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View Full Version : 22 Mile Trail Parallel to I-66 -- Helpful Video and Input Needed



eminva
06-10-2017, 06:11 PM
Hello --

The VDOT "Transform 66 (http://www.transform66.org/splash.html)" project continues apace. The good news is that VDOT has responded to our requests and included a 22 mile mixed use trail parallel to I-66 all the way from the beltway to Gainesville, VA. The bad new is that when I say "parallel," well, just take a look at the short video:

FABB Presentation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7nldPrXOvc&feature=youtu.be)

Please take a look at this and if you are able, attend one of the meetings. If you can't attend a meeting, please send an email. It seems to be the last chance for input.

Thanks.

Liz

CBGanimal
06-10-2017, 08:15 PM
Thanks for sharing!!!


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Judd
06-11-2017, 03:16 PM
Yikes. I don't think I'll be able to make it to any of the meetings this week but I'll definitely send an email tonight. I drove home from Georgia today and spent time observing all the road noise and debris that ends up on the side of the road. This would be an awful "Trail" as currently depicted.


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trailrunner
06-11-2017, 04:54 PM
Seems like when I-66 gets plowed, a lot of the snow and ice from the freeway will wind up on the trail, making it unrideable until spring, and a mess throughout the year.

n18
06-11-2017, 06:13 PM
My main problem with the trail is how much Sun exposure it gets so any snow would melt faster. Ideally it should be to the south of I-66 including the south of any noise wall. However, the current design puts it to the north side of I-66, and the noise wall is north of it.

Here is the current design:

<NORTH>
<Noise wall>
<TRAIL> <-- Gets full Sun here
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<SOUTH>

If they just switch the noise wall so it's between the trail and cars, then the trail doesn't get sun in the winter months:

<NORTH>
<TRAIL> <-- No Sun here
<Noise wall>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<SOUTH>

What I prefer:

<NORTH>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<Noise wall>
<TRAIL> <-- Gets some Sun here because of possible trees and building to the south
<SOUTH>



And after seeing the video, I don't like it. We are blocked from seeing trees and birds with tall noise wall, so it's not enjoyable, and only 2 feet tall barrier between us and cars, so it's not safe. However; on the plus side, car drivers would be able to see us going faster than they are. Unfortunately, I can't get to the meetings either.

CBGanimal
06-11-2017, 06:24 PM
Anyone interested in riding there after work tomorrow? Leaving Crystal City around 4 or 430?


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bobco85
06-11-2017, 11:31 PM
I watched the video and looked at some of the designs, and the biggest question that I have on the proposed design is: Who is going to actually use this trail?

I think the people that are likely to use the trail in its current design are moderate to expert cyclists and runners. It looks to be well made for going long distances and will benefit athletes for training more than anyone else.

I think the people that are likely to not use the trail are beginner cyclists, nature lovers, children, elderly people, dog-walkers, and pedestrians in general. Trail-users will be subjected to loud, noisy traffic, oven-like conditions during the summer (all the asphalt heating up nearby and a noise wall reflecting some of the light at people without any shade), and lots of trash and debris from vehicles (especially during the winter). I don't think people would enjoy using the trail because there are no landmarks, no interesting trees, no nature to enjoy, and as stated before, no escapes should a situation occur on the trail.

This trail is basically a narrow 2-way bike lane along an interstate and nothing more. It needs to go on the outer side of the noise wall and/or have grade separation.

bobco85
06-11-2017, 11:45 PM
I found this 10 year old report titled "Shared Use Paths in Limited Access Highway Corridors" online and noticed that it includes the Custis Trail here (PDF document): http://www.altaprojects.net/highwaytrails/highwaytrailsfinal0507.pdf Note that there are other highway-adjacent trails shown that we can reference.

Here's some of the info it lists for the Custis Trail. Compare this with the design proposal.


Type of Separation from Vehicle Traffic

Horizontal and vertical setbacks
Sound walls
Guardrails
Fencing
Landscaping


Benefits

Horizontal and vertical setbacks (in most locations)
enhance user experience
Multiple access points to adjacent residential neighborhoods and other bike/ped destinations


Drawbacks

Minimal separation (in some locations) between bike/ped traffic and high-speed vehicle traffic creates negative user experience

ursus
06-12-2017, 07:10 AM
I have been wandering around the website from the original post in this thread. Is there something that discusses or illustrates what happens to the bikepath at vehicular entrances/exits to I-66?

mstone
06-12-2017, 07:50 AM
I have been wandering around the website from the original post in this thread. Is there something that discusses or illustrates what happens to the bikepath at vehicular entrances/exits to I-66?

It depends on the exchange, the short answer is "whatever is cheapest and impacts vehicular throughput the least". There is no doubt in my mind that VDOT will do a lousy job with this trail, because VDOT is VDOT. But, I'd rather be in the position of trying to improve the trail in 25 years than trying to get ROW for a trail in 25 years.


I think the people that are likely to use the trail in its current design are moderate to expert cyclists and runners. It looks to be well made for going long distances and will benefit athletes for training more than anyone else.

The problem with biking in Fairfax & PWC generally is that for years VDOT has been pushing the idea of major roads with high speeds collecting from local roads which are basically culs-de-sac. If we don't get trails along roads like 66, it's really hard to go longer distances because the lower speed roads aren't through roads. Compounding that is geography: if you look at a map you'll see a lot more long north-south roads than east-west roads, because of the hill & stream valley topography. There aren't that many options to get from east to west across western fairfax into PWC, and (here's the double whammy) the ones that exist are mainly being "upgraded" by VDOT into super stroads. It used to be that 50 or 29 were quiet alternatives to 66, but now there's not all that much difference between them from a cyclist perspective--and that's a trend that's likely to continue because they keep building mcmansions and the voters moving there keep complaining about traffic, and the only solution VDOT has every come up with is to take an existing road and turn it into a 4 or 6 lane highway with 6 or 8 lane intersections. So, yeah, this is a really crappy bike route, but if we don't get it there's a good chance that there won't be any bike route at all. (Talking about cycling for transportation here--trying to get from arbitrary point A to arbitrary point B using the existing road network is a very different thing than trying to find any quiet road to do some training.) I don't expect that there will be many pleasure trips from one end of the new trail to another, but it's an important connector from one useful N-S road to another.

n18
06-12-2017, 09:06 AM
I have been wandering around the website from the original post in this thread. Is there something that discusses or illustrates what happens to the bikepath at vehicular entrances/exits to I-66?
From the maps, it appears that they all will be tunnels, or whatever "Shared Path Structure Box" means.

If you want to see the maps, go here (http://outside.transform66.org/learn_more/maps.asp), then download the last map first and work your way up, so you would see them from east to west. The trail is not one straight line from west to east. Some segments detour to nearby Bike-Friendly Roads. It ends at Gallows RD at Dunn Loring Metro, and from there you would continue on Gallows to join the W&OD.

Here are the list of detours from Centreville to Dunn Loring metro:

Vienna metro: Exit at Black Lane, then use Sutton RD/Country Creek RD to get to the tunnel at Nuttly ST. See Google map here (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38.8749549,-77.2834423/38.8799159,-77.2693316/@38.8767149,-77.2811132,16z/data=!4m3!4m2!3e1!5i1).
Rt50/Fair Oaks Mall: Get to West OX Rd, Post Forest RD, Random Hill RD. There is a trail segment from I-66 tunnel that needs to be build by others(County, etc.) to connect it to Random Hill RD. See Google map here (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38.8577856,-77.3715937/38.8592305,-77.3477723/@38.8578759,-77.3634261,16z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e1).
Rt28/Braddock/Sully RD: Requires a trail segment from I-66 tunnel that needs to be build by others(County, etc.)

I don't see any trails west of Centreville.

Amalitza
06-12-2017, 09:13 AM
They're seriously planning to put the "trail" inside the sound wall?!?!

DFA$%UJFsthgdjw^r <forehead banging on keyboard>

zsionakides
06-12-2017, 09:43 AM
My main problem with the trail is how much Sun exposure it gets so any snow would melt faster. Ideally it should be to the south of I-66 including the south of any noise wall. However, the current design puts it to the north side of I-66, and the noise wall is north of it.

Here is the current design:

<NORTH>
<Noise wall>
<TRAIL> <-- Gets full Sun here
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<SOUTH>

If they just switch the noise wall so it's between the trail and cars, then the trail doesn't get sun in the winter months:

<NORTH>
<TRAIL> <-- No Sun here
<Noise wall>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<SOUTH>

What I prefer:

<NORTH>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<Road lanes here>
<Noise wall>
<TRAIL> <-- Gets some Sun here because of possible trees and building to the south
<SOUTH>



And after seeing the video, I don't like it. We are blocked from seeing trees and birds with tall noise wall, so it's not enjoyable, and only 2 feet tall barrier between us and cars, so it's not safe. However; on the plus side, car drivers would be able to see us going faster than they are. Unfortunately, I can't get to the meetings either.

The Woodrow Wilson bridge trail has clear sound barriers between traffic and the trails on the Virginia part of it which works quite well. That would be a solution to keep the trail on the north side, which I'm assuming has been surveyed out, while getting sun to the trail in winter. It would also allow drivers to see how much faster bikes go than cars during rush hour.

Steve O
06-12-2017, 10:16 AM
They're seriously planning to put the "trail" inside the sound wall?!?!


To protect the neighbors from the sound of clicking freewheels I think.

Seriously, though. There is no way this makes any sense from either a usefulness or safety point of view.


There is no way the trail can be cleaned of debris or snow. With the soundwall on one side and the barrier on the other, it is impossible to plow.
For debris, there would need to be some sort of custom trail cleaning vehicle that would need to be out there at least weekly. It would either have to be pretty small or it would block the entire trail (with no way to go around, see below)
Undoubtedly stuff that falls off cars (mattresses, abandoned tires, etc.) will get thrown onto the trail, because that's the obvious way to get it out of the road.
In the cases of the trail being blocked (car crash involving a vehicle encroaching on the trail or something) there appears to be no way to go around. Trail users are essentially trapped in the trail by the soundwall.

eminva
06-12-2017, 10:23 AM
These are all really great comments -- again, if you can't attend a meeting and haven't already contacted VDOT, I implore you to cut and paste your comment and send it to Transform66@VDOT.Virginia.gov.

The discussion here has been helpful for me to formulate my comment, so by all means, keep talking here, but also let VDOT know. They are the ones who can do something about it.

Thanks, everyone.

Liz

Steve O
06-12-2017, 11:09 AM
These are all really great comments -- again, if you can't attend a meeting and haven't already contacted VDOT, I implore you to cut and paste your comment and send it to Transform66@VDOT.Virginia.gov.

The discussion here has been helpful for me to formulate my comment, so by all means, keep talking here, but also let VDOT know. They are the ones who can do something about it.

Thanks, everyone.

Liz

Here is what I sent if anyone would like to borrow any of my ideas.


Hello,

I was recently made aware of current plans for design of sections of the Multi-Use path that will be constructed as part of the Transform I-66 project. It is good that Virginia is improving travel choices for citizens, so thank you.

I watched this video prepared by Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7nldPrXOvc&feature=youtu.be

The video shows the trail being inside the sound wall. This is an extraordinarily poor design decision for a long host of reasons:



People on bikes and people on foot are not noisy
There is no way to plow the trail. With the sound wall on one side and the barrier on the other, the snow cannot be pushed anywhere
VDOT plows are likely to plow the snow onto the trail, rendering it useless (this already happens. It happened to me while I was riding. See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJKzW2JRGos
For debris, there would need to be some sort of custom trail cleaning vehicle that would need to be out there at least weekly. It would either have to be pretty small or it would block the entire trail (with no way to go around, see below)
Undoubtedly stuff that falls off cars (mattresses, abandoned tires, etc.) will get thrown onto the trail, because that's the obvious way to get it out of the road.
In the cases of the trail being blocked (car crash involving a vehicle encroaching on the trail or something) there appears to be no way to go around. Trail users are essentially trapped in the trail by the soundwall
Providing convenient connections to nearby streets and neighborhoods is either impossible or will require numerous breaks in the soundwall.
The actual user experience will be highly unpleasant, close to high-speed, noisy traffic and the concomitant air pollutants. This will reduce the likelihood of people actually using the trail and therefore reducing the effect of including this multi-modal option in the Transform I-66 project.


The Custis Trail in Arlington is almost entirely outside the sound wall. Although not perfect, many people use this trail for both transportation and recreation who almost certainly would not if it were inside the sound wall next to the expressway. In fact, the least pleasant part of the trail is the section under the parking deck, where the trail is essentially adjacent to the roadway. I know of people who avoid this section of the trail, and just this section, preferring to use parallel surface streets instead.

It seems that the design engineers did not give due consideration to either user experience nor to trail maintenance issues for the Transform I-66 Multi-Use Path. I strongly support revisiting this design. As depicted in the FABB video, it is awful.

If the Transform I-66 project is to achieve its greatest success, then the choices offered to travelers of all modes should be optimized as much as possible. If the choice of walking or biking is made as convenient and pleasant as possible, then more people will choose that option, improving travel experience for everyone. The current design completely misses the mark on that count.

Emm
06-12-2017, 11:57 AM
Here is what I sent if anyone would like to borrow any of my ideas.

Shamelessly plagiarized (with some tweaks...) and sent. Thanks for the good ideas--my sleep deprived brain needed the inspiration!

mstone
06-12-2017, 04:54 PM
There is no way the trail can be cleaned of debris or snow. With the soundwall on one side and the barrier on the other, it is impossible to plow.
For debris, there would need to be some sort of custom trail cleaning vehicle that would need to be out there at least weekly. It would either have to be pretty small or it would block the entire trail (with no way to go around, see below)


"VDOT doesn't clear trails" = problem solved

anomad
06-12-2017, 06:16 PM
Even on the Woodrow Wilson (495) bridge they had the sense to put the sound wall between the path and the traffic.

Judd
06-12-2017, 07:11 PM
Even on the Woodrow Wilson (495) bridge they had the sense to put the sound wall between the path and the traffic.

That sound wall is freaking amazing too. Incredibly quiet on the trail side.

CBGanimal
06-12-2017, 08:52 PM
Went to the meeting (my first time ever going to this kinda thing) I was a bit intimidated...regardless... out of about 15 people that stood in line to speak, 4 were cyclist! They all said the same thing that the multi use trail should be on the quiet side of the sound wall. VDOT said they have addressed the issue and it stands as is...since they are "accommodating" a bike trail that should be enough. But after the 4th cyclist they at least said there might be a way but didn't really say how...
Comments sent in is the best way to get their attention...lots of comments!


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Judd
06-12-2017, 09:17 PM
I sent the following e-mail:


Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed concept for the "Transform 66" Project. As an Arlington, VA resident who bikes, walks and drives in the I-66 corridor, I was pleased to see that the proposed concept includes a 22 mile multi-use path. The existing Custis Trail along I-66 in Arlington allows several thousand cyclists, joggers and walkers each day to commute, to exercise or to connect to another neighborhood. (Source: Arlington trail counter data at http://counters.bikearlington.com/counter-dashboard/)

Unfortunately, the current concept on the Transform 66 website presents a trail that at best would be extremely unpleasant and that many trail users would consider dangerous. This can be fixed by moving the trail behind the sound barrier. The proposed trail should be moved behind the sound barrier for the following reasons:

1. Interstate highways are noisy. According to a Federal Highway Administration article, "Levels of highway traffic noise typically range from 70 to 80 dB(A) at a distance of 15 meters (50 feet) from the highway. These levels affect a majority of people, interrupting concentration, increasing heart rates, or limiting the ability to carry on a conversation." (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/03jul/06.cfm) This level of noise not only would discourage trail use, it would also make it difficult for trail users to hear bells or voice calls when passing each other, creating a safety issue.

2. Interstate highways are full of debris. Blown tires, car parts, bolts, and even a mattress or two are often found on the side of Interstates. These present a hazard when they end up on the trail and are potentially deadly when propelled from a travel lane on the trail. There is good reason that pedestrians and cyclists are banned from using Interstate Highways. Placing the trail at grade with I-66 separated by only a two foot wall and two buffer lanes presents an unnecessary risk of serious injury.

3. Interstate highways are uncomfortable heat islands. Virginia summers are hot and often humid. Add the heat island effect of a concrete sound barrier, an asphalt roadway and the heat from engines with a lack of trees or landscaping to provide shade and this trail will be unbearably hot in the summer.

I appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback. As you consider refining the concept based on public comment, I implore you to ask yourself if the current concept is the kind of trail that you would be happy to take a walk with your family or if you'd rather use a trail that is separated from the noise and debris of a high volume Interstate highway.

Thank you,

Judd Lumberjack
Arlington, VA

dbb
06-12-2017, 11:38 PM
Thanks Judd. I poached much of your comments and sent them to my delegate in the state house.

consularrider
06-13-2017, 08:15 AM
...

Unfortunately, the current concept on the Transform 66 website presents a trail that at best would be extremely unpleasant and that many trail users would consider dangerous. This can be fixed by moving the trail behind the sound barrier. The proposed trail should be moved behind the sound barrier for the following reasons:

1. Interstate highways are noisy. According to a Federal Highway Administration article, "Levels of highway traffic noise typically range from 70 to 80 dB(A) at a distance of 15 meters (50 feet) from the highway. These levels affect a majority of people, interrupting concentration, increasing heart rates, or limiting the ability to carry on a conversation." (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/03jul/06.cfm) This level of noise not only would discourage trail use, it would also make it difficult for trail users to hear bells or voice calls when passing each other, creating a safety issue...

And the sound barrier exists to protect homes several hundred feet away from the reduced affects of the noise, so yea, let's put the unprotected right in the middle of it! :rolleyes:

Steve O
06-13-2017, 11:01 AM
Another point, if people are still polishing their remarks.

In the case of fast moving weather, such as a hailstorm or lightning storm, it would leave trail users, particularly those on foot, with no place to shelter. It seems there are pretty long sections without exits. Imagine one were pushing a stroller and a fast moving lightning storm came up with the nearest exit point 1/2 mile or further away. No place to go; no way to flee into the nearby neighborhood or industrial park or commercial area. Trapped with literally no way to shelter whatsoever. This seems pretty scary to me.

------------------
If they actually build it the way it's planned, it will be world famous! Many conferences I've been to include presentations that show epic failures: bike lanes that end at brick walls, two ends of a bridge that don't line up, buildings that fall over, etc. This trail will be paraded out at every transportation conference for the next few decades as an example of an epic failure. If VDOT would like that ignominy, then they should go right ahead.
If someone attends one of the meetings and would like to include this comment idea, do it. You may even use the word "ignominy" if you like.

Steve O
06-13-2017, 11:08 AM
. VDOT said they have addressed the issue and it stands as is...since they are "accommodating" a bike trail that should be enough. But after the 4th cyclist they at least said there might be a way but didn't really say how...

This is infuriating!! Ostensibly, the whole point of "Transform I-66" is to provide a host of travel choices along the corridor. This very statement, "accommodate" exposes their hypocrisy. "We're building this for cars, and we will 'accommodate' you other peons."

nosrednaj
06-13-2017, 02:39 PM
I have been wandering around the website from the original post in this thread. Is there something that discusses or illustrates what happens to the bikepath at vehicular entrances/exits to I-66?

Per meetings FABB has had with VDOT, FCDOT and in talking with the head/lead engineer of the contractor - the trail will be grade separated at every ramp on all interchanges unless the trail exists onto a trail/sidewalk/etc. The trail does go on-road in some locations.

nosrednaj
06-13-2017, 05:08 PM
Seems like when I-66 gets plowed, a lot of the snow and ice from the freeway will wind up on the trail, making it unrideable until spring, and a mess throughout the year.

Does anyone have any experience riding over the Wilson Bridge during winter? What happens to the snow ? The bike trail there is not so different than what VDOT is proposing except no wall on one side....just awesome views of the Potomac.

nosrednaj
06-13-2017, 05:10 PM
And after seeing the video, I don't like it. We are blocked from seeing trees and birds with tall noise wall, so it's not enjoyable, and only 2 feet tall barrier between us and cars, so it's not safe. However; on the plus side, car drivers would be able to see us going faster than they are. Unfortunately, I can't get to the meetings either.

The video is being updated. The wall at a minimum is 32" but VDOT says the will likely install 50" and fencing on top. Still not a great experience but better protection.

nosrednaj
06-13-2017, 05:12 PM
That sound wall is freaking amazing too. Incredibly quiet on the trail side.

Is that the plexiglass like wall?

Judd
06-13-2017, 07:48 PM
Is that the plexiglass like wall?

Yep!


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dasgeh
06-14-2017, 09:31 AM
Thanks, everyone, for this thread. Is the regional oversight body for this, and who are our representatives on it? Is it the board Mary is on? Or Katie? Or Christian? (I confess, I can't keep these all straight).

I bet FFX and ALX folks would appreciate know who their reps are (especially those who may be receptive to pro-bike/walk messages).


Thanks Judd. I poached much of your comments and sent them to my delegate in the state house.

Yes! Write your electeds in Richmond. You're note to them may be less technical - "Hey, we need to make sure to provide safe, comfortable transportation options, and VDOT's plan for this trail doesn't cut it. VDOT staff seems resistant to making the necessary changes to make this trail usable. Without this trail, we perpetuate the status quo, where people who are willing to bike drive, because is inconvenient, unsafe, uncomfortable. We simply cannot pour money into a system that discourages walking and biking and encourages, or we will all be stuck in traffic." - but please write!



The video is being updated. The wall at a minimum is 32" but VDOT says the will likely install 50" and fencing on top. Still not a great experience but better protection.
With the shorter soundwall, it sounded like the experience on the TR Bridge, which is horrible. I will note that in my comments

THANK YOU. FABB has done some great work on this, and it's awesome.


Went to the meeting (my first time ever going to this kinda thing) I was a bit intimidated...regardless...

THANK YOU!!!! Seriously, as someone who goes to meetings and speaks all the time, and who talks to staff and electeds a lot, I can tell you that the first-timers (and people that don't come out often) are the MOST EFFECTIVE. Thank you for coming out and speaking.

Steve O
06-14-2017, 10:13 AM
Does anyone have any experience riding over the Wilson Bridge during winter? What happens to the snow ? The bike trail there is not so different than what VDOT is proposing except no wall on one side....just awesome views of the Potomac.

I presume it's just pushed into the river through the railing.
14970

Judd
06-14-2017, 10:46 AM
I presume it's just pushed into the river through the railing.
14970

DDOT does plow the 14th Street Bridge. They have an auger/snowblower type machine that throws the snow over the rail and into the Potomac.

dasgeh
06-14-2017, 10:46 AM
Does anyone have any experience riding over the Wilson Bridge during winter? What happens to the snow ? The bike trail there is not so different than what VDOT is proposing except no wall on one side....just awesome views of the Potomac.

In my experience, riding next to a railing and river is ENTIRELY different than next to a huge solid wall. Think about how hot and muggy this trail would be in the summer? How the wind would whip through this area, hemmed in by the wall?

Don't forget that people will not walk or ride as close to a solid, tall wall as they would to a short, open fence or open area. So this 8-10' path will effectively be 7-9' (or less). Anyone who has ridden the Custis knows that the places where the sound wall is immediately next to the trail, the trail feels narrower, than other places where the pavement is the same width.

Steve O
06-14-2017, 10:55 AM
The video is being updated. The wall at a minimum is 32" but VDOT says the will likely install 50" and fencing on top. Still not a great experience but better protection.

Talk about feeling trapped! Without any shy zones and vertical walls on both sides, the trail will function narrower than it actually is and will be seriously claustrophobic. Each of the other analogies (TR bridge, Wilson bridge) allow you to see outside the trail to something, like a river. Although most adults will be able to see over a 50" barrier, the view will be of the expressway, and it most certainly will not reduce noise or pollution.
The wall will not stop plows from launching snow from the highway onto the trail (see video with even higher sound walls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7nl...ature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7nldPrXOvc&feature=youtu.be)). Hard to know if the "fencing' on top will stop it. If so, then it won't be long before the fencing itself is destroyed by the plowing. I also think people will still throw stuff like tires over the fencing, but maybe not mattresses.

Also, at least with the low wall, in the case of some sort of serious emergency, trail users might be able to go over the wall onto the shoulder of the highway. Emergency vehicles could respond to injured parties from the highway itself. How would emergency vehicles reach incapacitated people on the trail in a timely manner? Would an ambulance be able to drive down the trail? Would there be enough room to carry someone on a stretcher around the vehicle to the rear?

There is no way this design can be fixed with the trail inside the sound wall no matter how many "improvements" are proposed. It is fundamentally flawed. I sent a note to my delegate and state senator as suggested by dasgeh.

ursus
06-14-2017, 10:58 AM
Article in Greater Greater Washington https://ggwash.org/view/63735/a-new-bike-trail-will-basically-run-along-the-shoulder-of-i-66

nosrednaj
06-14-2017, 12:48 PM
This is infuriating!! Ostensibly, the whole point of "Transform I-66" is to provide a host of travel choices along the corridor. This very statement, "accommodate" exposes their hypocrisy. "We're building this for cars, and we will 'accommodate' you other peons."

Was that a quote from VDOT


New video has been posted with better representation of fencing but same experience exists....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4mqqon8Zmg

huskerdont
06-14-2017, 01:32 PM
Step 1: Build lousy bike trail.
Step 2: Notice that nobody uses it.
Step 3: Convert bike trail to car lane.

ETA that I sent in my 2 cents.

Emm
06-14-2017, 03:11 PM
I also just sent a note to my State Senator (Surovell). He is a cyclist, so hopefully he is willing to do what he can. He usually responds to all my facebook questions really quick, so maybe I'll even get a response to my email...

ginacico
06-14-2017, 04:27 PM
I plagiarised a bunch of your ideas while adding a few of my own thoughts, and sent them to my state senator and rep and cc'ed to VDOT. Even included "ignominy" used correctly in a sentence.

mstone
06-14-2017, 09:05 PM
So why does VDOT use 42 inch walls to protect cars from cars, but only grudgingly increase 24 inch walls to 36 inch walls to protect pedestrians from cars? I think the person above who suggested that this makes it easier to convert to another car lane is on the right track.

huskerdont
06-15-2017, 08:01 AM
Even if the plan isn't to build a poorly designed bike trail so that it can be converted to a car travel lane when no one uses it, that's what may happen. Drivers will be sitting in gridlock and will complain that there is a completely unused lane right there that can solve all their congestion problems forever.

But if they were building a trail that they thought would be permanent, surely they'd place it behind the sound wall.

Judd
06-15-2017, 08:44 AM
I think maybe a better approach would be to begin the advocacy process for the naming of the trail. I am proposing that we name the trail "Aubrey Lane's Folly Trail brought to you by Express Mobility Partners" in honor of Virginia's Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane and the consortium of companies that are designing and building this project.

AFHokie
06-15-2017, 09:03 AM
I think maybe a better approach would be to begin the advocacy process for the naming of the trail. I am proposing that we name the trail "Aubrey Lane's Folly Trail brought to you by Express Mobility Partners" in honor of Virginia's Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane and the consortium of companies that are designing and building this project.

Change to: "The Aubrey Lane Memorial Gambling Casino Bike Lane for the Insane" and I think you're on to something...

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Vicegrip
06-15-2017, 09:53 AM
Cut paste add a bit and sent emails.

This has to be some of the most ill conceived work I have seen in a while. Same amount of land, one one side of the road an extra wall has to be built and all the access issues with it. On the other side of the wall a proven format that is safer quieter easier to build and maintain and has far better access.

Road side would be a hellish ride in a traffic generated hot, gritty, polluted loud wind with no shade at all. The other side none of the above.

There is less to build if the trail is not road side. The entire jersey wall and fence is unneeded and the wall is less complex with no longer needed access point penetrations. Use the savings when you make the path outside the wall on more access points to the path. Access is key to the use of as path as along with the to and from work folks many trips would be short hops.

Seriously, who the fark came up with that hot mess? Not anyone that ever rode a bike down the side of a large busy road. Brought to you by PTHB People That Hate Bikes

Steve O
06-15-2017, 11:18 AM
Brought to you by PTHB People That Hate Bikes

I prefer the more grammatically correct PWHB - People Who Hate Bikes
Also easier to pronounce, but not as fun.

Dewey
06-15-2017, 12:18 PM
Copied and pasted to VDOT and my Virginia house and senate delegates.

dasgeh
06-15-2017, 03:54 PM
Has anyone figured out the distances between the entrances to the trail? It seems like one would only be able to get on/off the trail at interchanges -- how far apart are those?

Thanks

scoot
06-15-2017, 10:39 PM
Has anyone figured out the distances between the entrances to the trail? It seems like one would only be able to get on/off the trail at interchanges -- how far apart are those?

Thanks

Is that right? If highway interchanges are the only access points, this trail will be even worse than I thought. I'll have to look more thoroughly at the design. I do know that the interchanges are anywhere from one to five miles apart. The longest gap between exits is from 29-Centreville to Sudley Road, about five miles.

Note too: the interchanges are all with arterials, and most of these arterials are themselves horribly hostile to bicycles and pedestrians. Trail connections to lower-volume streets that bridge over the highway without an interchange are desperately needed. Not to mention direct access into the neighborhoods and business districts that are near the trail.

Honestly, the Custis/W&OD from about McCoy Park to EFC is a 90% perfect example of how one can design a trail along a freeway ROW that offers a pleasant experience for almost all types of non-motorized users and is accessible to the communities it serves. The flaws of Custis/W&OD that we often complain about don't begin to compare to the enormous problems with this asinine proposal.

How did Arlington successfully connect this trail into all of the neighborhoods it passes through? Perhaps it was easier because the highway took out so many homes that a lot of streets were left "one-sided"?

n18
06-16-2017, 01:47 AM
Has anyone figured out the distances between the entrances to the trail? It seems like one would only be able to get on/off the trail at interchanges -- how far apart are those?

Thanks
I think they are spaced about 2000 Feet apart, or about 7 to 8 minutes walking time. This is based on Begin Retaining Wall/End Retaining Wall markings on the map.

dasgeh
06-16-2017, 06:33 AM
I think they are spaced about 2000 Feet apart, or about 7 to 8 minutes walking time. This is based on Begin Retaining Wall/End Retaining Wall markings on the map.
Looking at the maps (and I confess I didn't look at every one), I didn't see any connecting paths, even when the walls stopped. Infact, I saw a lot of places where vdot would add sound wall so that you have one continuous sound wall exit to exit.

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nosrednaj
06-16-2017, 06:38 AM
So why does VDOT use 42 inch walls to protect cars from cars, but only grudgingly increase 24 inch walls to 36 inch walls to protect pedestrians from cars? I think the person above who suggested that this makes it easier to convert to another car lane is on the right track.

In FABB's meeting with VDOT the minimum is 32" but we got the impression it will be 50" like Wilson Bridge. We'd like to have the same sound barrier as the bridge has too vs. a chainlink fence. Let VDOT know.

As far as conversion to a lane, we were told the shoulder next to the wall will not be converted into a lane. No doubt the contractor would be upset as that would conflict with getting paying drivers. Might be in the contract. In addition, when inside the wall, the trail is on top of utilities - building a travel lane on top of that might make access impossible.

Vicegrip
06-16-2017, 06:55 AM
In FABB's meeting with VDOT the minimum is 32" but we got the impression it will be 50" like Wilson Bridge. We'd like to have the same sound barrier as the bridge has too vs. a chainlink fence. Let VDOT know.

As far as conversion to a lane, we were told the shoulder next to the wall will not be converted into a lane. No doubt the contractor would be upset as that would conflict with getting paying drivers. Might be in the contract. In addition, when inside the wall, the trail is on top of utilities - building a travel lane on top of that might make access impossible. Keeping the same number of automotive lanes the bike lane as proposed would become the breakdown lane if the Bike lane were on the other side of the wall.

The Utility access makes it a bit more clear why anyone would put humans in the automotive fume, heat and sound backwash of a major highway. The bike lane is more an after thought use of a underground right of way. The bike lane will be peppered with vault lids and likely populated with service trucks working on this and that on any given work day. They are making a suck fest bike lane so the utility guys don't have to work on the side of the highway and not be behind a wall. it is a utility lane tarted up to look like a bike lane.

ursus
06-16-2017, 06:59 AM
Is that right? If highway interchanges are the only access points, this trail will be even worse than I thought. I'll have to look more thoroughly at the design. I do know that the interchanges are anywhere from one to five miles apart. The longest gap between exits is from 29-Centreville to Sudley Road, about five miles.

Note too: the interchanges are all with arterials, and most of these arterials are themselves horribly hostile to bicycles and pedestrians. Trail connections to lower-volume streets that bridge over the highway without an interchange are desperately needed. Not to mention direct access into the neighborhoods and business districts that are near the trail.

Honestly, the Custis/W&OD from about McCoy Park to EFC is a 90% perfect example of how one can design a trail along a freeway ROW that offers a pleasant experience for almost all types of non-motorized users and is accessible to the communities it serves. The flaws of Custis/W&OD that we often complain about don't begin to compare to the enormous problems with this asinine proposal.

How did Arlington successfully connect this trail into all of the neighborhoods it passes through? Perhaps it was easier because the highway took out so many homes that a lot of streets were left "one-sided"?

Isn't that the truth! I remember at the time that path was created that there was much criticism that it was designed by highway engineers and was not designed with making it easy for cyclists. Going from the W&OD to Rosslyn is a fairly large drop in elevation yet the engineers managed to make all but the last part appear to be going uphill. :p

Vicegrip
06-16-2017, 07:18 AM
Isn't that the truth! I remember at the time that path was created that there was much criticism that it was designed by highway engineers and was not designed with making it easy for cyclists. Going from the W&OD to Rosslyn is a fairly large drop in elevation yet the engineers managed to make all but the last part appear to be going uphill. :pDon't forget the cool pump track at the bridge to nowhere! I like the Custis. I like the leafy trail and the change ups in elevation and view. You can access it from almost anywhere on foot and many points on a bike. Easy to use and pleasant.

Steve O
06-16-2017, 08:37 AM
Honestly, the Custis/W&OD from about McCoy Park to EFC is a 90% perfect example of how one can design a trail along a freeway ROW that offers a pleasant experience for almost all types of non-motorized users and is accessible to the communities it serves. The flaws of Custis/W&OD that we often complain about don't begin to compare to the enormous problems with this asinine proposal.

How did Arlington successfully connect this trail into all of the neighborhoods it passes through? Perhaps it was easier because the highway took out so many homes that a lot of streets were left "one-sided"?

The Washcycle found this archived WaPo article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1982/12/22/25-million-bicycle-path-along-i-66-wins-praise/83a99cb5-edd0-4a4e-adc9-8399b78e2394/?utm_term=.08fb29a25666) about the Custis when it opened in 1982.

lordofthemark
06-16-2017, 08:41 AM
Keeping the same number of automotive lanes the bike lane as proposed would become the breakdown lane if the Bike lane were on the other side of the wall.

The Utility access makes it a bit more clear why anyone would put humans in the automotive fume, heat and sound backwash of a major highway. The bike lane is more an after thought use of a underground right of way. The bike lane will be peppered with vault lids and likely populated with service trucks working on this and that on any given work day. They are making a suck fest bike lane so the utility guys don't have to work on the side of the highway and not be behind a wall. it is a utility lane tarted up to look like a bike lane.


Yup, its a bike lane (well MUT technically, but if this is bad for cyclists, its even going to be much less useful for dog walkers, joggers, so I won't expect many non-cyclists to use it, and not many 8 to 80 beginner people on bikes either) on the cheap - in particular, no incremental right of way. They will take the utility ROW and just cover it with a bike lane.

But that means an outside the sound wall MUT would be more costly, and possibly more disruptive (community and ROW acquisition issues). So if we don't get this, do we get a complete trail at all? (note, I did send comments to VDOT and to my delegate and state senator asking that the MUT go outside the sound wall, for the reasons we have been discussing).

ursus
06-16-2017, 10:33 AM
The Washcycle found this archived WaPo article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1982/12/22/25-million-bicycle-path-along-i-66-wins-praise/83a99cb5-edd0-4a4e-adc9-8399b78e2394/?utm_term=.08fb29a25666) about the Custis when it opened in 1982.

There are banked turns on the Custis? They can't be too steeply banked.

ursus
06-16-2017, 11:18 AM
A blog post about the trail http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/06/16/virginia-dot-hopes-people-will-enjoy-bicycling-next-to-a-noisy-exhaust-choked-freeway/.

Steve O
06-16-2017, 03:37 PM
The Utility access makes it a bit more clear why anyone would put humans in the automotive fume, heat and sound backwash of a major highway. The bike lane is more an after thought use of a underground right of way. The bike lane will be peppered with vault lids and likely populated with service trucks working on this and that on any given work day. They are making a suck fest bike lane so the utility guys don't have to work on the side of the highway and not be behind a wall. it is a utility lane tarted up to look like a bike lane.

Even if true, why can't the utility ROW be outside the soundwall, too?

sjclaeys
06-16-2017, 04:37 PM
Here's an idea. Have the VDOT planners ride a bike or walk a few miles on the should of 66 now and see how they rate the experience.

anomad
06-16-2017, 08:37 PM
Here's an idea. Have the VDOT planners ride a bike or walk a few miles on the should of 66 now and see how they rate the experience.

I think having bike and pedestrian planners give up their cars for 2 or 3 years while living in the locality they serve would be an acceptable starting point for employment.

honestmachinery
06-16-2017, 08:47 PM
A blog post about the trail http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/06/16/virginia-dot-hopes-people-will-enjoy-bicycling-next-to-a-noisy-exhaust-choked-freeway/.
Interesting article. They don't want build this. We can barely imagine using it. It is deliberately designed to scratch from the budget.

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nosrednaj
06-17-2017, 06:22 AM
Even if true, why can't the utility ROW be outside the soundwall, too?

Probably just don't make engineering sense......

Vicegrip
06-17-2017, 07:04 AM
Even if true, why can't the utility ROW be outside the soundwall, too?My guess would be truck access to the vaults. Real sad that they can't see fit to give 10 feet to a Mup that would become a non major thoroughfare like the W&OD is. There are many people and places along ether side of 66 that are only connected by car now.

Steve O
06-17-2017, 09:20 AM
My guess would be truck access to the vaults.

I'm not clear on this. Current plans have trucks driving in between a tall wall and a short wall. Switch the walls and nothing changes. But actually, if you switch the tall wall then you don't need the short wall. Should make it easier, actually.

dasgeh
06-17-2017, 09:52 AM
From reading the wapo article, I got the impression that the houses that back up to the sound wall don't want a trail in their backyard. Of course, you could​use design elements to minimize the exposure between the trail and the houses -- a low wall, fence, etc. Even elevate the trail a bit. There are trails abutting backyards all over the country- there are plenty of models to do this well

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mstone
06-17-2017, 10:36 AM
From reading the wapo article, I got the impression that the houses that back up to the sound wall don't want a trail in their backyard. Of course, you could​use design elements to minimize the exposure between the trail and the houses -- a low wall, fence, etc. Even elevate the trail a bit. There are trails abutting backyards all over the country- there are plenty of models to do this well.

I guarantee that having a trail as an amenity will do more for their house values than having nothing but an expressway in their backyard.

Judd
06-17-2017, 11:17 AM
I guarantee that having a trail as an amenity will do more for their house values than having nothing but an expressway in their backyard.

It will, but this is a very common objection to trails. A proposed rail to trail in my hometown that would have been really nice was killed because adjacent property owners objected that trail users would throw trash on their lawn. Similarly there was a lot of resistance to a light rail system because of objections that poor, black people from East St. Louis would use it to come to white suburbia and rob everybody.

nosrednaj
06-17-2017, 02:45 PM
Is that right? If highway interchanges are the only access points, this trail will be even worse than I thought. I'll have to look more thoroughly at the design. I do know that the interchanges are anywhere from one to five miles apart. The longest gap between exits is from 29-Centreville to Sudley Road, about five miles.

Note too: the interchanges are all with arterials, and most of these arterials are themselves horribly hostile to bicycles and pedestrians. Trail connections to lower-volume streets that bridge over the highway without an interchange are desperately needed. Not to mention direct access into the neighborhoods and business districts that are near the trail.

Honestly, the Custis/W&OD from about McCoy Park to EFC is a 90% perfect example of how one can design a trail along a freeway ROW that offers a pleasant experience for almost all types of non-motorized users and is accessible to the communities it serves. The flaws of Custis/W&OD that we often complain about don't begin to compare to the enormous problems with this asinine proposal.

How did Arlington successfully connect this trail into all of the neighborhoods it passes through? Perhaps it was easier because the highway took out so many homes that a lot of streets were left "one-sided"?


All the interchanges have access points and an additional 11 are listed in the documents. I'll dig up the list but here is an early drawing that does include them. I believe the contract says at least every half mile for access.

http://outside.transform66.org/documents/201706PIM/OtherDesignBoards/Bike_Trail_Fairfax_County_v2.pdf

nosrednaj
06-17-2017, 02:46 PM
Interesting article. They don't want build this. We can barely imagine using it. It is deliberately designed to scratch from the budget.

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Nice observation.....please let VDOT and elected officials know you WANT it.

nosrednaj
06-17-2017, 02:50 PM
Looking at the maps (and I confess I didn't look at every one), I didn't see any connecting paths, even when the walls stopped. Infact, I saw a lot of places where vdot would add sound wall so that you have one continuous sound wall exit to exit.

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Eleven non interchange access points have been identified. FABB met with VDOT and there was discussion about overlapping sound wall segments in leu of those access doors. We plan to pursue that more. Access is key for safety, convenience and connectivity. In addition, we are aware of a grant request by Fairfax City to build out some connectivity using monies associated with this project. Let VDOT and elected officials know your concerns.

nosrednaj
06-17-2017, 04:21 PM
I have been wandering around the website from the original post in this thread. Is there something that discusses or illustrates what happens to the bikepath at vehicular entrances/exits to I-66?

www.transform66.org has a Fairfax County Bike trail 'image' / map but it's not up to date. You have to dig into the VDOT maps to see it and even then it's hard.

nosrednaj
06-18-2017, 07:04 AM
Here are the access points:

Access points to the shared use path parallel to I-66 shall be provided at approximately half mile increments. These locations may be co-located with other access needs to reduce the breaks in the sound barriers. The Developer shall coordinate with adjacent and nearby communities and local jurisdictions regarding the locations and design of each access point. Possible access points are in the vicinity of the locations listed below:
1. Braddock Rd at NW Quadrant of Route 28 Interchange. Underpass for connection to future trail to Route 28 north.
2. Audrey Dr (Cabells Mill Development, Centreville)
3. Connect to the standard turn at the end of Veronica Rd (Cabells Mill Development, Centreville)
4. West side of Stringfellow Rd connection to Park & Ride Lot and street crossing to east side of street trail
5. Fair Lakes Shopping Center (behind Target)
6. East Market Shopping Center (behind Whole Food Market)
7. Existing trail from Waples Mill Rd (NE Quadrant of US 50 Interchange)
8. Arrowhead Dr/Rosehaven St (SW quadrant of Route 123 Interchange)
9. Bushman Dr (just east of tennis courts property)
10. CedarLanenorthsideconnectiontoI-66paralleltrail
11. ConnectiontowestbendofYeonasDrive(westofSouthsideP ark)

Other key information:

New bicycle and pedestrian path facilities and modifications to existing bicycle and pedestrian path facilities shall be designed in accordance with the standards and specifications set forth in Attachment 1.5. All new bicycle and pedestrian path facilities intersecting I-66, the associated Interstate ramps, or other roadway facilities as depicted on the RFP Conceptual Plans shall be grade separated (over or under) unless otherwise approved by the Department.

The Developer shall design a shared use path parallel to I-66 and that is consistent with the RFP Conceptual Plans. Where proposed noise barriers are to be located near homes, the path shall be on the I-66 side of the noise barrier. In addition a roadway barrier with fencing shall separate I-66 from the new pedestrian/bicycle facility.
Sound barrier design should periodically provide pedestrian and bicycle access to the shared use path along the north side of I-66. These access locations should provide adequate sight distance for bicyclists entering from the adjacent neighborhoods. These locations can be co-located with other access needs.

DrP
06-18-2017, 03:21 PM
Here are the access points:

Access points to the shared use path parallel to I-66 shall be provided at approximately half mile increments. These locations may be co-located with other access needs to reduce the breaks in the sound barriers. The Developer shall coordinate with adjacent and nearby communities and local jurisdictions regarding the locations and design of each access point. Possible access points are in the vicinity of the locations listed below:
1. Braddock Rd at NW Quadrant of Route 28 Interchange. Underpass for connection to future trail to Route 28 north.
2. Audrey Dr (Cabells Mill Development, Centreville)
3. Connect to the standard turn at the end of Veronica Rd (Cabells Mill Development, Centreville)
4. West side of Stringfellow Rd connection to Park & Ride Lot and street crossing to east side of street trail
5. Fair Lakes Shopping Center (behind Target)
6. East Market Shopping Center (behind Whole Food Market)
7. Existing trail from Waples Mill Rd (NE Quadrant of US 50 Interchange)
8. Arrowhead Dr/Rosehaven St (SW quadrant of Route 123 Interchange)
9. Bushman Dr (just east of tennis courts property)
10. CedarLanenorthsideconnectiontoI-66paralleltrail
11. ConnectiontowestbendofYeonasDrive(westofSouthsideP ark)

Other key information:

New bicycle and pedestrian path facilities and modifications to existing bicycle and pedestrian path facilities shall be designed in accordance with the standards and specifications set forth in Attachment 1.5. All new bicycle and pedestrian path facilities intersecting I-66, the associated Interstate ramps, or other roadway facilities as depicted on the RFP Conceptual Plans shall be grade separated (over or under) unless otherwise approved by the Department.

The Developer shall design a shared use path parallel to I-66 and that is consistent with the RFP Conceptual Plans. Where proposed noise barriers are to be located near homes, the path shall be on the I-66 side of the noise barrier. In addition a roadway barrier with fencing shall separate I-66 from the new pedestrian/bicycle facility.
Sound barrier design should periodically provide pedestrian and bicycle access to the shared use path along the north side of I-66. These access locations should provide adequate sight distance for bicyclists entering from the adjacent neighborhoods. These locations can be co-located with other access needs.

Where did you find these connections and quotes? I am not seeing clear connections, i.e., green trails, except around the interchanges, but I have not looked at all the maps yet. I can find nothing about access points at half mile increments from the drawings. That would make a big difference safety-wise, although still not as good as other trails in the area.

Steve O
06-18-2017, 10:11 PM
All the interchanges have access points and an additional 11 are listed in the document

As comparison, I count 33 access points on the Custis Trail along the 4 miles of grade-separated trail from the top of the Rosslyn hill to the intersection with the W&OD. That's about 8 per mile.

nosrednaj
06-19-2017, 07:03 AM
As comparison, I count 33 access points on the Custis Trail along the 4 miles of grade-separated trail from the top of the Rosslyn hill to the intersection with the W&OD. That's about 8 per mile.

That's good to know. How many are road like crossings as I know that will come up.

annoyedindc
06-19-2017, 08:45 AM
I think there are only 6 at grade road crossings on the Custis.

Steve O
06-19-2017, 09:27 AM
That's good to know. How many are road like crossings as I know that will come up.

Zero. From the top of the Rosslyn Hill to East Falls Church the trail is entirely grade separated. All the crossings are in Rosslyn.

dasgeh
06-19-2017, 09:40 AM
I think there are only 6 at grade road crossings on the Custis.

Zero. From the top of the Rosslyn Hill to East Falls Church the trail is entirely grade separated. All the crossings are in Rosslyn.

You're both right. The Custis is still the Custis in Rosslyn, and those 6 at-grade crossings are the worst part of the trail, and what makes us think twice about letting are kids ride their own bikes to TR island/into DC.

The entirely grade-separated section of the Custis is lovely. The only issues are the spots where the sight-lines are inadequate or what's immediately beside the trail is unsafe.

Another point to note in comments: trail users generally don't ride/run/walk up against a large wall. So any trail built abutting a large wall is effectively narrowed by 6-12" on that side. If there are large walls on both sides, that means the entire trail will feel at least 1-2' narrower than it is built. An 8' wide trail that feels 6' wide is worthless.

n18
06-21-2017, 03:21 PM
Regarding the privacy issue, I think home owners who live next to I-66 who are complaining about privacy issues are imagining a trail at the end of their clear lawns, with people looking at them, when the reality is more like shrubs and dense vegetation blocking trail users from seeing them, just like what we have at the W&OD. They can grew shrubs or build a fence, so they shouldn't have more of an issue than those who have houses next to the W&OD trail.

Judd
06-21-2017, 03:50 PM
Regarding the privacy issue, I think home owners who live next to I-66 who are complaining about privacy issues are imagining a trail at the end of their clear lawns, with people looking at them, when the reality is more like shrubs and dense vegetation blocking trail users from seeing them, just like what we have at the W&OD. They can grew shrubs or build a fence, so they shouldn't have more of an issue than those who have houses next to the W&OD trail.

Sounds like they fear Steve-O, a known bike peeping Tom.

dasgeh
06-30-2017, 03:27 PM
LAST DAY FOR COMMENTS. TRANSFORM66@VDOT.VIRGINIA.GOV

Here are mine, which are very much a combination of all the points made here:

Good Afternoon,


Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed concept for the "Transform 66" Project. As an Arlington, VA resident who bikes, walks and drives in the I-66 corridor, I was pleased to see that the proposed concept includes a 22 mile multi-use path.
I believe the agreement to provide multi-modal transportation infrastructure along the I-66 corridor was a critical part of the agreement to widen I-66. I support VDOT building of a bicycle and pedestrian trail as part of the I-66 widening. However, I am concerned that VDOT's proposal to squeeze the trail in between the interstate and the noise wall would create a trail that would be so dangerous, so uncomfortable, so difficult to use, that I wonder whether VDOT is actually going back on their commitment to provide improvements for people walking and biking in this area. VDOT must honor their commitment to improve these modes of transportation. They should commit to developing a new proposal for public comment for a trail that people would actually use before they break ground on any efforts to widen the roadway.


Why this proposal is problematic

This trail would not be safe or comfortable, and would not provide usable connections to enable people to get where they are going, especially on foot.


Safety

Interstate highways are full of debris. Blown tires, car parts, bolts, and even a mattress or two are often found on the side of Interstates. These present a hazard when they end up on the trail and are potentially deadly when propelled from a travel lane on the trail. Placing the trail at grade with I-66 separated by only a two foot wall and two buffer lanes presents an unnecessary risk of serious injury.
The trail would be very difficult to clean of debris or snow. With the soundwall on one side and the barrier on the other, there would need to be some sort of custom trail cleaning vehicle that would need to be out there at least weekly to clean debris. It would either have to be pretty small or it would block the entire trail (with no way to go around).
In the cases of the trail being blocked (car crash involving a vehicle encroaching on the trail or something) there appears to be no way to go around. Trail users are essentially trapped in the trail by the soundwall.
Because users would be trapped behind the opaque soundwall, with exits that are far separated, this trail could prove to be a place for attacks -- muggings or worse. Certainly, a person would think twice about using such a trail alone at night.
In the case of fast moving weather, such as a hailstorm or lightning storm, it would leave trail users, particularly those on foot, with no place to shelter. It seems there are pretty long sections without exits. Imagine one were pushing a stroller and a fast moving lightning storm came up with the nearest exit point 1/4 mile or further away. No place to go; no way to flee into the nearby neighborhood or industrial park or commercial area. Trapped with literally no way to shelter whatsoever. This seems pretty scary to me.

Comfort

Interstate highways are noisy. According to a Federal Highway Administration article, "Levels of highway traffic noise typically range from 70 to 80 dB(A) at a distance of 15 meters (50 feet) from the highway. These levels affect a majority of people, interrupting concentration, increasing heart rates, or limiting the ability to carry on a conversation." (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publication...s/03jul/06.cfm) This level of noise not only would discourage trail use, it would also make it difficult for trail users to hear bells or voice calls when passing each other, creating a safety issue.
Interstate highways are uncomfortable heat islands. Virginia summers are hot and often humid. Add the heat island effect of a concrete sound barrier, an asphalt roadway and the heat from engines with a lack of trees or landscaping to provide shade and this trail will be unbearably hot in the summer.
The fumes from the vehicles on the highway would collect on the inside of the soundwall, and be funneled towards trail users, who of course would not have the option of just rolling up the window.

Usefulness

The distance between exits and entrances would make this trail very difficult to use, particularly for people on foot.
Because it would be unsafe and uncomfortable, people won't use it as much as they would a safe and comfortable trail. Those people would like instead be in cars, contributing to traffic delays, polluting our environment, increasing the demand on our road system, and taking up parking spaces.

Why a good trail would benefit the region

This trail has the potential to connect hundreds of thousands of people to neighborhoods, trails, and transit hubs while providing new recreational opportunities.

A large segment of the population of Fairfax County lives within a mile of this trail.
Our region is growing, and we must enable people to take more trips by bike or on foot. Currently, Fairfax and Prince William Counties are difficult to bike and walk in, because they are generally laid out with major roads with high speeds collecting from local roads which are basically culs-de-sacs. If we don't get trails along roads like 66, it's really hard to go longer distances because the lower speed roads aren't through roads. Compounding that is geography: if you look at a map you'll see a lot more long north-south roads than east-west roads, because of the hill & stream valley topography. There aren't that many options to get from east to west across western fairfax into PWC, and (here's the double whammy) the ones that exist are mainly being "upgraded" by VDOT into super stroads. It used to be that 50 or 29 were quiet alternatives to 66, but now there's not all that much difference between them from a cyclist perspective--and that's a trend that's likely to continue.
When people that live near this trail choose to make even a fraction of their trips by walking or biking instead of by driving, we can significantly decrease traffic delays and we can use space currently dedicated to parking unused cars to other uses - parks, housing, commercial space.
Encouraging recreational biking and walking improves public health and builds community, both of which improve the fiscal situation and the quality of life in Northern Virginia.
The existing Custis Trail along I-66 in Arlington allows several thousand cyclists, joggers and walkers each day to commute, to exercise or to connect to another neighborhood. The Washington & Old Dominion Trail similarly enables walking and biking not only for transportation, but also for recreation.
The experience of the Des Moines, Iowa, region shows that a system of safe and comfortable multi-use trails can improve not only transportation, but can become a economic generator through bike tourism. Northern Virginia already is home to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail and the Mount Vernon Trail, and a new trail along I-66 would help build this network.

What VDOT should do next

VDOT should commit to another round of public comments on a new proposal, which keeps the trail outside of the soundwall (possibly with minor exceptions, as seen on the Custis Trail). All crossings of major roads and streets should be grade separated (which is largely accomplished in the current proposal).

Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) and the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) have made clear that they are willing to work with VDOT to develop better plans.
VDOT should of course work with nearby homeowners to make sure the plan respects their property rights. But plenty of models exist throughout the country, and even here in NoVa, where public multi-use trails run behind private property. In many places, the homes bordering those trails see such proximity as an amenity.
VDOT should explore creative solutions for any challenges created by having the trail outside of the sound barrier. For example, to help eliminate a microclimate where the trail is on the north side of the soundwall (e.g. where ice may not melt), the bottom section of the sound wall could be clear, like the wall on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Opposite the clear section of the trail, an opaque smaller wall separating private property from the trail could provide privacy to any houses. Similarly, the trail could be slightly raised where passing behind houses, providing additional separation.

Conclusion

I am deeply concerned that the Virginia Department of Transportation's current trail plans are inadequate to the opportunity. As designed, the narrow trail between highway and sound wall will expose trail users to excessive noise, pollution, highway debris, utility vehicles, and weather. To be attractive and well-used by a majority of Virginians, the trail should be at least 12 feet wide and on the non-highway side of the sound wall. I urge you to do all that is necessary to ensure this trail is a true amenity for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities.


I appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback. As you consider refining the concept based on public comment, I implore you to ask yourself if the current concept is the kind of trail that you would be happy to take a walk or a bike ride with your family.

Thank you,

scoot
06-30-2017, 05:35 PM
LAST DAY FOR COMMENTS. TRANSFORM66@VDOT.VIRGINIA.GOV

Here are mine, which are very much a combination of all the points made here

Thanks! Well-written and thorough summary of most of the points discussed here. The last day snuck up on me, so I plagiarized much of your letter. I shortened some parts, reorganized others, made a bunch of small tweaks and added several extra thoughts of my own.

ginacico
07-06-2017, 10:20 AM
Encouraging response from my letter to Senator Ebbin (VA District 30).


Thank you for writing to me in regards to the recently released concepts for the "Transform 66" project, specifically the current design proposal for the 22 mile multi-use path with me. The Custis Trail is an important resource for both car-free commuters and recreational cyclists, joggers and walkers. I support the inclusion of a multi-use trail in the project, and share your concerns regarding the noise, debris, snow removal, heat, and accessibility of the portion of the trail adjacent to I-66 that lies between the traffic lanes and the sound wall. After reviewing your concerns, and the concerns of many members of the cycling community like yourself, I have arranged for a briefing today with the Virginia Department of Transportation “Transform 66” project team where we will discuss the issues that you have raised. Thank you again for your advocacy on behalf of the Northern Virginia cycling and recreational communities. Please contact my office if you require future assistance with state-related matters. Best regards,
Adam P. Ebbin
Member, Senate of Virginia

lordofthemark
07-06-2017, 11:03 AM
I recently attended a social/political event in Fairfax, and had the opportunity to chat with this gentleman http://marcussimon.com/ a delegate from that County. He is apparently a triathlete, as well as family biker, and was aware of the issues and sympathetic.

dbb
07-06-2017, 11:22 AM
Encouraging response from my letter to Senator Ebbin (VA District 30).

I got the same response. I'll speak with my Delegate (Mark Levine) this weekend to follow up on my email to him.

Starduster
07-06-2017, 12:26 PM
Hi. I got my comments in, though it was on Sunday July 2. Comment was submitted and apparently accepted. What I highlighted:

How unwelcoming a design *inside* the sound wall would be, both for access and the noise pollution problem. Used the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, before and after the glass sound wall, as an example. I should not need to wear hearing protection to ride.

And safety. In another life, long ago, I was an SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Corner Worker, working races at Summit Point Raceway. I have first hand experience with high speed traffic feet away from me, and, at least once, had to *run* to avoid an out-of-control race car. A wall and fencing that close to traffic is not safe enough. And, riding in the same direction, you cannot practice the *Rule One* that kept us safe and alive on the race course- "No backs to traffic!"

Who have given us understanding and support so far?

ginacico
07-09-2017, 07:26 PM
Washington Post article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/biking-advocates-worry-i-66-expansion-project-puts-a-bike-trail-too-close-to-traffic/2017/07/09/9e21d216-6266-11e7-84a1-a26b75ad39fe_story.html?utm_term=.57ed0c2f810f) giving the issue some publicity.

#dontreadthecomments

AFHokie
07-10-2017, 08:32 AM
Washington Post article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/biking-advocates-worry-i-66-expansion-project-puts-a-bike-trail-too-close-to-traffic/2017/07/09/9e21d216-6266-11e7-84a1-a26b75ad39fe_story.html?utm_term=.57ed0c2f810f) giving the issue some publicity.

#dontreadthecommentsPresentation from American Trails that debunks most of the opposition's arguments: http://atfiles.org/files/pdf/CrimeOppLiability.pdf

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930AZ using Tapatalk

dasgeh
07-10-2017, 08:33 AM
The whole "this is a compromise" line from VDOT really irks me. As in the ideal for the trail would be just outside the soundwall, so we'll put some inside the soundwall and it will be ok.

No. The ideal for the trail is a complete, grade separated, off road, paved trail, with widths and design adequate for usage, from the TR Bridge to Haymarket. All of this is a compromise. Inside the sound barrier is a deal breaker.

Starduster
07-10-2017, 09:19 AM
Dasgeh, *Their* idea of a compromise is that the trail even exists. :mad:

Um, forgive the splash of anger. This won't be the case for the entire trail. But there are sections where there *is* neighborhood opposition. Still, inside the sound wall and next to high speed traffic is a most unappetizing idea.

From the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/biking-advocates-worry-i-66-expansion-project-puts-a-bike-trail-too-close-to-traffic/2017/07/09/9e21d216-6266-11e7-84a1-a26b75ad39fe_story.html?utm_term=.c461d6e8b86f

Judd
07-10-2017, 09:37 AM
The whole "this is a compromise" line from VDOT really irks me. As in the ideal for the trail would be just outside the soundwall, so we'll put some inside the soundwall and it will be ok.

No. The ideal for the trail is a complete, grade separated, off road, paved trail, with widths and design adequate for usage, from the TR Bridge to Haymarket. All of this is a compromise. Inside the sound barrier is a deal breaker.

I have made the mistake of reading the comments section. It's good to know that lots of people who see me on a bike wish I were dead, just for the simple fact that I am riding a bike.

Starduster
07-10-2017, 09:49 AM
I have made the mistake of reading the comments section. It's good to know that lots of people who see me on a bike wish I were dead, just for the simple fact that I am riding a bike.

And that, sadly, is our collective reality these days. Too many now feel they can be as nasty & ugly as they wanna be without fear of consequence.

Steve O
07-10-2017, 01:22 PM
I have made the mistake of reading the comments section. It's good to know that lots of people who see me on a bike wish I were dead, just for the simple fact that I am riding a bike.

When I looked at them, most of the comments that were getting "likes" were on the good guys' side. The trolls were few and their comments not popular.

Judd
07-10-2017, 01:41 PM
When I looked at them, most of the comments that were getting "likes" were on the good guys' side. The trolls were few and their comments not popular.

I wish I had facebook so I could like all of Crickey's posts.

mstone
07-11-2017, 12:26 PM
The whole "this is a compromise" line from VDOT really irks me. As in the ideal for the trail would be just outside the soundwall, so we'll put some inside the soundwall and it will be ok.

No. The ideal for the trail is a complete, grade separated, off road, paved trail, with widths and design adequate for usage, from the TR Bridge to Haymarket. All of this is a compromise. Inside the sound barrier is a deal breaker.

Allowing pedestrians to use anything in a VDOT ROW is VDOT's idea of a compromise. They'd much rather get rid of all crosswalks to improve their LOS numbers.

Judd
07-11-2017, 01:36 PM
So it's illegal, but I'm thinking of doing a Bobco style, "Let's ride the future I-66 Trail" bike ride.

bentbike33
07-11-2017, 01:53 PM
So it's illegal, but I'm thinking of doing a Bobco style, "Let's ride the future I-66 Trail" bike ride.

And it should be a Midnight Saddles ride.

mstone
07-12-2017, 05:22 AM
So it's illegal, but I'm thinking of doing a Bobco style, "Let's ride the future I-66 Trail" bike ride.
There are less painful ways to kill yourself.

AFHokie
07-12-2017, 09:10 AM
There are less painful ways to kill yourself.But are they as fun and exciting?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930AZ using Tapatalk

Steve O
07-13-2017, 07:17 AM
Letter in the Post today


Regarding the July 10 Metro article “Biking advocates worry trail too close to traffic”:
My 2-year-old son took some of his first steps on the path behind my townhome, under the canopy of trees that surround my yard. We will lose this wooded space in the Interstate 66 expansion. I hope the cyclists will appreciate their new bike lane and not push to have one that further disrupts my home and my neighbors’ right to peace, quiet and privacy.
This is a wonderful neighborhood for children to grow up in. Let’s keep it that way.
Jackie Tortora, Vienna

I put this in the on-line comments:


Ms. Tortora - The people who ride bikes and walk, and your neighbors and friends who might use this trail, are not asking for any additional trees or anything else to be destroyed. The total enormous width of I-66 will not change. No additional trees or space will be appropriated. All these people are asking is that the sound wall be moved a little farther away from your house and the trail placed on the side of the wall where you and your neighbors and children and dogs can use it. Perhaps the people who may someday buy your house will use this new trail to take their young child out for a walk, something that is unimaginable if the trail were inside the sound wall adjacent to 10 lanes of highway traffic.

AFHokie
07-13-2017, 07:29 AM
Letter in the Post today

Ms. Tortora's letter leads me to believe the path her son learned to walk on is the current multi-use trail; which she will lose if the sound wall is installed as currently designed

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mstone
07-13-2017, 11:22 AM
It's pretty hard (impossible?) to overcome the cognitive dissonance that focuses on the noise and disruption of pedestrians and cyclists on a MUP and completely disregards the cars on the roads on both sides of the house--because the cars are "normal" and the pedestrians and cyclists are "not normal". If a sensible trail is installed on the correct side of the sound wall, it will become normal and thus a dead issue. The only way forward has nothing to do with convincing the residents that opposing a trail as a nuisance is silly, and everything to do with convincing the politicians that the level of constituent annoyance over the stupid trail design exceeds the level of annoyance from fixing it.

But reading the tea leaves, I'd say VDOT doesn't care, and we're going to get a crappy trail. Don't want to hold up progress.

huskerdont
08-17-2017, 08:34 AM
On the home page of the Washington Post, with some politicians objecting to the plan as currently designed.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/08/17/virginia-lawmakers-oppose-plan-to-sandwich-i-66-trail-between-a-sound-wall-and-traffic/?hpid=hp_local-news_gridlock-845am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Drewdane
08-22-2017, 11:04 AM
On the home page of the Washington Post, with some politicians objecting to the plan as currently designed.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/08/17/virginia-lawmakers-oppose-plan-to-sandwich-i-66-trail-between-a-sound-wall-and-traffic/?hpid=hp_local-news_gridlock-845am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Unfortunately, my Senator and Delegate were not among the signers - I guess I'll pick up the phone to find out if they were aware of the letter and if they were, express my disappointment for not signing.

(EDIT) I sent the following to my State Senator and Delegate, who I identified by using this interactive map (http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/). Feel free to plagiarize:

Dear Senator/Delegate X,

I am writing to draw your attention to a letter drafted by Senator Scott Surovell and signed by 18 of your colleagues in the Senate and House of Delegates strongly opposing VDOT's current proposal to place a multiuse trail inside the sound barrier on a portion of the planned expansion of I-66, as reported in the Washington Post on August 17. The letter explains in detail the many problems with the proposed approach, as summed up by the following quote: “I-66 Trail users will be closely sandwiched between a sound wall and traffic exposing them to concentrated quantities of car exhaust, noise pollution and road debris.”

I urge you join your colleagues in opposing this proposal in its current state. Trail users, whether they are on foot or on bicycles, deserve trails that are separated and sheltered from the noise, pollution and hazards freeway traffic poses.

Sincerely,

Name and address.

dbb
08-22-2017, 12:55 PM
My senator wasn't on the list. I sent him this note:

"I saw a copy of a joint letter on the I-66 bike lanes signed by a number of Senators and Delegates (dated 11 August). While the letter was signed by Senators McPike, Favola, Howell, Wexton, Surovell, and Marsden; I didn't see your signature.

Now that you have received information from VDOT, can you please share your position on the bike lane along I-66, specifically the VDOT concept of putting the lane inside the sound wall?

If you think that is a sound strategy, please provide the basis for your decision.

Thanks"

His letter is attached.

15378

Emm
08-22-2017, 01:41 PM
My senator spearheaded the letter according to WaPo, so I sent a thank you note :)

My delegate was not though, so reaching out to him is now on my to-do list...

lordofthemark
08-22-2017, 01:52 PM
This is what advocacy looks like.

Subby
08-22-2017, 04:23 PM
I sent a thank you note to my state senator and state delegate. They need to hear that their efforts are appreciated and necessary. That VDOT proposal is a clusterfuck of epic proportions.

dasgeh
08-23-2017, 10:23 AM
I happen to see my Senator at another VDOT-related meeting last night, and got to thank her personally. That letter was very helpful and well written, and I was so excited that it articulated the rationale for good bike infrastructure. Yay!

bentbike33
09-04-2017, 03:57 PM
Update in the Post today (http://https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/changing-trail-design-could-jeopardize-entire-i-66-widening-project/2017/09/03/76b5be86-8e5d-11e7-91d5-ab4e4bb76a3a_story.html?hpid=hp_local-news_i66project-552pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.b87daa5f521d) does not sound promising. :(

sjclaeys
09-04-2017, 04:47 PM
Update in the Post today (http://https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/changing-trail-design-could-jeopardize-entire-i-66-widening-project/2017/09/03/76b5be86-8e5d-11e7-91d5-ab4e4bb76a3a_story.html?hpid=hp_local-news_i66project-552pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.b87daa5f521d) does not sound promising. :(

Yes, VaDOT is taking no responsibility for allowing a faulty design or not consulting with trail users earlier, so of course VaDOT blames the potential trail users.

honestmachinery
09-04-2017, 07:55 PM
Yes, VaDOT is taking no responsibility for allowing a faulty design or not consulting with trail users earlier, so of course VaDOT blames the potential trail users.Lies. It is incredible to suggest that the MUP could stand in the way of this $2.3B foregone conclusion. This MUP was designed for budgetary elimination, and lobbying efforts to improve the facility require those caught at this game to attempt to shift the blame for the eminent domain takings to those with the temerity to argue against it.

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Subby
09-05-2017, 10:25 AM
Speaking of lies:

"State transportation officials say the expansion will help reduce congestion in the I-66 corridor, which experiences eight to 10 hours of gridlock daily, including weekends, and carries roughly 200,000 vehicles on an average day."

They'll never, ever learn.

mstone
09-05-2017, 12:35 PM
This is what advocacy looks like.

Unfortunately, it smells like defeat.

lordofthemark
09-05-2017, 12:48 PM
Unfortunately, it smells like defeat.

Meh. I'm not ready to give up just yet. In particular I want to hear WHY the utility trucks cannot access utilities by driving on an outside the sound wall MUT.

mstone
09-05-2017, 01:47 PM
Meh. I'm not ready to give up just yet. In particular I want to hear WHY the utility trucks cannot access utilities by driving on an outside the sound wall MUT.

because vdot doesn't want to. they'll drag their feet on dealing with this until the project is finished, and just do whatever they want. the same way they refused to talk about the trail at all during the planning meetings over the past few years even though they were apparently planning this the whole time. (because "it was too early in the process to talk about those details".)

accordioneur
09-06-2017, 11:36 AM
Meh. I'm not ready to give up just yet. In particular I want to hear WHY the utility trucks cannot access utilities by driving on an outside the sound wall MUT.

From what I gleaned from the article, the issue is that rearranging the MUT to be outside the sound wall would require taking an extra 10 feet of width because of the requirements of the utility easement, and the government is prioritizing local homeowners over cyclists. I guess you would have to dig into the easement to understand the particulars. Perhaps they are guaranteed a certain width for utility trucks, and that width is wider than the planned bike lanes.

mstone
09-06-2017, 11:56 AM
real alternative: utilities in the shoulder. then maybe you'd lose one of five interstate lanes when work is needed, instead of one of one MUP. But this isn't about real alternatives...

I don't think VDOT has said anything about how the MUP is supposed to work when it's torn up for utility work because, again, they don't care.

bentbike33
09-06-2017, 12:11 PM
I don't think VDOT has said anything about how the MUP is supposed to work when it's torn up for utility work because, again, they don't care.

Obviously, riders encountering utility work will need to climb to the top of the chainlink fence atop the jersey barrier; hoist their bikes up using the rope all trail users will be required to carry; lower the bike to the breakdown lane* (being careful not to let the bike swing out into traffic); ride around the utility work; and then repeat the process to get back on the trail.

*May not be available due to use as a traffic lane during rush hour(s).

ginacico
09-06-2017, 01:41 PM
From GGWash: Virginia blames bicyclists for not wanting to ride on a highway (https://ggwash.org/view/64671/66-widening-is-being-blamed-on-cyclists)

Hey, fine by me, I didn't ask for the stupid widening/toll project in the first place. I promise as long as I live in the area, I will never ever drive to work and never use HOT lanes.

Judd
09-06-2017, 02:12 PM
Does anyone know off the top of their head what part of 66 the 5 miles of the trail will run adjacent to the Interstate?

lordofthemark
09-06-2017, 02:37 PM
Does anyone know off the top of their head what part of 66 the 5 miles of the trail will run adjacent to the Interstate?

Thanks for the caveat, so I don't obsessively search out EIS documents. Off the top of my head - I don't know. But I think its the part closer to the beltway, because that is where SFH areas come closest to I66.

TwoWheelsDC
09-06-2017, 02:54 PM
Does anyone know off the top of their head what part of 66 the 5 miles of the trail will run adjacent to the Interstate?

Most of it is from Gallows to Nutley St., based on my read of the plans. Also looks like the section at Idylwood Park (at the top of the Virginia Lane climb) will also be moved outside the wall, although it's hard to tell from the pdfs I found.

http://outside.transform66.org/learn_more/maps.asp

Judd
09-06-2017, 03:41 PM
Most of it is from Gallows to Nutley St., based on my read of the plans. Also looks like the section at Idylwood Park (at the top of the Virginia Lane climb) will also be moved outside the wall, although it's hard to tell from the pdfs I found.

http://outside.transform66.org/learn_more/maps.asp

Thanks. I did look at the documents on the site but I'm having all kinds of trouble interpreting the documents.

TwoWheelsDC
09-06-2017, 03:50 PM
Thanks. I did look at the documents on the site but I'm having all kinds of trouble interpreting the documents.

Yes, they are a hot mess.

scoot
09-07-2017, 12:27 AM
Does anyone know off the top of their head what part of 66 the 5 miles of the trail will run adjacent to the Interstate?

I also tried to look through those documents a month ago to answer that same question. I was completely befuddled and gave up.

If it is mostly in the portion east of 123, there are a lot of parallel streets that could easily be made more attractive to bicycle traffic. If we fail in our efforts to get the 66 trail entirely outside the sound wall, we should prioritize fighting for improvements to alternatives that could actually be safe and pleasant places to ride.

chris_s
09-28-2017, 04:30 PM
If you live in the Providence District of Fairfax County, you may want to have some words with Supervisor Smyth.

http://bluevirginia.us/2017/09/i-66-multi-use-trail-design-our-only-chance-to-do-this-right-will-poor-local-leadership-nimbyism-screw-it-up

dasgeh
09-29-2017, 08:32 AM
If you live in the Providence District of Fairfax County, you may want to have some words with Supervisor Smyth.

http://bluevirginia.us/2017/09/i-66-multi-use-trail-design-our-only-chance-to-do-this-right-will-poor-local-leadership-nimbyism-screw-it-up

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/providence/

Or if you know anyone connected to the businesses in this district that understand the importance of biking to the local economy. This district includes Merrifield and Tysons!!! I'm surprised to see the rep for these areas be so anti-bike.

lordofthemark
09-29-2017, 08:55 AM
If you live in the Providence District of Fairfax County, you may want to have some words with Supervisor Smyth.

http://bluevirginia.us/2017/09/i-66-multi-use-trail-design-our-only-chance-to-do-this-right-will-poor-local-leadership-nimbyism-screw-it-up


And also the state legislators from that area who have NOT signed the original letter to DDOT, if you live in their districts.

So Chap Peterson (usually pro bike), Mark Keam, Marcus Simon (a triathlete, IIUC), David Bulova, Eileen Filler-Corn, Dick Saslaw.

Steve O
10-23-2017, 10:27 PM
Received this email:
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1120468107261&ca=a2de44fb-6568-4d82-a5ec-521476a2f8c7



15626

reji
11-09-2017, 10:22 AM
I'm going on Monday. Anyone interested in caravaning there?
15702


Received this email:
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1120468107261&ca=a2de44fb-6568-4d82-a5ec-521476a2f8c7

CBGanimal
11-09-2017, 05:55 PM
I'm going on Monday. Anyone interested in caravaning there?
15702

Yes I’d like to go...


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Steve O
11-10-2017, 01:04 PM
I'm going on Monday. Anyone interested in caravaning there?

I think I will go, too.

reji
11-12-2017, 07:00 PM
For anyone wanting to convoy to Oakton on Monday, let's meet at the East side of the Citizen's Bridge in Falls Church at 6:15.

CBGanimal
11-12-2017, 09:43 PM
For anyone wanting to convoy to Oakton on Monday, let's meet at the East side of the Citizen's Bridge in Falls Church at 6:15.

Is that the bridge that crosses over route 7?


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reji
11-13-2017, 04:55 AM
Is that the bridge that crosses over route 7?

Yes, that's Citizens Bridge.

Judd
11-13-2017, 03:51 PM
Can you guys scope at the meeting whether they'll be an easy on street route to bypass the interstate segment? And maybe suggest that those objecting to a trail "in their backyard" are really going to hate people riding in front of their house more.

mstone
11-14-2017, 08:00 AM
Can you guys scope at the meeting whether they'll be an easy on street route to bypass the interstate segment?

No, that's why the trail is so important; VDOT has been busily "making the roads more efficient", so you've got through options like route 29 or route 50 and that's about it.

DrP
11-01-2018, 09:07 PM
Well, just got a note about the new bike trail. They didn't really listen:

BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN TRAIL UPDATE

The Transform 66 Project includes 11 miles of new shared use trail along I-66 that will tie into existing trail systems. This includes new or expanded bicycle and pedestrian facilities on 11 bridges. Additional trail sections will be built as part of the project in coordination with VDOT and local governments.

As a result of feedback from bicycling advocates and surrounding communities, recent design changes incorporate a taller, 50-inch-high concrete barrier to separate the shared use path when it is on the highway side of the noise wall. This is similar to the barrier that separates the trail from the roadway on the Capital Beltway's Woodrow Wilson Bridge.


So, not the Alexandria portion of the bridge, with the sound wall. Still won't make me feel good if this is over large distances. AND IT IS STILL ALL ON THE HIGHWAY SIDE OF THE SOUND BARRIER. Sigh. Lungs and ears beware.

mstone
11-02-2018, 06:52 AM
I still think it's an unsubtle plan to eventually replace the pedestrian facilities with another lane due to low usage. The main objection to the bigger concrete barrier is that it will be harder to rip out later.

VikingMariner
11-02-2018, 07:46 AM
I plan to get high on the pollution and noise from fast cars. Also looking forward to any debris that comes flying across that 50-inch wall. That should keep my ninja skills razor sharp. Fun times.

Actually there's no way I'm riding on that route. It's ridiculous poor planning. If you want to know what it will be like, cross the Wilson Bridge and then picture yourself doing 9 more miles like that without the effect of the usual river breeze.

huskerdont
11-02-2018, 07:54 AM
"Can't wait to take the dog for a jog on this new multi-use path" are words you won't be hearing.

Complete joke of a design that will be little used and will be converted to a car travel lane eventually with the non-use cited as the reason.

zsionakides
11-03-2018, 10:49 AM
"Can't wait to take the dog for a jog on this new multi-use path" are words you won't be hearing.

Complete joke of a design that will be little used and will be converted to a car travel lane eventually with the non-use cited as the reason.

I would rather go jogging on this with long uninterrupted stretches than on sidewalks or places with crossings and lights to deal with, even with it being next to the highway. The MVT and Custis trails are next to highways in spots and that doesn't discourage use. The WWB trail sees plenty of usage on a regular basis and it doesn't connect to much on the MD side. The main thing I see that will drive use on this trail is how well it connects to other bicycle facilities, particularly the W&OD, and to the neighborhoods nearby.

mstone
11-03-2018, 12:18 PM
The MVT and Custis trails are next to highways in spots and that doesn't discourage use.

I can't think of a spot where the MVT or Custis are directly between a 10 lane expressway and a sound wall for miles on end. Where custis is adjacent to 66 it's generally either at a different grade level or outside the sound wall. The MVT is a completely different beast; people complain about the highway adjacency quite a lot, and it's pretty unsafe, but the road and scenery are a lot less unpleasant than 66.

Judd
11-03-2018, 12:40 PM
I can't think of a spot where the MVT or Custis are directly between a 10 lane expressway and a sound wall for miles on end. Where custis is adjacent to 66 it's generally either at a different grade level or outside the sound wall. The MVT is a completely different beast; people complain about the highway adjacency quite a lot, and it's pretty unsafe, but the road and scenery are a lot less unpleasant than 66.

There are several spots on the MVT where southbound riders are entirely blinded by cars at night. I imagine this could be an issue for westbound riders at night.

The part of the Custis trail that is most adjacent to 66 is thankfully short. It’s so noisy that my normally pleasant call of a pass isn’t audible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

zsionakides
11-05-2018, 07:56 AM
I can't think of a spot where the MVT or Custis are directly between a 10 lane expressway and a sound wall for miles on end. Where custis is adjacent to 66 it's generally either at a different grade level or outside the sound wall. The MVT is a completely different beast; people complain about the highway adjacency quite a lot, and it's pretty unsafe, but the road and scenery are a lot less unpleasant than 66.

The WWB path is next to a 10 lane expressway, the PBLs and sharrow Army Navy Drive path are next to 10 (soon to be 11) lanes of I-395 with no sound wall, and the Washington Blvd path is next to a 6 lane expressway. All of these are used modestly and in proportion to their usefulness for getting around. Better connected bike paths get more usage, which is the most important thing for the success of the I-66 path.

For clarification, I'm not advocating for this bad design on I-66, but I would put safety and connectivity of a path above comfort and pleasantry in projecting usage. Despite a less than ideal design, this is still a major improvement over riding in traffic on 40+mph roads or on the sidewalk of 6-8 lane roads.

scoot
11-05-2018, 08:29 AM
The WWB path is next to a 10 lane expressway, the PBLs and sharrow Army Navy Drive path are next to 10 (soon to be 11) lanes of I-395 with no sound wall, and the Washington Blvd path is next to a 6 lane expressway.

In none of these cases is there a sound wall outside the path, trapping the noise / exhaust / debris on the trail. With no place for these things to dissipate, the riding environment will be MUCH worse on the future I-66 as designed.

The Custis Trail detour earlier this year between Oak and Quinn offered a nicer riding surface, but it was noticeably unpleasant due to exhaust and noise being trapped above the bike route.

dasgeh
11-05-2018, 08:33 AM
The WWB path is next to a 10 lane expressway, the PBLs and sharrow Army Navy Drive path are next to 10 (soon to be 11) lanes of I-395 with no sound wall, and the Washington Blvd path is next to a 6 lane expressway. All of these are used modestly and in proportion to their usefulness for getting around. Better connected bike paths get more usage, which is the most important thing for the success of the I-66 path.


Army Navy Drive is at a different elevation from the highway. The Custis is only beside the highway for short stints, and then it is often at a (slightly) different elevation. The existing 27 trail is uncomfortable and, imo, underused given it's usefulness. I know plenty of people who take the MVT to the CC connector, or even Pentagon Roads instead of taking the 27 trail. The new Washington Blvd trail isn't open yet, but is not nearly as long (less than 1/2 mile, maybe more like 1/4 actually against the highway).

For a short distance, this design wouldn't be fatal. But there's a point at which it will be. IIRC, the next-to-the-highway portion isn't really 4 un-interrupted miles, but 1 or 2 miles at a time. I suspect 1 mile is too long, but we'll see.

ginacico
11-05-2018, 08:38 AM
the PBLs and sharrow Army Navy Drive path are next to 10 (soon to be 11) lanes of I-395 with no sound wall

FYI, adding a sound wall along Army Navy Drive is in Transurban's imminent plan for widening I-395.

lordofthemark
11-05-2018, 08:45 AM
The WWB path is next to a 10 lane expressway, the PBLs and sharrow Army Navy Drive path are next to 10 (soon to be 11) lanes of I-395 with no sound wall, and the Washington Blvd path is next to a 6 lane expressway. All of these are used modestly and in proportion to their usefulness for getting around. Better connected bike paths get more usage, which is the most important thing for the success of the I-66 path.

For clarification, I'm not advocating for this bad design on I-66, but I would put safety and connectivity of a path above comfort and pleasantry in projecting usage. Despite a less than ideal design, this is still a major improvement over riding in traffic on 40+mph roads or on the sidewalk of 6-8 lane roads.

I am, in the end, glad that this will be there. I think its benefits as a new route for people on bikes will be positive. I don't think it will end up converted to general travel lanes. While I might have been worried that light usage would reflect badly on the cause of adding trails, I think we have inoculated against that precisely by pointing out all the limits of this trail.

I do think though, that comfort and pleasantness have a big impact on total MUT usage. Important parts of the constituency for MUTs are "recreational walkers", dog walkers, runners (some will put connectivity over aesthetics, but I doubt all will) slow recreational riders, etc. I suspect this trail will be used by transportation riders, by fast recreational riders, and by a subset of runners. And that will pretty much be it. That may actually make it more comfortable for fast riders (because there will be few walkers to pass) but it will do less for the total trail community than it might have done.

Steve O
11-05-2018, 11:48 AM
Despite a less than ideal design, this is still a major improvement over riding in traffic on 40+mph roads or on the sidewalk of 6-8 lane roads.

That is an extremely low bar.

n18
11-05-2018, 04:14 PM
I will probably use the new trial heavily, since I am in Fairfax, even maybe just for rubbing it in. Cars exhaust is not that of a big difference than what you experience with roads with bike lanes, since you are next to cars anyway. Noise is higher, but the biggest issue maybe road debris. I think there are many would be cyclists in Fairfax that would start cycling since the new trial offers more options, and there will be more demand for better infrastructure after it opens.

However, there should be some social media/news campaign(or better yet, banners over I-66 bridges) directing athletes who drive(who would be new cyclists) to a specific educational site or forum like this one, so they become aware of any issues before getting something too big, not allowed on some trials, or not the best product for the planned commute. One example, SolarBikeCar bought something before becoming aware of this forum, and instead of being hailed for going green, and making a healthier choice, he was vilified. I see this as a communication failure.

So prepare for the Fairfax Wave. It will be slow at first, but it's coming!

mstone
11-05-2018, 07:44 PM
In none of these cases is there a sound wall outside the path, trapping the noise / exhaust / debris on the trail. With no place for these things to dissipate, the riding environment will be MUCH worse on the future I-66 as designed.

The debris issue is huge--the plows will shoot wheel covers, mufflers, bumpers, smart cars, etc., over the modesty wall, and VDOT will never come through to clean off the trail.

reji
11-06-2018, 10:51 AM
As a result of feedback from bicycling advocates and surrounding communities, recent design changes incorporate a taller, 50-inch-high concrete barrier to separate the shared use path when it is on the highway side of the noise wall. This is similar to the barrier that separates the trail from the roadway on the Capital Beltway's Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

Sooooo, how helpful will a 50" concrete barrier be in this scenario, VDOT? https://www.eventbrite.com/e/incident-management-open-house-tickets-38465028937

18550

huskerdont
11-06-2018, 12:50 PM
In fairness, the Jersey wall in the picture is likely a 32-inch Jersey wall. I just finished working on a report showing crash testing of semis with concrete barriers protecting bridge piers, and there is more protection from a 42-in. or 50-in. barrier. With a 42-in. barrier, a rider on the trail is only likely to be killed by the edge of the truck trailer as it leans over the wall (some testing showed some trailers extending as much as 9.5 feet past the barrier line for a 42 in. barrier!) There were limited data for 50 in., but generally trucks stayed on the other side of the barrier at that height, although the truck could still potentially roll over on the highway side of the barrier and allow the trailer contents to fly across. Hmm, much like pictured here. Safe! ;)

Of course, I'm no engineer, so don't ride the trail based on anything posted here.

Don't get me wrong, I would definitely ride this trail if it improved my commute, but that's about it. How good are helmets at protecting riders from flying hubcaps?

reji
11-06-2018, 02:23 PM
In fairness, the Jersey wall in the picture is likely a 32-inch Jersey wall. I just finished working on a report showing crash testing of semis with concrete barriers protecting bridge piers, and there is more protection from a 42-in. or 50-in. barrier. With a 42-in. barrier, a rider on the trail is only likely to be killed by the edge of the truck trailer as it leans over the wall (some testing showed some trailers extending as much as 9.5 feet past the barrier line for a 42 in. barrier!) There were limited data for 50 in., but generally trucks stayed on the other side of the barrier at that height, although the truck could still potentially roll over on the highway side of the barrier and allow the trailer contents to fly across. Hmm, much like pictured here. Safe! ;)

Of course, I'm no engineer, so don't ride the trail based on anything posted here.

Don't get me wrong, I would definitely ride this trail if it improved my commute, but that's about it. How good are helmets at protecting riders from flying hubcaps?

Yeah, it didn't look like it was a 50" barrier though it looks like even a 50" wouldn't stop those stumps from being hurled over the jersey wall. I just found it ironic that it was a VDOT picture.

lordofthemark
11-06-2018, 03:23 PM
The debris issue is huge--the plows will shoot wheel covers, mufflers, bumpers, smart cars, etc., over the modesty wall, and VDOT will never come through to clean off the trail.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechitza#Proper_height_of_synagogue_mechitza

Clearly VDOT needs to become ultraOrthodox.