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lordofthemark
04-29-2018, 12:19 PM
The City of Alexandria has put up a web survey soliciting feedback on the upcoming street repavings. One major one coming up in FY 2019 is the repaving of Seminary Road from I395 to Quaker Lane. This is your chance to suggest how the City could make it safer for pedestrians, people on bikes, and motorists.

Here is a link to the survey form (it is for all the repavings, though this post is specifically to remind folks to respond wrt to Seminary) (note, the survey closes on May 4th)

https://survey.alexandriava.gov/s3/CompleteStreetsRepaving

Feel free of course to give your own ideas. However BPAC working with community members, has come up with some suggested responses and ideas, which follow:

Survey suggestions for Seminary Road:

For Question #6, please consider checking these three issues:

- People drive too fast on my street [85th percentile speeds are 36-38 mph with 25 mph speed limits]

- It is hard to cross at intersections without a stop sign or traffic signal

- It is difficult to bike on my street

For Question #7, consider including

Add new or upgrade existing crosswalks
Improve access to bus stops
Add or improve bicycle facilities
For Comments, consider including the following:

- Re-engineer Seminary Road to achieve vehicle speeds of 25 mph or less

- Change the school speed limit in front of FCH Middle school to 15 mph (it is currently 25 mph)

- The section of Seminary Road from I395 to Pickett Street is UNSAFE - right in front of the FCH Middle School. Make this area safe for people to cross the street to get to school and access bus stops.

- Eliminate the slip lane from N. Howard Street to Seminary Road for pedestrian safety

- Move the west-bound bus stop at N. Howard Street closer to the intersection so people can more directly cross Seminary Road in a crosswalk.

- Add Bike lanes on Seminary Road, not just for people who bike, but for calming traffic and making it safer and more pleasant to walk along and across Seminary Road.

- Provide crossing safety improvements such as pedestrian refuge islands where needed, for example across Seminary Road at Fort Williams Parkway to enable safe crossing access to both the Post Office and the bus stop on the north side of Seminary Road.

- Make the intersection at N. Quaker Lane and Seminary Road safe for school children west of N. Quaker Lane to walk and bike to Douglas MacArthur and/or Bishop Ireton Schools.

CaseyKane50
05-27-2018, 01:58 PM
The City of Alexandria will be hosting an open house to discuss the complete streets project for Seminary Road and to solicit feedback from the community regarding their concerns. The open house will be on May 29 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Beth El Hebrew Congregation, 3830 Seminary Road.

Information about the Seminary Road Complete Streets project can be found here. (https://www.alexandriava.gov/tes/info/default.aspx?id=103393)

From the project page.


Seminary Road is a key corridor in the City of Alexandria’s transportation network, and is scheduled for repaving in the near future. The City's Complete Streets Policy highlights that staff should use repaving as an opportunity to consider and incorporate changes to enhance the safety and convenience of all users. The Seminary Road Complete Streets project will work with the community and stakeholders to determine roadway improvements for Seminary Road, from Quaker Lane to Kenmore Avenue, and at North Howard Street, where staff was awarded grant funding to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility.

If you live or work in Alexandria or use the streets, you are encouraged to come to the meeting to ensure that your views are heard.

Judd
04-04-2019, 08:57 AM
TLDR: take the Seminary Road Survey and support option 3 for a safer Seminary Road for all users: https://www.research.net/r/AlexandriaVA-SeminaryProject

Vehicle speeds on Seminary Road are unsafe; 22 motor vehicles have crashed here in just the last three years. Additionally, there is no buffer between people on sidewalks and high speed traffic, and there are too few safe crossings. If you have ever driven, walked or bikes on Seminary Road you already know how stressful and dangerous it is no matter what mode you use.

Alexandria Transportation staff is evaluating options for Seminary Road east of N. Howard Street. I support Alternative 3 because it will reduce excessive vehicle speeds and provide safe pedestrian crossings, without causing congestion.

Would you Take the Survey (https://www.research.net/r/AlexandriaVA-SeminaryProject) and support Alternative 3 for Seminary Road east of N. Howard Street? Alternative 3 will protect people who walk, bike or drive, and just make a safer and more livable corridor for everyone. It is the best option to make Seminary Road a safe corridor for all road users and will not add to congestion. The survey closes April 10th.

https://www.research.net/r/AlexandriaVA-SeminaryProject

More information below:

City staff unveiled and explained alternatives for Seminary Road east of N. Howard Street on March 25th. Alternative 3 offers a configuration that will reduce excessive vehicle speeds and provide safe pedestrian crossings, without adding to congestion.

Alternative 3 improves Safety for Everyone

Vehicle speeds have remained high in spite of enforcement, with police making 945 traffic stops in 2018 along this corridor. Alternative 3 includes

· Narrower travel lanes to discourage speeding.

· Center turn lane for turning vehicles to maintain steady and safe traffic flow.

· Signal timing adjustments to maintain corridor travel times similar or better than existing conditions.

Review the Plans and Weigh In
Alternative 3 provides safe accommodations for all, while not adding to congestion. Go HERE for more information and Take the Survey. (The survey closes April 10th.)

https://www.research.net/r/AlexandriaVA-SeminaryProject


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Judd
04-09-2019, 10:28 PM
Wednesday, April 10th is the last day to take the Seminary Road Survey. If you haven’t taken it yet please do and support Option 3.

https://www.research.net/r/AlexandriaVA-SeminaryProject


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buschwacker
04-10-2019, 12:14 PM
Things are getting heated on the GGWash post. Lots of locals weighing in against it - it would be great to have some counterbalance from members of this forum :)

https://ggwash.org/view/71656/seminary-road-in-alexandria-safer-infrastructure-for-people-bicycling-and-walking

KWL
04-28-2019, 08:13 PM
Though the Seminary Road survey has closed, there is one more chance to be heard on the redesign. While nearly 500 survey respondents supported Alternative 3, 684 supported Alternative 1 with no bike lanes. That alternative should properly be labeled "Do Nothing." It is important to let the Alexandria mayor and city council members know if you support the best solution for cyclists, pedestrians and yes, even drivers - Alternative 3. You can send a note using this Alexandria Call.Click.Connect link: http://bit.ly/MayorandCouncil which directs your comments to the mayor, vice mayor and city council members. A personal note is best (I noted I have been a cycling Alexandria resident for over 40 years) and the two paragraphs below may be included and modified as desired.

By adopting a Complete Streets Policy in 2011, the City of Alexandria directed transportation planners to design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. The section of Seminary Road east of Howard Street is ideally suited for the FHWA’s proven approach, a four-to-three road diet, since this section of roadway has excess capacity: motor vehicle traffic is already constrained to one lane in each direction at entrances to the project area, enabling installation of safety features such as center left-turn lanes, pedestrian refuge islands and buffer space/bike lanes without adding to congestion.

Transportation planners know that a properly engineered four-to-three road diet is the right solution for roads like this section of Seminary Road. It worked well on King Street and will work well on Seminary Road. Ask City Staff to select a solution with center left turn lanes, pedestrian refuge islands (so we only have to cross one lane at a time) and bike lanes. Please apply city policies and Federal Highway guidelines to make Seminary Road safe for everyone as soon as possible!


I submitted my comments today. Reach out this week if you want to be heard before the final decision is made.

buschwacker
04-29-2019, 11:50 AM
I did the same last week via Call.Click.Connect, but heard that the more personal the better, so on the way home I also delivered a hand-written letter to the mayor's office supporting alternative 3. It was easy and I hope others can do the same.

Judd
05-09-2019, 10:10 AM
Please sign the WABA petition asking Alexandria to implement its Complete Streets policy on Seminary Road and implement a Road Diet. The Road Diet will improve walking on Seminary Road by providing shorter crossing distances and refuge spaces. It will also make biking better by installing a buffered bike lane. Seminary Road is plagued by excessive speeds which makes it unsafe for all road users.

It will take about 20 seconds of your time.

https://www.waba.org/blog/2019/05/driving-advocates-mount-petition-campaign-opposing-safer-streets-in-alexandria/?fbclid=IwAR0m4yZhglLRMzpdSginCjnuIMk4UpX8dImxRxhs ASuR0hBvvrIAxXUmS8E

KWL
05-09-2019, 01:04 PM
Please sign the WABA petition asking Alexandria to implement its Complete Streets policy on Seminary Road and implement a Road Diet. The Road Diet will improve walking on Seminary Road by providing shorter crossing distances and refuge spaces. It will also make biking better by installing a buffered bike lane. Seminary Road is plagued by excessive speeds which makes it unsafe for all road users.

It will take about 20 seconds of your time.

https://www.waba.org/blog/2019/05/driving-advocates-mount-petition-campaign-opposing-safer-streets-in-alexandria/?fbclid=IwAR0m4yZhglLRMzpdSginCjnuIMk4UpX8dImxRxhs ASuR0hBvvrIAxXUmS8E

Did this and tried to rope in all my FB family & friends. One friend lives in the west end, has a bike and doesn't ride it because there is no good, safe way to get to the east end of Alexandria. He signed the WABA petition and then emailed the mayor and city council with his concerns. I need to buy him a beer.

Judd
05-09-2019, 03:02 PM
Did this and tried to rope in all my FB family & friends. One friend lives in the west end, has a bike and doesn't ride it because there is no good, safe way to get to the east end of Alexandria. He signed the WABA petition and then emailed the mayor and city council with his concerns. I need to buy him a beer.

Second beer is on me.


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laurenist
05-10-2019, 01:49 PM
I'll throw in a beer--does that mean we move Monday's meeting to Port City?! As a new West Ender (moved from Arlington), it's pretty frustrating to see the opposition to bike facilities on Seminary especially when the arguments are "I don't see bikes there!" when a) that's because it's not comfortable for a lot of people who would be interested in biking, and b) me and my SO are on Seminary/Janneys at least three times a week.

Judd
05-10-2019, 02:37 PM
I'll throw in a beer--does that mean we move Monday's meeting to Port City?! As a new West Ender (moved from Arlington), it's pretty frustrating to see the opposition to bike facilities on Seminary especially when the arguments are "I don't see bikes there!" when a) that's because it's not comfortable for a lot of people who would be interested in biking, and b) me and my SO are on Seminary/Janneys at least three times a week.

I’d be up for a Port City meeting. I was going to pitch Jim on replacing one of the monthly meetings with a social open house event instead....


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KWL
05-30-2019, 01:27 PM
STAFF RECOMMENDATION 5/30/2019 (https://www.alexandriava.gov/tes/info/default.aspx?id=103393&fbclid=IwAR2xIzHKKrAr_rbL57XH8xYzJwAM1hbiWBIoozdCb 119Ov6VRcFBO9if0HI)

Guess I'll need to take the shared lane when I ride Seminary Road. That is going to displease a few drivers.

laurenist
05-30-2019, 02:50 PM
Hope they don't mind being stopped when I have to turn left off Seminary because they protested an alternative with a center turn lane!

lordofthemark
05-30-2019, 03:22 PM
20111

dasgeh
05-30-2019, 04:47 PM
Doesn't painting sharrows automatically revoke Vision Zero policy?

peterw_diy
05-31-2019, 07:59 AM
I hope someone was able to attend last night. If so, did City staff explain the rationale behind that center section using seven foot buffers plus sharrows on the travel lanes? ISTM if you have seven feet between the main travel lane and the curb, you'd want to make that a painted bike lane. The proposed design looks more expensive (in addition to painting the lines at the edge of the main travel lane and the buffer and the bike logos, it requires lots of diagonal striping), more dangerous (advocating mixing modes of travel into the same lane), slower (when folks like Ken & I take the lane), and more dangerous (as motorists swerve into the other travel lane to pass us).

Is there some engineering guidance from AASHTO or some other organization explaining when you'd choose a no-man's-land buffer plus sharrows over a normal painted lane?

I just don't understand that part of the recommended design at all.

zsionakides
05-31-2019, 08:02 AM
Doesn't painting sharrows automatically revoke Vision Zero policy?

Is the city even following it's own policies in this design. If they aren't, that would be the strongest place to start. Staff can try and accommodate outspoken critics of bike/pedestrian infrastructure, but if Vision Zero or Complete Streets policy state otherwise, this wouldn't meet those policies.

lordofthemark
05-31-2019, 08:11 AM
I hope someone was able to attend last night. If so, did City staff explain the rationale behind that center section using seven foot buffers plus sharrows on the travel lanes? ISTM if you have seven feet between the main travel lane and the curb, you'd want to make that a painted bike lane. The proposed design looks more expensive (in addition to painting the lines at the edge of the main travel lane and the buffer and the bike logos, it requires lots of diagonal striping), more dangerous (advocating mixing modes of travel into the same lane), slower (when folks like Ken & I take the lane), and more dangerous (as motorists swerve into the turn lane to pass us).

Is there some engineering guidance from AASHTO or some other organization explaining when you'd choose a no-man's-land buffer plus sharrows over a normal painted lane?

I just don't understand that part of the recommended design at all.

There is no sidewalk part of the way there (the uphill side) . The City has a policy to fill sidewalk gaps. This is a priority gap to fill (one of the few in the City on a street with volumes this high) They can call the striped buffer "filling the gap" (They say that they want to build a real sidewalk someday, but that will take over a million dollars the City does not have at the moment) Makes less sense on the other side where a sidewalk exists, but since that's downhill the sharrows is not quite as unattractive as on the uphill side. Oh, and by not calling them bike lanes, they can hope to assuage the claim that this is about bike lanes and the evil bike lobby. The disadvantage, in my view, is that when people ride in them (as they will) there will be no treatments at intersections and transitions - those are not always great in the City (what good DOES a "bike lane ending" sign really do?) but here we will have none. (I guess one reason to not call it a "bike lane" is because where the road diet ends, at St Stephens, the transition to the sharrows WILL be awkward, and this way they can avoid blame for the transition, by claiming the sharrows was the bike route for the whole way) Also the legal status is not clear (at least to me). If a person on a bike and a walker or runner have a conflict, will this be treated as a sidewalk where the ped always has ROW? Will dockless escooters (legal in bike lanes, not on sidewalks per the MOUs) be legal in these lanes?

So er yeah, its convoluted. I still prefer option 3. But you asked for an explanation. There is a video of the whole meeting here https://www.facebook.com/TESAlexandriaVA/

The next step will be ANOTHER community survey - link coming soon.

lordofthemark
05-31-2019, 08:17 AM
Is the city even following it's own policies in this design. If they aren't, that would be the strongest place to start. Staff can try and accommodate outspoken critics of bike/pedestrian infrastructure, but if Vision Zero or Complete Streets policy state otherwise, this wouldn't meet those policies.


The critics are suggesting all these policies (and also the bike/ped chapter of the transportation master plan, and the sustainability plan) have been passed by stealth and with the support of the evil bike lobby. When someone from T&ES mentioned that the City has a goal to reduce VMT and auto commute mode share, about a dozen voices shouted "why?" Fun times.

(note the outspoken critics of bike/ped infra do NOT like the City proposal - it still makes too many changes to the road for their taste, and it does not keep Seminary 4 lanes for the entire length. The politics as this goes to Traffic and Parking Board, and then to Council, will be interesting)

lordofthemark
05-31-2019, 08:27 AM
I hope someone was able to attend last night. If so, did City staff explain the rationale behind that center section using seven foot buffers plus sharrows on the travel lanes? ISTM if you have seven feet between the main travel lane and the curb, you'd want to make that a painted bike lane. The proposed design looks more expensive (in addition to painting the lines at the edge of the main travel lane and the buffer and the bike logos, it requires lots of diagonal striping), more dangerous (advocating mixing modes of travel into the same lane), slower (when folks like Ken & I take the lane), and more dangerous (as motorists swerve into the other travel lane to pass us).

Is there some engineering guidance from AASHTO or some other organization explaining when you'd choose a no-man's-land buffer plus sharrows over a normal painted lane?

I just don't understand that part of the recommended design at all.

Re guidance. Standard FHWA guidance would have suggested a 4 to 3 road diet with a center turn lane the entire way from Howard to Quaker (probably all the from Jordan, but there the volumes are closer to where FHWA says the road diet is marginal, and we don't yet know the impact of the I395 HOT lane opening) But it allows for differences based on local conditions. Which T&ES chooses to read as including community sentiment.

As for the issues of cyclists slowing traffic by taking the lane uphill, I think they do not expect there to be many cyclists. Certainly the opposition assumes no bike lanes = no cyclists.

lordofthemark
05-31-2019, 09:13 AM
Doesn't painting sharrows automatically revoke Vision Zero policy?

Not on a neighborhood bikeway, like Wilkes Street, where it is a good treatment.

But this is an arterial (as the antis keep pointing out) where traffic routinely goes 35 to 40MPH, and the T&ES proposal includes nothing to address speed west bound, and nothing to address speed west of St Stephens.

So certainly not in line with some standard or other (I don't think our VZ gets that far in the nuts and bolts of bike infra)

The Transportation Master Plan DOES call this an "enhanced bicycle corridor" - the form of infra is not specified, but certainly does not mean sharrows.

KWL
05-31-2019, 10:03 AM
...(note the outspoken critics of bike/ped infra do NOT like the City proposal...)Yeah, I figured the current proposal would please no one.

zsionakides
05-31-2019, 02:50 PM
The critics are suggesting all these policies (and also the bike/ped chapter of the transportation master plan, and the sustainability plan) have been passed by stealth and with the support of the evil bike lobby. When someone from T&ES mentioned that the City has a goal to reduce VMT and auto commute mode share, about a dozen voices shouted "why?" Fun times.

(note the outspoken critics of bike/ped infra do NOT like the City proposal - it still makes too many changes to the road for their taste, and it does not keep Seminary 4 lanes for the entire length. The politics as this goes to Traffic and Parking Board, and then to Council, will be interesting)

Regardless if the critics like/dislike the laws, policies, and master plans, those are what planners are supposed to follow, not what some critics bring up as disliking current policy. If the critics don't like the policy and laws on the books they need to advocate for changing those. In the meantime transportation planners need to follow current policy. If they don't, that's how bigger projects become tied up in court or otherwise.

If the city's policy is to reduce VMT and have complete streets, then the design should be supporting that, which doesn't appear to be the case here.

peterw_diy
06-01-2019, 10:56 AM
There is no sidewalk part of the way there (the uphill side) . The City has a policy to fill sidewalk gaps. This is a priority gap to fill (one of the few in the City on a street with volumes this high) They can call the striped buffer "filling the gap"

Thanks much for the details. The illustration suggests the striped buffer will be "protected" on one side. Is that with the cheap plastic bollards of the sort we see around CaBi stations that are often knocked over with no evidence of damage to the car that knocked them down? Is there some authority like FHWA or AASHTO that blesses this treatment as a substitute for a sidewalk? ISTM it'd be better to make it safe for people to cross the street to the side where there's a normal sidewalk with a 6" concrete curb as protection from distracted motorists.

mstone
06-04-2019, 09:02 AM
a 6" concrete curb as protection from distracted motorists.

A 6" concrete curb offers no protection from distracted motorists. In general, pedestrian safety is based on "it's unlikely that a pedestrian will happen to be standing there when a car runs off the road". (This is because there are a lot of regs about protecting motorists from themselves, but very few protecting pedestrians from motorists. Priorities.) Every once in a while you'll see a spot where for some reason someone decided pedestrians needed protection, and then between the pedestrians and the road there will be a very substantial jersey wall. This is rare. In many places you'll see a combination like "curb, then sidewalk, then guardrail". Why do you see that combination? Because there are regs about making sure that cars don't run off the road and down a hill. Now, I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader as to why it's ok for the pedestrians to be between the road and the thing that keeps cars from falling down the hill.

For fun, google "car runs into dunkin". It's amazing (depressing?) how common that is, and every one of those cars ran over something to get there. Cars hit things other than dunkin donuts, but they're harder to google.

TL;DR: don't hold your breath waiting for better protection from cars.

Steve O
06-04-2019, 09:43 AM
For fun, google "car runs into dunkin". It's amazing (depressing?) how common that is, and every one of those cars ran over something to get there. Cars hit things other than dunkin donuts, but they're harder to google.


"Car runs into Starbucks" also has a nice yield.

I have noted this in the past:
Protection for drivers:
20121

"Protection" for people on bikes:
20122

peterw_diy
06-09-2019, 08:55 PM
Yet another chance to tell Alexandria staff that you think the new "hybrid" plan is inadequate: the City has a survey open until 11:59pm on Monday, June 10.

https://www.research.net/r/AlexandriaVA-SeminaryRdPublicComment

KWL
06-10-2019, 08:51 AM
Done.