Bike Access at the Smithsonian

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by George Farnswor, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum
    has built a new museum at Dulles Airport for the display and
    preservation of its collection of historic aviation and
    space artifacts.

    http://www.nasm.si.edu/museum/udvarhazy/

    On a recent gray morning I drove over to see the new museum
    and to satisfy my enduring curiosity about bicycle access at
    airports (http://www.BikeAccess.net). The museum is
    interesting -- mostly military aircraft.

    On the question of bike access I was met with the usual mix
    of misinformation and hostility. The first guard I
    encountered said "yes, I could ride to the museum" but that
    there was no parking for bikes. I pointed out a row of inverted-
    U bike racks in the distance. I then asked if a person on a
    bike would have to pay the $12 parking fee. "Of course, why
    not?" he said with some heat.

    Inside at the "Information" desk I asked again. The first
    matron said that bikes were allowed and did not have pay.
    Her neighbor interrupted to say "No, bikes are not
    permitted 'yet'." Again I mentioned the bike racks and
    asked when bikes might be permitted. She responded with
    more heat, no light.

    The upshot is that the airplane museum admission is "free"
    but that even the Wright brothers would have to come by car
    and pay $12.
     
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  2. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "George Farnsworth" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > On a recent gray morning I drove over to see the new
    > museum and to satisfy my enduring curiosity about bicycle
    > access at airports (http://www.BikeAccess.net). The museum
    > is interesting -- mostly military aircraft. .... The
    > upshot is that the airplane museum admission is "free" but
    > that even the Wright brothers would have to come by car
    > and pay $12.
    >
    I bet that if you actually just biked out there and parked,
    you wouldn't have to pay. You seem to have asked people who
    have no idea about the actual answer.
     
  3. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Mike Kruger wrote:

    > "George Farnsworth" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > message news:[email protected]...
    >>
    >> On a recent gray morning I drove over to see the new
    >> museum and to satisfy my enduring curiosity about bicycle
    >> access at airports (http://www.BikeAccess.net). The
    >> museum is interesting -- mostly military aircraft. ....
    >> The upshot is that the airplane museum admission is
    >> "free" but that even the Wright brothers would have to
    >> come by car and pay $12.

    > I bet that if you actually just biked out there and
    > parked, you wouldn't have to pay. You seem to have asked
    > people who have no idea about the actual answer.

    Seems that way to me too.

    Perhaps if you wrote to the PR dept., you'd get a definitive
    answer. This is especially true if you're in a position to
    offer publicity (positive or negative), as with your
    website. Most likely you'll get a "bikes are welcome -- come
    one, come all," kind of message. And the dweebs who gave you
    "heat" might be admonished to drop the 'tude as well.

    My biggest beef with bike access and public buildings is
    with the Post Office. Most of them have bike racks, but
    some, annoyingly, don't -- and the staff bitches at you if
    you bring your bike inside.

    Matt O.
     
  4. In <[email protected]>,
    George Farnsworth <[email protected]> opined:

    > On the question of bike access I was met with the usual
    > mix of misinformation and hostility. The first guard I
    > encountered said "yes, I could ride to the museum" but
    > that there was no parking for bikes. I pointed out a row
    > of inverted-U bike racks in the distance. I then asked if
    > a person on a bike would have to pay the $12 parking fee.
    > "Of course, why not?" he said with some heat.

    This came up on DC local lists last fall when the Udvar-
    Hazy center opened. I don't recall if any official answer
    came back.

    The hot issue among cyclists at NASM (the ones I know are
    all based at the Mall facility, actually) is if there's any
    reasonable route out there in the first place.

    Rt. 50 & 28 are a bit beyond the comfort of any but the most
    road ready riders. The Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD)
    trail comes near, but there is no legit connection yet.

    At least one NASM cyclist mentioned plans to investigate
    access this spring. That's just around the corner, but isn't
    quite here yet. If I hear anything new I'll be glad to let
    y'all know...

    --
    Dave Salovesh [email protected] (REPLACE example WITH
    mindspring TO EMAIL ME)
     
  5. The Udvar-Hazy Center is accessed via Route 28.

    For those of you not from NoVA, imagine riding on a very high-
    volume Interstate. Now put stoplights on it just often
    enough to get big pulses of traffic (commuters and airport
    traffic) thundering along.

    Or during less-busy periods, imagine traffic hurtling by at
    freeway speeds and not much room to ride.

    Now put construction barriers at various points on it.

    Definitely NOT bike-friendly.

    -Luigi
     
  6. George

    George Guest

    I wrote to the Smithsonian email address for the museum
    ([email protected]) -- no answer in a couple of days.

    Although Rte 28 is kind of a busy road at times, it does
    have a wide paved shoulder and is not nearly so hostile as
    some make out.

    A slightly hidden agenda is the possibility of parking for
    free at one of the malls, etc. along Route 28 and biking to
    the museum.
     
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