We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

Kansas City, MO
Level Contributor
59 posts
91 reviews
Save Topic
Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

We are thinking about renting bikes (either one for each of us...including the 2 kids, or a couple of tandem bikes) to see the Mall sites one day. We have a 7 year old who tires of walking but she loves riding her bike. My question is, are bikes allowed on the pedestrian areas of the Mall? They are not used to riding on city streets, so I wanted to make sure we could ride on the sidewalks to avoid the traffic issues.

Thanks!

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
869 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

They are allowed on the mall sidewalks, but usually they are so full of people that it's impossible to ride. nps.gov/nama/…bicyclinginformation.htm

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
701 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

Google is your friend:

nps.gov/nama/…bicyclinginformation.htm

San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
16,608 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

The Mall has a center grassy section that runs east-west - there are paved and non-paved pedestrian and bike paths that run through the area. If you look at a satellite map of the area, like with Google Maps, you will see these paths clearly. There are a couple of streets that cross the mall, but not many. You guys should be able to easily ride your bikes all over the Mall.

Olney, Maryland
Level Contributor
7,534 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

I bicycle on the National Mall all the time, even on the sidewalks. While it is a tad busy, it's not like Times Square, it's more like a family, then an empty area, then another family, then an empty area, and those families often don't realize they are blocking the entire sidewalk. A little ring of the bell makes it easy. And only the part west of the Washington Monument is like that. The part east of the Wash. Mon. is made for bicycling with very wide dirt paths, and very wide paved sidewalks that are not crowded.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
Level Contributor
12,223 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

Bottom line. .. Yes but expect pedestrian traffic

Falls Church...
Level Contributor
3,115 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

Most sidewalks downtown (once you're off the Mall) do prohibit sidewalk riding but I've never really seen it enforced in any way but beware. BUT the sidewalks are also plenty wide.

It's not so bad on the street either, once you do it. Bike lanes are prevalent as well. But I understand trepidation if your kid is on her own bike.

Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
492 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

My daughter lives downtown and moves mostly by bike, and she assures me it is OK to bike on tne Mall

Olney, Maryland
Level Contributor
7,534 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

I believe the official legal policy for bicycles on sidewalks is they are prohibited (except for children 10 and under, I think) from the north side of Constitution Avenue (not the side of it on the Mall) to Massachusetts Avenue and from 24 St NW to 4th St, NW. And I have never heard of it enforced except for adults riding like maniacs through big crowds.

The District's Metropolitan Police do not control the Mall area, the National Park Service does, and in the Smithsonian buildings, the Smithsonian Police handle all police and security matters (but not on the sidewalks in front of them). We have more police departments than some towns have police officers :^)

Just ride on the sidewalks and bike paths wherever you want and don't worry about it. If an officer sees you with a child, he/she will probably just look the other way.

And if you're on the Mall Side of Constitution Avenue (the north border of the Mall) or south of it, you're 100% legal. And there are lots of winding and straight pathways and sidewalks between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial (the east and west edges of the Mall). And you can go all around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial along sidwalks, too.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
95 posts
169 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

The original question is "are bikes allowed on the mall?". The answer is yes. I have biked all over the mall from the National Gallery of Art to the Lincoln Memorial and over to the Jefferson. There are walkways and wide paths in most areas. Yes...there are people walking, but if it is not cherry blossom week it's very easy to do and very sensible to do too as the walk from one end to the other is very, very long.

10. Re: Bike Question: Allowed on the Mall?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 26 February 2015, 07:18