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The article talks about theft insurance, but it seems to be in the context of the renter stealing the rentee's bike...but what if the bike gets stolen from the renter, does Spinlister's insurance cover that? Since Spinlister seems to rely on insurance to cover renter thefts and wrecks, it seems like Spinlister couldn't hold renters liable if the bike is stolen from them, which really doesn't give renters much incentive to lock everything up properly.

I've been eschewing the Air Rights tunnel lately, and instead practicing using Bethesda Avenue now when i ride up the CCT (always toward Silver Spring). So far it's been fine. Access to the Georgetown Branch behind the Air Rights building (Elm St and 47th St) is the most inconvenient part--oddly designed curbs, people loitering at the edge of the playground, a narrow asphalt path:

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=38.982337,-77.092064&spn=0.000852,0.001545&t=h&z=20&layer=c&cbll=38.982419,-77.092116&panoid=hSekFfsOwdof_zSqcoGgsg&cbp=12,73.34,,0,31.64

Yes, they will have to reconfigure the path at the edge of the park and along Willow St. It's not safe at speeds above walking, not to mention unless you ride on Elm, then Wisconsin, you are riding against traffic when going West.

@ antibozo

I think cyclists would eschew the Air Rights tunnel in large numbers even if the county were to spend $50M to put the trail on an overhead in the tunnel with the Purple Line.

The alternate trail route will be built down Bethesda Ave., Willow Street, and along the edge of Elm Street Park whether the trail also remains in the tunnel or not. This will resolve the issues mentioned above at Elm Street Park and Willow Street, plus improve the Wisconsin Ave. crosswalk.

The proposed, but discarded route through the tunnel on an overhead would have required cyclists to pass through a Woodmont Plaza and a new plaza "mews" that would be much more pedestrian active than that area is now. Pedestrians will be walking through the plaza and mews to the new Bethesda South Metro entrance and the Purple Line platform in the tunnel, and the plaza itself will be a pedestrian attraction. There would also be a long dismount zone for cyclists to walk up the switchback ramp, with several sharp turns, to get to the trail overhead in the tunnel. Then, of course, cyclists would be in a long cage structure through the length of the tunnel, shared with pedestrians. I will not miss having this route as an cycling option - I'd take the reconfigured route on Bethesda Ave. every time over that choice.

We can still hold out hope MTA will be able to keep a 5-6 foot wide sidewalk through the length of the tunnel (not on an overhead) - credit to Washcycle for pushing this idea. While not useful to cyclists, that would give pedestrians a tunnel option if they really fear crossing Wisconsin Ave. in the imporved crosswalk. It would also provide direct access to the south metro station. Maybe we'll know more about the feasibility of this in a few months, as the MTA preliminary design proceeds.

What is becoming clear is that this part of the trail will be an interruption in the trail, largely because it's passing through an area with a lot of pedestrian and vehicular traffic and two signalled intersections. No matter how any trail is designed, it will not be very trail-like for a block and a half. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just a different one. This stretch will be a vibrant streetscape and a destination, rather than a roadbump for many using the trail from either direction.

Wayne, i think you make some good points. One immediate, if slightly comical, benefit i've seen since i've been using Bethesda is that my Garmin 305 no longer freaks out at losing GPS for the length of the tunnel. Whenever i've used the tunnel, even tho i have a speed/cadence sensor, Garmin Connect decides that i teleport from one end of the tunnel to the other at speeds in excess of 350 mph. So, no more teleportation, blasting my atoms all over the universe. :^)

Crickey7, i hope you're right. I imagine it will bring a lot of custom to Bethesda Avenue between Woodmont and Wisconsin, which seems to be currently dominated by a Chevy Chase Bank. IIRC (i worked in the Air Rights building a couple of decades ago) there used to be Montgomery's Grille on the north side and a little ice cream shop on the south, but i don't notice much of anything interesting on that stretch nowadays. So with the new trail alignment, maybe that bit can become more like the adjacent blocks of Woodmont and Bethesda. There's also the farmers market/flea market that used to happen on certain days at Bethesda & Wisconsin--does that still go on?

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