 50 mph portion that crosses the Beltway.

Given that Maryland already prohibits bikes on roadways with speed limits of 55 mph, NPS doing so on roads with 50 mph speed limit is not that much of a stretch. Their arguments for prohibiting bikes on a 35 mph road, by contrast, are close to arbitrary and capricious.


there is no slutiopn when the debate is this low level and the windshield perspective is the only option...

just give up.

i ride and have ridden the CBP for the six years ive lived here -- never been stooped, never will, i wave to the park police cops...rules dont mean shit. enforcement of the rules is everything...after all, you know, the LAW says the speed limit on Beach Drive -- where bikes are encouraged!!!!-- is 25 mph!!!


the situation for bikes, esp in the Natl. Parks and in Montgomery County, is so ridiculous, me and the wife just burst out laughing to anyone who suggests otherwise!! its ludicrous!! the public and those in charge have NO IDEA what the situation is for transportation and bikes, etc..

I no longer live in MD, but my understanding at the time was that bicyclists were required to use the shoulder rather than the road way if the speed limit was 55+ - they were not completely prohibited from state roads as Jim Titus implies.

If there is no shoulder, the speed limit was not 55+ (and typically less than 50mph if single lanes), and bicyclists were allowed to use the road on 50mph or slower (often multiple lanes, so motorists have another lane to pass).

If there are enough bicyclists to make NPS angry but no accidents, how can anyone logically say it is unsafe (vs. they just want to make bicycling illegal because they don't do it)?

Wash: NPS itself treats the corridor as a recreational facility...a point that has often been brought up at our Mt. Vernon Council transportation meetings.

To be perfectly fair, there ARE alternatives to the GWP. We may argue that those alternatives are inadequate (and I'll be the first to agree that they're inadequate), but the fact remains that the alternatives do exist. They may not be what the "lycra crowd" desires, but they're available and usable enough for the majority of cyclists out there, especially south of Old Town where trail volumes are much lower (per Alexandria bike counts).

If NPS won't budge on their policy (and on that note, I agree with the request to open it on weekends), then our best recourse is to push to get those "inadequate alternatives" improved.

Best to distinguish between the two sections of the CBP - as Jim T. does.
The section running from Canal Rd up to the first intersection with Macarthur is a one-lane 35mph stretch. Compared to the same stretch of Macarthur, it has more rolling hills, but fewer blind corners. And, of course, on CBP you don't have the intersections or one-lane bridge to deal with.

The second piece of the CBP turns into a 2 lane divided road with 55mph posted.
From the handful of times I've been on that stretch, traffic lightens up quite a bit after the turnoff for 495.

And Rootchopper is right - there are plenty of ways to take MacArthur out to River road - Persimmon is one, via Falls Rd is another.

@steve You are spot on. Those are the current conditions and they are a joke. A lot of those waving park police could spend their time on better things than playing traffic cop if they turned over speed enforcement to the speed traps. I don't understand why Beach Drive can't be speed-camera'd down to 25 mph tomorrow. CBP on any stretch on a bicycle scares the crap out of me, though. This doesn't necessarily make it unsafe to ride there. This probably just makes me a sap.

Froggie, I agree, but if they were to change policy such that they have one policy for rush hour and one for other times, that would be tacit recognition that it isn't a recreation facility and that not every driver is out enjoying a leisurely drive through the park.

As for discourteous, it's funny how inconveniencing others is discourteous, but expecting others to inconvenience themselves is not.


If we start banning bikes on roads with 50mph speed limits there are alot of roads that will off limits to bikes with no other good routes.

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