Pete and FABB’s Silver Line Metro Station Expedition

Pete Beers is one of our part-time bike ambassadors. Pete lives in Virginia and spends a lot of time biking in D.C.’s suburbs and, as a BA, has worked tirelessly to make getting around WABA’s suburban jurisdictions by bike easier and more accessible. In December, Pete led a holiday shopping trip by bike to Tyson’s Corner and the Mosaic District in conjunction with Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling. Now, we’re reposting his account of another ride with FABB, to the new Silver Line Metro stations. You can read Pete’s blog, I Love My Commute, here.

Last week Liz and I planned and lead a ride with some members of Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking to scout out ways to ride to some of the new Silver Line Metro stations being brought on line in the near future. We found a few surprises in getting around. Some stations are easily accessible by bike. Others are more of a challenge. The good and not-so good rides were not what I expected.

Background: One of the great things about the new Silver Line Metro Stations is that they are all extremely well equipped with bike racks and bike storage lockers. At this point, most of these stations do not have a lot of automobile parking. That leaves getting to and from Metro by bus, taxi or bicycle. As a bicycle advocate, I took a keen interest in scouting out the routes to the Silver Line Stations.

McLean Station turned out to be the most pleasant, and probably easiest station to get to by bicycle. The route from the south consists of mostly neighborhood streets that are quiet and enjoyable by bicycle. Here is the route that we took. It runs from Tysons Station Shopping Center (the intersection of Pimmit Drive and Leesburg Pike) to the McLean Metro Station.

Tyson’s Corner Station is for the short term, slightly more hazardous to ride to because of road and building construction across the street from the station. The construction is specifically located at the intersection of ShopTysons Blvd and the Chain Bridge Rd entrance to the mall.  There is a stop sign on ShopTysons Blvd for crossing the mall entrance that has very little visibility to oncoming traffic.  In coming months, the construction will be completed and the route will be much safer.  From the south, there is a great route from the Kilmer Middle School Neighborhood to the Tysons Corner Station.  I use this route to get to the mall for shopping. There’s great bike parking in front of Gordon Biersch Brewery with easy access to the mall. A slight variant on the route listed above is from McLean High School to McLean Metro station. Magarity Road has quite a bit of traffic, but is not bad for cycling. The route is quite convenient.

Spring Hill Station has some routes that are easy and safe and some routes that are not at all recommended. From the west, Metro access from Wolf Trap National Park is a pleasant ride, though it has a few hills. Trap Road has a nice, multi-use trail that makes things much easier. The business park to the north comes from Freddie Mac, near Spring Hill Road around to Tysons Corner Mall. Jones Branch Drive is busy, but has a very wide shoulder. It was an easy ride to the metro. There is access to the Metro Station on both the south and north of Chain Bridge Road.

One of the routes that would be most useful to get to Spring Hill Station is from the north. Spring Hill Recreation Center and Park is a big part of the community. Unfortunately the roads between Spring Hill Rec Center and the metro are NOT safe for riding. The shoulders on Spring Hill Road are narrow and the traffic is heavy and moving quickly. We rode it safely at its lowest traffic time, but I wouldn’t recommend it to any but the most seasoned cyclists used to riding in high-traffic areas. Spring Hill Station has an easy route from the south and the Westbriar Elementary School neighborhood. There are a few sections of multi-use trails.

I’m pleased to say that there are great cycling routes and great cycling facilities for these Metro stations!

Happy riding!