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Going into DC from Front Royal

Southeast Missouri
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243 posts
37 reviews
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Going into DC from Front Royal

Hi, I posted this question on the Washington DC Forum, and someone suggested that I also post it on the VA Forum. Here's my question:

We are traveling by motorcycle the end of May, riding the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Dr. ending at Front Royal, VA. We are considering a day trip into Washington DC, since we'll be so close. However, we're not sure about the transportation issue. I've spent a little time on the Metro website and have some questions:

Would you recommend catching the Metro into DC from the suburbs, rather than trying to drive a motorcycle around DC, where we are completely unfamiliar with the roads?

If we did take the Metro, is the Fairfax station the best one to take it from, coming in from Front Royal?

If we parked our motorcycle at the Metro station at Fairfax, is the parking safe and secure? We've spent more on this motorcycle than any of our other vehicles and don't want anything to happen to it!

Finally, how long would the Metro ride be to come into the National mall area from Fairfax - it would be a weekday. Is there a "rush hour" we should avoid ,or does it matter?

I appreciate any insights you can give!

Ashburn, Virginia
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299 posts
22 reviews
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1. Re: Going into DC from Front Royal

You would have to decide if riding around inside DC is something that you would feel comfortable doing. There are a few places where there is dedicated motorcycle parking as it's a popular way to use the HOV lanes without carpooling. I guess driving around DC could be intimidating to someone who hasn't done it before. I remember I had the same misgivings when I moved here and used Metro until I was more comfortable with the city.

The Vienna/Fairfax station on the orange line is the first station you will get to as you travel east towards the city on 66. There is more parking here than at the next few stations on the line, but it does fill up quickly on weekdays. There might be motorcycle-only parking here, but I can't say for sure. It's been a couple of years since I used this station regularly.

Can anyone refresh my memory...can anyone park in the designated "reserved" spaces after 10am? If that's still true, that might be your best bet for getting a parking spot.

As far as safety, this area is safe, but common sense should always be used.

The ride from Vienna to the Smithsonian station is a little over 30 minutes. It exits right out on the Mall, but you could also use Federal Triangle and walk a bit. There is a morning rush, but you should avoid that more for the god-awful east-bound traffic on 66 than worry about space on the train. You'll hit it around Gainsville/Manassas, and it's solid all the way to the beltway. It doesn't really let up until 10am, although as mentioned before you can make use of the HOV lanes and maybe have an easier time of it. Traffic going west on 66 in the evening is also terrible between the Vienna station to the Gainsville exit. If you decide to take the train back out of the city between 5-6, I would suggest finding somewhere to eat dinner close by in Fairfax and then head west afterward.

2. Re: Going into DC from Front Royal

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Removed on: 29 August 2009, 16:18