Bike Arlington has just released the latest – and much improved – edition of the Arlington County Bike Map. It catalogs “50 miles of shared-used off-street trails, 31 miles of bike lanes and sharrows, and 78 miles of recommended on-street routes” for cyclists in Arlington. While cyclists are entitled by law to ride on any public road in Arlington (except for I-66, I-395, and George Washington Parkway), many find that they prefer to take advantage of Arlington’s growing network of bicycle-friendly streets and trails. This new map makes it easier to do that.
Most Arlingtonians have seen the bike lanes on Clarendon Boulevard and know about the Custis Trail, but few realize just how far one can travel in Arlington almost exclusively on trails and bike lanes. The revised map incorporates the new bike lanes and sharrows added last year, and better highlights lesser-known off-street trails. It also suggests “on-street routes” selected for characteristics that make them more appealing to cyclists (e.g., low-traffic, wide shoulders, or hill-avoiding). Unlike the not-always-accurate Google Maps "Bike There" feature, this map is the work of people who’ve actually ridden the routes suggested.
Recognizing that few cyclists stay entirely within Arlington, the map now includes more information about connecting trails and bike routes in DC and Alexandria. New cyclists who are considering a cross-river commute will find the insets illustrating the various bridge crossings very helpful, as they can be quite confusing to the uninitiated.
The points of interest to cyclists have also undergone significant revision. In addition to notes of caution at particularly challenging intersections, the map identifies steep hills along its recommended routes. It also now explains how cyclists can access the roads through Ft. Myer and Arlington National Cemetery.
Finally, the map includes information that didn't even exist when the last version was published (in 2009). The new edition now shows the location of Capital Bikeshare stations in both Arlington and DC. These locations will be updated – along with information about newly-recognized Bicycle-Friendly Businesses – with each successive printing.
The Arlington County Bike Map is Arlington’s most popular publication, with nearly 50,000 copies distributed last year. You can get a PDF copy of the map at the link above or here. Arlington will mail a copy of the new map to anyone, free of charge. Make your request here. The new map will also be showing up at the Car-Free Diet program’s retail partners in the next month or so, after supplies of the old edition run out.