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View Full Version : #SafeTrack: when WMATA made everyone a bicyclist



dasgeh
05-25-2016, 02:45 PM
As you know, SafeTrack (https://wmata.com/rail/safetrack.cfm?)is coming. WMATA will start closing parts of MetroRail lines and significantly reducing service in less than 2 weeks. The first closure will see continuous single tracking between Ballston and East Falls Church in Arlington from June 4 to June 16. During that time the entire Orange and Silver lines (and the Blue, where it shares a track with Orange and Silver) will see a 28%-70% reduction in service. That's a lot fewer people being moved by MetroRail.

And yet, those people still need to get around. Arlington County has started planning for how to move people. County staff is focusing on transit solutions, but they've asked for our help identifying bike-based solutions. In other words, what can be done or at least tried relatively quickly and easily to get more people to bike during #SafeTrack?

I think it would be helpful to organize our thoughts around the 6 E's: Engineering (infrastructure); Education; Encouragement; Enforcement; Evaluation; Equity.

Please comment below with any ideas, and I'll organize them and deliver to the County.

dasgeh
05-25-2016, 02:51 PM
Some ideas to start you thinking:

Pop-up protected bike lanes. Let's put up temporary protected bike lanes where we can, to see how they work out. They'd be temporary, so if they aren't working, they could be pulled.

Some streets in Arlington would EASILY accommodate a pop-up PBL. There would be little to no parking loss, and the streets are Arlington-controlled. N Veitch from Wilson to Lee is one. What are other Veitch-like streets?

There are others that would be nearly as easy to put pop-up PBLs on, but there is some issue, like more parking loss or VDOT-controlled streets. What are other Fairfax-like streets?
Fairfax Dr wouldn't cost parking, but is VDOT controlled.
Lee Hwy WB between Lynn and N Lincoln -- the 3rd lane could be a two-way protected cycle-track, easing congestion on the Custis.

dasgeh
05-25-2016, 02:53 PM
Bike ambassadors willing to mentor newbies
Bike trains - from neighborhoods to DC / Rosslyn / Ballston; along the affected MetroRail lines
"How to" guide from BikeArlington -- what should it include? how to buy a bike; how to find a route; how to park/lock; how to bike in the rain; how to bike on the trail; how to bike on the street

dasgeh
05-25-2016, 02:54 PM
Ideas for ACPD involvement?
Burma-shave signs for trail behavior?

dasgeh
05-25-2016, 02:56 PM
What public service announcements should Arlington put out? Maybe something explaining to people in cars that aggressive driving will lead to SLOWER commutes. Everyone needs to slow down and expect more people, allow more time.

What about this video, but sub in "people on bike and on foot" for "Arlington work crews" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYsGLp6x0Sk

dasgeh
05-25-2016, 02:57 PM
Are there any academics that want to study some temporary measures? Does anyone have connections or want to coordinate finding people?

dasgeh
05-25-2016, 02:59 PM
How can we ensure we are being inclusive in these efforts? Reaching all ages? Parents/non? Various income levels? Various races and ethnicities?

chris_s
05-25-2016, 03:06 PM
EDUCATION
EXTREMELY detailed instructions on how to get across the Potomac. Like, step-by-step with maps and photos and probably videos on exactly how to get to and from each bridge between Arlington and DC. This is one of the biggest question marks for new bike commuters. The Key Bridge crossing is the only one that is even remotely straightforward.

In addition to bridges, I'd probably cover all of the MVT access points: Rosslyn, Iwo Jima / 110 Trail, 27 Trail, LBJ Grove, Crystal City Connector, Four Mile Run Trail.

bentbike33
05-25-2016, 03:07 PM
Pop-up CaBI stations at Metro stations, e.g., at East Falls Church?

Will Metro be cutting all volume on Orange and Silver lines beyond EFC, or will trains will be off-loading at EFC and turning around back to Vienna and Reston? If the latter, people might be interested in using CaBI to finish the trip.

MFC
05-25-2016, 03:34 PM
I'm not an Arlingtroner, so these are just guesses. I'm glad to see they are attempting to be pro-active about this.

Under encouragement, maybe work with the local businesses or bike stores to have water stations, maybe at key points such as during BTWD or after the bridges, etc., at least during afternoon commuting hours. We don't need a bunch of sweaty newbies having heart attacks. Didn't bikearlington have some key points for distributing bike lights last winter?

Under education/encouragement, there are a lot of tips for riding in traffic/riding in heat, etc. Get links on AC web site if not there.

Under enforcement or encouragement, if there are certain intersections where there are frequent conflicts between bikers, drivers and peds., maybe have some sort of traffic control officers. Not necessarily to give out tickets, but to keep things flowing.

DrP
05-25-2016, 03:41 PM
Ideas for ACPD involvement?
Burma-shave signs for trail behavior?

Burma-shave signs for trail behavior is something we have needed for a long time. If we can get it on some of the roads, that would be helpful too, I believe.

Having ACPD inform people of the rules (rather than tickets, at least for the first few months) would be helpful. At my morning commute time, this seems to have helped at the IOD. Having ACPD be on bikes might also help, since I think if a cop on a bike stopped a car (likely at the next light, unless they added flashing flights to the bike), it would send a strong message. That can also help on trails for both peds and bikes. Peds do not seem to understand that bikes have to follow laws of physics and cannot stop in an instant.

tnelson
05-25-2016, 03:58 PM
Bike ambassadors willing to mentor newbies
Bike trains - from neighborhoods to DC / Rosslyn / Ballston;

With a few tips from chris_s, I'm actually trying to build a (fairly simple) website where people can input the general route of their commute, and anyone who needs a buddy can look up routes and contact those folks. I'm not a pro, however, so it may take a bit of time to get up and running.


EXTREMELY detailed instructions on how to get across the Potomac. Like, step-by-step with maps and photos and probably videos on exactly how to get to and from each bridge between Arlington and DC. This is one of the biggest question marks for new bike commuters. The Key Bridge crossing is the only one that is even remotely straightforward.

Happy to document the 27 Trail/Memorial Bridge if needed.

eminva
05-25-2016, 04:31 PM
YES to BurmaShave signs for the trails.

Orange line trains originating at Vienna will be reduced to three per hour, and I believe Silver line trains will be on the same schedule. I think I heard somewhere that they would be turning some trains around at Ballston to compensate? If so, it might be worthwhile to have suggested routes or convoys with the destination of Ballston for folks who are in no shape to ride a bike all the way to DC. They can park their bike at Ballston station and metro from there. It will at least get them past the worst obstacles.

Which leads to Enforcement -- PLEASE assign some police to or a video camera to the bike parking at Ballston. When my low end hybrid was stolen from there in broad daylight (2008), the Arlington police were all, "oh that's a known theft location -- what a dork you are for parking there."

Liz

KLizotte
05-25-2016, 04:41 PM
Send out emails to co-workers/friends/etc. that they should get their bikes tuned up and ready to go NOW. The local bike shops are busy as it is without needing to get flooded at the last minute with newbies dragging their forgotten bikes out of garages. Also, encourage your workplace to offer free shower access during the metro shut downs.

scoot
05-25-2016, 05:12 PM
Veitch and Fairfax have door-zone bike lanes. Veitch has a small painted buffer, while Fairfax is a very tight squeeze and has none. How would you propose to convert these into temporary protected bike lanes?

dasgeh
05-25-2016, 05:40 PM
Veitch and Fairfax have door-zone bike lanes. Veitch has a small painted buffer, while Fairfax is a very tight squeeze and has none. How would you propose to convert these into temporary protected bike lanes?

Flip the bike lane and the parking. There is plenty of ROW on both Veitch and Fairfax to do so.

scoot
05-25-2016, 05:41 PM
I would strongly urge VDOT and Arlington County to consider converting one traffic lane to a bus/bike-only lane on some major routes. SafeTrack is the perfect excuse to experiment with approaches designed to maximize flow of people, not cars. The bus alternatives will not sufficiently reduce car traffic unless they are able to offer customers a time savings over driving.

scoot
05-25-2016, 05:46 PM
These are DDOT issues, not Arlington, but I thought I'd throw the ideas out there.

If many more commuters are biking and walking, trail and sidewalk congestion will be a big issue. Can road diets on the major bridges (Key, Memorial) be designed and implemented quickly enough to help?

A temporary salmon lane on East Basin Drive might be worth investigating. Also, whatever is blocking Case Bridge sidepath needs to be removed before SafeTrack starts.

KLizotte
05-25-2016, 07:50 PM
Also, whatever is blocking Case Bridge sidepath needs to be removed before SafeTrack starts.

I don't think that is gonna happen. It's equipment that is being used to build walkways under the bridge so that the bridge can be refurbished by construction workers. This part of the bridge is over water so they have to hang equipment over the side to build them. They have been building the walkways for a while now; they started where the bridge is over land so this wasn't an issue till now. Being done by private contractors.

oldbikechick
05-25-2016, 08:14 PM
+1 to signs or brochures or PSA's about trail rules and safety. With bigger numbers there could be a lot more "handlebar benders" if folks don't know the rules of the trail and some basic safety tips.

+1 to better enforcement or even traffic cops at key crossings like IOD and perhaps even the crossing of GW parkway south of the Memorial Bridge. More people will be driving too, so traffic is likely to be terrible, people will be even more likely to speed through red lights or get frustrated waiting to turn right at Lynn St.

dbb
05-25-2016, 08:52 PM
Here is a route I photographed this evening (mostly) from the Crystal City Waterpark to the 14th Street Bridge. I'd suggest we develop similar versions for the rest of the access points. That might help the new cyclist understand the routes they are most unfamiliar with.

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I'm assuming the existing bike maps could be used to get the cyclist to the starting point.

Those adept with video could do the same to allow the new cyclists to experience the ride.

Getting new riders from:
South Arlington to the MVT
Long Bridge Drive to the MVT via Columbia Island Marina
Memorial Drive to the MVT via the GWMP Crosswalk
IOD to the MVT at TR Island parking lot

bobco85
05-26-2016, 09:00 AM
Those adept with video could do the same to allow the new cyclists to experience the ride.

Getting new riders from:
South Arlington to the MVT
Long Bridge Drive to the MVT via Columbia Island Marina
Memorial Drive to the MVT via the GWMP Crosswalk
IOD to the MVT at TR Island parking lot
Sounds like a good idea! I'll do some brainstorming and figure out what I can do this weekend (it'd be best to film in the morning so the lighting looks similar to what people will encounter).

elbows
05-26-2016, 09:56 AM
Agree with lots of the suggestions here - especially road diets on the bridges.

What about CaBi?
Does anything think the CaBi stations will be full/empty to a greater extent? Would greater attempts to equalize the stations be worthwhile? Not positive what the bikeshare patterns are. Perhaps allow the CaBi vans on our aspirational bus/bike lanes? Or discounted CaBi try-it-out-during-Safetrack memberships?

Frankly, I think there could be better ways of trying to reduce the number of full and empty stations, but that's a topic for another thread, I guess.

run/bike
05-26-2016, 11:00 AM
Lee Hwy WB between Lynn and N Lincoln -- the 3rd lane could be a two-way protected cycle-track, easing congestion on the Custis.

This idea x1000

Steve O
05-26-2016, 12:21 PM
Making changes to infrastructure without big-time, serious, comprehensive and ongoing personalized assistance won't work. The threat of bad traffic will have virtually no effect as has been noted previously (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?10098-Expect-crowded-trails-tomorrow&p=136806&highlight=tractor#post136806).

I posted this on another thread:

Motivated marketing teams at WABA and local partners like BikeArlington should use this as the once-in-a-decade opportunity it is.
Setting up at affected Metro stations for a week or two in advance during morning commuting hours ("Fed up with Metro? Talk to us!"), offering experienced-led convoys for newbies, offering "how-to-bike-commute" 15-minute learning sessions for people getting off the metro in the afternoons, teaming with local bike shops to offer repair and maintenance, etc., etc. Smarter people than I could come up with effective, multi-pronged efforts that would really reach the affected and the "curious, but cautious" population.
A total blitz of on-site hand holding and one-on-one help could yield literally thousands of new bike riders. Yes, it would be an intensive effort and planning would need to start now, but what an opportunity.

I think there are many among us who would be willing to assist by leading convoys, staffing "how to" info tables, etc. if we were asked and it were part of a well coordinated effort.

People will not start riding their bikes because they get a brochure or watch a video. Maybe a few, but not the thousands who might with a truly comprehensive effort.

It's already getting late in the game. Starting next week there should be canopies set up at Ballston & EFC every single morning and afternoon.
Late next week they should have wrenches from local bike shops there offering repair services. That needs to be communicated on Tue-Wed, so people know.

The following week convoys leaving every 20 minutes from 7-8:40

Shirlington - Crystal City - 14th St. Bridge - L'Enfant/DC....
Custis - Rosslyn - Georgetown - K St. corridor....
Where else?


Those convoys need to be marketed next week so people know the following week. They need to happen every day, so the people getting on the Metro on Monday see them. Then on Tuesday they see them again and think "hmm." Then on Wednesday they bring their bike. One day will not do it.
Repair stations all week, so those people who bring their bike with the rubbing brakes on Wednesday can still get in a convoy. (I'm fine with having the wrenches charge--doesn't have to be free.)

This is a big effort. BikeArlington is only 3 people, so they need to poach from Mobility lab and County staff, etc. And volunteers. Managing volunteers is a big job; probably almost full time for something of this magnitude to be truly successful. Time to start beating the bushes. The BAC and this forum are a start for finding volunteers, but it needs to get bigger than that.

I don't know where the resources can come from, but as a taxpayer I would be completely fine with BA and other county staff racking up the comp time and taking all of December and January off.

I'm also fine with BA dropping everything else and focusing 100% on creating a comprehensive, sustained approach that will bring people in, give them the hand-holding they need, and be there as long as it takes for them to become self sufficient.

This needs to be a total blitz, 24/7, non-stop effort. All-day planning meetings should already be taking place. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Mikey
05-26-2016, 12:38 PM
I would recommend social events and media attention - Morning and evening news will be focusing on how bad it is and will run many stories about Metro. Hold daily coffee meet ups and bike trains if possible. Have bike trains start at metro stations. Advertise on local media. Coffee in the morning followed by bike train will still be faster than car-metro-metro-shuttle-metro-walk to work. Can we start a SafeTrack Bicycle Club - market off of the misfortune and personalize the success stories - "Metro screwed me but my own two feet conquered!" "Bike to work summer" "Widefeld's warriors" "These wheels never catch fire", "SAFETRACK: I biked to work and all I got was this t-shirt, and kick-ass calves of steel!" The marketing options are endless.

Steve O
05-26-2016, 12:42 PM
More ideas:

- Get the Mobility Lab's hacker gang to create an app making it easy to find a bike buddy for the commute
- " " to tidy up the rackspotter app so it works more like Spotcycle or something. It's kind of clunky.

Bike Commute lunch & learns. The downtown squares with food trucks might be good locations (not limiting ideas to Arlington only)

Tania
05-26-2016, 01:01 PM
I would recommend social events and media attention - Morning and evening news will be focusing on how bad it is and will run many stories about Metro. Hold daily coffee meet ups and bike trains if possible. Have bike trains start at metro stations. Advertise on local media. Coffee in the morning followed by bike train will still be faster than car-metro-metro-shuttle-metro-walk to work. Can we start a SafeTrack Bicycle Club - market off of the misfortune and personalize the success stories - "Metro screwed me but my own two feet conquered!" "Bike to work summer" "Widefeld's warriors" "These wheels never catch fire", "SAFETRACK: I biked to work and all I got was this t-shirt, and kick-ass calves of steel!" The marketing options are endless.


I like the idea of "advertising" at metro stations. A few of us could station a metro entrance with signs that say something like "ask me how to bike to work!" blah blah blah, then we could pass out information on the bike trains heading into the city.

americancyclo
05-26-2016, 01:07 PM
The coffee clubs are a great place to start. As well as a #metrofreefriday campaign or something of the sort. I'd think that all the local bike shops would want to get in the "neutral commuter support" game with tents, a wrench, and some local business provided snacks.

dasgeh
05-26-2016, 04:47 PM
The more I think about this, the more I think we should establish a clearly signed, comfortable alternative to the metro line being affected.

First up is orange/ silver: sign a route from each station to the w&od and Custis (here is where my ignorance of all things west comes in), then put these signs on the trail. In Arlington, do a pbl on Fairfax from Ballston to VA Sq, and on Quincy to the trail. The signed route would be to take ffx to quincy. From Clarendon it could just use highland, though we'd need some safe route from highland and Lee to the trail. From courthouse, pbl on veitch. From rosslyn ? Pbl on Lynn maybe? Or two way pbl on fort myer?

The more jurisdictions that get in on this the better, obviously, though if it just gets va folks into dc,that has appeal.

By focusing on the stretches effected, we can concentrate resources and make a better case to the powers that be

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Henry
05-26-2016, 05:29 PM
Trust me folks, versions of these ideas and others are forthcoming. It's an all-hands scramble with daily meetings, focusing on the first surge of OR/SV single tracking June 4-16, in conjunction with other modes. We will be word out next week about when and how we could use volunteers.

The first known needs will be for experienced riders to assist with Bike Trains from EFC to Rosslyn, with stops at/near each Metro station in the corridor. The plan now is for 3 morning inbound runs, and one outbound PM run, daily for two weeks. Tentative start times at EFC are 6:30am, 7am, & 7:30am; 5:30pm at Gateway Park.

Working on extensive and beefed up signage, too.
Plus extra racks near Ballston.
Expanded CaBi capacity will be added at both EFC & Ballston.

Though no PBLs at present.

Henry

Steve O
05-26-2016, 10:00 PM
Expanded CaBi capacity will be added at both EFC & Ballston.



Wow! CaBi at EFC!! Who knew?

Justin Antos
06-02-2016, 10:05 AM
Correct, rail service should be reasonably good after Ballston and points east. Trains will run from Vienna and Wiehle only every 18 minutes, meaning that they may be too full to board after a few stations. 10 trains per hour will turn at Ballston however, so the trains that enter service at Ballston will have capacity. East of Ballston, trains are scheduled to run every 4 minutes or so.

tnelson
06-02-2016, 11:34 AM
With a few tips from chris_s, I'm actually trying to build a (fairly simple) website where people can input the general route of their commute, and anyone who needs a buddy can look up routes and contact those folks. I'm not a pro, however, so it may take a bit of time to get up and running.

It looks like WABA is already on it, at least via a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wmatabikepool/ (Glad to see they're reviving the #wmatabikepool moniker!) Anyway, I would recommend folks go there because it will surely be much more useful than anything I can cook up at the moment.

Tania
06-02-2016, 11:40 AM
Correct, rail service should be reasonably good after Ballston and points east. Trains will run from Vienna and Wiehle only every 18 minutes, meaning that they may be too full to board after a few stations. 10 trains per hour will turn at Ballston however, so the trains that enter service at Ballston will have capacity. East of Ballston, trains are scheduled to run every 4 minutes or so.

I usually get on metro at Dunn Loring. That is, when I CAN get on at Dunn Loring, because the trains are more often than not standing room only after Vienna.

huskerdont
06-02-2016, 01:43 PM
For those not on Facebook, WABA just sent out an email looking for Bike Buddies. Most here probably get their emails or are on FB, but if not, there's one of those old fashioned website thingies:

https://docs.google.com/a/waba.org/forms/d/1v6HDDz8xpp1ydLT2XNza2Vel_JsYEjS6JWM0yyiOyWc/viewform

bobco85
06-03-2016, 08:04 AM
I should be finished with the video I am making for the EFC to Ballston bike route sometime this evening. I'll post here and on the FB page when all is said and done.

eminva
06-03-2016, 09:18 AM
I will be leading a convoy from Vienna to Ballston to pick up the extra train capacity Justin mentioned for a mixed mode commute.

I have noticed in exchanging PMs with a few novice cyclists that they are very anxious about the five blocks on Fairfax Drive. Of course there are bike lanes, but mixing it up with traffic coming off the interstate and immediately having to cross Glebe is a bit intimidating for the uninitiated. If the Bike Arlington folks could ask the Arlington Police to have a presence at that intersection, given what will inevitably be a huge increase in foot, bike and auto traffic, it would be much appreciated.

Liz

chris_s
06-03-2016, 09:34 AM
I have noticed in exchanging PMs with a few novice cyclists that they are very anxious about the five blocks on Fairfax Drive. Of course there are bike lanes, but mixing it up with traffic coming off the interstate and immediately having to cross Glebe is a bit intimidating for the uninitiated. If the Bike Arlington folks could ask the Arlington Police to have a presence at that intersection, given what will inevitably be a huge increase in foot, bike and auto traffic, it would be much appreciated.

I've had some decent luck with 9th St as a Fairfax Drive alternative. Experienced cyclists will likely hate it because it's slow - you have to interact with a lot of ped traffic and cross a lot of unsignalized intersections, but it's SO pleasantly light on traffic.

There's no perfect way to get there, but there are several decent alternatives. All are much more comfortable for the inexperienced. Green is my recommended route, yellow & orange are alternate options. The orange alt requires threading through a narrow gap next to a gate so I don't recommend it for newbies.

11887

huskerdont
06-03-2016, 09:41 AM
If there really are a lot of newbies coming out, the Fairfax Drive bike lanes are probably some of the best in the area for learning how to get yourself doored. A couple of places along there, especially westbound, vehicles like transit vans tend to park extending out into the lane itself. An experienced rider might check over the shoulder and go wide into the travel lane, but a new rider's tendency is to fear the travel lane and maybe ride in the door zone.

ShawnoftheDread
06-03-2016, 10:47 AM
Eminva, do you plan to come to Fairfax off the Custis or Bluemont?


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baiskeli
06-03-2016, 10:55 AM
Bike trains would make good media stories. I hope Bikearlington and WABA get some reporters out.

VA2DC
06-03-2016, 11:07 AM
I've had some decent luck with 9th St as a Fairfax Drive alternative. Experienced cyclists will likely hate it because it's slow - you have to interact with a lot of ped traffic and cross a lot of unsignalized intersections, but it's SO pleasantly light on traffic.

There's no perfect way to get there, but there are several decent alternatives. All are much more comfortable for the inexperienced. Green is my recommended route, yellow & orange are alternate options. The orange alt requires threading through a narrow gap next to a gate so I don't recommend it for newbies.

11887

I take Fairfax Dr. past Ballston all the time. Around 7:30-8:00 am, I don't find much of a problem with vehicles parked in the bike lanes or potential dooring from Glebe to Stuart. There are almost always buses in front of Ballston, and sometimes commuter buses dropping off just before Stuart. And there are a lot of cars entering Fairfax and turning right off of Fairfax into garages or onto the side streets.

The 9th St alternative can be tricky to navigate, there's a lot of pedestrian traffic. Plus there are 2 long beg lights: first to cross Fairfax in front of the Holiday Inn, and then to cross Glebe at 9th. As an alternative comfort route coming from Custis, I suggest going north on N Wakefield, right on 11th St N, and then right on Stafford (or a block earlier at Stuart). Wakefield and 11th are pretty calm, although Stafford can be busy. Stuart requires cutting through the dead end, but that does have the advantage of cutting out almost all of the vehicle traffic. This route only requires 1 beg light to cross Glebe at 11th, but there are several stop signs along 11th.
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eminva
06-03-2016, 12:21 PM
Eminva, do you plan to come to Fairfax off the Custis or Bluemont?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We are coming off the Custis.

We will ride on Fairfax Drive. Before we transition from trail to road I will stop and do a mini Traffic Skills101 briefing. I will discuss the pitfalls of bike lanes and where to position oneself in a bike lane (all things we cover in WABA classes).

Thank you for the alternative suggestions -- I will mention these so they can try them out on their own if they don't like Fairfax.

Liz

VA2DC
06-03-2016, 12:43 PM
We are coming off the Custis.

We will ride on Fairfax Drive. Before we transition from trail to road I will stop and do a mini Traffic Skills101 briefing. I will discuss the pitfalls of bike lanes and where to position oneself in a bike lane (all things we cover in WABA classes).

Thank you for the alternative suggestions -- I will mention these so they can try them out on their own if they don't like Fairfax.

Liz

My experience is that the sketchiest parts of that Fairfax segment are waiting to cross from the north side of the Fairfax to the south side at Wakefield in front of the Holiday Inn (the first light after coming off the Custis connector). Just a looonggg beg light, and lots of traffic that may or may not respect it going onto and coming off of 66. The other part that might concern a new rider is waiting in the bike lane to cross Glebe, where there are cars to your left waiting to go straight across and cars to your right turning right onto Glebe. When cars in the right lane have the green arrow (and even when they don't), they tend to zip past you pretty quickly. Only pedestrians crossing Glebe will slow (sometimes) them down.

There's a good-sized patch of gravel and debris as you start to cross Glebe at that intersection, and you have to swing into the through-lane or right-hand turn area to avoid it. Both maneuvers put you into the traffic flow. There's also a lot of broken glass, gravel, and debris in the bike lane on the north side of the pedestrian island once you cross Glebe. Again, to avoid it, you need to stay in the car travel lane until you pass it and can swing back into the bike lane. I submitted a service request on both of these spots a week ago, but it still only shows up at "Submitted" on the county's tracker.

chris_s
06-03-2016, 12:52 PM
My experience is that the sketchiest parts of that Fairfax segment are waiting to cross from the north side of the Fairfax to the south side at Wakefield in front of the Holiday Inn (the first light after coming off the Custis connector). Just a looonggg beg light, and lots of traffic that may or may not respect it going onto and coming off of 66. The other part that might concern a new rider is waiting in the bike lane to cross Glebe, where there are cars to your left waiting to go straight across and cars to your right turning right onto Glebe. When cars in the right lane have the green arrow (and even when they don't), they tend to zip past you pretty quickly. Only pedestrians crossing Glebe will slow (sometimes) them down.

Some relief is coming for this - the current private development construction there is building a small section of two-way curb-protected bike lane from Wakefield to Glebe. This will allow you to stay on the North side of Fairfax Drive for an additional block without having to ride on that sidewalk; then you would make the transition to the south side bike lane in one of the crosswalks at the Glebe intersection - either West of Glebe or East of Glebe.

VA2DC
06-03-2016, 01:07 PM
Some relief is coming for this - the current private development construction there is building a small section of two-way curb-protected bike lane from Wakefield to Glebe. This will allow you to stay on the North side of Fairfax Drive for an additional block without having to ride on that sidewalk; then you would make the transition to the south side bike lane in one of the crosswalks at the Glebe intersection - either West of Glebe or East of Glebe.

That's good news coming off of Custis, but will the eastbound bike lane on the south side of Fairfax remain? Coming from Bluemont Junction, I'd hate to have to cross Fairfax twice just to get down a block (and not hop on the sidewalk in front of Buffalo Wild Wings).

chris_s
06-03-2016, 01:13 PM
That's good news coming off of Custis, but will the eastbound bike lane on the south side of Fairfax remain? Coming from Bluemont Junction, I'd hate to have to cross Fairfax twice just to get down a block (and not hop on the sidewalk in front of Buffalo Wild Wings).

Yes, it will remain. And if you've ever though that bike lane seemed awfully narrow, that's 'cause it is.

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Also my memory failed me - this will actually be a planting-protected bike lane, not a curb-protected bike lane. Even better!

DrP
06-03-2016, 02:15 PM
That's good news coming off of Custis, but will the eastbound bike lane on the south side of Fairfax remain? Coming from Bluemont Junction, I'd hate to have to cross Fairfax twice just to get down a block (and not hop on the sidewalk in front of Buffalo Wild Wings).

What would be really nice is if they made a safe way to get from the Bluemont trail to the eastbound bike lane. Lately they have had a construction sign on the sidewalk in front of the Holiday Inn that blocks the curb cut, so getting on the sidewalk until Wakefield is hard and they you have to wait for the light to change or hope that folks are actually slowing down or using signals to change lanes to get into the bike lane. It is very messy. I do this regularly, but it would easily discourage others.

ginacico
06-03-2016, 02:49 PM
I ride through this intersection regularly, and any improvement would be welcomed. Eastbound from the Bluemont Trail to the bike lane is sketchy, because it's a blind entrance to any cars pulling into that Holiday Inn. Crossing Glebe, and westbound getting onto the Custis connector are not for the fainthearted.

Today I rode to Ballston for lunch, and there was a big truck making a U-turn from westbound Fairfax Dr to eastbound. Because he swung wide, cars in the westbound lanes veered into the bike lane (where I was waiting at the Wakefield intersection). Then, when I had crossed Fairfax and was waiting in the narrow bike lane at the Glebe traffic light, the same damn truck passed me in the right turn lane about 6" from my shoulder.

In good news... Signs are going up all over the Martha Custis, directing Metro riders how to get there by bike! I saw lots of them being put up parallel to the Orange and Silver line, and the friendly people mounting them to posts even waved at me. They're installed in both directions.

11893

11894

bobco85
06-03-2016, 08:25 PM
Good news! I finished my video for a bike route between the East Falls Church and Ballston stations with additional details. It is now available to view, and I will try to link it on the Bikepool FB page (feel free to share on social media).


https://youtu.be/1pa1zS1XhBU

I hope this helps people visualize the route regardless if they join a bike convoy.

I can make more videos for future phases of SafeTrack, but before I do that, I'd like to get feedback on this one. Any changes/additions/etc. that should be in the next video? Please let me know (PM me or respond on this thread if you want). Thanks.

Judd
06-03-2016, 09:07 PM
Good news! I finished my video for a bike route between the East Falls Church and Ballston stations with additional details. It is now available to view, and I will try to link it on the Bikepool FB page (feel free to share on social media).


https://youtu.be/1pa1zS1XhBU

I hope this helps people visualize the route regardless if they join a bike convoy.

I can make more videos for future phases of SafeTrack, but before I do that, I'd like to get feedback on this one. Any changes/additions/etc. that should be in the next video? Please let me know (PM me or respond on this thread if you want). Thanks.

Nicely shot as all your videos are. One thing that I would find helpful would be cutting to a map periodically to help folks orient where certain things are on the map, such as the turns. I think it would also be neat to frame these videos with a real live person introducing the route and letting new riders know that there will be volunteers to help guide them through the route.

bobco85
06-06-2016, 09:48 AM
Nicely shot as all your videos are. One thing that I would find helpful would be cutting to a map periodically to help folks orient where certain things are on the map, such as the turns. I think it would also be neat to frame these videos with a real live person introducing the route and letting new riders know that there will be volunteers to help guide them through the route.
Thanks for the feedback! For future videos, I could add a little map in probably the bottom left corner to show cross streets/bridges/intersections on the route. The speaking part terrifies me (public speaking = I will do it only after being forced to, being nervous, and eventually getting into a groove), but I'll see what I can do to add a face to the information.

Steve O
06-06-2016, 11:53 AM
I can make more videos for future phases of SafeTrack, but before I do that, I'd like to get feedback on this one. Any changes/additions/etc. that should be in the next video? Please let me know (PM me or respond on this thread if you want). Thanks.

This is awesome! Nice work, Bob.
Additional suggestions: In addition to the map, I think captions along the way would be helpful. For instance, anyplace the trail goes under a street, go ahead and name the street. That will help people keep oriented.
Also anytime there's some sort of intersection or turn. For instance, where the Custis turns left under I-66 and then past the Westover Park, add the caption, "turn left under I-66" You did an excellent job on the main intersections, but additional details like "left at the basketball court" or "cross caddycorner across 19th & Sycamore" might add clarity. No need to stop the video like at the main intersections, just add the caption along the way.

In addition, pointing out landmarks can be useful. For instance, "<----- I-66 is on the other side of this soundwall" Anything that keeps people oriented. After all, it may be their first time ever, so helping keep them oriented and feeling like they are in the right place and going the right way is good.

When you get to the Metro station, bike over to the bike parking as well as showing the main station entrance. You did this at EFC, but would have been useful at Ballston, VA Sq, & Clarendon.

KLizotte
06-06-2016, 12:17 PM
During WMATA's SafeTrack maintenance initiative, Capital Bikeshare has introduced the Single-Trip Fare to allow residents, visitors and commuters to take a single trip of up to 30 minutes on Capital Bikeshare for $2. Simply approach any station kiosk and select "Single-Trip Fare" to purchase. Usage fees apply for trips of 30 minutes or more.

https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/pricing?mc_cid=3285e16dbf&mc_eid=16b64c2193

Judd
06-06-2016, 04:06 PM
Thanks for the feedback! For future videos, I could add a little map in probably the bottom left corner to show cross streets/bridges/intersections on the route. The speaking part terrifies me (public speaking = I will do it only after being forced to, being nervous, and eventually getting into a groove), but I'll see what I can do to add a face to the information.

I think it would be fun to get a bunch of folks from the forums as guest stars. I'd be willing to pitch in and cajole others that seem like they'd be comfortable with talking on camera into volunteering.

I just bought a GoPro and have a mount in the mail. I'd like to do some sort of similar video on how to get down the Columbia Pike on the Bike Boulevards as soon as I figure out how to use the darn thing.



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MRH5028
06-07-2016, 08:25 AM
My experience is that the sketchiest parts of that Fairfax segment are waiting to cross from the north side of the Fairfax to the south side at Wakefield in front of the Holiday Inn (the first light after coming off the Custis connector). Just a looonggg beg light, and lots of traffic that may or may not respect it going onto and coming off of 66. The other part that might concern a new rider is waiting in the bike lane to cross Glebe, where there are cars to your left waiting to go straight across and cars to your right turning right onto Glebe. When cars in the right lane have the green arrow (and even when they don't), they tend to zip past you pretty quickly. Only pedestrians crossing Glebe will slow (sometimes) them down.

There's a good-sized patch of gravel and debris as you start to cross Glebe at that intersection, and you have to swing into the through-lane or right-hand turn area to avoid it. Both maneuvers put you into the traffic flow. There's also a lot of broken glass, gravel, and debris in the bike lane on the north side of the pedestrian island once you cross Glebe. Again, to avoid it, you need to stay in the car travel lane until you pass it and can swing back into the bike lane. I submitted a service request on both of these spots a week ago, but it still only shows up at "Submitted" on the county's tracker.

To avoid the long light and crossing over Fairfax when coming off the Custis I cut through the Bluemont Junction Trail. When heading east on Custis get off at 10th St N and turn right at N George Mason. Use the light and crosswalks at Wilson to put you on the other side of George Mason so you can catch the trail. May be a bit longer, but easier than dealing with the crossover IMO.

bobco85
06-09-2016, 11:35 AM
Thanks for the feedback on the EFC to Ballston SafeTrack video! I have ideas that can be applied to the next videos in this series.

As of now, I have created the routes I will film for the upcoming surge between the Eastern Market and Minnesota Ave/Benning Rd stations. The route is a lot more difficult and complex due to the lines splitting, multiple bridges (Benning Rd bridge over Anacostia Freeway, Benning Rd bridge over Anacostia River, Sousa bridge over Anacostia River), and multiple routes that bypass one or more of the stations, but I have figured out a simple solution that uses up to 2-3 choices in a few places.

If you see a cyclist doubling back and forth on the streets/sidewalks/trails between the Minnesota Ave, Benning Rd, Stadium-Armory, Potomac Ave, Eastern Market, and Capitol South metro stations this Saturday, that would be me :)

Tania
06-09-2016, 11:56 AM
To get from north side of Fairfax to the south, the "official" bike trains have been turning left immediately at Wakefield, then a right on 11St N and then a right on Taylor. It's almost NO traffic at all (and very pleasant). Then we go across Fairfax on Taylor and cut through Welburn Square to 9th Street and re-join Fairfax at Monroe (at Va Square Metro).

The route in the past two mornings has been very low stress as far as traffic and very new city-cyclist friendly. Heading west is another story mostly due to increased traffic volume.


https://www.strava.com/activities/603670373

VA2DC
06-09-2016, 01:41 PM
To get from north side of Fairfax to the south, the "official" bike trains have been turning left immediately at Wakefield, then a right on 11St N and then a right on Taylor. It's almost NO traffic at all (and very pleasant). Then we go across Fairfax on Taylor and cut through Welburn Square to 9th Street and re-join Fairfax at Monroe (at Va Square Metro).

The route in the past two mornings has been very low stress as far as traffic and very new city-cyclist friendly. Heading west is another story mostly due to increased traffic volume.


What kind of ridership have the bike trains been getting?

Tania
06-09-2016, 01:56 PM
No riders at all on the ones I've been helping with; I get the feeling a lot of potential new bike commuters maybe aren't quite sure what we're doing, how to join us for a bike train or are a little nervous about continuing on into DC by themselves. I also get the (strong) feeling that BikeArlington and WABA are looking at ways to remedy all that.

bobco85
06-17-2016, 06:42 PM
Just finished my video for SafeTrack Surge 2! I added a lot more content based on the helpful feedback that I received, so I hope it is improved over my Surge 1 video.


https://youtu.be/3S6Zztgjx0k

This is the first video I've made where I actually had to write a script and read it out loud. Numerous takes were done due to the occasional jingling of a feline in my domicile who doesn't understand that I'm just trying to talk to a metal box sometimes ;)

I already have ideas for Surges 3 and 4 based on what I did here, but again, I'm open to feedback. Thank you for the feedback so far.

Judd
06-17-2016, 08:53 PM
Just finished my video for SafeTrack Surge 2! I added a lot more content based on the helpful feedback that I received, so I hope it is improved over my Surge 1 video.


https://youtu.be/3S6Zztgjx0k

This is the first video I've made where I actually had to write a script and read it out loud. Numerous takes were done due to the occasional jingling of a feline in my domicile who doesn't understand that I'm just trying to talk to a metal box sometimes ;)

I already have ideas for Surges 3 and 4 based on what I did here, but again, I'm open to feedback. Thank you for the feedback so far.


The narration came off well and you incorporated the maps into the video really well as well, which I think was really needed for this route since it's a lot more complicated than the first Safetrack route and involves a lot more road usage. Incorporating a direct link to the route map in the video description (so people don't have to look for it on the Safetrack websites that you linked to) is the only think I can think of that would make this better, except maybe including some video of your cat. People love cats.

bobco85
07-01-2016, 10:25 AM
My SafeTrack Surge #3 video is about 80% complete. All that remains is to write a script, record my voiceover, reduce the shakiness of the footage, and upload to Youtube. It should be up by Saturday afternoon. SafeTrack Surge #3 (Braddock Rd to National Airport) runs from July 5 (Tuesday) through July 11 (week from Monday).

I gathered all of my footage for the SafeTrack Surge #4 video earlier this week, so once the Surge #3 video is complete, I'll turn my attention to that. SafeTrack Surge #4 (Pentagon City to National Airport) runs from July 12 (week from Tuesday) through July 18 (2 weeks from Monday).

Then, for SafeTrack Surge #5 (East Falls Church to Ballston), I'm mulling over the possibility of putting it in the newer voiceover format using the same footage as from my original Surge #1 video.

...and to think that earlier this year I was complaining about not having something bike-related to focus on :)

bobco85
07-02-2016, 11:24 AM
I finished my video for Metro SafeTrack Surge 3!

In this video, I chose 2 major routes that people could take branching off of the Potomac Yard Trail (best access to the Braddock Rd station). One route (magenta) heads to Crystal City and toward Pentagon City, and the other route (yellow) heads to National Airport and toward DC. I decided to show how to access the bike parking then get to the station entrance at National Airport, so that part was fun to make (it's the 2nd time I've walked on that stretch with my bicycle, the 1st time being for my Bike the Metro series).

I developed a bit of a cold when I recorded the voiceovers, so hopefully those aren't too filled with hearing my stuffy nose. Enjoy! (Achoo!)


https://youtu.be/2LyWtQFWZyM

bobco85
07-07-2016, 03:26 PM
Currently working on my SafeTrack Surge #4 (Pentagon City to National Airport) video, I am about 30% done. The video should be complete by Sunday, July 10.

bobco85
07-11-2016, 08:11 AM
My video for SafeTrack Surge 4 is finally complete and ready for viewing.

For this video, I chose 2 criss-crossing routes. The first shows how to access Boundary Channel Dr from the 14th St Bridge to get to the Pentagon and parts south, and the second shows how to get through the area if coming from Penrose. I wanted to show the Boundary Channel Dr/Long Bridge Dr route but opted to show only 2 routes with some references of where that way leads. Enjoy!


https://youtu.be/grp4t82dJv4

(Edit) If you're wondering, yes, the footage of getting from the bike parking to the National Airport Metro entrance is the same as what I used for my surge 3 video. I figured that I should show it but filming the same thing again would be unnecessary.

bobco85
07-19-2016, 06:09 PM
Metro SafeTrack Surge 5 starts tomorrow and is the same as Surge 1 (single-tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston). It will last til the end of July.

I didn't make a new video because that would be redundant, but here's my old video of the bike route (the only one I didn't record voiceovers for) for a visual reference:

https://youtu.be/1pa1zS1XhBU

This video was also made before WABA, BikeArlington, etc. put up their SafeTrack wayfinding signs, so those should help even more.

Lt. Dan
07-20-2016, 12:28 PM
Thanks for making that video! I shared it on Facebook :)

bobco85
07-29-2016, 08:52 AM
I found out about a bike ride that WABA and MCDOT will be sponsoring for SafeTrack on Sunday, July 31, 2016. I added the event to the forum calendar along with a link: https://org.salsalabs.com/o/451/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=94743&_ga=1.4781107.1851276899.1469799150

They will be riding from Glenmont to West Hyattsville to show an alternative to taking the Metro during the upcoming SafeTrack surges 6 (Takoma to Silver Spring; Red line; August 1-7) and 7 (Shady Grove to Twinbrook; Red line; August 9-18). The cost is $10 to attend.

In other news: I am about 60% complete with my biking video for SafeTrack Surge 6. It should be completed and up on Youtube by Sunday.

Steve O
07-29-2016, 09:47 AM
I found out about a bike ride that WABA and MCDOT will be sponsoring for SafeTrack on Sunday, July 31, 2016. I added the event to the forum calendar along with a link: https://org.salsalabs.com/o/451/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=94743&_ga=1.4781107.1851276899.1469799150

They will be riding from Glenmont to West Hyattsville to show an alternative to taking the Metro during the upcoming SafeTrack surges 6 (Takoma to Silver Spring; Red line; August 1-7) and 7 (Shady Grove to Twinbrook; Red line; August 9-18). The cost is $10 to attend.


And another one, too, the following weekend:
Saturday, 8/6, 10 am - Shady Grove Metro to Twinbrook Metro
Start location: Shady Grove Metro
Distance: approx. 6.5 miles (mostly road)
https://org.salsalabs.com/o/451/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=94744&_ga=1.227399965.1232654930.1468342470

bobco85
07-29-2016, 10:34 AM
And another one, too, the following weekend:
Saturday, 8/6, 10 am - Shady Grove Metro to Twinbrook Metro
Start location: Shady Grove Metro
Distance: approx. 6.5 miles (mostly road)
https://org.salsalabs.com/o/451/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=94744&_ga=1.227399965.1232654930.1468342470
Cool! I added the event to the forum calendar for reference.

ShawnoftheDread
07-29-2016, 12:05 PM
$10 to attend a WMATA event to help commuters get through WMATA's craptasticness is simply hilarious.


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bentbike33
07-29-2016, 12:28 PM
$10 to attend a WMATA event to help commuters get through WMATA's craptasticness is simply hilarious.



Yeah, for $10 there better be a whole lotta swag.

bobco85
07-29-2016, 02:37 PM
$10 to attend a WMATA event to help commuters get through WMATA's craptasticness is simply hilarious.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It's not a WMATA event, though. It's sponsored by WABA and MCDOT.

Additionally, if you're a WABA member, it's only $5, and if you're a Capital Bikeshare member, it's free. Note: the discounts are available for both events (Sunday, July 31 and Saturday, August 6).

Steve O
07-29-2016, 03:48 PM
Also, walk-ups (ride-ups) are free if there is available room.

As bobco pointed out, WMATA has nothing to do with this. It's MoCo and WABA trying to help people out who are being affected.

dasgeh
07-29-2016, 04:16 PM
Also, walk-ups (ride-ups) are free if there is available room.

As bobco pointed out, WMATA has nothing to do with this. It's MoCo and WABA trying to help people out who are being affected.

But why are they charging?

eminva
07-29-2016, 04:30 PM
But why are they charging?

My understanding is that WABA charges a de minimus amount for pre-registration for all its classes to ensure that folks don't hog all the spots on the roster and then just no show. There is an exception made in jurisdictions that fully fund the classes with the proviso that WABA not charge participants.

Liz

ShawnoftheDread
07-29-2016, 07:25 PM
It's not a WMATA event, though. It's sponsored by WABA and MCDOT.

Additionally, if you're a WABA member, it's only $5, and if you're a Capital Bikeshare member, it's free. Note: the discounts are available for both events (Sunday, July 31 and Saturday, August 6).

Why you stepping on my fun rant with facts?

Yeah, I misread the first abbreviation.

Still amusing though.

bobco85
07-29-2016, 07:52 PM
Why you stepping on my fun rant with facts?
https://xkcd.com/386/ It's the only explanation I need :cool:

bobco85
07-31-2016, 05:04 PM
My video for SafeTrack Surge 6 which starts tomorrow is complete!

For this video, I chose to show connections to Takoma and Silver Spring from Rock Creek Park Trail on the west side, Sligo Creek Trail on the east side, Fort Totten on the south side, and Forest Glen on the north side. The routes look like this:
12214
Magenta - main route that connects each station on the line
Cyan and Green - connections from the Rock Creek Park Trail
Yellow and Orange - connections from the Sligo Creek Trail
Purple - connection to the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda

Here's the video:

https://youtu.be/9za60izrxEI

The hardest part of recording the voiceover was trying to pronounce the k's correctly when going between saying "Rock Creek Park" and "Takoma" because the k's are in different places in the words.

bobco85
08-09-2016, 09:58 AM
I had to make some last minute changes due to the news* on Monday, but the video for Surge 7 is complete and ready for viewing!

For this video, I headed out to Shady Grove and worked my way inwards towards DC, covering the Shady Grove, Rockville, Twinbrook, and White Flint stations. There aren't a lot of bikeable routes in Rockville, but I did find good use from the Carl Henn Millenium Trail which loops around Rockville and the Bethesda Trolley Trail.

*On Monday, it was reported that the Red line between Shady Grove and Grosvenor-Strathmore would be shutdown all day on Saturday (13th) and Sunday (14th). (Note: Surge 7 lasts from today (9th) through next week (18th)).

Because of this news, I had to add more content to my video to cover the shutdown, and I was unable to finish the video before nightfall. I had the video upload to Youtube while I slept last night, and now everything is ready for viewing. Enjoy!


https://youtu.be/GQcN07n_Hjo

ginacico
08-09-2016, 10:31 AM
I've said as much to other people, but it's worth mentioning here... These videos are informative and helpful, and I for one have learned a few tricks from them. Even if they're not on my usual routes, I note things that I file away for future reference. You're doing a great public service - thanks for all the effort you put into it!

(And, it's kinda fun going on a virtual ride while I'm stuck at a desk. :p)

Judd
08-09-2016, 10:50 AM
I've said as much to other people, but it's worth mentioning here... These videos are informative and helpful, and I for one have learned a few tricks from them. Even if they're not on my usual routes, I note things that I file away for future reference. You're doing a great public service - thanks for all the effort you put into it!

(And, it's kinda fun going on a virtual ride while I'm stuck at a desk. :p)

Just wait until I convince Bobco to make his historical sites by bike videos. See the secret spring off of the W&OD trail!

http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160809/fc08953cdbcc85e2ab29cc7ea28feb30.jpg




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ginacico
08-09-2016, 12:39 PM
Just wait until I convince Bobco to make his historical sites by bike videos. See the secret spring off of the W&OD trail!

So sorry I missed that.

I propose we could do another for touring Arlington Visual Arts (http://www.bikearlington.com/tasks/sites/bike/assets/file/tours/art_tour10-2010.pdf) by bike. There are plenty of sites to add to the original list, and the whole tour can be ridden in one loop (which I'd be more than happy to accompany).

scoot
08-09-2016, 04:34 PM
Just wait until I convince Bobco to make his historical sites by bike videos. See the secret spring off of the W&OD trail!

Already done (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5iUr2IVp1o), though it doesn't show every turn like his recent SafeTrack videos. I had the pleasure of riding with him one day last fall while he shot this one.

dasgeh
08-10-2016, 07:48 AM
Bobco85 deserves an award for his service with these videos. They are really great.

bobco85
08-11-2016, 09:40 AM
Just wait until I convince Bobco to make his historical sites by bike videos.
I like the idea, but right now I've got a backlog (I do this in my free time) currently involving:

SafeTrack Surge #8 (Franconia-Springfield to Van Dorn St) bike route - filmed it, am working on the video
SafeTrack Surge #9 (Vienna to West Falls Church) bike route - planned route, will film this weekend
Fairfax County Parkway Trail (full route from Ft Belvoir to Herndon/Great Falls) - filmed it a month ago
My Clearwater-Tampa-St Pete loop - filmed it half a year ago in February (my FL ride videos tend to get really delayed)



I propose we could do another for touring Arlington Visual Arts (http://www.bikearlington.com/tasks/sites/bike/assets/file/tours/art_tour10-2010.pdf) by bike. There are plenty of sites to add to the original list, and the whole tour can be ridden in one loop (which I'd be more than happy to accompany).
There are a couple of tours around different parts of the county that can be done. https://publicart.arlingtonva.us/resources/self-guided-tours/ I'd be interested in doing one of these and/or creating a new route that hits the major ones.
Also, since I am an Alexandrian as of last summer, there are a few on here, too (I did the walking historical scavenger hunt which was interesting): https://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/info/default.aspx?id=31254

bobco85
08-16-2016, 10:48 PM
Just got a bit of a reprieve on making my video for the upcoming Metro SafeTrack Surge #8 (Franconia-Springfield to Van Dorn St) due to today's announcement: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=6153 At least this time, it wasn't the day before the start of the surge :rolleyes:

Surge #7 (Shady Grove to Twinbrook) which was supposed to end this Thursday (Aug. 18) has been extended a few days and will now end on Sunday (Aug. 21). This pushes the start of Surge #8 from originally this Saturday (Aug. 20) to Saturday of next week (Aug. 27), and the other surges have been pushed back a bit, too. Also, Metro is moving to weekend shutdowns of the SafeTrack segments, so knowing how to access the next station on each line is even more key to navigating the transportation chaos.

My video for Surge #8 is around 80% complete, and I successfully filmed for Surge #9 this past Saturday, so I will actually have time to (do more biking and) work on my video backlog :cool:

mstone
08-17-2016, 07:09 AM
Maybe they're adding the feature of checking the tracks they're using during the surge!

bobco85
08-22-2016, 06:32 PM
I just finished my video for SafeTrack Surge 8 (Franconia-Springfield to Van Dorn St). The surge was pushed back a week, so it will run from Saturday, August 27th, through Sunday, September 11th. On the weekdays, there will be single-tracking (no Yellow Rush+ service), and on the weekends there will be segment shutdowns.

Here's a map of the routes I decided to take:
12301

Here is the video:

https://youtu.be/2bi-qrjKJ6E

So, I figured out how to make custom video thumbnails (surprisingly easy, just validate your Youtube account via text message) and had some fun with the extra time that the week delay gave me.

For the routes, I chose the Fairfax County Parkway Trail and Beulah/Telegraph for starting points. I wanted to also show the route I like to take through the Rose Hill neighborhood as it's a pretty low stress route (though it has multiple turns). Btw, that white car that shows up around the 11:02 mark and was in the way (grr, I came very close to wanting to reshoot that footage) had broken down when I was filming the yellow route. When I returned to film the cyan route, it was just being loaded onto a tow truck.

Now that this video is done, I can start work on going through my Surge 9 footage. Thank you, everyone, for the encouragement and support; they help me keep working on these videos.

DrP
08-22-2016, 08:22 PM
These are great! So is the music you use. Somewhere you need to credit that, some scores are really lovely to listen to.

bobco85
08-23-2016, 07:43 AM
These are great! So is the music you use. Somewhere you need to credit that, some scores are really lovely to listen to.
Thanks! By the way, I put the music information at the bottom of every video description.


Music (according to route) is:
-Cyan route footage – “Lionheart”
-Yellow route footage – “Eve”
-Magenta route footage - "Smoke Signals”
All songs can be found on the album “Soon It Will Be Cold Enough” by Emancipator.

DrP
08-23-2016, 10:30 AM
Thanks! By the way, I put the music information at the bottom of every video description.

Ah, on the YouTube page. I was just looking at it from the forum page. Thank you.

bobco85
08-26-2016, 04:07 PM
Awesome stuff, a writer from WTOP news referenced my video in an article today about SafeTrack Surge 8 (he asked for permission beforehand)! Also, it's nice to see that biking is being mentioned in the media as an alternative form of transportation to the Metro.

Here's the article: http://wtop.com/tracking-metro-24-7/2016/08/wtop-track-work-guide-8th-surge-aug-27-sept-11/

Judd
08-26-2016, 04:39 PM
Robert. So formal! Very awesome that you got linked.

I wish they would have used a bold heading for the bike option but I'm happy that it was included at all.


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bobco85
09-13-2016, 08:38 PM
I'm out of town for one more day (currently waiting on a delicious deep dish pizza after a day of hiking), but I figured out how to get my SafeTrack Surge 9 video published (I finished and uploaded it before I left). Here's the link as long as it works:


https://youtu.be/npq0lDEi2AE

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk; edited today to properly show video preview

bobco85
09-16-2016, 09:03 AM
Just got an update from Metro as the dates for SafeTrack surges 10 and 11 have been announced: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=6168

Surge #10 (Fort Totten to NoMa on Red Line): October 29 - November 22; the segment of the Red Line will be shutdown for an entire month, affecting the Fort Totten, Brookland-CUA (closed), Rhode Island Avenue (closed), and NoMa-Gallaudet U stations

Surge #11 (East Falls Church to West Falls Church on Orange Line): November 28 - December 21; the Orange line will be single-tracking between the two stations for a month

I've got my routes already planned for Surge 10 with more than a month to create the video. I'm going through ideas for Surge 11 since the Silver line will be an alternative to the Orange for the affected section. It's nice to get a break, though, for a little bit!

vern
09-16-2016, 10:06 AM
Just got an update from Metro as the dates for SafeTrack surges 10 and 11 have been announced: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=6168

Surge #10 (Fort Totten to NoMa on Red Line): October 29 - November 22; the segment of the Red Line will be shutdown for an entire month, affecting the Fort Totten, Brookland-CUA (closed), Rhode Island Avenue (closed), and NoMa-Gallaudet U stations

Surge #11 (East Falls Church to West Falls Church on Orange Line): November 28 - December 21; the Orange line will be single-tracking between the two stations for a month

I've got my routes already planned for Surge 10 with more than a month to create the video. I'm going through ideas for Surge 11 since the Silver line will be an alternative to the Orange for the affected section. It's nice to get a break, though, for a little bit!

Orange and Silver share the same track between WFC and EFC, so I don't see how the Silver would be an alternative that would provide a different outcome.

americancyclo
09-16-2016, 10:11 AM
Orange and Silver share the same track between WFC and EFC, so I don't see how the Silver would be an alternative that would provide a different outcome.
They're only going to delay the orange trains :p

bobco85
09-16-2016, 01:10 PM
Orange and Silver share the same track between WFC and EFC, so I don't see how the Silver would be an alternative that would provide a different outcome.

They're only going to delay the orange trains :p
Thanks, both of you, because reading your comments made me realize that there is a discrepancy due to the shared track. I also looked at Metro's news release and the Surge #11 information page https://wmata.com/rider_tools/metro_service_status/advisories.cfm?AID=5591

According to what's on Metro's website (news release and surge 11 info page),

the news release says the surge will affect service on the Orange and Silver lines
the news release says lines will single-track between the West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations
the surge 11 info page says Orange line trains will continuously single-track between the West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations
the map on the surge 11 info page shows only the Orange line as single-tracking to East Falls Church

The problem is that it doesn't state if Silver line trains will deal with any single-tracking on the section of track where the Orange & Silver lines combine which is just west of Great Falls St. The map on the surge 11 info page also only shows the Orange line having single-tracking.

My best guess is that the Orange line will always single-track during Surge 11, but the Silver line will only single-track on the Orange/Silver combined section.

My strategy might just be to show routes from:

Dunn Loring -> West Falls Church -> East Falls Church
McLean -> East Falls Church
East Falls Church -> Ballston
I like to add a station on either end to cover more area.

Luckily, there's still plenty of time to figure things out.

bobco85
10-25-2016, 12:53 PM
My video for Surge 10 is ready for viewing!

Surge 10 on the Red Line between Fort Totten and NoMa-Gallaudet U will start this Saturday, October 29, and run until Tuesday, November 22. The line will be shut down completely between the 2 stations, but conveniently there is a trail running alongside the Red Line for most of that stretch: the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

Here is the video:

https://youtu.be/uvBd1vurITE

My biggest challenge was pronouncing Gallaudet correctly. Until I recorded the voiceover, I was saying "Gal-la-day" which is wrong. It is supposed to be pronounced like "Gal-luh-dette" (I had to write it this way in my script due to all the retakes). Between that and the retakes due to outside noise (recording during evening rush hour with traffic coming in/out of my apartment's parking lot) and inside noise (my cat had to be put in my bedroom with the door closed for a bit), I did a lot of audio editing. Hopefully, it worked. Enjoy!

Dewey
11-23-2016, 12:01 PM
Local news are reporting (https://www.arlnow.com/2016/11/23/officials-expect-the-worst-during-the-next-metro-surge/) SafeTrack surge #11 beginning November 28 and the following 14 days will bring major disruption to the Orange/Silver Lines with 64% fewer trains running during rush hour, and shuttle buses running every 10 minutes from Ballston to Rosslyn. During a news conference (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDvJCur9CTk) Metro asked that half of Orange/Silver line commuters take alternative routes to work.

bobco85
11-27-2016, 05:23 PM
Just in time for the beginning of Metro SafeTrack surge 11, I finished my video for biking around the disruption.

Surge 11 will run from November 28 to December 21. Orange Line trains between West Falls Church and East Falls Church will be single-tracking, and Silver line service will be affected, too.

Here is the video:
https://youtu.be/dKCy5hrzLuk

For the video, I tried to cover bike routes between McLean, Tysons Corner, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, East Falls Church, and Ballston. McLean is a little odd, as it's the most isolated from the other stations (it's less than a mile from the Tysons Corner station, but there are no safe biking/walking routes between the two stations), so it was a challenge finding a good route that didn't have too many hills/fast traffic. I included the alternate route of Westmoreland Street which has bike lanes/sharrows/more bike-friendly riding for reference, as I sometimes use that when heading out that way from Arlington.

bentbike33
11-28-2016, 10:06 AM
Great movie as always Bobco. You have a typo at about the 11:45 mark, however. The official Forum-sanctioned name of the the trail that branches off from the W&OD just east of the East Falls Church station and crosses over I-66 is "The Custis Spurt (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?2783-Forum-Dictionary&p=128139#post128139)".

Judd
11-28-2016, 10:35 AM
Love the music on the new Safetrack video.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

bobco85
11-28-2016, 12:16 PM
Thanks! I'm glad you like the video (and music in it).


Great movie as always Bobco. You have a typo at about the 11:45 mark, however. The official Forum-sanctioned name of the the trail that branches off from the W&OD just east of the East Falls Church station and crosses over I-66 is "The Custis Spurt (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?2783-Forum-Dictionary&p=128139#post128139)".
When I read the words "You have a typo" my heart jumped a bit until reading the rest of the sentence! I believe it's happened a few times that after rendering the video and watching it that I realized there was a big mistake, but I do try to be as accurate as possible. I did have to pull a video from YouTube once due to an update that WMATA announced a day or two before the surge started, though (grr).

huskerdont
11-28-2016, 12:40 PM
1) Amazing how much sidewalk riding was needed around a couple of the Metro stations (e.g., McLean, Tysons).
2) Where sidewalk riding wasn't needed, there were some passes that looked scary (e.g., on Magarity), but maybe that's a combination of my confirmation bias and the 300% video speed.

Judd
11-28-2016, 12:53 PM
1) but maybe that's a combination of my confirmation bias and the 300% video speed.

No, you're right Husker. Everyone in a car is a jack hole, including me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Judd
11-28-2016, 01:12 PM
1) but maybe that's a combination of my confirmation bias and the 300% video speed.

No, you're right Husker. Everyone in a car is a jack hole, including me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

huskerdont
11-28-2016, 01:31 PM
...the post so nice it posted twice.

I used to be more of a jackhole driver, but being a pedestrian and a cyclist chilled me out--except on the Interstates, where those effers aren't allowed so everything goes.

Judd
11-28-2016, 02:31 PM
...the post so nice it posted twice.

I used to be more of a jackhole driver, but being a pedestrian and a cyclist chilled me out--except on the Interstates, where those effers aren't allowed so everything goes.

I'm actually not a jackhole while driving except to others who are being jackholes. I let people in and follow at safe distances and wear a seat belt and wave to strangers on neighborhood streets and everything. Not that I drive much, unless I'm going somewhere to bike.

bobco85
11-28-2016, 02:32 PM
1) Amazing how much sidewalk riding was needed around a couple of the Metro stations (e.g., McLean, Tysons).
2) Where sidewalk riding wasn't needed, there were some passes that looked scary (e.g., on Magarity), but maybe that's a combination of my confirmation bias and the 300% video speed.
Yeah, the 300% speed sometimes makes things seem a bit more dire than they really were.

I always find it weird how isolated the McLean metro is from everything else (even downtown McLean). It's so close to Tysons Corner, yet if you don't have a car, there isn't a very safe/comfortable way to get between the two. These pics show the most efficient routes between the 2 stations according to mode of travel (transit excluded):

By car, it's pretty easy, even though you have to do a loop to actually reach the Tysons Corner metro entrance.
12852

By bike, it's pretty straightforward, but you will have to ride on-street and deal with high speed traffic and multilane off-/on-ramps with no sidewalk to bail on. I've done it twice in my life (the second was for filming my Bike the Metro - Silver Line video) and strongly recommend against it.
12853

On foot, there are no sidewalks to use to get past the Beltway, so I mapped out the shortest feasible route. One still has to cross the cloverleaf (read: 4 on-/off-ramp crossings) on Route 7 over the Beltway and deal with the high speed drivers there, but this route at least has a sidewalk the whole way. 2.5 miles would take an average person about 50 minutes to walk (Strava assumes you are running).
12854

bentbike33
11-28-2016, 02:50 PM
Gotta love my neighborhood...

Tysons = Cartopia, Now with Metro!

huskerdont
11-29-2016, 07:30 AM
I found it interesting that you used much the same route around the McLean Metro that I did when I went there to take pictures for work right after it opened. It really seemed the only sane way to approach it was via Anderson Road and the office park.

bobco85
11-29-2016, 09:06 AM
I found it interesting that you used much the same route around the McLean Metro that I did when I went there to take pictures for work right after it opened. It really seemed the only sane way to approach it was via Anderson Road and the office park.
It is definitely a nicer way of getting through that portion of the route. I use Strava Heatmap frequently when planning directions/routes to get a better idea of what cyclists are using. http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/ I find it a very useful reference, but keep in mind that the data is from 2015 (hence no Anacostia River Trail connection to Bladensburg Waterfront Park).

VA2DC
12-06-2016, 11:00 AM
I used to think that Ubers, especially with MD plates, were the drivers least respectful of the bike lanes in the Clarendon-Court House corridor. Metro shuttle bus drivers are giving the Ubers a good run for the title during the latest surge. I get that buses need to pull into the bike lane to pick up and drop off passengers. But do they need to drive in the lane between stops too? Drivers on the regular numbered bus routes seem to be able to navigate the admittedly narrow lanes on Clarendon & Wilson without creeping over into the bike lanes. Perhaps some remedial driving instruction for the WMATA shuttle drivers is in order? :mad:

bobco85
01-12-2017, 03:33 PM
Today, Metro announced the dates for its upcoming SafeTrack surges, and they will both affect stations and lines primarily in VA.

Here is the press release: https://www.wmata.com/about/news/safetrack-schedule-2017.cfm

Surge #12 will occur from February 11-28 and will close the Blue line between Rosslyn and Pentagon (buses will take people from Pentagon to Arlington National Cemetery).

Surge #13 will occur from March 4-April 9 and will severely impact the Yellow and Blue lines from National Airport to Huntington/Franconia-Springfield in 3 stages. Every single station in Alexandria will be affected.

I will be making videos to help people find good bike routes to get around each surge. I have already done my filming for surge #13 (originally, it was going to be surge 12, but it got switched I guess), so if the weather isn't too severe this weekend, I will try and film for surge #12.

KLizotte
01-12-2017, 04:17 PM
I use the McLean metro to visit Mitre for work and it is extremely useful for that. But you're right, there isn't anything walkable from the McLean stop except the office park right there. Also, the opening of the Silver Line has made the Rosslyn station a complete mess: very, very crowded and confusing at rush hour.

bobco85
02-05-2017, 09:53 AM
My new video for biking around the upcoming Metro SafeTrack Surge 12 (Rosslyn to Pentagon) is finally complete!

Surge 12 will run from this Saturday, February 11, through Tuesday, February 28, and will have the following disruptions:


The Blue Line will be completely shutdown
There will be no train service between the Rosslyn and Pentagon stations
Arlington Cemetery Metro will only be accessible using free shuttle buses running from the Pentagon station
Yellow and Yellow Rush Plus Lines will run all day.

Here are pics of the Metro map that I made to illustrate this (left: normal service; right: during Surge 12):
1357013571

Here is the video I created:

https://youtu.be/NuyiQ59LrgI

I originally was not going to create a video for Surge 12 until I discovered how much of a disruption would take place. I also had a cold while I was trying to do the voiceover, so I hope that I don't sound too congested (I took to a neti pot just before recording so I'd be as clear as possible).

I split the routes into 2 groups: Foggy Bottom/Court House to Pentagon City and L'Enfant Plaza to Pentagon/Crystal City. I hope this helps folks needing to get around those areas.

bobco85
02-10-2017, 02:02 PM
My new video for biking around the upcoming Metro SafeTrack Surge 12 (Rosslyn to Pentagon) is finally complete!

Surge 12 will run from this Saturday, February 11, through Tuesday, February 28, and will have the following disruptions:


The Blue Line will be completely shutdown
There will be no train service between the Rosslyn and Pentagon stations
Arlington Cemetery Metro will only be accessible using free shuttle buses running from the Pentagon station
Yellow and Yellow Rush Plus Lines will run all day.

Here are pics of the Metro map that I made to illustrate this (left: normal service; right: during Surge 12):
1357013571

Here is the video I created:

https://youtu.be/NuyiQ59LrgI

I originally was not going to create a video for Surge 12 until I discovered how much of a disruption would take place. I also had a cold while I was trying to do the voiceover, so I hope that I don't sound too congested (I took to a neti pot just before recording so I'd be as clear as possible).

I split the routes into 2 groups: Foggy Bottom/Court House to Pentagon City and L'Enfant Plaza to Pentagon/Crystal City. I hope this helps folks needing to get around those areas.
Giving this thread a bump because SafeTrack Surge 12 starts tomorrow. FYI for those trying to avoid the Metro service interruptions.

bobco85
03-03-2017, 09:44 PM
Hey there, I'm on vacation, but I managed to finish my video for the SafeTrack Surge 13 that runs from this Saturday, March 4, through April 9.

Here is the video I created:

https://youtu.be/M0Rrv8LmzeA

I hope everything works. See you all when I return to the DC area on Tuesday!

bobco85
04-15-2017, 10:22 AM
New Surge, new video!

Quick notes:

Surge 14 will run from Saturday, April 15 through Sunday, May 14
No Yellow Rush Plus service
Phase 1 (April 15-29)

Greenbelt & College Park stations closed
Free shuttle buses between Greenbelt, College Park, and Prince George's Plaza stations


Phase 2 (April 30-May 14)

Greenbelt station closed
Free shuttle buses between Greenbelt and College Park stations



I made a bike route video to show how to get around the affected stations using routes on the west and east sides of the tracks, so hopefully that will help with wayfinding. I did routes between Greenbelt, Beltsville, College Park, Prince George's Plaza, and West Hyattsville for this. The nice thing is that there is a lot of bicycle infrastructure to be used to get around.

Here's the video. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/KurxQcE0ZOg

bobco85
05-14-2017, 08:37 PM
Surge 15 starts Monday, and my video is now up for biking around it!

Quick notes:


Surge 15 will run from May 15th through June 16th
All Orange Line stations east of Stadium-Armory will be closed (New Carrollton, Landover, Cheverly, Deanwood, & Minnesota Ave stations all will be closed)
Free local shuttle buses will replace Orange Line trains
Express shuttle buses will connect a few Orange Line stations to a few Blue/Silver Line stations


This bike route video uses parts of the route that I took folks along for the Purple Line, and it should show a couple of connections between the stations that aren't very easy to figure out.

Here is the video. With Bike to Work Day approaching, I hope this helps those who are less experienced.


https://youtu.be/HwKtaZcg_mU

MFC
06-01-2017, 03:05 PM
Surge 15 starts Monday, and my video is now up for biking around it!

Quick notes:


Surge 15 will run from May 15th through June 16th
All Orange Line stations east of Stadium-Armory will be closed (New Carrollton, Landover, Cheverly, Deanwood, & Minnesota Ave stations all will be closed)
Free local shuttle buses will replace Orange Line trains
Express shuttle buses will connect a few Orange Line stations to a few Blue/Silver Line stations


This bike route video uses parts of the route that I took folks along for the Purple Line, and it should show a couple of connections between the stations that aren't very easy to figure out.

Here is the video. With Bike to Work Day approaching, I hope this helps those who are less experienced.


https://youtu.be/HwKtaZcg_mU

Metro liked your videos so much, they are coming out with SafeTrack II https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/06/01/metro-to-shut-down-parts-of-green-red-and-yellow-lines-in-next-round-of-maintenance-blitzes-once-safetrack-ends/?hpid=hp_local-news_metro-155pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.fdb10da92b75

bobco85
06-01-2017, 06:28 PM
Metro liked your videos so much, they are coming out with SafeTrack II https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/06/01/metro-to-shut-down-parts-of-green-red-and-yellow-lines-in-next-round-of-maintenance-blitzes-once-safetrack-ends/?hpid=hp_local-news_metro-155pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.fdb10da92b75So, they can't call it SafeTrack because that's supposed to end in June, but they still need to do multi-station line shutdowns.

So, it's SafeTrack but not SafeTrack even though it will operate very very VERY similarly to SafeTrack?

Yeah, I'm going to continue to call it SafeTrack.

bobco85
06-21-2017, 08:34 AM
Alright, life happened and I ended up being late on this, but I did finally finish my bike route video for the final SafeTrack Surge 16 from Shady Grove to Twinbrook!

Quick notes:

Surge 16 is running from June 17th through June 25th
The Shady Grove and Rockville stations on the Red Line will be closed
Free shuttle buses will replace train rides between the Shady Grove, Rockville, and Twinbrook stations
This is the final SafeTrack Surge, even though there are other smaller closures that will occur throughout the next year

Since the video is late, the video might not be as useful for dealing with this week-long surge, but I think that this video could be useful for those looking for bike routes along the Shady Grove end of the Red Line. The north end of Rock Creek Trail is not too far from the Shady Grove Metro, the Carl Henn Millennium Trail is a loop that riders can use to go literally around Rockville, and the Bethesda Trolley Trail is another great trail for getting north-south especially to access the Capital Crescent Trail.

Here is the video. I'm glad to be able to contribute to finding good biking routes throughout the DC area, and I plan to contribute to biking around Seattle when I get there. Enjoy!


https://youtu.be/455tnNZbilQ