"Getting Around Washington by Bicycle,” dated August 1982.

This guide, prepared by the D.C. Department of Transportation’s Office of Policy and Program Development, provided information for cyclists about navigating through the District. The guide provides basic information about the city’s special bikeways, details the hazards of particular bridges and informs readers about rental businesses and cycling societies.

Included with the guide were eight small maps, which when laid out together show bike paths and suggested routes through the majority of the city. We’ll share these maps soon.

For a PDF of the guide, please visit: 


Interesting note: According to the guide, bicycles were only permitted on Metrorail on the weekends, with a permit (see Page 30).

Image 1: WMATA banner celebrating the groundbreaking of the Anacostia Metro Station on September 21, 1985. The Green Line formally opened on December 28, 1991, and ran from the L’Enfant Plaza to Anacostia Metro Stations. The Green Line segment from the Fort Totten to Greenbelt Metro Stations opened on December 11, 1993, and the two segments were connected on September 18, 1999, which opened new stations along the corridor and created access for Green Line riders to stations that formerly only served by the Yellow Line.

Image 2: WMATA banner celebrating the opening of the final five Green Line stations—which spanned from the Congress Heights to Branch Avenue Metro Stations—on January 13, 2001. This expansion led to the current iteration of the Green Line.

Image 3: WMATA banner commemoration the opening of Phase I of the Silver Line, which began service on July 26, 2014, with five new stations. Silver Line trains run from the Largo Town Center to Wiehle-Reston East Metro Stations. Phase II of the Silver Line is projected to open in 2018, with six new stations stretching from Reston Town Center to Dulles Airport and a final terminus near Route 772 in Loudoun County, Va. 

WMATA planning map, dated March 1, 1968 and last revised by the WMATA Board on June 11, 1970

Please view a full-size, searchable version of the map. (Navigational tools are at the bottom of the map.)

On March 1, 1968, WMATA officially adopted a 97.2 mile regional system in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. On February 7, 1969, WMATA revisited the rapid rail plan and relocated three of the stations, calling instead for 97.7 miles of track. The total system cost was $2.5 billion ($15.9 billion in today’s dollars) consisting of $835 million of revenue bonds issued by WMATA, $1.1 billion in federal funding, and $573.5 million from local sources. On June 11, 1970, the WMATA Board adopted a realignment of 2.5 miles of a mid-city route to better serve the city center. A version of the map that notes these changes is posted above. 

Metro originally had a future route planned to Dulles Airport—the final destination of Phase 2 of the soon-to-open Silver Line—the first half of which (to McLean, Tysons, Greensboro, Spring Hill, and Wiehle-Reston) is scheduled to begin service on Saturday, July 26, 2014.

The 1968 version of WMATA’s planning map also features a different path for a route that would materialize as Metro’s Green Line. The proposed north-south route through the District was set to feature a station near Logan Circle and run north toward a terminus in Laurel, Md. An alternate route trajectory, which was being studied by WMATA and was approved in 1970, ran up-and-down 7th Street NW and featured stations located near what are now the Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center and Shaw-Howard U Metro Stations. 

According to this map, Metro also planned for a Metro line along a route that is similar to one followed by the proposed Columbia Pike streetcar in Arlington, Va 

Pro Tip: Note how the Metro Station names have changed over time.

Image 1A Capital Transit guide map dated June 1, 1942, featuring both streetcar and bus lines. According to this map, there were 10 streetcar lines and more than 40 bus lines. The map also contains various points of interest across the city, as well as fare information: cash fares were 10 cents, tokens were 6 for 50 cents and weekly passes were sold for $1.25.

In a sidebar column on the top right, Capital Transit asks wives who do not work to avoid taking transit during rush hour, as people traveling during those hours are commuting to and from work, the majority of whom are “engaged in work contributing to our Nation’s War Effort.”

For more information, please view a full-size, searchable version of the map

Image 2: The back page of the map contains an index to the streets of Washington, DC and lists the streetcar and bus routes by street and the details of where each line goes and when they operate. 

For more information, please view a full-size, searchable version of the index.