County staff offered a similar story to bike riders on the Columbia Pike Corridor in its recent Draft Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Plan. The Draft Plan incorporates the streetcar, which would make unpassable the only reasonable direct (on-street or off-street) route from Pike Town Center to the bike connections at the Pentagon. (Great post on the perils of trying to ride a bike on a street with trolley tracks here.) Prior coverage of this critical bike connection here.
Today, bike riders can ride in the street on Columbia Pike. For riders headed to the Pentagon, from S. Barton street or so, riders in fact have no reasonable alternative – on street or off – from Pike Town Center to the Pentagon other than riding on Columbia Pike. The Columbia Pike Bike Boulevards plan, which have been developed as an alternative to bike lanes on Columbia Pike, would create two routes parallel to the Pike that end/begin several blocks west of the Columbia Pike underpass to Washington Boulevard. In effect, the Bike Boulevards basically upgrade routes that currently exist.
A “conceptual,” “non-regulatory” map proposes a new bike route from S. Cleveland and S. 12th St. to the Washington Boulevard underpass (a light blue dashed line marks the spot in the map below). This new trail would link the underpass to the spot where the planned southern Bike Boulevard is projected to terminate. The route would cut through Arlington Village, and need significant landscaping between S. Barton and S. Wayne. (A prior post suggested running a S. Cleveland to S. Rolfe St. connector along the edge of the Army-Navy Country Club). Click on the map below for a bigger image.
The proposed northern Bike Boulevard also appears to have a link to the planned Washington Boulevard trail/Wash Blvd underpass, but it is an out of the way route compared to to the current choice to ride on Columbia Pike. Further, this map can not be taken as a commitment by the County to build these “conceptual” links.
For Pike area bikers, this Draft Neighborhood Plan doubles down on the County’s decision to take away the current (on-street, hardly ideal) commuting route without providing a safe, reasonable alternative.