View Full Version : Intersection of 4 Mile Run trail and S. Shirlington Road signage

11-07-2011, 07:51 PM
In what is probably the most dangerous intersection in the county for bicyclists and pedestrians, ironically enough, the county has placed a 'Arlington - Bicycle Friendly Community 2003-2011' sign that partially obscures the view from the intersection looking left toward oncoming traffic when heading west. Suggest the sign and others nearby be moved somewhere else to marginally improve the safety at this dangerous location. Thank you.

11-07-2011, 08:37 PM
IMHO, the Four Mile Run/Shirlington intersection is no where near the most dangerous intersection in Arlington. Try Lynn and Lee for that title. I ride through the "Weenie Beanie" intersection two or more times daily, and to me, it seems to have gotten much, much safer since they installed the median island, the button to start the flashing lights, and the wider sidewalk on the west side making turns easier.

In fact, now I think it's one of the easiest intersections, especially if you punch the button for the flashing lights and are willing to be a little patient and/or to pause on the median when necessary. While a few motorists whiz through, I've been pleasantly surprised at how courteous the vast majority have been about stopping. And even when there's quite a bit of traffic there, a safe opening almost always appears pretty quickly, due to the timing of the lights. In those few rare instances where a truck or large vehicle in one lane stops and I can't see past to the other lane, I just wave the driver on and wait a few seconds for a better opportunity. So in my experience, it's way, way better than it used to be. Maybe being highly visible in a screaming yellow (or hot pink) jacket helps there.

Nevertheless, I agree with you that signs shouldn't impede visibility. I hadn't really noticed that, maybe because I usually come to a full stop before crossing there, especially heading west. Will check it out next time.

11-07-2011, 09:03 PM
Yes, agree it has improved. I ride there daily as well. I suppose my main issue is in regards to the the larger area of the intersection that does not convey a sense of predictability or security. In addition to the car problem, there are drivers exiting the inspection facility and alley behind the facility, current construction close to the W&OD start point, and a very sharp turn on the trail itself prior to the intersection. A portion of drivers stop at the intersection for bicyclists because the majority of the time, traffic is sufficiently backed up to make stopping inevitable. Or perhaps with the median and higher bicyclist traffic volume, greater eye contact is possible which leads to recognition of humanity-just be careful of the cars whizzing by in the lanes adjacent to the kind souls who actually stop, particularly in the lanes leading away from 395.

11-07-2011, 09:20 PM
I agree, it's a good place to be cautious. I'm also always looking for people coming out of the parking lot of the big building on the left. You really have to look carefully there, because they are sort of hidden by a guard rail until the last minute.

I also tend to stay away from the main intersection near the service station, which might be more convenient for those taking the WO&D west. I think it's a little easier to cross at the mid-street crosswalk where Four Mile Run trail comes in, but I head left from there towards Shirlington, and so avoid the construction mess on the sidewalk to the right.