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dasgeh
06-08-2016, 01:02 PM
I had a very productive meeting with ArlCo DPR about trails maintenance and such this morning. One piece that came out of it is that DPR Trails folks are willing to help us get "educational" signs up on the Custis, but that such signs will need to be designed and DES-approved. It would probably be a "pilot program" with 1-5 locations, which also would need to be selected and approved before coming to DPR.

This seems like a job for someone who is willing to write a few emails, maybe have a few meetings. Is someone willing to lead/co-lead the effort? I imagine the process being something like:

1) work with DES to figure out what the parameters are to get approval (no curse words, ArlCo logo, no "regulatory" wording, or something like that)
2) work with BikeArlington, if they'd be willing, to get a design
3) shepard through DES for approval
4) work with DES/BikeArlington to find location(s)
5) work with DPR to get installed

With the energy around doing-things-to-respond-to-SafeTrack, there may be an opportunity to get this done rather quickly, if someone had the energy/time to shepard it through quickly. It could also stretch on longer (in other words, the commitment would be probably a handful of emails and meetings, stretched over a matter of weeks or months).

Who's up for leading the charge?

Steve O
06-08-2016, 02:10 PM
I had a very productive meeting with ArlCo DPR about trails maintenance and such this morning. One piece that came out of it is that DPR Trails folks are willing to help us get "educational" signs up on the Custis, but that such signs will need to be designed and DES-approved. It would probably be a "pilot program" with 1-5 locations, which also would need to be selected and approved before coming to DPR.

With the energy around doing-things-to-respond-to-SafeTrack, there may be an opportunity to get this done rather quickly,

Hahahahahahaha. The original "pilot program," "wayfinding" signs went up in the spring of 2012. It is now more than 4 years later, and that project is still far from complete. I believe the entire 50/Courthouse interchange was designed and built in the interim, while DES is unable to effectively place a few score signs along the trails. Maybe before we create an entirely new signage program, we should complete the one we've started. Shoot, there are errors, missing signs and other corrections that I have communicated to the program manager on numerous occasions over the last 4 years, of which I believe exactly zero have ever been fixed.

In fact, if the original signage program were complete and the signs were truly effective, there would not really be a need for the special Orange/Silver signs that have been placed, and that time spent creating and posting those signs could have been used more effectively on other SafeTrack efforts, like this idea.

Sorry for the rant.

VA2DC
06-09-2016, 03:06 PM
Shoot, there are errors, missing signs and other corrections that I have communicated to the program manager on numerous occasions over the last 4 years, of which I believe exactly zero have ever been fixed.

Speaking of errors, the Bluemont Junction Trail sign westbound where the trail joins the north end of the Holiday Inn access road would be very confusing to a newbie. Anyone unfamiliar with the trail (presumably, the very same people for whom the signs are intended) would think that to get to Arlington Traditional School/get on Bluemont Junction Trail/go to Bluemont Park, the sign says to turn left immediately and follow drive that runs behind the Holiday Inn parking garage. That wayfinding sign should be placed 100 yards further west where you actually do turn left onto the Bluemont trail. Just a small "Bluemont Junction Trail" sign with a straight ahead arrow would be better in the current spot.

11918

Drewdane
06-09-2016, 07:57 PM
If you don't
Call out your pass
We'll all know
You are an Ass

dasgeh
06-10-2016, 08:53 AM
Hahahahahahaha. The original "pilot program," "wayfinding" signs went up in the spring of 2012.

You make a good point. This would not be wayfinding signs. This would not be official regulatory signs (stop, yield, etc) or official trail rules signs (those long, hard to read signs). These would be short, punchy reminders of trail etiquette. It's a chance to get something done, and yes, it should be coordinated with County staff time, not volunteer time, but we have two choices: we can spend our time complaining/lobbying to get County staff to coordinate this, or we can spend our time coordinating it.

Well, by "we", I mean "you", because I'm prioritizing my volunteer "making biking better" time for other issues. But if anyone sees this as an issue worthy of their time, please speak up.

dasgeh
06-10-2016, 08:55 AM
Speaking of errors, the Bluemont Junction Trail sign westbound where the trail joins the north end of the Holiday Inn access road would be very confusing to a newbie. Anyone unfamiliar with the trail (presumably, the very same people for whom the signs are intended) would think that to get to Arlington Traditional School/get on Bluemont Junction Trail/go to Bluemont Park, the sign says to turn left immediately and follow drive that runs behind the Holiday Inn parking garage. That wayfinding sign should be placed 100 yards further west where you actually do turn left onto the Bluemont trail. Just a small "Bluemont Junction Trail" sign with a straight ahead arrow would be better in the current spot.

11918

Can you please email this to trails@arlingtonva.us AND des@arlingtonva.us? Trails has taken the position that they will do the work of placing signs, but not deciding where signs go. So I'd imagine they'd want DES to tell the to move the sign before they move the sign. But the sign should be moved.

Steve O
06-10-2016, 09:54 AM
Can you please email this to trails@arlingtonva.us AND des@arlingtonva.us? Trails has taken the position that they will do the work of placing signs, but not deciding where signs go. So I'd imagine they'd want DES to tell the to move the sign before they move the sign. But the sign should be moved.

And if the sign is moved, a new one will need to be put there instead. Otherwise there's no directional information whatsoever to guide people to the BJT.

Tim Kelley
06-10-2016, 02:32 PM
I'm told that Top Men are working on this.

Top
Men

Tim Kelley
06-13-2016, 10:08 AM
Our Top Men responded,

"You know what? Whoever wrote this. They're right. This sign was put in the wrong place! It was supposed to be much further down the trail, just like they said.
GRRRRRRR…I’ll alert the authorities.

Could you thank them for catching this most grievous of errors?"

mstone
06-13-2016, 10:10 AM
Is someone going to rescue all the people who got lost in the parking lot?

dasgeh
06-13-2016, 12:38 PM
I'm told that Top Men are working on this.

Top
Men

So "this" was just the Bluemont wayfinding sign, not the burma shave signs generally?

VA2DC
06-14-2016, 09:43 AM
Is someone going to rescue all the people who got lost in the parking lot?

I'll check tonight, but no cyclists were lost in the garage the last time that I rode by there;)

VA2DC
06-14-2016, 09:48 AM
And if the sign is moved, a new one will need to be put there instead. Otherwise there's no directional information whatsoever to guide people to the BJT.


Our Top Men responded,

"You know what? Whoever wrote this. They're right. This sign was put in the wrong place! It was supposed to be much further down the trail, just like they said.
GRRRRRRR…I’ll alert the authorities.

Could you thank them for catching this most grievous of errors?"

So the Top Men will move the directional signs down the trail? Will they leave the "Bluemont Junction Trail" sign in the current location to mark the entrance to the BJT, as noted by Steve O?

americancyclo
06-14-2016, 10:00 AM
So "this" was just the Bluemont wayfinding sign, not the burma shave signs generally?
I think your thread has been derailed.

Steve O
06-14-2016, 10:22 AM
So back to the original thread topic.

Most of the issues described had to do with bad passing--particularly at limited-sight locations. In my mind, a more effective way to deal with these is to use both signage and trail paint at the key locations:
"Blind corner. Do not pass."

No, not cute or rhymey, but straightforward and clear. Also, in cases where riders pull their jackball moves at places like this, it's much easier to point out that they are clearly in violation of trail etiquette or guidelines at those points, rather than just a more general "Call your pass" type of message.

Granted, this does not address the issue of riders who pass with oncoming traffic or buzz other people walking or on bikes, but I think it's the most effective way to deal with this particular issue.

Question: Could this effort include words on the trail surface itself? Or just signage?

KLizotte
06-14-2016, 10:32 AM
Perhaps painting the entire trail with red paint where no passing should occur would be good? Similar to how green paint is used in bike lanes in tricky areas. Unfortunately it is unlikely this paint would be regularly maintained so would disappear in time as is occurring to the green paint in some areas.

VA2DC
06-14-2016, 01:35 PM
Perhaps painting the entire trail with red paint where no passing should occur would be good? Similar to how green paint is used in bike lanes in tricky areas. Unfortunately it is unlikely this paint would be regularly maintained so would disappear in time as is occurring to the green paint in some areas.

I like the painting idea, or something like the slightly raised white stripes that act like rumble strips at some of the intersections on the W&OD. Additional signs along the trail would add another distraction that generally pulls your vision toward the signs and away from oncoming traffic. Plus, more sign posts would make the trail shoulders more dangerous and take away convenient spots to bail off the trail or take evasive action quickly if necessary.

huskerdont
06-14-2016, 01:45 PM
Perhaps painting the entire trail with red paint where no passing should occur would be good? Similar to how green paint is used in bike lanes in tricky areas. Unfortunately it is unlikely this paint would be regularly maintained so would disappear in time as is occurring to the green paint in some areas.

Could be okay, but am I the only one who gets nervous when there's paint on the trail on curves? It could be the non-slick kind, but I don't always know that before hitting it wet.

dasgeh
06-14-2016, 01:50 PM
So back to the original thread topic. [...]


Nope, not the original topic. While I totally support the concept of warning signs for particular dangers, like blind curves, the proposal is for signs that would be helpful to educate folks, encourage folks, remind folks of trail etiquette. They would not be appropriate for places where people should be paying attention to something else, like curves and intersections. They would not be appropriate for where the trail is narrow. They would be appropriate for some of those long straight-aways, many of which already are flanked by walls or other signposts that signs could be attached to. So they would not necessarily add any "clutter" to the footprint.

But I do see merit to "Blind corner; use caution" directly at the site of the blind corners. I would write "use caution" instead of "do not pass" because it covers what everyone on the trail should be doing there -- joggers shouldn't stop Crazy Ivan in blind corners; people walking dogs shouldn't let the lease out at blind corners. People with toddlers should keep them close in blind corners, etc. And I think painting that message on the trail makes the most sense.

A large section of paint wouldn't be understood widely enough to be effective. Rumble strips could cause crashes, which is the opposite of what you want.

Drewdane
12-21-2016, 10:18 AM
Saw my first example of this on the Custis last night (or was it the W&OD? I don't remember exactly where it was on my route). Very nice, but there needs to be an actual Burma Shave Logo at the end. :)

Subby
12-21-2016, 10:30 AM
These are pretty great. I think they would be WAAAAY more interesting on uphills/downhills/blind corners, but I'm no traffic engineer.

DrP
12-21-2016, 10:49 AM
I saw them this morning on the W&OD just north of Patrick Henry (drewdane - I think this is considered both W&OD and Custis, at least for plowing purposes). I chuckled. I like that they were for all users and not just cyclists. Hopefully the folks they are aimed at (nighttime users without reflectors/lights), can see them too.

americancyclo
12-21-2016, 11:16 AM
Perhaps painting the entire trail with red paint where no passing should occur would be good? Similar to how green paint is used in bike lanes in tricky areas. Unfortunately it is unlikely this paint would be regularly maintained so would disappear in time as is occurring to the green paint in some areas.
How about chalk outlines of cyclists that didn't survive a dangerous pass?

DrP
12-22-2016, 10:09 AM
I saw them this morning on the W&OD just north of Patrick Henry (drewdane - I think this is considered both W&OD and Custis, at least for plowing purposes). I chuckled. I like that they were for all users and not just cyclists. Hopefully the folks they are aimed at (nighttime users without reflectors/lights), can see them too.

And today I saw two more on the Custis. One between the Ballston connector and Washington Blvd and one at the top of the Rosslyn hill. All are different. I am curious what other trail users think. Are there any on the southern Arlington routes, like 4MR around the airport or Shirlington?

Steve O
12-22-2016, 12:56 PM
And today I saw two more on the Custis. One between the Ballston connector and Washington Blvd and one at the top of the Rosslyn hill. All are different. I am curious what other trail users think. Are there any on the southern Arlington routes, like 4MR around the airport or Shirlington?

I like 'em. I don't think there's any good way to measure their effectiveness, but they probably raise awareness of BikeArlington and WalkArlington, which is good in and of itself.

scoot
12-22-2016, 02:55 PM
they probably raise awareness of BikeArlington and WalkArlington, which is good in and of itself.

Even better: wear a BikeArlington reflective vest and take the lane everywhere you ride :D