GW Parkway car-free day--latest information

As of 04 Jun 1997

Washington Post writes on GW Parkway closure

This morning's Washington Post (06/04/97) has an article about Babbitt's decision to cancel the GW Parkway closure.

Go to a copy of the article..

Last night WABA has issued their own response, which can be found on their web page.

As of 31 May 1997

The word from Randy Swart <> is

WABA Protest of GWMP Ride Cancellation

WABA has included this with the Ride On! just mailed yesterday:

Minutes before mailing time, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt abruptly canceled the planned car free day on George Washington Parkway. We have expressed our disappointment and displeasure to the Secretary, but he has not reversed his decision.

In response, WABA has applied for and received a permit for a First Amendment Protest Rally and Bike Ride for that very morning, Sunday, June 8. Please join us at 9 a.m. at the Roosevelt Island Parking Lot (on the Mt. Vernon Bikepath, just below Rosslyn Circle in Arlington) for speeches, solidarity, a demonstration and a bicycle ride/run/walk/skate.

This protest is legal and will be safe. There will be options for rides of various distances and difficulty. For up to the minute news and information, call the WABA Hotline at 202 628 2500 or check our website at

Bring family and friends-spread the word! Show Secretary Babbitt that there is a large constituency for giving the Parkway a "day of rest and safety " See you on the 8th!

There is lots more on our Web site.


Randy Swart
WABA Webmaster

As of Thurs, 22 May 1997

CANCELLED! With only two weeks til the event, Secretary Babbitt has "suddenly" uncovered this nefarious plot to close the parkway. For more details follow this link.

As of Tue, 13 May 1997 12:44:18 -0400

Thus spake Robert Swennes <>:

Gary Pollock of the National Park Service staff has provided the following current information about the planned car-free event on Sunday, June 8th.

Much of the parkway between I-495 (American Legion Bridge) and I-395 will be closed to automobile traffic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Traffic will be diverted starting at 9 a.m. promptly, so it will take some minutes for cars already on the parkway to clear the system. The northbound lanes will be closed beginning at a point between the Pentagon and Memorial Bridge. Cyclists and others planning to use the parkway for recreation that day can park at the Pentagon North Parking lot, but they must then cross the footbridge over Boundary Channel, go through the LBJ Grove and cross over the parkway to the Mount Vernon trail. They must then use the trail and head northward (upriver) until the point where the parkway is closed to cars. Park police will be on hand to help people cross the parkway at the LBJ Grove location (because there will be car traffic there). From 9 a.m. onwards, any such northbound car traffic will be required to exit the parkway up to the Memorial Bridge circle.

From Memorial Bridge northward the parkway's northbound lanes will be free for recreation (cycling, jogging, walking, rollerblading . . . ) up beyond Turkey Run Park. Users will likely be required to cross the green median strip to the southbound lanes of the parkway just inside the Beltway. Turkey Run Park will be open for exploring, but due to the current traffic plan, people will not be able to drive there to park. There are several "informal" dirt trails along Turkey Run and Dead Run that can be used by the hardy to access the parkway from the McLean suburbs. Ramp access for all is also available from Route 123 in McLean.

THE SOUTHBOUND LANES OF THE PARKWAY WILL REMAIN OPEN TO CAR TRAFFIC FROM SPOUT RUN IN ARLINGTON. I suspect this is so people will not be hindered from using the parkway to drive to National Airport. Thus all southbound pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be diverted from the southbound lanes to the northbound lanes just north of Spout Run. Thus between Spout Run and south of Memorial Bridge, there will be two-way recreational traffic on the northbound lanes.

The Virginia Bicycling Federation and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association will likely have information tables set up, probably near Theodore Roosevelt Island. Cyclists from Maryland and DC are encouraged to park away from the riverfront and use Memorial and Key Bridges to access the parkway. Arlington and other Virginia residents have numerous points at which to access the closed section of the parkway for this event.

The NPS has established a recorded information line for the event. The phone number is (703) 285-2109

Rob Swennes, VBF, WABA