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Big Bike Changes Planned for Pentagon City

by ARLnow.com | November 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm | 1,519 views | 12 Comments

Changes could be coming to Army Navy Drive that will make the intersection-laden and car-clogged stretch of road a lot friendlier to bicyclists.

This weekend, the county board is expected to accept $210,000 in federal grant money to help plan a bike route on the busy Pentagon City thoroughfare. The funds will also help plan a bike route on South Joyce Street that will connect Army Navy Drive, Columbia Pike and an existing pedestrian path.

Both routes are marked in yellow on the maps above.

County engineers currently envision a two-way bike lane on Army Navy Drive, made possible by narrowing the road’s comfortably wide lanes and shifting the median. South Joyce Street will likely only get a single bike lane, since its configuration is set by huge concrete structures that hold up the highways that run over it.

The grant-funded preliminary engineering phase is expected to last 8-9 months, according to Transportation Planning Bureau Chief Thomas Bruccoleri.

So far, no money has been made available for construction. Bruccoleri says the funds would most likely be allocated in the FY 2013 budget, meaning that the bike paths are at least a few years away.

Also visible on the maps above, in orange and purple, are two envisioned bike route projects.

The purple route, a proposed National Park Service trail, would connect an existing path near Boundary Channel Drive and I-395 to the Mount Vernon Trail near the Humpback Bridge.

The orange route would be an on-street shared route that would go up Old Jefferson Davis Highway, past the future Long Bridge Park, and around the Pentagon on Boundary Channel Drive.

The Park Service trail will likely have to wait on the completion of the Humpback Bridge project. The other proposed route will require the cooperation of military officials, who may or may not want bicyclists pedaling up and down the Pentagon reservation due to security concerns.

No precise timetable has been set for either route.

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  • GMo

    Arlington is a fantastic place to be a cyclist! Our county is a beacon/sterling example for a cyclist friendly community on the East Coast.

  • SoArlRes

    We’re better than most. So glad they’re continuing the push.

  • cryscityrez

    So it looks like this is just in anticipation of Long Branch/North Tract/Boondoggle project (how you can do a whole aquatic center and not have an actual community pool for family use is beyond me). When are they going to use the easement the County got from the ANCC and connect this part of Arlington to Columbia Pike w/o going thru the suicide underpass that is Col pike and Wash blvd??

  • Endlos

    When will they finally have Bike’s in the Rosslyn/Courthouse/Clarendon neighborhood. I can’t understand how they have left this area out of the planing!

  • Teyo

    About time. I’ve always found it annoying that to get to Columbia Pike from the 14th Street Bridge you have to either go all the way down past the airport to Crystal City or all the way up to the Memorial Bridge and then down Washington Blvd because there is no safe connection between the 14th Street Bridge and N. Boundary Dr.

    The new bridge already has a tunnel to allow for going under it from the Mt. Vernon trail to N. Boundary Dr. Too bad it will be years to get this done since this section requires only about 500 yards of path to be paved.

    • Let’s Be Free

      That 500 yards should be the first priority — heck then I would ride my bike to work maybe half the time. The rest of the plan is pretty much window dressing as far as I am concerned.

  • YTK

    Good. Now get them off the sidewalks

  • Bill

    I sure think that this money could be better spent.

  • http://blacknell.net/dynamic MB

    @cryscityrez – That’s going to take a fair amount of time. The easement was just step one in the process. There’s a steep elevation change that needs to be correctly engineered, and construction itself won’t be cheap. We’re talking years (and maybe years) away, is my best guess.

    @Endlos – those areas weren’t left out of the planning – there simply wasn’t enough initial funding to cover the entire county (or even much beyond Crystal City, actually). The folks running Capital BIkeshare (in conjunction with Arlington) are actually taking a very close look at how to best meet demand as additional funding becomes available. See, for example, this post on the “demand map” they’re working on.

    @Teyo. You’re not alone in finding that very annoying. Unfortunately, there are lots and lots of parties (including the Pentagon) to that process, and it’s been hard to get a consensus. Believe me, it’s not for lack of effort or desire on Arlington’s part that we’re waiting for it.

    • George McC

      Has the ANCC easement been settled? I lost track of the story.

      • http://blacknell.net/dynamic MB

        Settled as in the easement granted? Yes.

  • Pingback: Humpback Bridge: Update on New Bike Route to DC | Pike Spotter

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