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This would be brilliant. As it stands, power-line rights-of-way are often barriers instead of aids to cycling.

For anyone:
Goto Google maps and do the satellite view.
From what I remember, the power lines go all the way from Montgomery Mall all the way up to Baltimore.

The Glen Echo trolley trail is also a Pepco ROW.

WASA too.

Houston had a big proposal for power-line trails. I'm a little less than enthusiastic about the idea of relying on them for long regional trails. They're relentlessly sunny, for one -- the W&OD feels so much more strenuous than the C&O over the same distance mostly because of that. And unlike rail-trails, power easements aren't graded, and tend to pass behind rather than through towns.

As connectors into tough-to-reach areas, though, they have the potential to be pretty cool.

I rode under a high-voltage line on the approach to the bridge just upriver from Quebec City, and on every stroke I got a shock on my inner thigh from the frame or seatpost or spring or something. I don't think I could take that for very long.

From today's Bethesda Beat:

"The approval of a $6.8 billion merger between Pepco and utility giant Exelon is being celebrated by a group of local civic activists you likely wouldn’t expect.

The merger of the utilities as approved May 15 by the state’s Public Service Commission requires Pepco to help plan and pay for a public pedestrian and bicyclist trail under its large transmission lines—a swath of land that runs from Westlake Drive in Bethesda to Dickerson -- including the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown."


@paytonc: the W&OD feels more strenuous because it's not completely flat the way the C&O is.

That said, power line trails are kinda grim in general. Beats trying to take I95 or some 15 lane quasi-expressway, though.

If we could get a river crossing there I'd feel like I'd died and gone to heaven; not holding my breath, though.

Why stop in Edgewater? How do we who are in South County Anne Arundel and Calvert get in on this? We have great terrain down here for power line ROW, natural surface trails.

Power line trails have been built many times in many places: http://www.pedestrians.org/topics/row-gallery.htm

They can be sunny and hilly, but they go places that rail-trails don't go. Sometimes it is possible to run the trail along the south edge of the power line right of way, which can give you shade from trees along the edge. Sometimes you can have local micro-parks adjacent to the ROW with shade trees and benches or picnic tables to give you a shady place to take a break. And half the year it's not so hot that sun is a problem.

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