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By the book, your little Boundary Channel "shortcut" is illegal because the road in question is I-395 and bikes are legally not allowed to use Interstates or Interstate ramps in Virginia.

It should be noted that extending that path to Boundary Channel Drive is proposed, and is part of one of the 14th Street Bridge EIS options. The holdup, as I understand it, is the Pentagon, which owns the land and the building adjacent to the Channel.

For the "T" junction, why not a bike rotary, there is plenty of room there. See Cape Cod Rail Trail for example.

On Saturday, I stopped a man and his daughter who were about to cross the road right after going over the 14th St Bridge and before coming down the hill to the T junction. They wanted to go to Pentagon City mall. The man thought it was ok because he saw a sidewalk on the other side and was holding an iPhone. Taking an 11-year-old that way made me nervous, and I encouraged him to follow me, which he did.

Could someone please explain to me in greater detail the options for getting from the 14th Street Bridge bike path to Boundary Channel Drive? I could shave several miles off of my commute if there were an easy way to get to Army Navy Drive from the 14th Street Bridge. I'm aware of the Columbia Island detour, but it's so far out of the way it isn't worth it.

I read of an old sidewalk on the eastmost northbound span of the 14th Street Bridge (the Arland Williams Bridge) here: http://www.metroped.org/sp/boundry_channel_sidewalk.htm

Supposedly that sidewalk connected to some pedestrian tunnels. Is that sidewalk just gone now?

Google Maps Satellite also shows a "sidewalk to nowhere" on the southbound span above the GW parkway that ends at the ramp for GW parkway southbound. Do cyclists just use this sidewalk and then ride on the shoulder down to Boundary Channel Drive.

Thanks for any advice.

I think there is an A junction further down the trail near the GW Parkway crossing.

aaa, I think you're right, but I think it has a lot more room available. Still, it does make it more likely to be workable.

Peter, I've long wondered about that sidewalk, but I'm not sure it's usable, and it doesn't look safe.

Other than Columbia Island and the route outlined above, I don't think there is another good way.

Right, I'm trying to understand the route you describe. I think I understand now. But just how far exactly does the South Humpback Bridge trail extend? That isn't clear since Google's satellite images appear to be a little dated.

We really ought to start an advocacy campaign to get the Pentagon to allow the easement for the trail's completion. It's a critical missing connection in our region's bike infrastructure, and the trail's completion would be much cheaper (and therefore much more likely to happen) than the Long Bridge Park connection.

I think that "t" intersection is a vast improvement over what was there in the past. NPS ultimately did a pretty good job on this and, despite some bumps along the way, get a thumbs up from me.

Peter, the photo gives you an idea. You can see the highway sign that's in the photo on google satellite. Basically it ends around the easternmost point of the channel.

Hopefully the National Park Service approves the proposal for a bike connector from Long Bridge Park to the Mt. Vernon Trail. Even if NPS finally relents on their resistance to the idea, it will still be a while before that bike ramp could be built.

The north end of the park may not be complete until early 2014 or later.

I also think the new MVT / 14th street bridge is good enough, with good enough sight lines to see if you can hustle through there or need to yield, particularly since they've added the bit of asphalt to 'flare' the intersection.

I'm not sure what an "A - intersection" is? Is that like what's at the intersection of MVT and Four Mile Run? I'd argue that intersection is worse with poorer sight lines and unclear merge priorities (even though now it's finally signed). Take the example of the situation of someone going south on the MVT making the left - which is actually straight - to go along 4 mile run meeting someone nortbound on the MVT from Alexandria and keeping on the MVT - which curves around a blind corner at that same spot.

That said, they definitely need to complete the connection between the Humpback bridge and Boundary Channel Drive. Having a path to nowhere is hella stupid. (Having a nice looking inviting path off a major trail that is a path to nowhere without being signed that it is a path to nowhere is even more hella stupid)

@ Peter,

I travel from the 14th street bridge to the pentagon transit center to catch a bus home every day. I head north on the MVT over the humpback and then around and under the humpback to the marina parking lot. I make my way across Columbia Island and across the boundary channel bridge to the North Pentagon Parking Lot. I then turn left onto Boundary Channel and take it to the connector road that leads to the pentagon enterance. This takes me counter-clockwise around the boundary channel/marina. I would love for them to complete the clockwise loop since this would save me about 5 min.

Here's an example of a Bike Rotary. in this image, imagine the "Old colony Rail Trail being the ramp from the 14th street bridge and the cape cod rail trail is the MVT. It could work but would require trail realignment:

View Larger Map

Mike that's cool. That would be great.

It would be even cooler if they put a Bikeshare station in the center of the circle.

The comments posted above proposing alternative intersection types at connectors such as 14th Street Bridge, 4 Mile Run and the linkup to the Pentagon are being actively pursued by GWMP. Preliminary studies and designs have been done, most notably at 4 mile run, and hopefully some of these projects will be built soon. Of course, many of these improvements are contingent upon financial resources, but the concerns and suggestions of the cycling community do not fall on deaf ears. The first steps in studying and building these improvements have already been taken, and there are several advocates within GWMP who are pushing hard to ensure that the MVT will be a priority project for the Parkway. Keep these posts up- they are read and taken seriously by park management.

Tim Bevins
NPS Transportation Scholar for GWMP + National Capital Region

Guest post pretty please w/ sugar on top Mr. Bevins and Mr. washcycle. (any plans for the Memorial Bridge Rt27 sections are appreciated, too)

hey tim bevins:

providing a built environment that is not embarrassing for creative human beings in an allegedly democratic society is not limited to the concerns of bicyclists!!!!! why have you people been so fundamentally uneducated about this point!!! it is EDIFYING to EVERYONE who lives in DC (and elsewhere) to have multimodal transportation; to NOT THROW AWAY the vast sums of money creating social spaces people flee from, and that are necessarily alienating!! IT IS NOT ABOUT BICYCLING PER SE -- is this point simply too damn complicated for most folks to grasp?...

Why isnt Adams Morgan closed to cars on the weekend? Why are there cars on the weekend racing through SIX LANES of M street in Georgetown when the sidewalk is ten feet? Why is Beach Drive through a NATIONAL PARK a commuter racetrack arterial at any time of the day? Why is there not a single road through NW DC that has safe bike accommodation on it? Why isnt the Metro expanding, and getting cheaper? Why dont we have express buses, in dedicated lanes, all over the city? Why does DC serve the suburbs more than it does the people who live here? Why does no one take seriously what the Jefferson Memorial stands for? Blah blah. Etc etc.. None of this has anything to do with "financial resources'! That's bullshit stupidity talking, laced with arrogance...

Have some moral courage, man. We live under conditions of economic apartheid in DC; as black folk will tell you. Go visit the jail.... And DC is replete with transportation bigotry. The Police here are downright scary stupid...

The bike summit was a waste of time; i know many who went who are established professionals in many fields, and they are planning an en masse response to the bike summit, and the past bike summits, as a "post mortem"!!! Andy Clarke seems a good guy; but he doenst understand social change or social movements...like WABA...and NPS...

Tim Johnson's Ride on DC...yeah, right! Well intentioned. But they define clueless...

It must suck to go through life and not recognize whats important; and not have the guts (or economic security) to speak truth to power...

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