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DMV Cycling Guide: Trails, Traffic Safety, and So Much More

Posted on 04/15/24 by admin in Biker Accidents,Personal Injury

Our region has a number of factors that make it appealing to cyclists. Washington DC and the surrounding areas can boast a robust network of municipal bike lanes and trails. Whether for exercise, recreation, or simply as an eco-friendly and space-efficient way to commute to work, the DMV area accommodates cyclists of all kinds. With spring in full bloom and summer just around the corner, this is the perfect time of the year to add a regular bike ride to your schedule. We here at Malloy Law will be riding right alongside you this season and would like to take this opportunity to share some details about a few of our favorite bike trails in the region. We’ll also be offering a few tips on safety, particularly when traveling in hectic DC traffic. Read on for all this and more in our DMV cycling guide.

DMV cycling

A Brief Note on Safety

Just as when driving a car or truck or riding a motorcycle, cyclists should be careful to obey traffic regulations. Indeed, an even greater degree of care may be prudent. Many of us are taught about “defensive driving” when learning to drive a car. These same principles can be life-saving when cycling in traffic. Cyclists should:

  • Heed all traffic signals
  • Yield to pedestrians
  • Make sure they’re as visible as possible in the middle of the lane

Under no circumstances should cyclists:

  • Stop in crosswalks
  • Weave in and out of traffic
  • Ride against traffic
  • Ride in the “door zone” (the area roughly 3 feet out from parked cars where opening doors may strike oncoming cyclists)

And finally, whether you ride in the city or in the middle of the wilderness, no DMV cycling guide would be complete without a clear and unambiguous plea that all cyclists should wear a protective helmet. Make sure your helmet fits properly and is up to the standards of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

DMV cycling

DMV Cycling Guide: Our Top Five Trails in the DMV

Capital Crescent Trail

This seven-mile shared-use rail trail runs from Georgetown, in DC out into Bethesda, Maryland. This trail serves more than a million people every year, making it one of the most heavily-trafficked public trails in the United States. The Capital Crescent has even been recognized as an example of how accessible transportation can “enliven a community” by the Project for Public Spaces.

Sligo Creek Trail

Named for the tranquil waterway which runs parallel to this paved walking and cycling trail, Montgomery County, Maryland residents are likely already familiar with this ten mile trail which runs Carole Highlands and Wheaton. Sligo Creek Trail is a lively social nexus for Montgomery County, lined with parks, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Community-minded cyclists may enjoy the experience of encountering friends and neighbors along the rocky shores of Sligo Creek.

Sligo creek trail

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

This multi-use trail system spanning both sides of the Anacostia River and running into nearby neighborhoods is technically still under construction. However, cyclists can still enjoy the sixteen and a half miles of asphalt or brick trail which have already been constructed, and can look forward to almost ten more miles of planned trails still to come.

Mount Vernon Trail

Our neighbors in northern Virginia can enjoy this historic trail which runs from Rosslyn to the estate of George Washington at Mount Vernon. This trail’s origins stretch back to the late 1800s and has been worked on, refurbished, and expanded since the 1970s. The MVT’s modern incarnation takes cyclists through historic Alexandria along the Potomac River.

Metropolitan Branch Trail

This eight-mile trail runs parallel to the WMATA Red Line. Starting in Silver Spring and terminating at Union Station, this rail trail allows for connections to the Capital Crescent Trail, mentioned earlier in this post. Planned expansions to this trail will allow cyclists to pick up the Northwest Branch Trail at Fort Totten. A street connection from Union Station to the National Mall is also planned.

DMV cycling

If You Are Involved in a Cycling Accident

If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident, Malloy Law can help. Our experienced and diverse legal team can boast the expertise of some of the area’s bicycle accident specialists. We’re proud to put our clients first and to pursue justice with an empathetic attitude towards the injured. Contact us today to seek just compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.