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If you cross Braddock Rd (at the Metro station) the way they did in that video, you stand a good chance of ending up as roadkill. There's a Hawk light there at the crosswalk; stop and use it.

You're right, heading south on Crystal, the intersection at 26th is definitely confusing. You've got to go right on 26th, left on S. Clark, straight onto 27th St S and straight onto Potomac Ave, where you again pick up the signed bike lane.


You went on a chilly Monday evening - so probably did not experience the large amount of pedestrian cross traffic by the playground - probably the biggest single issue on the PY trail, and the main reason Alexandria cyclists want on street accommodations (not likely to come, though) for faster riders on that stretch.

Re: street accommodations - if by George Washington Middle School, there is already a decent street route: stay on Braddock past the trail entrance, turn right on Mount Vernon Ave, then right again on Monroe Ave and left at Main Line and a slight right onto Potomac Ave. You can stay on Potomac Ave., avoiding the trail, all the way to Crystal City.


I was referring to a bike lane on Potomac Avenue. Personally I have not ridden in that area except on weekends, when trarric on Potomac Avenue is light, but I know some riders who find riding on Potomac at rush hour to stressful, but who are too fast to ride comfortably on the MUP amidst the running children.

Whoever decided to put those electrical boxes in the middle of the southbound lane of the trail ought to be fired. That alone illustrates the incompetence of so called planners. Then whoever the contractor was did a mediocre job laying the asphalt. The trail surface has settled and it's a nice rut fest now.

@cyclistinthecity you are right, that pavement is 3 years old but already crumbling. Right on those electrical boxes, I mean how will they ever repave? Oh wait, never. I do like the window brick part which avoids the playground. The part closest to Braddock needs widening already too.

I ride that trail everyday. It's certainly a good addition. But, short of "wonderful." As you note, there is no good way to get from Crystal Drive to Potomac Avenue, or the apparently unnamed service road that runs parallel to Crystal Drive beside the tracks. A short path along the tracks from the service road to Potomac Avenue would solve the problem. Also, the plan may be to extend the path to four mile run. But, now it stops short. Forcing a cyclists to cross the street and deal with all the driveways on the other side of the road, or to ride on Potomac Drive, without bike lanes, which becomes a raceway at rush hour.

I don't hold the access from Crystal Drive issue against the trail. And yeah, it's not finished, but the part that is finished I found wonderful. But I didn't have any conflict issues with pedestrians (except one guy from the basketball court trying to retrieve his ball) and didn't notice any ruts in the pavement or the electrical boxes, so maybe it is not as nice as I recall. I liked that there were no areas where car traffic was an issue, that it was along side a park most of the way, the pavement is in better condition than most trails and that it was flat and interesting. But maybe I was just there on a good night.

I've seen lots of trails with the electrical boxes in the middle. I wonder what that is about.

@Zack Rules

Those are only the issues with the trail itself. Another perplexing detail is the fact that there are few reasonable crossings for people who live in the neighborhood across the street to visit the playground with their kids. They have a four lane speedway and a median with no curb cuts to cross in order get to the playground directly across the street.

I wonder how the rest of it will turn out....

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