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Old 12-03-06, 07:48 PM   #1
BillyBob
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Possible Relocation to DC Beltway. Input Please

I am considering a position with a company in Rockville, MD. The company will end up outside of Silver Spring MD in the future.

For those of you familar with the area, are there any bike paths that serve those areas? I am looking at living outside the beltway and would like to buy a townhome. I would strongly prefer not to rent and can't afford single family housing in the area.

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 12-03-06, 08:17 PM   #2
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www.bikewashington.org

Has loads of information of bike routes in your area.
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Old 12-03-06, 08:27 PM   #3
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I wouldn't suggest living on the Beltway. It's not a very bike-friendly part of the city.
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Old 12-03-06, 08:31 PM   #4
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Seriously though, Silver Spring and Rockville are both places with some reasonable housing (by DC standards). Personally, I would prefer to live closer in. I'd check out Silver Spring/Takoma Park area.

Last edited by supercub; 12-04-06 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 12-03-06, 08:42 PM   #5
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BillyBob -- Someone already linked to Bike Washington. You could also check out the Washington Area Bicycle Assoc. http://www.waba.org they have a section on "Getting there by bike" and "Paths and Trails". Depending upon where you are in Rockville and where exactly you want to go in Silver Spring you should be able to put together a reasonable route.

Housing will be higher than most other places, but there are some decent housing values around. If you don't have kids the options are even greater. If you have kids then Rockville is a good choice as are parts of Silver Spring and other parts of Montgomery County -- great schools in much of the county. PM me if you have other questions about the area and I'll try to help.
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Old 12-03-06, 11:37 PM   #6
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I'd say live in Takoma Park, preferably as close to Sligo Creek as possible

also check out College Park, University Park, and Hyattsville if you don't mind a longer commute, you can get on the Northeast/Northwest Branch Trails easily and hook up with the Sligo Trail from there.

of course this all depends on what part of Silver Spring you're talking about. Silver Spring encompasses a LARGE area and some parts of Silver Spring are not very bike friendly

but yeah check out bikewashington and WABA also
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Old 12-04-06, 08:20 AM   #7
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+1 bikewashington.org - Great site!

I lived in Silver Spring and Aspen Hill for many years. Montgomery County along the Beltway is not the most commuter friendly for bikes. Many of the major roads like Georgia Ave. and 29 are fast moving (45-50mph) with lanes too narrow to share. The Sligo Creek trail rides behind Silver Spring up to Wheaton. It is an old school trail and is narrow and is curvy in parts. The Silver Spring post office services a very, very wide area and so for help you'll do well to provide an intersection. Now I last lived in Aspen Hill above Silver Spring, and to commute into DC I rode part of the way and I used the bus part of the way. All the buses have bike racks here. My knowledge of backroads in Rockville is nil.

I've seen on a thread here that there are rides between Bethesda and Rockville that are comfortable for commuters but I have no firsthand info. I know there is a hard packed trail called the Georgetown Branch (an extention of the Capital Crescent trail) between downtown Bethesda and to close to downtown Silver Sping. Bethesda is quite expensive but you may be able commute to both Rockville and to downtown Silver Spring from there.

Peace
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Old 12-04-06, 09:27 AM   #8
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The area between Rockville and Silver Spring (Bethesda and Kensington) is generally pretty expensive. Parts of Silver Spring, Takoma Park, and Rockville might be affordable. There are also a couple of neighborhoods near Kennsington with smaller, older houses.
Another place to look is Wheaton and north along Georgia Avenue.

For bike routes, the bikewashington site is one of the best. The Georgetown Branch of the Capital Crescent connects Bethesda to Silver Spring. Beach Drive / Rock Creek Trail is a good north-south connector (then Viers Mill to/from Rockville.) Or Seven Locks if you are west of the Pike.
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Old 12-04-06, 10:18 AM   #9
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There is a new trail, the Metropolitan Branch Trail, in the works from Union Station in DC to Silver Spring. Check out the link: http://www.metbranchtrail.com

Union Station is easily accessible by using the bike-friendly Mall. I'm not sure of distances in Maryland, but from close-in Alexandria to Silver Spring, it would be about 18 ~ 20 miles one way; from Arlington, it would be a little less.
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Old 12-04-06, 10:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Buck Chuck
There is a new trail, the Metropolitan Branch Trail, in the works from Union Station in DC to Silver Spring. Check out the link: http://www.metbranchtrail.com

Union Station is easily accessible by using the bike-friendly Mall. I'm not sure of distances in Maryland, but from close-in Alexandria to Silver Spring, it would be about 18 ~ 20 miles one way; from Arlington, it would be a little less.
I think this trail is still years off from be completed, but I would gladly be corrected.
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Old 12-04-06, 11:17 AM   #11
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DCWheels you are right about the whole trail being years away. Although I believe there are sections of the off road trail that are done and I think there is an on road route to make the trip. It could be an interesting ride for those who are not familiar with and comfortable in DC's urban neighborhoods.

I hope Billy Bob comes back with more details so we can be more useful, right now its all sort of vague.
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Old 12-04-06, 04:09 PM   #12
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I missed the part about wanting to him live outside the Beltway before, Wheaton/Glenmont is probably the best bet in this case.

I'm seriously not holding my breath for the Met Branch to be finished anytime soon. I think they've been working on it since the mid 90's if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:16 PM   #13
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Let me suggest something I recall from old discussions in the Folders forum - get a folding bike (probably a 20" Dahon, Downtube, or Xoots) and go multi-mode on metrorail or metrobus. For that matter, I think the Montgomery County bus system buses have bike racks (as does metrobus, while thanks to some penny-pinching idiots Fairfax Connector DOES NOT!). While metrorail restricts bikes during rush hour, the restriction does not apply to folders (at least if bagged). Adding in rail or bus to get past bad traffic areas opens up all sorts of locations that may be nicer and more affordable than something close-in.
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