Greater Greater Washington

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@Craig: I'd suspect not, because the real issue is how drivers react the lane size. When they see a big lane, they speed.

by Mike in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 30, 2015 8:28 am • linkreport

In his role with the Downtown BID, Joe Sternlieb was an integral member of the team that brought us the Circulator, but if there is one person "largely responsible" for the Cirulator, it is Ginger Laytham who initiated the idea as a way to connect Georgetown with the Metro, and then marshalled the political and financial support to make it the success it is today.

by Grace Bateman in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 30, 2015 7:57 am • linkreport

Loudoun County has an interesting flag that would probably fit in better with Maryland's or DC's than Virginia's.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/Flag_of_Loudoun_County%2C_Virginia.png

I actually think Virginia's flag looks best when it is flown next to the DC and Maryland flags because of the contrast.

by xtr657 in DC has an awesome city flag. Here’s why that matters on May 30, 2015 12:41 am • linkreport

No, it's not worth building a gondola. Either stripe bus-only lanes for the circulator or let the K Street streetcar go down M Street and then continue over Key Bridge to the Rosslyn Metro.

Case study from London:

"Four commuters used River Thames cable car, figures show"

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-25022640

by James in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 11:43 pm • linkreport

As usual, one must be careful with Portland analogies. The Portland gondola goes up a steep hill where a road would be impossible, with a medical school at the top. At the bottom, there's a streetcar station and a major highrise development. I don't know that low rise Georgetown can generate similar ridership.

Much as I think the gondola would be a cool ride, it's also hard for me to believe that neighborhoods which seem to be on a hair trigger about any new building wouldn't object to this massively tall structure.

by Wanderer in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 11:39 pm • linkreport

A naive question, but since cars are generally narrower in Japan, shouldn't this have an impact on ideal lane width?

by Craig in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 10:39 pm • linkreport

Amtrak reports 710,000+ passengers using the BWI station per year, or less than 2,000 passengers getting on and off at BWI per day, equal to less than 1000 round trips per day. MARC Penn line does NOT publish boarding / alighting data per station, at least that I can find, but there is data claiming to be official suggesting 21,000 to 26,000 MARC Penn line passengers using the entire line per week day, or less than 13,000 round trips per day such as Baltimore Penn to DC Union. These 13,000 round trips clearly would be to hubs, and BWI might be logically be ranked 3rd or 4th biggest hubs, while many other stations would be bed room communities. Penn line has 12 stations, and each passenger trip touches two stations, so 42,000 to 56,000 station boarding and alightings combined per day, if all stations were equally used, would mean 3,500 to 4,333 boardings and alightings combined, but as BWI is likely an above average stop, BWI will have more passengers than that. The low ball number here is 5500 to 6333 on and off at this station per weekday with MARC and Amtrak users combined.

This station plan sound like it is in the correct direction, there are several very serious problems. 4 tracks is not enough. Why? Currently fast trains can bypass platforms at maximum speed, and a safety margin of an entire train track width between nonstop express trains and the passenger platform, a safety gap which is there and used by stopping trains to use the platforms. The MDOT and MTA need not build tracks 3 & 4 of a six track station immediately but should leave the space to effortlessly add them without changing anything else, to promote nonstop express trains from DC-Baltimore, and DC-Philadelphia, and DC-NYC, all needed long term to build up sharable fastest high speed rail corridors between DC and NYC, trouncing air planes and the well designed rail corridor investment lasts so long the opportunity is inheritable.

This strongly suggests to me this incremental improvement effort create two island platform with space for four track between platforms, and tracks on the outside of both island platforms, so local trains stop on the outside tracks, 1 & 6, and faster trains stopping use inside tracks 2 & 5, and nonstopping trains use tracks 3&4. This way all trains and passenger safety are well served.

by Nathaniel P. in Maryland plans new station at BWI, and other projects to run more trains on May 29, 2015 8:36 pm • linkreport

I don't play off of memory alone, although after 250+ WhichWMATA photos I'm getting a lot better. Usually there's one photo where I have to print out a system map and start crossing off stations that don't fit (eg, not waffle, not side platform, etc), and that helps me narrow it down until something is apparent.

I'm just glad we haven't had any random stairwell/hallway/roof pictures in a while. The Week 47-5/49-5/50-5 were okay - those were entrances, and I can figure those out. It's things like 47-2, 42-2, 36-4, 32-4, and 32-5 that give me fits. I think 33-4 the hardest one for me so far, although now that I know the trick it feels more obvious. I'd have to say that week 27 was the hardest overall - 4 and 5 were TOUGH. The Shaw photo in week 26 was pretty tricky as well.

I was tempted to use Google Image Search on Week 19, the "vacation" one, but fortunately I figured out the Montreal one before I got desperate - mostly through dumb luck, since that piece of art is visible in one of the photos on the Wikipedia article.

Okay, enough reminiscing. Time for me to go through my photo library and see if I've got 5 more decently framed pictures to submit for WhichWMattA!

by Peter K in Here are the answers to whichWMATA week 52 on May 29, 2015 7:38 pm • linkreport

A gondola from Georgetown to Key Bridge has some real merit if it's high capacity and studies show it can reduce motor vehicle traffic. If it just bring tourists to Georgetown then it's a non-starter in my book. Also it has to stay open at least as late as Metro, and has to include bike access to get pedestrians and bikes out of the intersection of Doom.

At the end of the day though I bet the FAA puts the kabosh on it. The gondola is on the DCA flight path.

But we can hope.

by Alexandria Biker in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 7:02 pm • linkreport

@CBF,

...the challenges those places face in schooling them are as daunting as those DC faces with its poor AA population...

Let's, for the sake of argument, assume that this is true. You're still looking at a "high" FARMs rate of around 60% in Alexandria versus around 80% in DC. If and when the FARMs rate in Alexandria grows another 30%, then we can talk about being able to "compare FARMS to FARMs".

I'm not sure what the point is at this point... That both Arlington and DC have problems. That historical segregation doesn't still echo today?

by oboe in Incomes are rising in the District, but not for people born here on May 29, 2015 6:12 pm • linkreport

Annandale, VA is not even a legally incorporated town, so how can it have a flag? (LOL - maybe it should have the Korean flag's yin-and-yang design).

by slowlane in DC has an awesome city flag. Here’s why that matters on May 29, 2015 6:03 pm • linkreport

I've found in my life that there's absolutely nothing more permanent than a "temporary solution."

Anyone in favor of this is arguing against a new Metrorail tunnel, and anyone who thinks that this isn't the case is fooling themselves.

And personally, if we're considering amusement park rides legitimate transit, I'd much rather be able to zipline across the Potomac. Let's study that solution, next.

by Ryan in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 5:59 pm • linkreport

I've been in a few too many of these "Why can't the blacks be more like the Jews" type of arguments, and they rarely prove fruitful.

by oboe in Incomes are rising in the District, but not for people born here on May 29, 2015 5:20 pm • linkreport

When I opened one of the images of the stations in a new tab, so that I could zoom, I got a prompt to "search for images like this?" That definitely felt wrong, so I didn't touch it.

by Frank IBC in Here are the answers to whichWMATA week 52 on May 29, 2015 5:13 pm • linkreport

@ drumz

One thing that did cross my mind exactly what parts of Georgetown are historic and what is not or is everything historic?

A lot could be done on the non historic parts to fix traffic such-as actually moving the Key Bridge whenever it is time to rebuild it a bit further west say in-front of the Gas Station's location.

Making the bridge double decker (bus lanes)or one level with more than one at its mouth so that you can separate vehicle traffic, pedestrian traffic and bus traffic.

by kk in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 5:09 pm • linkreport

I think it'd be adorable! And cheaper than re-aligning the blue line. BUT. I still would favor realigned blue w/ new Rosslyn station due to that dang choke point at the river.

by Aman in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 5:02 pm • linkreport

@kk
Here is what happened last time someone proposed the Three Sister Bridge...read all about it
http://www.amazon.com/Great-Society-Subway-Washington-Landscape/dp/1421415771/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1432930018&sr=8-5&keywords=washington+dc+subway

by Brett Young in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 4:07 pm • linkreport

@ kk
I dare you to go in front of the Palisades Citizens association and propose a bridge in between Chain Bridge and the Key Bridge.

Zero point Zero chance.

by Brett Young in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 4:06 pm • linkreport

There is always the option of a Three Sister Bridge !

Connect that to Canal Road, and Canal Road to Whitehurst Freeway (while removing the ramps from the Key Bridge and have no connection between Whitehurst and M Street)forcing in/outbound traffic to take that route and local traffic into Georgetown via Key Bridge.

by kk in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 4:00 pm • linkreport

direct connection between the bridge and Wisconsin which could be done via a tunnel or by getting rid of the Whitehurst freeway and connecting K Street to the Bridge.

Thats my plan once I'm invited to be the dictator of DC. Then you could easily make M Street a transit only street and expand the sidewalks.

by drumz in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 3:54 pm • linkreport

The simple issue is that we need another bridge over the Potomac River but that wont be happening any time soon.

Since that is out of the question we need to look for other solutions. The main issues are

1 The bridge itself
2 The connections to the bridge on the Virginia side
3 The lack of connections on the DC side

The bridge itself can not handle all of the traffic due to the streetgrid on the DC side. If this was in any other city a second bridge or M street would have been widened would have happened decades ago.

The Virginia side of the bridge is dangerous there are many ways they could solve the issue from moving the ramps to the GW Parkway. To direct pedestrian bridges over I-66 and GW Parkway ramps. Or simple as restructuring the intersections so that traffic exits and enters via the left lanes thus avoiding the crosswalks altogether.

On the DC side people driving from on the Bridge are trying to reach many different places with this being the only way unless you go way out of your way.

You have people trying to go up Wisconsin Ave since there is no direct connection between Wisconsin & the bridge people have to take M Street. The only way to solve that would be a) another bridge between the Key Bridge and the Chain Bridge, b) making 35th Street a main road and connecting it to the bridge or c) direct connection between the bridge and Wisconsin which could be done via a tunnel or by getting rid of the Whitehurst freeway and connecting K Street to the Bridge.

People traveling up Canal Road, Foxhall Road, MacArthur Blvd or something else in the direction of Northwest. Build a direct connection between the bridge and Canal Road that does not require using M Street. Take the portion of the Whitehurst Freeway under the Key Bridge and connect it to the bridge for Northwest bound traffic.
Rebuilding or remodeling the Key Bridge; it was possible I would bulldoze a few buildings in Georgetown say from 33rd Street on back toward the Key Bridge.

People traveling to Georgetown be for Shopping, Work, School, Hospital etc. There is no way to avoid them other than adding two Metro stations within Georgetown one on the east side and another on the west. We should either look at adding connections to the Key Bridge; including pedestrian, vehicle traffic and bus lanes. Connect K Street to the bridge, Wisconsin via K Street connection, Widen M Street and the Bridges mouth or as a last resort fill in the canal since it serves no real purpose. Or add a tunnel through Georgetown connecting the bridge with Pennsylvania Ave or K Street.

by kk in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 3:50 pm • linkreport

@ Zach_the_Lizard: I didn't know the plans were that concrete yet. That is interesting. Sounds good.

I was always imagining trying to take out traffic lights. For instance, you can close US-29/Lee Hwy SB between Lynn and Ft Meyer. And make all traffic take the loop via Key Bridge. That would take out three traffic lights, and keep traffic moving - for that stretch. Closing Lee Hwy for that block would also allow for Arlington Gateway park to be extended all the way to Key Bridge.

Bikes can be safe on a traffic circle, as long as people realize that bikers are ON the traffic circle and therefor have the right of way OVER traffic getting OFF the traffic circle. Takes some education, but it works nice.

[side-track]: I happened to come across a webcam of a nice traffic circle. It ain't no Rosslyn there, but this is how a good traffic circle should be designed. Note how drivers yield to bikers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1agHAa6eG8

by Jasper in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 3:36 pm • linkreport

@railguy It wont happen because Rosslyn, by car is considered a cut through destination.
The key bridge is one of the few ways to get over the Potomac River
There are too many cars going over that bridge to convert it to bus lane.
I also think there would be a big uproar if they did that.

by Brett Young in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 3:28 pm • linkreport

That Smithsonian picture from the day of the flyover reminds me of something I was thinking - who on earth approved the Smithsonian escalators to go down for overhauls during the spring and summer months? Even when all escalators are functioning, Smithsonian station struggles to adequately cope with the sheer number of people passing through it.

Why weren't overhauls done during the winter months when crowds are significantly less? It's just mind boggling to me that the folks at WMATA approved this scheduling.

by Mr. Johnson in Front and center in the Flickr pool on May 29, 2015 3:18 pm • linkreport

@Mike: The County is serious about pedestrian safety and making the urban portions bikeable. I think they are hoping that a lot can be done by simply having someone on staff to find the low-hanging fruit. And up to a point, they probably can. Just having someone to apply for the right grants, or see where a stripe can be moved...

But past a point, the County will have to either put up a lot of money that it doesn't have, ban parking on one side of the street, or calm traffic and calm drivers enough for cyclists to take the lane. Managers are not going to want to hear it, and it will take a special kind of person to get (some of) it done anyway.

by Jim Titus in Prince George's is hiring a bike and pedestrian coordinator on May 29, 2015 3:16 pm • linkreport

For drivers ONLY, wider lanes give a bit of room for movement within the lane. This movement makes drivers less attentive because they don't have to worry about crossing the white lines. That also means pedestrians are more threatened. I think these issues have to be weighed based on the project. I-95 should be built for driver safety, while Georgia Avenue or Fairfax Drive should be about keeping drivers attentive and cars going slow for the safety of all system users... There's not one-size-fits-all.

by RailGuy in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 3:14 pm • linkreport

Honestly no matter how hostile the bureaucracy is, the right person working on this full time could make significant changes.

by BTA in Prince George's is hiring a bike and pedestrian coordinator on May 29, 2015 3:12 pm • linkreport

@Brett Young: I still think it's more likely than a gondola. If the bus bypasses traffic to get to M street via a lane and signal prioritization, it would at least get to Georgetown quickly... Then it would be a local bus - still a lot better than no change. It's a short-term fix until Metro...

by RailGuy in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 3:09 pm • linkreport

@MLD: mid-life rehab is standard, and if they weren't lemons the 5000s would be expected to last another 25 years. The original plan was for them to be rehabbed starting about 2020, which is in line with the 1000s (built mid 70s, rehabbed mid 90s, retired mid 10s).

by Mike in Breakfast links: Sadness on May 29, 2015 3:04 pm • linkreport

@Jim Titus: actually my concern would be more that I was hired to look nice on paper and that the people I'm working for have no intention of actually making any of the changes that I'd been hired to plan. But I guess that "making people happy" thing is important to some people, also.

by Mike in Prince George's is hiring a bike and pedestrian coordinator on May 29, 2015 2:54 pm • linkreport

@Paul J. Meissner
You might as well study it because if everyone does nothing, traffic on the Key bridge at rush hour (and on weekends) isn't going to get better.

@railguy
There is no way they are going to have a dedicated bus lane on the Key bridge. What happens when the bus gets to M street? A dedicated bus lane there too? Not a chance

by Brett Young in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 2:45 pm • linkreport

the County's position has consistently been that on some roads, cyclists ride at their own risk and the county would prefer people not ride bikes on those roads at all...I have tried to persuade them that efforts to make these roads a bit safer will not induce more people to ride them, so such efforts have a safety benefit with no real downside.

I recognize that (PG isn't alone in that sentiment either) but I'd hope the bike coordinator can work to change that perception/outlook.

PG is signalling that they want people to ride bikes by hiring for such a position but then they should actually let whoever's hired work to ensure that more people do ride bikes in PG county.

by drumz in Prince George's is hiring a bike and pedestrian coordinator on May 29, 2015 2:43 pm • linkreport

Take the $153 million and set up a car buying program for low-income residents

It wouldn't buy enough cars to serve the number of people that the PL will serve. And then there is maintenance, gas, etc... And where will they all park. What about congestion on our existing roads? Time for this O'Toole talking point to die.

@Ken And as I told you last time you asked, exactly where the numbers come from.

I apologize, I must've missed that discussion. Can you link to it or to the source of the numbers for me and others like me? Thanks.

You don't need to build a $2.4 billion light rail to improve a bike and walking trail.

No, but CSX has made it clear that improvements to the trail on their ROW will not be allowed without the Purple Line. So some improvements can be made, but the most important ones can not.

The fact is, this is an unnecessary, cumbersome tool to solve a non-problem.

I disagree about it being a non-problem, but even if true, not everything has to solve a problem. Sometimes we just want to make life better (like state parks). That's a role of government too, right?

As I have said in several posts, the issue is that the local residents don't want the Purple Line....There has been no in-depth survey of the people of our area on the issue, all the implications, costs, repercussions.

So then, even if we discredit the WaPo poll on the Purple Line - and ignore election results, the best we can say is that we have no idea what it is people want. There certainly isn't evidence that local residents don't want the Purple Line.

Looks like the Capital Crescent trail may survive for a few years longer.

The Capital Crescent Trail is not at risk. However, if the purple line is built, the Georgetown Branch Trail would be paved, extended to Silver Spring, have multiple new grade-separated crossings added and lose some tree cover. Oh, it would also become part of the Capital Crescent Trail.

Montgomery is paying $100M to relocate the Branch Trail

It's more than relocate. See above comment.

It is a money grab by developers and politicians who want to line their pockets, while getting taxpayers to pay the tab.

I'm unclear how the Purple Line will enhance property values if it is also useless. I feel there are a lot of shifting positions here (no one wants it, there are better options, it won't do any good, it will only benefit developers) and that kind of attack shift, in my experience, comes from a weak position. When I have a strong argument, I don't have to abandon it for another one, I can just keep hammering it.

When light rail starts costing as much as subways something is very wrong.

The Second Avenue Subway will cost $2.1 BILLION per mile. So, not quite there yet.

by David C in Hogan stalls on the Purple Line, calls it too expensive on May 29, 2015 2:42 pm • linkreport

"a bus-only lane from Rosslyn to Georgetown and then to Georgetown University would be cheaper and possibly as successful. But creating bus-only lanes through the heart of Rosslyn, across Key Bridge and down Canal Road is politically infeasible."

I don't see how this is any more politically feasible. It will create issues with new development, will only be able to serve limited locations, is only planned as a stopgap solution (until Metrorail), and while it's "entertaining", it will be far more touristy and far less for commuters than you imagine. These stations require a lot of ground-level and above-ground infrastrucutre and will not, in the end, be all that convenient. Sounds like the streetcar, and the other streetcar...

This is not to say we shouldn't try for short- and long-term solutions, but the clear short-term solution is bus lanes on the key bridge that allow buses their own lane all the way to M Street. This could mean easily accessible buses right outside of the Rosslyn Metrorail station and they could go wherever they want in Georgetown. I think water taxis could be a solution too, and could go to places such as the Mall, SW Waterfront, Navy Yard, Pentagon, Potomac Yard, and Alexandria.

by RailGuy in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 2:40 pm • linkreport

re gondola:

""""It may not make any sense, it might not be feasible, but I do think it makes sense to explore it"""""" Cheh

Who's getting the nearly quarter-million to "study" this?

by Tom Coumaris in Breakfast links: Sadness on May 29, 2015 2:39 pm • linkreport

"You could read the study, which provides a justification."

I did. No justification was provided.

by tondo in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 2:35 pm • linkreport

@drumz: Regardless of whether we think it is "bad," the County's position has consistently been that on some roads, cyclists ride at their own risk and the county would prefer people not ride bikes on those roads at all.

Rather than argue that point, I have tried to persuade them that efforts to make these roads a bit safer will not induce more people to ride them, so such efforts have a safety benefit with no real downside. Their view is that these roads were designed by drivers for drivers, so until someone shows that they are safe for cyclists, they aren't part of the bicycle network.

@Mike: If I understand the undertone of your comment, you are right that this job is not for everybody. If you place the greatest value on making your immediate boss happy, or being regularly appreciated, or if you want to just do what your boss wants and be thanked for doing it, this is probably not the job for you. If you are more interested in accomplishing a difficult mission for the public that will make the county a much better place, and can listen to diverse preferences and see the best opportunity buried within technical and human challenges, and don't mind having to persuade your management to do what they promised to do when they hired you but now are having cold feet, this could be a great job.

A few more details about the job. First, although it is classified as "planner" they welcome applications from engineers. Weisberg is a planner, while top officials are mostly engineers.

Most likely, it is best to be a little bit of both. You need to be an engineer to keep up with the other engineers that might otherwise spin you with out-of-date analyses. But most engineers are temperamentally accustomed to providing the client what they wanted, rather than cajoling diverse interests which planners always do.

And the application says you have to have a driver's license: Part of the responsibility is to be available for snow-clearing duty in an emergency. If you have a truck driver's license, you would probably have a lot of overtime some years...

by Jim Titus in Prince George's is hiring a bike and pedestrian coordinator on May 29, 2015 2:34 pm • linkreport

"It would, because nobody would drive down it. The point of narrow lanes, particularly for urbanists, is that they both encourage people to slow down and restrict traffic volume. It should be no surprise that they succeed at this."

Actually I have never seen restricting volume as a justification for lane narrowing by urbanists. It is a reduction in speed (and not necessarily even in average speed, but in speeding - in some cases average speed is maintained)

"You could also make similar arguments about reducing speed. Say the speed limit was set to 10 mph -- think of how many accidents would be avoided!"

But there would a loss of traveler time involved. In the case of lane diets, which encourage drivers to go no faster than the actual posted speed limit, the case against them is not that the higher speeds are a good thing (if they were the speed limit would be higher) but that narrowing the lanes presents a danger of side crashes. If in fact they do not, that is a compelling result.

by CrossingBrooklynFerry in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 2:29 pm • linkreport

"Which would imply that say a 3 foot wide lane would have fewer crashes than a 10 ft wide lane."

It would, because nobody would drive down it. The point of narrow lanes, particularly for urbanists, is that they both encourage people to slow down and restrict traffic volume. It should be no surprise that they succeed at this.

You could also make similar arguments about reducing speed. Say the speed limit was set to 10 mph -- think of how many accidents would be avoided!

Forgot to add: the US data is really good, and is not noisy. But it is so old -- 60 years -- that one wonders about how it would be affected by modern road designs that were not present in 1954.

by tondo in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 2:21 pm • linkreport

@JimT, that is a plausible interpretation. Unforantley, that isn't part of the study.

What is:"Pedestrian volume declines as lanes widen, and intersections with narrower lanes provide the highest capacity for bicycles"

which is an issue of the number of people using it, not the safety.

Look, I think people arond here would treat Toronto as a urban paraside. Tokyo is not a useful model for North American cities, let alone American ones.

by charlie in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 2:21 pm • linkreport

And to further complicate the matter, the portion in Prince George's County is built and operated by Maryland National Capital Park and Planning, not the County.

by JimT in Prince George's is hiring a bike and pedestrian coordinator on May 29, 2015 2:15 pm • linkreport

This is noisy data, and fitting a parabola to it will *always* find a minimum. Karim could just as well have fit a linear expression, and found no "sweet spot". The scatter makes the fit questionable; without some sort of a theoretical justification, normally you *would* fit these data to a straight line. But no such justification was provided.

You could read the study, which provides a justification.

Also, the orange data provides evidence for the parabolic fit line to be applied to the others. It's pretty clear the data's not linear and we wouldn't expect it to be (if you narrow lanes too much it makes roads harder to navigate).

The data is not convincing enough. While it is interesting, the whole study cost around $100k, and based on that you are advocating $100B in changes in urban road design.
Who's advocating for $100bn in immediate road design changes? Repaint lanes when roads need to be repainted anyway.

by MLD in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 2:14 pm • linkreport

typo: I meant 11-foot lanes keep motorists more comfortable.

by JimT in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 2:12 pm • linkreport

The data is not convincing enough. While it is interesting, the whole study cost around $100k, and based on that you are advocating $100B in changes in urban road design.

Not really. Maybe if you were going to install hard curbs everywhere but in a lot of cases you can simply just repaint the lanes after repaving. See the recent bike lane push in fairfax. DC added most of its bike lanes to places where it really just came down to restriping the road. Those costs are more or less trivial in the wide world of road construction.

by drumz in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 2:11 pm • linkreport

@Charlie: I think the point is that highway engineers resist narrowing the lanes for the sake of providing more room for bikes and peds, on the grounds that the wider lanes are needed to keep motorists safe. But if the wider lanes increase the hazards for motorists as well, then there is no safety justification to resist narrowing the lanes.

MD SHA's Tom Hicks (the chief traffic engineer) always said that 10-foot lanes are just as safe as 11-foot lanes for motorists, but that 10-foot lanes keep motorists more "comfortable." Whether the state should make the lanes wider for the sake of motorist comfort, or narrower for the sake of bike-ped, he said, was a matter above his pay grade.

by JimT in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 2:11 pm • linkreport

"Karim could just as well have fit a linear expression, and found no "sweet spot". "

Which would imply that say a 3 foot wide lane would have fewer crashes than a 10 ft wide lane. Which is absurd. Karim's interpretation makes much more sense. The point, that at some point widening the lane makes crashed more likely, is somewhat counter intutive, and is supported by the data, whether you treat it as linear or not.

2. I have never seen the cost of a study used as criterion for the study's validity. Of ocurse one ask that more studies are done before we change our road designs. However in this instance localities and state DOTs are already changing designs, at least on urban streets. This reinforces that.

Charlie

Clearly slower speeds is associated with ped safety, which is why lane diets are done. One might expect that to be offset by greater danger of side impact crashes. This suggests not.

by CrossingBrooklynFerry in Wider lanes make city streets more dangerous on May 29, 2015 2:09 pm • linkreport

@ Richard and Brett

I think people may use it; some will love it and use it everyday. Tourists and weekenders may like the novelty.

But is this project of such vital importance to our region that the government should subsidize its study, construction, and possibly its operation?

by Paul J. Meissner in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 2:09 pm • linkreport

Also, the Emirates Air Line goes 300 feet up in the air, so you get the great views. In the mock-up presented, the gondola is at or below the level of the Key Bridge - the bridge will have as good or better a view!

And I can't imagine this city where people scream about 4 vs six stories is going to be receptive to towers twice as tall as the tallest buildings in the city. They probably can't be that tall either because of National Airport.

Do a study if you want, but I don't see this as any more feasible than actual useful transit improvements in Georgetown.

by MLD in Yes, it's worth looking into a gondola in DC on May 29, 2015 2:04 pm • linkreport

re: I-66
Much of the public comment had to do with proposed land to be taken away from Stenwood Elementary School at I-66/Gallows Rd next to Dunn Loring Metro. Below is a link to a google map I did about 5 years ago detailing my proposed land swap of the school site (next to metro) and nearbye Dunn Loring Park. Maybe it is time to think big and pursue this?

As is, Dunn Loring Park nearby has been completely inundated with invasive plants, half the trees are dying or dead, and is probably in need of a million or more dollars in rehabilitation. Rebuilding the school would thus serve two needs. This would then open up aprox 40 acres of land smack next to the METRO station for a few residential buildings, move the kids away from the highway to a more desirable site, and change almost nothing as far as whose children walk to school, etc.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=ztieCLIKS8jQ.kEFByZ6AggGk&usp=sharing

by steve_occoquan in Breakfast links: Sadness on May 29, 2015 2:04 pm • linkreport

@CParker:
Just FYI, the Anacostia River Trail already extends from Bladensburg Waterfront Park to the District border. The missing section, which is under construction, is within the District of Columbia, so the lack of the connection isn't really Prince George's County's fault.

by Matt' Johnson in Prince George's is hiring a bike and pedestrian coordinator on May 29, 2015 2:03 pm • linkreport

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