View Full Version : TONIGHT (Wed) - Mtg. re: Old Dominion Drive - Bike Accommodations Left Out

Mark Blacknell
06-13-2012, 04:11 PM
I'm posting an edited email from Allen Muchnick, whom all of us should thank for the attention he pays to cycling in Arlington:

See the end of this message for the notice about tonight's meeting on the County's proposed reconstruction of Old Dominion Dr, between North Glebe Rd and the County line. This project would construct curbs, gutters, and sidewalks but not provide any on-road bicycling accommodation.

Policy #2 on page 4 of the Arlington Master Transportation Plan – Bicycle Element –July 2008 states the following (emphasis added):

"Policy 2 (2): Provide high‐quality bicycling facilities as part of all street improvement projects.Use marked bicycle lanes or shared –use lane symbols (“sharrows”) on arterial streets that provide access to commercial centers, schools and government facilities".

Below is my June 7 email to County staff which has so far gone unanswered. I'd appreciate some support from Arlington bicyclists tonight in my request that this project provide at least 14-foot wide curb lanes as a bicycling accommodation.


Allen Muchnick


-----Original Message-----
RE: Williamsburg Blvd Green Street and the Old Dominion Dr Pedestrian Safety Improvements Public Meeting
Thursday, June 7, 2012 9:24 PM
From: "Allen Muchnick" <allenmuchnick@yahoo.com>
To Elizabeth Diggs" <Ediggs@arlingtonva.us>
Cc:"Mark Blacknell" <mb@blacknell.net>, "David Goodman" <Dgoodman@arlingtonva.us>, "Richard Viola" <Rviola@arlingtonva.us>, "Daniel Reinhard" <Dreinhard@arlingtonva.us>, "Jeffrey Fasceski" <Jfasceski@arlingtonva.us>

Ms Diggs,

Thank you for your reply. While I appreciate the major ROW and topography constraints and the priority for providing continuous sidewalks on both sides of the street, and I agree that at least intermittent 13-foot curb lanes would somewhat facilitate motorist overtaking of bicyclists on the roadway, this project should at least minimally accommodate bicycling on the roadway by providing continuous 14-foot wide curb lanes, as *long* called for in Arlington County's bicycle transportation plans.

I do NOT agree that N Glebe Road, which diverts northeast to Chain Bridge, and/or George Mason Dr, which terminates along this segment of Old Dominion Dr just one block north of Williamsburg Blvd and requires a long sideways detour along Yorktown Blvd from locations south and east of the Old Dominion Dr and Glebe Rd intersection, are acceptable alternatives to accommodating bicycling with at least 14-foot curb lanes in this project.

Moreover, the notion that on-road bicycling accommodation along this segment of Old Dominion Dr would have little or no independent utility is false. Old Dominion Dr connects to at least five streets--Franklin Park Rd, Valleywood Rd, Vermont Ave, Massachusetts Ave, and Park Rd--a mere 1000 feet north of the County line. By following Vermont Ave > Park Rd > Old Chesterbrook Rd (directly across Kirby Rd), bicyclists can directly reach downtown McLean and many other McLean-area locations via a network of low-traffic streets along a route that closely parallels Old Dominion Dr in Fairfax County.

Thus, by inadequately accommodating roadway bicycling in this project, the County would permanently establish a more than one-mile gap in the regional bicycling network which is FIVE TIMES longer than the 1000-foot gap in Fairfax County between the Arlington line and Valleywood Rd.

Finally, it's untrue that a current lack of VDOT and Fairfax County plans to improve Old Dominion Dr for bicycling justifies not providing on-road bicycling accommodations in the current project. Accommodating bicycling in this project would provide a strong impetus for extending this accommodation into Fairfax County, especially for the 1000 feet up to Valleywood Rd, while failing to provide this accommodation would pretty much ensure that no accommodation on the adjoining Fairfax County segment will ever be provided.

In my view, a failure to accommodate on-road bicycling in this project violates the County's complete streets policy. How feasible would it be to redesign this segment of Old Dominion Drive with a continuous (or at least substantial) 2-lane, 28-foot wide roadway, exclusive of the concrete gutters and curbs?

Thank you,

Allen Muchnick

Williamsburg Boulevard Green Street and the Old Dominion Drive Pedestrian Safety Improvements Public Meeting
Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Location: Williamsburg Intermediate School Cafeteria, 3600 North Harrison Street

County staff will provide updates and answer questions regarding the Williamsburg Boulevard Green Street and the Old Dominion Drive Pedestrian Safety Improvements projects.

The Williamsburg Boulevard Green Street is planned for Williamsburg Boulevard between Old Dominion Drive and 35th Street North. The final design and a potential construction schedule for the median improvement project will be presented at the meeting. Planned improvements include a new median curb, improved intersections, new canopy trees between Old Dominion Drive and 33rd Road and between 34th Road and 35th Street North, and two 1,000 square foot rain gardens between 33rd Road North and 34th Road North. Questions or concerns please contact: Christin Jolicoeur at 703-228-3588 (tel:703-228-3588) or cjolicoeur@arlingtonva.us.

Old Dominion Drive Pedestrian Improvement Project – Phase II will include new sidewalks on both sides of the street, curb, gutter, and installation of a storm water system, upgrades to transit stops, traffic signals, new street lights, and street trees. The project will begin at approximately 29th Street North and continues to 37th Street North and includes spot improvements at the intersection of North Edison Street and 38th Street North. For additional information please visit our website at:www.arlingtonva.us/departments/EnvironmentalServices/ProjectsAndPlanning/capprojects/OldDominionDr.aspx (http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/EnvironmentalServices/ProjectsAndPlanning/capprojects/OldDominionDr.aspx). Question or concerns please contact: Elizabeth Diggs at 703-228-3202 (tel:703-228-3202) or ediggs@arlingtonva.us.