Air Force Says No to Bike Commuters Through Bolling
(reprinted from the June/July 1999 Ride On! of the Washington
Area Bicyclists Association)
Bicycle commuters who have been using the scenic trail that runs along
the Potomac River through Bolling Air Force Base may have to find a permanent
alternative starting this summer.
Although previous base commanders have allowed
cyclists through, the new commander has rejected the practice, citing Air
Force "security requirements."
The commuter route in question is a one-and-a-half-mile
paved bicycle/pedestrian trail, part of a safe bicycling connection between
the Oxon Cove Trail and the South Capitol Street bridge into downtown.
Alternatives to the trail through Bolling involve longer and more dangerous
routes, requiring bicycling on South Capitol Street - a four lane expressway
with stretches of curbs and no shoulders.
Currently, access to the Bolling trail requires
a military ID or sponsorship by someone on the Base. With previous base
commanders, non-affiliated bicycle commuters who wanted to use the trail
could also obtain a badge for conditional access. The new base commander,
however, has put a stop to this practice and will no longer allow access.
The trail also runs through the Anacostia Naval
Air Station. Conversely, the naval station continues to allow cyclists
onto its portion of the trail by simply requiring the commuter to show
a driver's license.
The Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club, a strong supporter
of commuter use of the trail, recently requested that the commander renew
the conditional access for bicycle commuters, but the commander has denied
this request. WABA and the Oxon Hill Club are urging the Air Force to reconsider.
Hill Bicycle & Trail Club
e-mail to: info@ohbike