Was This Really a Problem?

GM is all for separating out cars from bikers whenever possible and appropriate, but were there that many idiot drivers going down the Capital Crescent thinking they’d reach the Beltway?

Or does this really have something to do with the Washington Canoe Club, whose members drive right up to the club (beyond where this fence now stands) to park? The National Park Service tried to evict the club some years back, but it appears that it didn’t take (although GM can’t find any articles explaining that).

Either way, stay off the Capital Crescent Trail drivers. Yes, it’s a nice way to travel but you’ve got to do it by bike.



Filed under Parks and Rec

6 responses to “Was This Really a Problem?

  1. Hank

    Don’t have any insider information but don’t think the issue was the WCC. Rather, there were a lot of cars parked daily in the off road area just beyond the new barricades (commuters?) at a time when no one appeared to be using WCC facilities. Looks more like someone wanted to eliminate free parking for commuters.

  2. Olive

    Yes! On many occasions I have seen cars, most often with out of state plates, likely following GPS directions, racing down Water Street only to stop abruptly at the trail. Then, frustrated, they race back to Wisconsin. I’m not down there during the week and commuting hours, so do not know if it is a problem then. But, it is a problem on the weekend when I’m down there with my kids.

  3. Olive

    Actually, I’d love to see more signage (maybe there’s some there now?) at Wisconsin notifying drivers that they’re heading down a dead end street.

  4. Suse

    Olive is right. It is a problem with speeders who when they realize the mistake turn around and speed back to Wisconsin Ave. If the Potomac Boat Club parking is full its even worse because that minimizes the turn around area…not safe for cyclists or pedestrians. The PBC listserve has been to-ing and fro-ing with lots of ideas, but the best one I’ve seen is for a huge sign at Wisconsin and Water indicating with an arrow that you have to go north on Wisc. in order to go west on M St. towards 495 (and other points). Also need a great big “Dead End” sign down there!

  5. Walter

    The video has it mostly wrong. The open space between the Aqueduct Bridge (where the new barrier is) and the Canoe Club became a free parking lot, with 25-30 vehicles squeezed in. The NPS posted notices on all the windshields of vehicles parked there in the days before the barrier went up, stating parked cars would be towed once the barrier went up.

    A vehicle, probably a bus or truck, smashed the bottom section of the wood stairs that led from the towpath to the trail several years ago, and the Park Service subsequently tore down the rest of the stairs.

    The problem was the ‘parking lot’ was becoming a mud pit, as it was an ungraded, largely dirt surface. Use of the ‘lot’ has grown in the past year, as has use of space under the Key Bridge ramps. The lot was full during months when there were no canoeists paddling..

    At NPS meetings on the new boathouse zone, boaters have complained about cars parking in this area, and also mistakenly going down Water St., and having to turn around. Before the increase in parking, this area was frequently used by charter buses to turn around so they could park facing eastward under Key Bridge.

  6. I’d love to spot a car trying to traverse the trail.

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