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Breakfast links: One lane battle ends, another begins


Photo by Imagined Reality on Flickr.
Alexandria bike lanes move forward: In a unanimous vote, the Alexandria city council approved the compromise plan for King Street, which will add bike lanes and pedestrian crossings, while also retaining some parking spaces. (Post)

Long road for bus lane: Pressure is mounting for a dedicated bus lane on 16th Street, but many (including AAA) will fight losing any space for single-passenger cars. DDOT's Sam Zimbabwe says a potential lane is years away. (Post)

Residents demand lower speed limits: A week after a woman was killed by a truck driver in Arlington, over 100 neighbors met to discuss safety, including speed bumps and lower speeds in residential neighborhoods. (ArlNow)

Why Metro? Why now?: Metro service has grown as the region has grown, but will flatten out in the future. We need to keep up transit growth to maintain economic strength, say Metro planners. (PlanItMetro)

Freeze for Route 460: Virginia was spending $20 million a month just to keep a private partner "mobilized" even without any progress on a project on US-460 which the Army Corps of Engineers say may never pass environmental muster. Should the state Commonwealth Transportation Board have asked more questions? (Bacon's Rebellion)

What's next for the Lorton dump?: The company running a construction-debris landfill in Lorton is asking to keep it open, despite promising residents it would close by 2018. How will the county decide between local residents and a broader need? (Post)

When will Fenton Village spring?: Development has transformed Silver Spring, but Fenton Village, just to the south, still has many vacant buildings and lots. What will it take for long-promised projects there to get going? (araspberry, Erik W.)

Where the inequality isn't: The Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick sub-metropolitan area has some of the lowest inequality among US metro areas, but is that just because most of the region's poverty is outside of it? (Atlantic Cities)

And...: Metrobus is only running very limited service due to the snow; Metrorail is running normally. Many roads are treacherous. (Post) ... The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority wants input about the W&OD trail. (FABB) ... Rushern Baker proposes opening more libraries in Prince George's County on Sundays. (Post)

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Matt Malinowski is a consultant advising government clients on improving the energy efficiency of consumer electronic products, but is interested in all aspects of sustainable infrastructure and community resilience. He lives with his wife in the Truxton Circle/Bates neighborhood of DC. 

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It's great to see the Alexandria city council step up and do the right thing on the bike lanes. The council members who I emailed on this issue were very responsive.

by aaa on Mar 17, 2014 8:47 am • linkreport

That bit about US 460 is just so ridiculous. Transit gets scrutinized ridiculously hard, but at the end of the day, for $300 million, VA got the Silver Line. For $300 million on the 460 project, a bunch of guys sat around "mobilized" and the CEO and such made a killing.

by Kyle-w on Mar 17, 2014 9:14 am • linkreport

“I don’t think the cars hold up the buses particularly. Everybody moves along about the same speed. We are all stuck in it together.”

People still take this guy seriously? Cars not stuck in traffic, cars are traffic.

by Adam L on Mar 17, 2014 9:25 am • linkreport

@Adman L +1
You can get rid of all the walkers, bikers, buses, and Metro and there would still be the same congestion you have now. Get rid of the cars and there is no congestion.

by dc denizen on Mar 17, 2014 9:29 am • linkreport

“You couldn’t just add a bus lane without any changes. You will need to be taking a car lane or parking. There are some trade-offs in there,” Zimbabwe said. But, he said, “we are probably years away from having a dedicated bus lane on 16th Street.”

The only reason for this being "years" away is a complete lack of will. This step (and many others) are absolutely necessary if the city has any hope of actually reaching its goal of switching 75% of trips to transit/walking/cycling.

by drumz on Mar 17, 2014 9:31 am • linkreport

Congrats to Alexandria

These things CAN be won when the local pols see the change as part of an overall vision, when the benefits of change are tangible and folks supportive of change mobilize, when the arguments for change are very strong.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 17, 2014 9:31 am • linkreport

BTW, I did not know that VA law makes 25MPH the lowest legal speed limit. Something to add to the agenda in Richmond next year.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 17, 2014 9:36 am • linkreport

Its not just rural highway folks who waste money though, I think the Connolly plan for orange and blue line extension is equally wasteful because WMATA has said it will not accept any projects without a new river capacity increase, adding costs that neither project can incur.

On top of that, the millions being spent to "study" the concept (which is dead in the water to anyone who knows the first thing about financing infrastructure projects) is taking money away from a perfectly good rail line that already exists in BOTH CORRIDORS, the VRE, which could simply increase frequency and service times.

Cookie cutter idiocy

by Navid Roshan on Mar 17, 2014 9:43 am • linkreport

20 million a month? Good lord!

by Richard on Mar 17, 2014 9:55 am • linkreport

Navid

I believe the only way Va (and FFX) will ever get behind a river capacity increase, is when extensions they want, and that have considerable momentum behind them, are stymied by the capacity issue. So doing a study of such extensions is very helpful - I think its hard to argue for Va funding for a capacity increase when the principle argument (aside from helping out those poor folks in eastern ArlCo and Alex who use the blue line) are vague references to future extensions.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 17, 2014 10:02 am • linkreport

The river crossing is an important study AWITC, as you know I am a huge supporter for improving the situation for the "poor folks of eastern ArlCo and Alex" but that is not at all what the study is about, so its a strawman.

The study is to see if population demand and growth in western regions and southern regions could justify not just a 3-5 billion cost for extensions, but also the 2-3 billion for a river crossing project.

But by studying the genesis of a river crossing solely on this merit is stupid, it takes away the regional funding component as there is no incentive for MD and DC to join in if the crossing need is being created solely for Virginia's needs.

Secondly, the cost, unlike the Silver Line, has no ability to be funded outside of pure State and local funding, of which there is none. There is no federal assistance coming because the population is no where near that of the Silver Line corridor. There is no state assistance beyond the 300 million or so coming because there is minimal state wide commercial value of these corridors. There is no local assistance coming because there is no additional funds, especially not 6 billion just hanging around.

Its a bad study, and more importantly, its a waste because there already is a rail system that already does this, but is underfunded and needs to be utilized to its greatest capacity.

If you do that, then we can focus on the river crossing issue as a true singular project, solely for improvement of the blue/orange issue. The cost goes down, the regional participation increases because now you can't necessarily point to the extension as the sole cause of the issue, and the likelyhood of it happening within our lifetimes increases.

The politicians are being stupid for the sake of pandering to constituents, this study goes nowhere and sadly it will waste the very money that could be funding VRE and the river crossing improvement/more metro cars/8 car upgrades/etc

by Navid Roshan on Mar 17, 2014 10:26 am • linkreport

That AAA guy continues to give the entire organization a bad name. Such an idiot

by JJJJ on Mar 17, 2014 10:29 am • linkreport

"But by studying the genesis of a river crossing solely on this merit is stupid, it takes away the regional funding component as there is no incentive for MD and DC to join in if the crossing need is being created solely for Virginia's needs."

DC's interests in the crossing are clear - it enables a separate blue line with a bunch of new stations, including in Georgetown, reduces crippling congestion at key transfer stops, and makes possible more development and higher property values in DC. I'm not sure MD has much interest, and I never expected Md to kick in to pay for it.

Most of the rest of your arguments are not about the sequencing of blue/orange extension studies and the river crossing, but against the extensions substantively - to which I would say two things - one, thats why we do studies, to confirm or question if these informal beliefs hold up - and two, I do not think VRE is really a substitute for the extensions - VRE would substitute for Orange line extension to PWC, but not western FFX. VRE will add some capacity to Ft Belvoir (if it can be made to work there), but will have less impact, I think. If the metro rail extensions prove to be unjustified more will be needed than the VRE improvements - some dedicated ROW surface transit as part of the I66 project (presumably BRT) and some additional transit improvements south of Alexandria.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 17, 2014 10:52 am • linkreport

@AWITC, I dont disagree with possible BRT/Bus expansion needed for connection from VRE to western Fairfax (I assume you are speaking about Centreville).

There is possibility to connect the Braddock improvements proposed by John Cook (which includes already dedicated bus lanes for BRT to 495), to the VRE in Burke (near braddock) to better connect to Centreville.

That of course, requires an expansion of VRE also, which I repeat, needs funding, which is being wasted currently studying a heavy rail system that financially any layman can point to and say will not return with a favorable financial feasibility.

As far as DC/MD involvement, they sure as heck won't get involved with a river crossing if it is connected specifically to a virginia only expansion. They'll simply say, you are creating the problem, you pay for it. Thats the reality of the politics currently at play.

by Navid Roshan on Mar 17, 2014 11:01 am • linkreport

I should note that a centreville (western Fairfax) station is possible due to the alignment of VRE between Manassas Park and Burke, which again, is something that the funds for this study could instead go towards

The rail is already there.

by Navid Roshan on Mar 17, 2014 11:03 am • linkreport

""install new crosswalks, some with rapidly flashing beacons"""- Hopefully Alexandria is entering the 21st century with smart crosswalks and DC may only be a decade or so behind. In CA pedestrian accidents have been cut 80% with them. That's staggering.

Metro and others strongly promoting the # of lanes vs # of people traveling formula may be giving a weapon to cycle lane opponents.

Machen says Thompson was the "tip of the iceberg" to soon come. Bennett says Gray's ready for trial tomorrow. No one is ready for trial against the feds. That's obvious lawyer posturing for negotiating the best plea bargain.

by Tom Coumaris on Mar 17, 2014 11:05 am • linkreport

DDOT's Sam [named forAfrican dysfunctional klepto-dictatorship] is somewhat clueless and ineffective. DDOT has gone down hill seriously since his predecessor left several years ago,

by Amy on Mar 17, 2014 11:33 am • linkreport

navid - I dont see the politics quite that way - I see much more awareness of the separate blus line in DC, and here little about in NoVa. I think getting NoVa thinking about it is much more important, and extensions are one way to do that.

BTW, I think BRT on I66 to the Orange line at Vienna is much more likely than extending the braddock bus lanes (which IIUC won't even go all the way to GMU) further to effectively serve Fair Oaks and Centreville. Both because of location, speed, and the additional places metro goes to compared to VRE. But that, again, means more people on the Orange line, a need for more metro trains, and thus for the crossing - VRE really has little to do with that.

Tom - the folks who want to fight bike lanes on that basis already know and use that meme. Note well no one is saying its only about number of people per lane - but that when you have a mode that you already want to encourage, AND it carries more people, it makes sense to give it road real estate. Since no jurisdiction in our region has a policy goal of encouraging more VMT, I don't think that really impacts bike lane discussions - except perhaps when its bike s vs peds - where I think its pretty legitimate.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 17, 2014 11:35 am • linkreport

Numbers are important but:

A: there's a basic safety requirement that demands our roads should strive to accommodate all modes. Bike lanes do that. Bike lanes should be as basic as sidewalks and we know how inadequate out sidewalks can be.

B: bike lanes are safer because they induce more cyclists anyway. So if you want to accommodate the numbers you build the infrastructure to accommodate it first. (Much like you'd do by building a bus lane on 16th).

by Drumz on Mar 17, 2014 11:49 am • linkreport

@Navid

The VRE is planning to request a TIGER grant for a NEPA analysis for the expansion of the Long Bridge.

http://www.vre.org/about/Ops_board_items/2014/March/9B-TIGER%20Grant%20for%20Long%20Bridge%20Expansion.pdf

As for Metro extensions in Virginia, the only logical extension is the orange line to Fair Oaks Mall/Fairfax Corner with a inline highway BRT station underneath that could use HOT lanes to connect buses to Tysons. Tax District at Fair Oaks could support funding for the station.

by mcs on Mar 17, 2014 11:52 am • linkreport

DDOT has gone down hill seriously since his predecessor left several years ago

I also miss Emeka Moneme. That is who you were referring to, right?

by jeff on Mar 17, 2014 12:00 pm • linkreport

The 460 stuff is what should land McDonnell and his cronies in prison. The Star Scientific scandal is tiny potatoes compared to this.

by NikolasM on Mar 17, 2014 12:32 pm • linkreport

Amy, Sam Zimbabwe is not named for the country. As I understand it, the name is a combination of his original last name and his wife's maiden name. But that it matches up with the country is probably not a coincidence.

by David C on Mar 17, 2014 1:14 pm • linkreport

No, I was referring to the one who held Sam's job, Karina Ricks. Very smart and stood behind what she promised

by Amy on Mar 17, 2014 1:24 pm • linkreport

drumz regarding the lack of will - I think if people want a bus lane on 16th, it needs to be emphasized clearly for rush hours only. I think that important point seems to me like something said in whispers, off-camera, treated as off message, rather than written directly on the signs of the bus lane supporters. That is not some detail to brush off lightly, Non-rush (extend the rush to 10 am though..) and Saturday and Sunday bus service doesn't justify it's own bus lane.
IA that if 50% of morning rush from some areas is bus traffic, during morning rush, then that's a good argument for repainting some stripes, etc. and even potentially where it'd fit, since the bulk goes one direction each time of day emphasize, making one traffic lane reversible, during rush times.
I'm concerned about expense, damage, of mission creep and committee plans. Where "smart growth" planners start saying "oh, bus lane, let me see how I can make this 100% repurposed full time and exclusive and cost everyone 30+ million per mile - where we won't have to live with the consequences". I think that's a reasonable concern from anyone paying attention in the Metropolitan area.

by asffa on Mar 17, 2014 1:50 pm • linkreport

Also Rt.460 corruption + mission creep means 300 mil per mile to do nothing aka "mobilize"
wow. that's sick

by asffa on Mar 17, 2014 2:20 pm • linkreport

@mcs
As for Metro extensions in Virginia, the only logical extension is the orange line to Fair Oaks Mall/Fairfax Corner with a inline highway BRT station underneath that could use HOT lanes to connect buses to Tysons. Tax District at Fair Oaks could support funding for the station.

Yes Fair Oaks and Centerville could probably support an orange line extension. The people is that it would further crowd Rosslyn and make it difficult for riders from other stations closer in to board trains into DC. WMATA is not going to create an extension that makes the core of their system unworkable. Bundling the extension with another river crossing seems to be the only way to get enough support for either.

VRE though uses a different crossing that has more secure funding to be replaced and upgraded, so using planning money there makes more sense until the situation on the orange line demands it.

by Richard on Mar 17, 2014 3:05 pm • linkreport

At the risk of being outed as not ideologically pure, if the bus lane proponents were smart they would propose a one-week trial during which perceived issues could be monitored and most likely few would actually develop.

But if they did it's better to know about any issues beforehand and correct them. A lot of bikers had close calls on the 15th St cycle track before DDOT listened to our pleas to include left turn signals for cars- after the cycle track opened their need became obvious.

Personally I'm still dubious about the wisdom of developing 16th rather than 14th as the heavy transit street below Harvard and I want to be sure auto traffic won't double on 15th.

Realistically I've never thought this proposal had much chance anyway.

by Tom Coumaris on Mar 17, 2014 3:14 pm • linkreport

@awitc RE: King St.
Yes, congratulations to the bike lobby for getting the bike lane proposal approved. I seriously hope you guys are correct that the proposal can be implemented safely. If you are wrong, someone IS going to get maimed or killed. I think you guys are in for a rude awakening when you realize how tight a squeeze it is to have 4-5' bike lanes and 10.5' vehicular lanes on a road with such a combination of heavy traffic and severe elevation change. People who actually know the area think you guys are insane for wanting this.

Be careful what you wish for.

by movement on Mar 17, 2014 4:22 pm • linkreport

Well, movement, it can't be more dangerous than what exists there now--not that the current configuration is especially dangerous.

And if danger is indeed your touchstone, then the rampant speeding on this stretch of roadway, cited repeatedly even by the opponents of bike lanes, should be your top priority. Otherwise, you are in the position of making the law-abiding vacate the roads so that the lawbreaking can be accomodated.

by Crickey7 on Mar 17, 2014 4:29 pm • linkreport

People who actually know the area think you guys are insane for wanting this.

Actually, the experts like the engineers and the police etc... are all in agreement that this is the best design. These are people who not only know the area, but have studied it.

But yes, if we are wrong there will be repercussions. Just as if we are right, there will be rewards. Unlike you, I think all the available data points to right.

If bike lanes such as these are so dangerous, surely there is an example of someone else who made such a foolish choice leading to the downfall of so many innocent children on bikes. Can you point to such a case?

by David C on Mar 17, 2014 4:48 pm • linkreport

Those who made the foolish choice leading to the downfall of so many pedestrians, car drivers and cyclists over the decades were those who decided to engineer transportation networks in favor of single-occupant vehicles, all those decades ago.

The current trend toward complete streets that balance out multimodal transportation and community needs (like safety and livability) are addressing the dangers and ills inflicted by the old car-focused plans.

by Citizen on Mar 17, 2014 6:45 pm • linkreport

"Yes, congratulations to the bike lobby for getting the bike lane proposal approved. I seriously hope you guys are correct that the proposal can be implemented safely. If you are wrong, someone IS going to get maimed or killed. I think you guys are in for a rude awakening when you realize how tight a squeeze it is to have 4-5' bike lanes and 10.5' vehicular lanes on a road with such a combination of heavy traffic and severe elevation change"

there are places all over Alexandria (and the rest of NoVa) where conditions are like that, where there is not a good alternative route, and that have only a sharrows, or nothing. A bike lane is much preferred.

That is why all the biking orgs, and all the folks who bike regularly who spoke out, supported it. The only people to oppose it were neighbors who do not bike regularly or at all, and who have an interest in parking.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 17, 2014 7:01 pm • linkreport

@David C
I don't know of anywhere that has tried substandard bike lanes in such a setting. Five feet is the standard and I don't know of anywhere that the standard is relaxed on a major through route. I've asked around and gotten crickets in response. Four feet is fine when there is a gutter pan but King St. lacks them (the four feet is supposed to exclude the gutter pan). If this was some side street (like much of NW DC) I wouldn't have a problem with 4' bike lanes. This is a busy road!

@awitc
The only people to oppose it were neighbors who do not bike regularly or at all...
This is false. There are local residents who are not commuters but are avid bikers that were against the plan. From what I can tell the vast majority of proponents are not intimately familiar with the area. They just looked at a bike map, saw a gap in the bike lane network, and demanded it be filled. Make no mistake, it will be a black diamond lane (http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/its-time-to-stop-building-black-diamond-bike-lanes). Avid bikers prefer that to sharrows but I'm not worried about them - they are capable of dealing with either situation. It is everyone else that I am worried about. Hopefully parents will have enough sense keep their children away from the area. What about tourists who see bike lanes on a map and expect a safe environment? They are in for a rude awakening.

Now I've been told that the bike lanes will be added before the pedestrian improvements are made. Are they serious? If that is true, visitors used to parking on the street will have to park on side streets and cross King St. without crosswalks. How is this a good idea? Bike lanes were only part of a larger plan to improve safety in the area. Pedestrian safety is the bigger issue - there are way more pedestrians than bikers and that isn't going to change any time soon.

by movement on Mar 17, 2014 8:17 pm • linkreport

movement, the article you linked to is advocating for cycle-tracks instead of bike lanes by arguing that even bike lanes aren't good enough for many people. Are you proposing that King Street get cycle-tracks? Because if you're using this article to advocate against bike lanes, you're completely misreading it. No where does it say that we should not build bike lanes. Not even narrow ones.

The bike lanes in the uphill direction are 5 feet. Only in the downhill direction are they 4 feet. This is actually the standard according to NACTO. 4 feet of rideable surface. You're thinking of the FHWA standards, but NACTO's are newer and done with an emphasis on urban biking. Eric Gilliland, formerly of WABA and now with Alta Capital Bikeshare, helped write them.

So, they are not sub-standard at all.

by David C on Mar 17, 2014 9:17 pm • linkreport

"There are local residents who are not commuters but are avid bikers that were against the plan"

I dont know of anyone who bikes regularly who was. I dont know what "Avid" means. Someone who takes their bike on their car to the W&OD?

"Avid bikers prefer that to sharrows but I'm not worried about them - they are capable of dealing with either situation. It is everyone else that I am worried about. Hopefully parents will have enough sense keep their children away from the area. What about tourists who see bike lanes on a map and expect a safe environment?"

The folks who tend to prefer sharrows to bike lanes are usually advocates of the Forrester school of vehicular cycling, and are usually pretty avid. Its everyone else who prefers lanes to sharrows (and cycle tracks to lanes)

Both parents and tourists who are familiar with bike lanes around Alexandria, the region (clarendon?) and the nation, will not find these bike lanes surprising.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 17, 2014 10:23 pm • linkreport

@Richard

I see the extension of Fair Oaks more as a connection to a commercial center to support an increased reverse commute as well as a location to better dissipate traffic and become a transit hub. Vienna Station is terrible location for an end of line station.

https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207994879598287792047.0004f145e49274ff42fc1&msa=0&ll=38.861499,-77.33448&spn=0.099047,0.209255&dg=feature

Unless DC raises height limit downtown, I do not see enough growth to support a new Blue line along M Street. I see more growth around Union Station which makes the "Long Bridge" expansion a more cost effective and feasible option.

by mcs on Mar 17, 2014 10:49 pm • linkreport

Regarding Metro's sudden concern (after 30 years) for those of us on lower 16th/14th who can't get on buses, I finally contacted an honest person at DDOT who usually knows what's really going on.

This is a plan that's been knocking around Metro for years but it has nothing to do with helping over-crowding on lower 16th. It's a proposal to have express service from Wheaton and Silver Spring down dedicated lanes on 16th so that people up there won't have to use Metro but will have express bus service direct to downtown DC. The S9 would start in Wheaton. It might or might not increase capacity on lower 16th since Metro envisions much more traffic from Montgomery County and upper 16th using it.

It could actually make the crowding on lower much 16th worse.

by Tom Coumaris on Mar 18, 2014 1:01 am • linkreport

'Four feet is fine when there is a gutter pan but King St. lacks them (the four feet is supposed to exclude the gutter pan). '

That is incorrect. How can a four foot bike lane be the standard when the surface onto which to paint it is narrower? You say five feet is the standard but four feet is fine with a gutter pan? That does not make any sense. The AASHTO standard says four feet without gutter pans and without parking but five feet if there are gutter pans and/or parking spaces.

by CyclistinAlexandria on Mar 18, 2014 7:26 am • linkreport

We need real vehicle lanes for commerce, governance, and emergencies. Commerce includes work to and deliveries to every property in DC and construction of all types, governance includes school buses and every form of inspections and social services, and emergencies include evacuations in addition to first responders. Siphoning off lane after lane to bikes, trolleys, buses, and calming features will make congestion far worse and force more traffic on to formerly quiet streets.

by AndrewJ on Mar 18, 2014 7:48 am • linkreport

@AndrewJ -

Oh, so a "real vehicle" can only be a motor vehicle? Thanks for clearing that up...

Every transport method has, or should have, it's place.

by DaveG on Mar 18, 2014 8:03 am • linkreport

Siphoning off lane after lane to bikes, trolleys, buses, and calming features will make congestion far worse and force more traffic on to formerly quiet streets.

Can you name a place where this has happened?

by drumz on Mar 18, 2014 8:17 am • linkreport

Tom Coumaris Adding DC S9 rides down 16 starting at Wheaton does make sense for a lot of MontCo riders, since it involves people coming from Veirs Mill, GA, and University Aves.
Probably not the plan, but ideally, it'd be nice to have buses going the slightly extra leg towards Wheaton from DC available for a few hours after Metrorail sends its last train from U-street weeknights (around 11ish). It doesn't have to be either an express bus(TBH it's better if it picks up people more stops at night). In terms of the crowding, it'd probably help sometimes, and hurt sometimes. "Much worse" seems unlikely to me.

by asffa on Mar 18, 2014 8:23 am • linkreport

Re: avid bikers

It's a great thing that many people enjoy cyclist for recreation. But thise people go to places where they like to bike and simply avoid those they don't. That works fine for cycling as purely recreation, but is useless if one thinks of cycling as transportation in any sense of the word. If you are going to the Metro, you want to go in a fairly direct route, and to the extent there are gaps in not just the bike lane network, but the bike mobility network, they want those addressed.

by Crickey7 on Mar 18, 2014 9:05 am • linkreport

@David C
I believe the city should build cycle tracks on Duke St. If they just did that in the first place, everyone would forget about King St.

@AWITC
You'd have to look at the neighborhood listserver records which I don't keep.

@CyclistinAlexandria
I didn't write the standard, but treating a gutter pan differently from a curb makes sense and is what USDOT recommends (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/univcourse/pdf/swless19.pdf). You can't really ride in a gutter pan but it also isn't an instant crash like hitting the curb.

Applying the urban standard to a major through route is misapplying the standard. There is nothing urban about that part of town. If I were building the road from scratch (and not using a road from the eighteenth century, I would want a minimum of 17' in each direction (vehicle lane + bike lane).

by movement on Mar 18, 2014 10:17 am • linkreport

Surely Alexandria could put a bike lane on King and a cycletrack on Duke and that would be better than pretending that it has to be a choice.

by drumz on Mar 18, 2014 10:32 am • linkreport

'I believe the city should build cycle tracks on Duke St. If they just did that in the first place, everyone would forget about King St.'

If that happens, I'll happily advocate for expanding the sidewalk on King to take up the soon to be extant bike lane because the sidewalk is certainly more important. However, the process of putting this infrastructure in place is not as simple as 'build it tomorrow' so putting King Street aside in order to propose a plan that no one has even begin developing will accomplish nothing except stall progress.

As for avid cyclists advocating against the plan, I heard people call themselves avid cyclists at the meeting and then going on to make claims about alternate routes which made me think that they were not all they claimed to be. The routes didn't exist or were steeper and more difficult to ride than King Street itself.

by CyclistinAlexandria on Mar 18, 2014 10:37 am • linkreport

@CyclistinAlexandria
I hope it happens but I fear the opposite will happen - the pennypinchers saying "you have a bike lane on King St., why should we spend our tax dollar on a cycletrack"?

I agree the cycletrack can't happen overnight and I am glad we agree on the need for expanding the King St. sidewalk should it be created.

by movement on Mar 18, 2014 12:06 pm • linkreport

"I hope it happens but I fear the opposite will happen - the pennypinchers saying "you have a bike lane on King St., why should we spend our tax dollar on a cycletrack"?

if the penny pinchers were going to make that argument, wouldnt they be more likely to point Eisenhower Ave (already relatively bike friendly, and supposed to get a bike facility IIUC) than to King Street which doesn't actually go the same way? I mean wouldn't the point of a Duke Street cycle track be to help folks going due west, not folks going to Janneys lane and up to NW alexandria?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 18, 2014 12:34 pm • linkreport

@AWITC
A Duke St. cycle track would link Old Town with Taylor Run. Taylor Run links Duke St. with Janneys Lane and points NW. I would like to see Taylor Run connect directly to TC Williams but I am not familiar with the details of the TR proposal or the political implications there. I am also not familiar with the plans for Eisenhower Ave.

by movement on Mar 18, 2014 12:59 pm • linkreport

A cycletrack on Duke would be an easier ride for those looking to head west in Alexandria and points beyond including to Taylor Run and TC Williams because it is fairly flat and better suited for cycling. The problems that I can see from a cursory examination of the idea would be how to get those cyclists to avoid conflicts with motorists at the entrance to Telegraph Road and I-95.

by CyclistinAlexandria on Mar 18, 2014 3:18 pm • linkreport

wrt Eisenhower

Current bike friendliness

http://www.personalpronouns.org/trails/AllPurposeBikeTrail.htm

adding bike lanes ON eisenhower

http://alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/tes/info/ProjectDesignEisenhower.pdf

Eisenhower however does not connect to NS routes till you get pretty far west. I did not realize the focus was on a duke street cycle track only to Taylor Run and not to the Landmark area.

I would still suggest that elsewhere in the metro area cycle tracks have been built very close to existing bike lanes.

Apparently consideration is being given to a bike facility as part of a transitway project on Duke Street. Such a transitway could take some time to implement, if it moves ahead at all. Meanwhile it seems unreasonable to hold up the lanes on King Street for that.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 18, 2014 3:32 pm • linkreport

http://alexandriava.gov/localmotion/info/default.aspx?id=74695

the taylor run bike lane appears to be a typical door zone bike lane. Wouldnt you be concerned sending children and tourists there?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 18, 2014 3:34 pm • linkreport

Connecting Landmark is reasonable, but a separate issue. Call it Phase 2 if you like.

Taylor Run is not a major through route - no large trucks, etc. A 5.5' wide bike lane combined with a 7' parking lane on a relatively quiet street looks safe to me. I see no reason to object to this proposal.

by movement on Mar 18, 2014 4:18 pm • linkreport

Its the vehicles in the 7 foot parking lane -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door_zone#Prevalence

"Doorings made up 19.7% of all reported bike crashes. The number of additional doorings that occurred without being reported is unknown.[4"

Your concerns with King Street focus on sideswipe type collisions. The evidence, IIUC, is that sideswipes (even in the absence of bike lanes) are much less common that many cyclists imagine - and that other things - doorings, and intersection conflicts - much more common.

With bike lanes, and with traffic calming to reduce those speeds, King Street does not have to be dangerous.

I am not saying that Taylor Run needs to be dangerous either - an experienced cyclist will scan for dooring problems, and swerve safely into the travel lanes to avoid them. A child or tourist will almost certainly not suffer a really bad collision from dooring, since they will not be going that fast. My fear would be that an inexperienced cyclist, perhaps a child, might swerve to avoid a dooring, and get hit.

Nothing is perfect. So we have to deal not with fears, but with statistics - which show that cyclists manage safely all across this region on bike lanes adjacent to heavily trafficed roads with trucks on them, that are posted at the speeds posted on King Street. If King street is unsafe for bike lanes then so are half the places in DC with bike lanes, and half the places bike lanes are proposed in Fairfax (and I guess quite a few places they exist or are proposed in Alexandria)

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 18, 2014 4:32 pm • linkreport

Show me any major through route with 10.5' vehicle lanes and 4' bike lanes. Please show me. This scenario is not common. In the absence of any real life examples, I will continue to believe they don't exist and I will continue to believe that it is irresponsible for the city to install them here.

King St. is not comparable to W St. NW. It is more like New York Ave., just with 30' of road width instead of about 100'.

by movement on Mar 18, 2014 4:52 pm • linkreport

This New York Avenue?

"•New York Avenue eastbound from Bladensburg Road to the Maryland line: The speed limit will increase from 40 to 45 mph.
•New York Avenue westbound from the Maryland line to Bladensburg Road: from 35 to 40 mph."

?????

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 18, 2014 4:59 pm • linkreport

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/PED_BIKE/univcourse/pdf/swless20.pdf

"The need for full-width travel lanes decreases with
speed:
• Up to 40 km/h (25 mph): Travel lanes may be
reduced to 3 or 3.2 meter (10 or 10.5 feet)."

While that does not specifically address bike lanes next to such travel lanes, if the travel lane has adequate width to be next to another travel lane (with motor vehicles moving at 25MPH in the opposite direction), or a sidewalk, I do not see how it can fail to meeet standards next to a bike lane.

http://labikas.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/new-bike-lanes-on-white-oak-avenue-in-reseda/

http://transportation.ky.gov/Bike-Walk/Documents/KYTC%20Maintenance%20Restriping%20Guide.pdf

look in the above at option A on page 10.

note well - the narrow general travel lanes are a DESIRABLE feature, since they slow the traffic down.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 18, 2014 5:09 pm • linkreport

AWITC
The reason I mention NY Ave is because it is a major connecting road. I know there are 4' bike lanes all over NW DC, but none of them are on connecting roads that I know of. The LA example would be relevant if it were 30' wide. It is, hello, 70' wide. If King St. were even half that wide, we never would have had a problem.

by movement on Mar 18, 2014 9:59 pm • linkreport

Regarding KY's guide, note that "The recommended width of a bicycle lane is five feet from the face of curb."
One plan has 4.5' lanes. No plan recommends 4' lanes.

I think I'll find a leprechaun before I find anyone other than Rich Baier advocating 4' bike lanes on a narrow connecting road.

by movement on Mar 18, 2014 11:07 pm • linkreport

its only 4 ft in the downhill lane, which makes possible 5 ft in the uphill lane where cyclists are going to be going more slowly. How do cyclists go downhill there now?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 18, 2014 11:24 pm • linkreport

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