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Tim Kelley
08-23-2011, 11:36 AM
Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting - Monday, September 12, 2011

The Arlington Bike Advisory Committee invites you to: Crossing Lynn Street and Lee Highway: How Can We Make It Safer for Cyclists and Pedestrians?

On Monday, September 12, 2011, the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee (ABAC) will host a short site visit and discussion about one of Arlington’s most problematic intersections. Join us afterwards at the nearby Continental lounge for drinks and a chance to learn more about the ABAC and how you can help make Arlington a better place for cyclists.

What: Site visit to the intersection of Lee Highway, the Custis Trail, and Lynn Street. Arlington County staff will be on hand to explain and discuss future plans to improve the intersection.

Who: Everyone! Especially cyclists, pedestrians, cyclist wannabes, planners and drivers who want to understand why this intersection is so challenging.

When & Where: Monday, September 12, 2011 ~ 6:30 PM at Gateway Park. Meet at the northeast corner of the park. Around 7:15 we’ll move to the Continental (across Lee Highway at North Moore Street).

For more info about this meeting, contact Mark Blacknell, chair of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee, at mb@blacknell.com.


Click here for more information (http://www.bikearlington.com/pages/get-involved/#bac)

txgoonie
08-23-2011, 11:52 AM
Woo hoo! A move in the right direction:)

Mark Blacknell
09-09-2011, 12:17 PM
Wanted to bump this as a reminder. Had planned to promo a little bit better earlier this week, but . . . things came up.

DaveK
09-09-2011, 02:03 PM
Wanted to bump this as a reminder. Had planned to promo a little bit better earlier this week, but . . . things came up.

Somehow I don't think you'll need to do too much PR for this.

Keith Bennett
09-09-2011, 10:10 PM
I live and ride in Rosslyn. This intersection is the pits. Cars turning right on red, bikes using the westbound crosswalk like a bike trail, everybody in too much of a hurry. Connect this to the Key Bridge downstream walk way fiasco (Bicycling folks would be better served using the upstream sidewalk, fewer pedestrians, easier Lee Hiway crossing at Ft Meyer Drive). Please bring your better ideas.

eminva
09-14-2011, 03:42 PM
A belated thanks to everyone who made this meeting happen. I arrived late and couldn't hear too well, but it was useful. I hope the assembled officials could see how many people are affected by this situation and feel strongly about it. Perhaps they will be able to devise something to improve the situation, within the considerable limitations imposed by topography, bureaucracy, etc.

I have to admit I was a bit discouraged by the remarks from the Chief of Police (I didn't catch his name). I had already revised my route home to avoid crossing Lynn, and for the first time this morning I changed my morning routine, too. I crossed Key Bridge on the upstream side, waited for the right turning cars off Canal to clear, and positioned myself at the front of the queue of cars heading east on M Street. I had the distinct impression, based on the chief's remarks, that as a cyclist I was pretty much on my own crossing Lynn, no matter what the signal said, and in the event of an accident, at best an investigating officer would assign fault to no one, and at worst, would assign it to me.

It was nice to talk to everyone afterwards, too. Thanks so much.

Liz

Mark Blacknell
09-14-2011, 03:48 PM
Thanks for coming, Liz. I'm sorry I didn't get to chat with everyone as much as I'd hoped to do. That site visit wasn't the end the BAC's attention to this intersection, and I'm hohopeful that we can use it to improve the lines of communication with ACPD.

For those that didn't make it, here's some coverage of the meeting:

http://clarendon.patch.com/articles/an-ongoing-conversation-making-rosslyn-safer-for-cyclists-motorists

and

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/12014/cyclists-officials-inspect-dangerous-rosslyn-intersection/

I wrote a related piece, today, on the gap between the ACPD's enforcement standards and the law, when it comes to crosswalks:

http://clarendon.patch.com/articles/matching-enforcement-to-the-law-in-crosswalks

jabberwocky
09-14-2011, 04:20 PM
I wrote a related piece, today, on the gap between the ACPD's enforcement standards and the law, when it comes to crosswalks:

http://clarendon.patch.com/articles/matching-enforcement-to-the-law-in-crosswalksI read your piece earlier and was pretty astounded the police took the interpretation they did. The law seems pretty clear, I've always thought. :confused: I mean,
Pedestrians crossing highways at intersections shall at all times have the right-of-way over vehicles making turns into the highways being crossed by the pedestrians. is about as clear as laws get.

consularrider
09-15-2011, 09:17 AM
There were four Arlington police officers out there this morning (two cars) a the NW corner of the intersection. Saw them waive over two cars as I approached coming from Roosevelt Island. Didn't stop a cyclist from filtering up on the right (where there wasn't room for him to peddle and he was pushing off the curb with one foot) of the cars stopped heading north and then running the red light himself. :confused:

Dirt
09-15-2011, 10:33 AM
I noticed that the sign that used to say "Cars must yield to people in the crosswalk" sign was taken down in favor of the picture of a person walking in the crosswalk with the yield sign.

Mark Blacknell
09-15-2011, 10:53 AM
I think Brian @ Tales from the Sharrows captured the meeting best - http://talesfromthesharrows.blogspot.com/2011/09/xingleehighway.html

(And that was me waving at you from across the intersection yesterday AM, Consularrider. Got some interesting video at the intersection. I hope I can find the time to edit and post it.)

consularrider
09-15-2011, 02:36 PM
I think Brian @ Tales from the Sharrows captured the meeting best - http://talesfromthesharrows.blogspot.com/2011/09/xingleehighway.html

(And that was me waving at you from across the intersection yesterday AM, Consularrider. Got some interesting video at the intersection. I hope I can find the time to edit and post it.)

Yep, I recognized you. I think I got a positive comment from one of the officers this morning when I commented to the cyclist red light runner that he should also be getting a ticket. It was a good thing I was watching him, because he would have t-boned me if I had started out when the light turned green (after waiting the three seconds for the advanced walk light). :rolleyes:

Mark Blacknell
09-15-2011, 03:29 PM
One thing that I came to realize when sitting at the intersection was how the timing of the light at Nash affects things. Eastbound cyclists, starting across Nash when the light turns, only reach Lynn at the end of the walk cycle (unless they *really* drill it). Since any riders who had already massed at the Lynn/Lee intersection have already crossed Lynn by the time the Nash grupetto arrives, cars that had waited for the Lynn group are now in motion through the turn. This then forces the Nash cyclists to either attempt to negotiate their way into a crosswalk for which they've got a walk signal, or to simply stop and wait for the next cycle.* I wonder whether a timing adjustment which *cuts* the cross time at Lynn might be a better solution in the mornings. Haven't worked through it well enough to be sure.


*This was the solution a cyclist quite adamantly said was the right one, after he pointed out to me someone taking the former approach.

brianmcentee
09-15-2011, 09:13 PM
One thing that I came to realize when sitting at the intersection was how the timing of the light at Nash affects things. Eastbound cyclists, starting across Nash when the light turns, only reach Lynn at the end of the walk cycle (unless they *really* drill it). Since any riders who had already massed at the Lynn/Lee intersection have already crossed Lynn by the time the Nash grupetto arrives, cars that had waited for the Lynn group are now in motion through the turn. This then forces the Nash cyclists to either attempt to negotiate their way into a crosswalk for which they've got a walk signal, or to simply stop and wait for the next cycle.* I wonder whether a timing adjustment which *cuts* the cross time at Lynn might be a better solution in the mornings. Haven't worked through it well enough to be sure.


*This was the solution a cyclist quite adamantly said was the right one, after he pointed out to me someone taking the former approach.

Do you mean Nash or Fort Myer?

baiskeli
09-16-2011, 12:12 PM
simply stop and wait for the next cycle.*

This is what I'm doing now, to protect myself legally and bodily. I can wait.

OneEighth
09-28-2011, 09:47 AM
The late rush hour drivers were especially special this morning at the Lynn Street intersection this morning.
Frankly, they were pretty special everywhere I encountered them on the ride in today. Funny how rain does that around here.
Be careful, folks.

Dirt
09-28-2011, 09:49 AM
The early crowd wasn't exactly loving and supportive.

Had 2 people roll their cars up within about 18" of us as 4 bikes and 2 runners crossed. One revved her engine at us.

rcannon100
10-01-2011, 08:16 PM
Havent seen this announcement... probably just missed it. But they say you need to hear a message nine times until you are totally numb...

http://www.arlingtonva.us/calendar/default.aspx#EventDetails_16008

October 5, 2011, 7:00 PM

Arlington County has developed a proposal to rebuild the roadways,
trail and sidewalks in the Rosslyn Circle area to improve public
safety and to enhance access between Rosslyn and the Key Bridge. The
proposed Lee Highway and Custis Trail improvements include trail
upgrades along westbound Lee Highway (Route 29) between N. Oak Street
and N. Lynn Street. Intersection improvements, lane reconfiguration,
trail widening, curb extensions, wider curb ramps, signal
modifications, and increased trail separation are proposed. Agenda
will include a staff presentation of the project’s draft engineering
plan and attendees are invited to comment on the design plan and
potential alternatives.
Location: Arlington Temple Methodist Church, 1835 N. Nash St.

Dirt
10-03-2011, 09:20 AM
I noticed a few improvements. About 6 months ago they took down the sign that said "Yield to people in the crosswalk" and replaced it with the "Yield to *Picture of a pedestrian*" sign. After that I had a few people yell that they didn't have to yield to me because I was on a bike. They did this after I complained about them trying to run me down.

The new sign now says "Yield to *Picture of a bike and pedestrian*" Has it helped? Not really.

chris_s
10-06-2011, 03:39 PM
I posted a write-up (http://www.engagearlington.com/archive/2011/10/06/the-rosslyn-meeting.aspx) of last night's public meeting if anyone is interested and couldn't make it. It sounds like they really need feedback about the lane reduction on Westbound Lee Highway if they're going to be able to convince VDOT to allow it so send that feedback!

It won't fix the safety issues at the intersections, but it should make some positive difference there and it's what they can get out of VDOT at the moment. The tunnel is still on the table, but will require NPS cooperation which has not been forthcoming. Outside of intersection safety, the project is quite lovely. Can you say 16' wide trail? Also should vastly improve the visibility at the problematic Marriot Driveway.

JeffC
10-07-2011, 12:02 PM
One thing that I came to realize when sitting at the intersection was how the timing of the light at Nash affects things. Eastbound cyclists, starting across Nash when the light turns, only reach Lynn at the end of the walk cycle (unless they *really* drill it). Since any riders who had already massed at the Lynn/Lee intersection have already crossed Lynn by the time the Nash grupetto arrives, cars that had waited for the Lynn group are now in motion through the turn. This then forces the Nash cyclists to either attempt to negotiate their way into a crosswalk for which they've got a walk signal, or to simply stop and wait for the next cycle.* I wonder whether a timing adjustment which *cuts* the cross time at Lynn might be a better solution in the mornings. Haven't worked through it well enough to be sure.


*This was the solution a cyclist quite adamantly said was the right one, after he pointed out to me someone taking the former approach.

With respect to this sentence: "This then forces the Nash cyclists to either attempt to negotiate their way into a crosswalk for which they've got a walk signal, or to simply stop and wait for the next cycle.* You should stop and wait for the next cycle when you have the "walk" signal for a few seconds. By the way, as you allude to before this sentence, the cyclists coming from the previous light (either Nash for Ft. Meyer I cannot remember) do NOT have a walk signal. Even if they fly down from the previous intersection, it will be flashing red hand signal at Lynn by the time they get there. I usually give a brake signal with my hand and then have four or five people angrily pass me to fly by me, all to get to work 1 minute sooner. In my mind, those that fly by on a no crossing, flashing red hand signal should get a ticket.

There were 2 police offices in the park that sits in the median between Lee Hwy looking very closely at bikers this morning (Friday 10/7) at about 7:45 am. I think they may be ready to give tickets to cyclists that fly by on a flashing red hand.

DismalScientist
10-07-2011, 12:37 PM
A flashing red means that (slow) pedestrians should not enter because they might not make it across by the time the traffic light changes. Certainly a bicyclist entering the crosswalk can make it across before the light changes. Thus, they should not be ticketed.

The basic problem here is that a bike route is routed on a sidewalk. My opinion is that riding bicycles on sidewalks is particularly dangerous. Look at the series of accidents here and right after Bike to Work day. Auto drivers just don't seem to expect bicyclists (or pedestrians) to, from their perspective, to dart out into the street. (I am not excusing this, just saying it is a problem.)

Worse than that, Eastbound riders are going the "unexpected" direction. (This is the same problem as with counterflow bike paths like 15th St., things like the Pennsylvania Ave. lanes, and the Fairfax/Custis connection.) Is there anyway to re-route the eastbound Custis over (say, the Scott St. bridge) to the eastbound side of Lee Highway?

This is why I generally avoid this whole situation by taking Clarendon and Lynn on my eastbound commute. (Of course, my next rant will be the bad painting of the bike lanes down Clarendon that do not encourage cars to make right turns from the bike lane, but rather try to do right hooks across the bike lane. Perhaps sharrows are the answer, especially downhill.)

hencio
10-07-2011, 04:08 PM
There were 2 police offices in the park that sits in the median between Lee Hwy looking very closely at bikers this morning (Friday 10/7) at about 7:45 am. I think they may be ready to give tickets to cyclists that fly by on a flashing red hand. I went through around 8:25 this morning and I noticed that with the police presence people were not whipping around from the center lane or inching up to the cross walk. It was oddly calm.

JeffC
10-07-2011, 04:26 PM
A flashing red means that (slow) pedestrians should not enter because they might not make it across by the time the traffic light changes. Certainly a bicyclist entering the crosswalk can make it across before the light changes. Thus, they should not be ticketed.

Not sure I agree that it is ok for bikes to fly through on a flashing red hand but I'll respect your opinion to disagree. Even if it is not illegal and does not warrant a ticket, if there was a civil lawsuit, I could see a jury saying the biker was negligent for flying through on a flashing red hand. Moreover, if every biker did what you said there, then cars trying to turn across the intersection would have very little opportunity to ever turn and traffic would back up. I see this in more crowded city streets in DC where cars cannot turn because peds keep flooding across with only a few seconds left on the signal and I can see why cars get frustrated. Ideally there would be some better fix with better infrastructure. Oddly in some cities I have been in with chaotic traffic, traffic cops that rigoursoly enforce car, ped, and bike movements can be very beneficial and efficient but I cannot see Arlington paying for traffic cops here to vigorously enforce rules with hand signals and whistles.

DismalScientist
10-07-2011, 05:25 PM
I don't advocate flying through a red flashing crosswalk. However, pedestrians have every right to be in a crosswalk without a solid red signal. If this means no car traffic can turn right, tough.... If this is a problem and traffic backs up, then the light needs to be redesigned to have a right arrow so that traffic can proceed.

DaveK
10-07-2011, 07:08 PM
Since the advent of countdown signals many states have changed their laws to reflect that pedestrians (or cyclists acting as pedestrians) may enter the intersection during the flashing red phase as long as they clear the intersection by the time the red signal becomes solid. Unfortunately Virginia is not one of those states so technically it is illegal to enter the intersection during the flashing red phase. No cop would write you for that though unless it's flagrant (1 second remaining and you're in the intersection for the opposing green).

JeffC
10-07-2011, 07:46 PM
More important to me than getting a $100 ticket is the civil liability angle. Virginia still maintains a contributory negligence standard which can totally bar recovery to a person who a jury finds is even 1% at fault for causing an accident. Here is an interesting newspaper article about it.

http://norfolk.injuryboard.com/automobile-accidents/unfair-law-of-contributory-negligence-still-king-in-virginia.aspx?googleid=208672

So imagine you as a biker go through on a flashing red hand and a car turns into you. You have serious injuries and sue the driver but a jury determines that, among other reasons, you were negligent because you crossed on a flashing red hand. You would recover nothing even if the driver was say 90% at fault.

Arlingtonrider
10-07-2011, 09:37 PM
More important to me than getting a $100 ticket is the civil liability angle. Virginia still maintains a contributory negligence standard which can totally bar recovery to a person who a jury finds is even 1% at fault for causing an accident. Here is an interesting newspaper article about it.

http://norfolk.injuryboard.com/automobile-accidents/unfair-law-of-contributory-negligence-still-king-in-virginia.aspx?googleid=208672

So imagine you as a biker go through on a flashing red hand and a car turns into you. You have serious injuries and sue the driver but a jury determines that, among other reasons, you were negligent because you crossed on a flashing red hand. You would recover nothing even if the driver was say 90% at fault.

You hit the nail on the head, Jeff C. This is what matters, and it's true even if the driver is 99 percent at fault. Only about five states still are pure contributory negligence states, and Virginia, Maryand and DC (though not a state) are among them. I think the other two might be NC and Alabama, but I'm not sure.

CCrew
10-08-2011, 03:39 PM
Yeah, I got bit by the contributory negligence dealio about 10 years ago when I got hit in the butt by a tractor trailer on 66. I had legally lane changed just before he failed to apply his brakes. He got the ticket too, but his insurance played the CN card. Mine said that it wasn't unusual especially dealing with commercial vehicles....

We sued and won, but what a PITA.

JeffC
10-08-2011, 09:51 PM
I've experienced the CN issue when I was hit by a car that ran a red light in a traffic circle near AU, fortunately there was a witness but initially the other driver's insurance company denied my claim. I've also experienced it as a witness to another accident that is still ongoing.

If you cross the signal with a white hand signal when it is a red light for cars to turn, there is no way you could be seen as contributorily negligent in my mind. Not so though if you cross on a flashing red hand. Given all the accidents there, that is a chance I would rather not take.

elcee
10-09-2011, 08:51 PM
I had the "pleasure" of experiencing the Lee Hwy/Lynn intersection as a driver, coming off Rt 110/I-66. Given the number of cars that are trying to turn right onto northbound Lynn, I don't know why the lights just aren't configured so that either cars move, or bikes & pedestrians move ... but not all at the same time. It seems to me that there should be a right-turn light cycle from Lee to Lynn.

Drivers coming up to that intersection from Lee can't see the pedestrian and bike traffic if they're three or four cars back. The front cars are stopped for the crosswalk traffic, but those in the rear get impatient and start blowing horns ... then blast through the intersection when there's finally some movement.

elcee
10-13-2011, 09:17 PM
Apparently the "no right turn on red" option has been studied, and would cause too many backups on I-66.

http://www.engagearlington.com/archive/2011/10/06/the-rosslyn-meeting.aspx

mstone
10-14-2011, 08:39 AM
Apparently the "no right turn on red" option has been studied, and would cause too many backups on I-66.
Because, of course, maintaining 66's current well-known reputation for clear, fast-moving traffic is more important than pedestrian safety. It is obvious that prohibiting people from turning into pedestrians would cause 66 to back up during rush hour. :rolleyes:

theakston
10-14-2011, 09:46 AM
Crossing light was out last night too!! so be very careful here. Last night heading West I noticed that the walk sign light was blown - so good luck getting cars to yield to you - it only came on as "the hand". Of course if you are heading East you probably still have a walk light but not one that the traffic can see! so be very careful heading that way!!!

eminva
10-14-2011, 10:19 AM
Of course if you are heading East you probably still have a walk light but not one that the traffic can see! so be very careful heading that way!!!

Maybe that explains why, when I was coming in this morning, having dutifully waited through the light cycle, when I got the protected walk signal a cab came flying around the corner right into my path. Of course, being a cab driver, he should have known what he was expected to do regardless of whether the signal was working, but oh well.

Liz

vvill
10-15-2011, 09:09 AM
Yeah it seems to be have been out for quite a few days if you're going north/west. Watch out!

americancyclo
10-17-2011, 09:33 AM
Maybe I was oblivious.

vvill
10-25-2011, 01:54 PM
It still seemed out when I was going west crossing Lynn St yesterday. East is fine.

WillStewart
10-25-2011, 02:19 PM
Apparently the "no right turn on red" option has been studied, and would cause too many backups on I-66.

http://www.engagearlington.com/archive/2011/10/06/the-rosslyn-meeting.aspx

No reason not to have that sign with the common qualifier with an added twist "When pedestrians and cyclists are present".

vvill
10-26-2011, 11:11 AM
It still seemed out when I was going west crossing Lynn St yesterday. East is fine.

It was working yesterday westbound. Hooray! But ironically, a van and then two cars decided to blow right in front of me, even when I was waving and pointing at the green pedestrian light, and there was a runner on my right also wanting to cross. As I finally passed through, a cyclist coming the other way got beeped at.

dasgeh
10-26-2011, 11:14 AM
In case you haven't heard, VDOT is doing a survey of people who commute inside the Beltway in the "I66 Corridor". It's a bit long, but they're sending out $5 Starbucks gift cards. The first questions are car-centric, but they eventually get around to asking about bikes...

http://www.logicdepot.com/surveys/run/start.cfm?skey=5FFJZ-P3YST