Try It By Bike!: A Guide to Riding Around Red Line Metro Closures
For all of us who can’t take off a leisurely July 21st to Sept 3rd vacation and avoid some very humid days, the Metro closure of the Brookland and Rhode Island Ave Red Line stations are going to affect many travel patterns. There will be bus shuttles between stations and a temporary bus lane on Rhode Island Ave (!). But it can also be a easy bike ride—there is a trail that parallels the Red Line! Want to avoid crowded roadways and train platforms while Metro undertakes maintenance? The Metropolitan Branch Trail follows the Red Line from just south of Fort Totten past Brookland, Rhode Island, NoMa to Union Station with some great connections to downtown and points east & west.
How to PrepareCheck your brakes, pump up your tires, and give biking a try! A few things we’ve seen that are useful for beginning to bike for transportation:
- No need to start with the Big Ride. Maybe test out a daily commute on a weekend when there isn’t a 9am important meeting. Where are you going to park your bike?
- Options are your friend. You can drive a car to a park-and-ride, and ride your bike from there. Take bikeshare downhill and bus home. Try out a bikeshare bike for a week and see how getting around feels.
- A Capital Bikeshare corral with unlimited parking will be available at 3rdSt. NE and M St. NE from 8am-1pm, on Monday – Friday from 7/23 – 8/31, so you can easily drop off your bike.
- You do need a working bicycle, a u-lock and some way to carry your things. A helmet is encouraged. But, like so many things, no need to go all in on all the fancy gear to start with! Are bike specific bags nice? Sure! But you can also use the random Aldi’s reusable bag you got free that one time. If you’re going to be biking when it is dark, a front light is legally required and you should have a rear light too.
- It’s hot! Sunscreen, a water bottle and sun protection are probably a good idea. I like wearing casual clothes on my ride and changing at work to avoid sweaty clothes. But for folks with shorter rides or who aren’t perennially biking fast to avoid being late for meetings, a slower pace should help minimize sweat.
- Trails are kind of like roads, but better. Ride to the right and pass folks on your left. Let people know that you’re passing them and give them space. Don’t do anything sudden. And above all, be courteous about the shared space.
- We’ve got maps, events, classes, and all sorts of other resources below to make your bike commute comfortable, safe and fun.
What’s WABA Doing?
- Pushing local transportation officials to create space and infrastructure for biking during the surges.
- Steering our existing programs and resources to help and support people impacted.
- Leading the bike community to help by providing resources, programming and events.
Already a Bike Commuter? Help your neighbors and your coworkers!Metro maintenance is huge and we need your help to make sure that nobody on a bike is left behind. How can you help?
- Be a resource for their questions.
- Can you go on a ride with them? Collaborate on route route planning?
- Connect them with other resources – any WABA events that they should join?
New to Bike Commuting?Join us at a City Cycling class! This class is the right fit for you and will give you three things you can’t get anywhere else:
- A safe and supportive environment to practice riding and build confidence
- Access to the best bike teachers in the region to answer all your questions
- Riding techniques, tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your ride
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