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Chris Eatough
12-23-2009, 12:08 PM
Does anyone know if there is snow plowing on the bike paths in our area? I'm particularly interesting in the Capital Crescent Trail. Has anyone ridden the CCT since we got all the snow?

jagged
01-12-2010, 08:11 PM
This year I think the county has done a better job at plowing the Custis Trail. It was actually passable a few days after the big storm; that is better than prior years.

Unregistered
01-12-2010, 09:35 PM
in the falls church section they do not remove any snow. what is condition of curtis trail? is it very icey? anxious to ride again.

Tim Kelley
01-13-2010, 12:07 PM
The Custis trail is just about all clear and the Capital Crescent is looking much better but still has stretches of ice patches. Hopefully the weather in the upper 40s the next couple days will finally get all the trails in the region clear!

Joe Chapline
01-14-2010, 08:11 AM
Article from Gazette.Net (http://www.gazette.net/stories/01132010/kensnew215305_32547.php) January 13, 2010

SwimmingLunaRider
01-15-2010, 03:01 AM
How is the W&OD from Columbia Pike to Lee Hwy? I haven't ridden outdoors in too long and miss it. Must say that spending all these hours on the trainer with Coach Troy is paying off and by the time I hit the pavement again, I'll reap the rewards of the suffering!

mpcrider
02-18-2010, 09:53 AM
What is the Arlington County Government policy on bike trial clearing? Or is there one?

Darren B
02-18-2010, 10:11 AM
I wrote to the NPS, regarding the Mt. Vernon Trail (they own it, not Arlington Co). They do not plow, saying that they want to accomodate cross country skiers, and that the wooden bridges can't be plowed.

The cross country skier thing is bunk, since the trail is pockmarked with holes from where users are attempting to walk, ruining the tracks and rendering it pretty crappy for XCskiing. If they plowed a three-foot channel, walkers/bikers could use the cleared portion, and skiers would have the remainder untouched. Everybody wins. Not to mention the fact that a multi-use trail shouldn't try to accomodate every possible use if doing so excludes others, as they are doing now.

The bridge sections (of which there are none between my house in Pentagon City and the 14th Street Bridge, and there is also NO other bikable connection between those two points) could at least be snowblown with snowblower deck height set higher to prevent bridge damage. Had they done this, snowmelt would have made the trail passable by now.

But of course, they don't. The Parkway gets full treatment, because it is for transportation. But the MtV Trail gets neglected until the snow melts someday, and I am stuck riding the stupid train to work.

If you also think they are shirking their responsibilities to accomodate all users (including people with mobility disabilities) on their transportation facility, write to them.
http://www.nps.gov/NCR/sendmail.htm?o=%3B3%29%2B6JZ%2B%20NJR1J1JA%5B1%2AE J4%2E34J%5D2II%5F16%21%22X%0A&r=/gwmp/contacts.htm

Chris Eatough
02-18-2010, 12:08 PM
This is obviously a hot topic right now!
This much snow is presenting all kinds of problems, and there are some tricky issues regarding snow removal from our multi use paths, such as;

Snow removal equipment is still being used elsewhere (sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, school routes, neighborhoods)
Different organizations and jurisdictions manage different sections of our area trails
Narrow trails that require narrow vehicles for plowing
Small wooden footbridges that cannot be plowed
Cost/budgets

Usually nature takes care of any snow we get in a week or two. This is different. If we leave it to nature, the snow is going to last for well over a month.
BikeArlington would love to see some effort to get some trail sections cleared of snow, and we are doing what we can to pull the right people together to see what can be done. The trails are well used bike commuting routes, as well as important walking connections to transit, and they should be treated as such.
If anyone has any innovative ideas for this unusual situation, post them here!

Unregistered
02-19-2010, 07:28 AM
For the Arlington trails (Custis & W&OB), I would be willing to shovel.

Maybe volunteer shovel brigades could get the job done? Of course, the snow might be frozen solid now and impossible to remove w/standard snow shovels.

Steve O
02-21-2010, 09:17 PM
Here are some other places to look for information and thoughts on clearing the trails:
http://www.steveoffutt.com/2010/02/transforming-transportation-by.html
http://www.thewashcycle.com/ (Several posts)
http://www.jessdillman.com/arlington-residents-need-safe-pedestrian-trai

The key point I make is that trails that are significantly used as transportation facilities should be included in transportation budgets rather than recreational budgets and prioritized as such.

SJE
02-21-2010, 10:10 PM
[QUOTE=Darren B;160] " The Parkway gets full treatment, because it is for transportation. But the MtV Trail gets neglected until the snow melts someday, and I am stuck riding the stupid train to work."

The trail is ALSO for transportation: bike, walk, or whatever. The fact that it doesnt get cleared reflects a mindset that bikes are toys, and walking is only for exercise.

Tim Kelley
02-22-2010, 10:35 AM
Here are a few pictures of the Custis Trail taken this morning. Not only have the large piles at the intersections been removed, but the County was also able to clear the trail from Lynn St all the way up to Veitch Street. No more ice luge!

109 111 110 112 113

bikermark
02-22-2010, 01:36 PM
Bridges: Sidewalks on Key bridge are now open.
Connector path from Rosslyn to Roosevelt Island is still snow-covered. Parts of the path are starting to melt out, so this should open soon.

Getting through Arlington:
Key Blvd and Wilson Blvd are good, though cars are parking in the bike lane on Wilson, since the spaces are snowed in.
Big snow piles on Lee Highway in Rosslyn are gone now. Thanks Arlington Co!

Just161
02-23-2010, 09:50 AM
Just tried the Mt. Vernon Trail from 14th Street to Rosslyn this morning. Standing packed snow in big drifts for about 50% of the pavement. Required lots of walking. I bailed out at the Memorial Bridge, and went the rest of the way to Clarendon on streets through Georgetown, Key Bridge.

Custis Trail from Rosslyn to Veitch is in good shape - clear pavement narrow at points, but continuous. No walking.

Two big trees blown down on the Rock Creek/Georgetown path near the Watergate, requires portage-ing around.

Unregistered
02-23-2010, 03:15 PM
Is it walkable?

consularrider
02-23-2010, 03:56 PM
I wrote to the NPS, regarding the Mt. Vernon Trail (they own it, not Arlington Co). They do not plow, saying that they want to accomodate cross country skiers, and that the wooden bridges can't be plowed.

The cross country skier thing is bunk, since the trail is pockmarked with holes from where users are attempting to walk, ruining the tracks and rendering it pretty crappy for XCskiing. If they plowed a three-foot channel, walkers/bikers could use the cleared portion, and skiers would have the remainder untouched. Everybody wins. Not to mention the fact that a multi-use trail shouldn't try to accomodate every possible use if doing so excludes others, as they are doing now.

The bridge sections (of which there are none between my house in Pentagon City and the 14th Street Bridge, and there is also NO other bikable connection between those two points) could at least be snowblown with snowblower deck height set higher to prevent bridge damage. Had they done this, snowmelt would have made the trail passable by now.

But of course, they don't. The Parkway gets full treatment, because it is for transportation. But the MtV Trail gets neglected until the snow melts someday, and I am stuck riding the stupid train to work.

If you also think they are shirking their responsibilities to accomodate all users (including people with mobility disabilities) on their transportation facility, write to them.
http://www.nps.gov/NCR/sendmail.htm?o=%3B3%29%2B6JZ%2B%20NJR1J1JA%5B1%2AE J4%2E34J%5D2II%5F16%21%22X%0A&r=/gwmp/contacts.htm

I also think you have to remember that these trails are all multiuse trails, not soley bike trails. I am also a cross country skier and can assure you that during the December and February storms I have been out using the W&OD and 4 Mile Run Trails until the snow melted too much. Since I live almost right on both trails, I can also tell you that even as late as this weekend (February 21) I was seeing skiers using the trails.

It does not appear that any of the local jurisdictions even have snow removal equipment that would be appropriate for the trails or sidewalks. Clearly Arlington County has no plan to clear most of its own sidewalks and was asking area residencts to help get public walks cleared so the kids could get to school last week. I too would like the the NPS/NVPA/county/city/whatever to finally take responsibility to clear bike lanes after the snow stops instead of leaving a snow berm and to clear the trails once they are not skiable.

Nadine
02-23-2010, 10:06 PM
For the Arlington trails (Custis & W&OB), I would be willing to shovel.

Maybe volunteer shovel brigades could get the job done? Of course, the snow might be frozen solid now and impossible to remove w/standard snow shovels.

I'd shovel. It won't be frozen solid now -- with these last few days in the 40s even the hard ice chunks have lost their punch. (I was able to shovel out a parking space today that was only vacant because it was a snow mountain -- and all I had on me was a plastic child's shovel.) We might be able to get a good bit of the trail done. Alternatively -- I was thinking that if lots of people just went out and shoveled bits of the trail -- really just whatever we feel comfortable shoveling, or have time to shovel -- the counties might come in and finish the job. Even if they don't it will help the melt, especially if we aim for the low-lying & shady spots, which melt last.

Definitely if anyone wants to start a shoveling brigade count me in. I started one on the sidewalks on the Patrick Henry overpass over route 66. We got one sidewalk done on President's day, JUST in time for kids to walk to school the next day -- and then I was halfway across the other side last Thursday when a county truck pulled over and told me they'd come do it. They were clearly embarassed - there I was all by myself with half a bridgefull of virgin snow in front of me..... I was enjoying myself, though, and not convinced they'd do it before Monday, so I kept shoveling. But they came! They came and trucked the snow away from the sidewalks on both sides of the overpass, on Friday and Saturday. It blew me away! And it reminded me -- if the people lead, sometimes the county actually gets it together...... Maybe it looked like JUST TOO MUCH SNOW to deal with -- but the sight of individuals shoveling put that into perspective. That could work for the paths too. I know we're not a school, but I think i might be worth trying......

bikermark
02-24-2010, 09:06 PM
Just rode this evening from 14th St bridge to Shirlington. Path was clear, tree blocking at 14th St bridge (and many other trees) have been trimmed and moved out of the way. Happy commuting tomorrow.

Unregistered
02-25-2010, 08:16 AM
I just used the Arlington portion of the W&OD this morning. Much of it has been plowed, with notable exceptions. The part between the Rt. 50 bridge east to the new bathrooms is treacherous in spots, and there is a stretch of downed bamboo blocking the trail. Worst, though is the hump east of Sycamore St. where the "Brandymore Castle" sign is. None of this has been touched, and there are huge snowpiles on the trail where VDOT dumped snow from 66 right onto the trail. I had to walk it to Sycamore St. and bailed at that point to continue west towards Tysons. Strange, as in previous storms this is an area they cleared first, even putting salt down on this hump. Maybe they saw the VDOT snowpiles and gave up. It's not so helpful to plow part of the trail and not do the whole thing, though. Hopefully they will finish this today. Until then, might as well stay on the streets.

Al

consularrider
02-25-2010, 09:55 AM
I rode the Custis this morning from the W&OD intersection until just east of Glebe. There is still a downed pine tree completely blocking the trail as you turn right from the I-66 exit ramp crossover near N Vernon St. Just west of Glebe you are dodging two downed trees that partially block the trail. Also, at the Fairfax Dr access just east of George Mason, there is a ten foot stretch of snowy slush that was ice this morning. With temperatures around freezing in the mornings, the meltoff has been refreezing, leaving lots of black ice.

From my rides yesterday and today, it does not appear that any of the access trails to the W&OD or Custis Trails have been cleared. Since I live near one, I will undertake to clear it tonight. Any more volunteers?

Nadine
02-25-2010, 03:55 PM
I took my bike out today for the first time since the big snowfall. I thought I'd have to bike on streets but it's much clearer than that. I think it was probably plowed after the big snow and before the last 6-10 inch snowfall that happened a few days later. Now it's mostly clear except for that place between COurthouse and Spout run that always holds snow. It's more snow than I've seen there before, but it was short enough that it was worth walking for that stretch and staying on the trail as opposed to riding on streets -- which really impressed me! Also, it's only a couple of inches deep in the deepest places, and would only take 4-6 hours to shovel, all told. Besides that area, there's probably less than an hour of cleaning up that could be done to make it nice in bits here and there -- but not necessary. I'd like to get that snowy area cleaned though. I was itching to shovel it but didn't have my shovel. ANyone interested in shoveling with me? (Or not with me.....doesn't matter.) I have a little time tomorrow and more on Sunday. ANyone up for shoveling? I don't know that it's going to get done otherwise.....

This is a totally doable project -- it's less than a quarter the work that the Patrick Henry overpass was, and we did that.....

The only other obstacle on the Custis is the downed trees. Not sure what's up with them; the county is usually totally on top of that..... if anyone knows who to contact to ask about it I'd love to know. Most are downed pine trees -- and one bamboo patch near the Quincy st exit. Two of the downed trees obstruct the path almost completely. I had to crawl under them and was glad I had a helmet on when I did....

:-D Nadine

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Kenny Sirius Biker Dawg
02-27-2010, 08:17 PM
I took a run to investigate that section today. I bike commute everyday that I can, from Shirlington to just outside of western Falls Church near Merrifield. From the trail head in Shirlington to about 4.75 miles it is virtually clear. A couple of snow patches just before Rt 50. also a patch of bamboo trees were downed on part of the trail. At the hill called "Brandymore Castle" it was snow packed over. however me and this other guy managed to clear a path way up and over that section. You can at least walk your bike through easily. Pro riders could navigate it. However I would think it will still get icy in the mornings, so take caution. after that the trail still has some snow and ice past the East FC Metro. but the neighborhood streets are clear there.