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View Full Version : Fixes on the trails in Arlington (NOT FIXIES)



dasgeh
01-08-2014, 08:53 AM
Another topic of discussion at Monday's ABAC meeting was the possibility of some funds to repave some of the Arlington-maintained trails. (NOT FIXIE THE TRAILS. THAT WOULD BE BRUTAL.) I believe the trails mentioned were Custis, FMR, the trail-along-110-by-the-cemetery, and the Bluemont Junction trail.

So, forum-nati: if you could repave a section or two of the Arlington-maintained trails, what would you repave?

dasgeh
01-08-2014, 08:58 AM
I'll start (I love this game).

The Custis trail from the bridge over I66 at the top of the Rosslyn hill as far West as you can, but at least until the top of the next hill, but the bridge to nowhere/wouldn't-it-be-nice-to-have-a-trail-there-from-Rosslyn-to-Spout-Run.

I think some others agree with me:

[URL="http://goo.gl/maps/rWyCp"]On the Custis east of Cherrydale, just after the pedestrian bridge to nowhere (http://goo.gl/maps/94uP6), is a pretty bad dip in the pavement of the custis. This needs to be repaired.


Seconded. This has turned in to a bizarro roller coaster of bumps and dips for about 100 feet. Some of the depressions fill with leaves and water and freeze over. That whole stretch from the bottom of the corkscrew of fun (Lyon Village) east to Rosslyn\Lee Hwy could use some TLC in spots.

And while you're there:

Put some sort of gutter near the wall of the portion of the Custis trail along 66 between Lee Hwy (Bergmann's) and Spout run so that when water comes out of the several downspouts onto the trail when it's cold, it doesn't freeze into a sheet of ice on the trail.

chris_s
01-08-2014, 09:15 AM
[I'm pretty sure there was a 3rd, but I'm spacing... I'll update this when people remind me].

Reminder: Bluemont Junction Trail. :cool:

Subby
01-08-2014, 10:35 AM
1. Custis trail roots of death west of glebe are still roots of death despite a number of smoothing attempts.

2. 4MR along the water pollution control plant to the power station needs to have some seams smoothed out.

vvill
01-08-2014, 11:29 AM
I'll second the Custis roots, and bizarro roller coaster - the whole section from the Lee overpass down to Rosslyn has bits n' pieces that aren't so nice.

Arlingtonrider
01-08-2014, 11:58 AM
I'd like to see the reflective striping on the FMR and MVT trails re-painted. In many parts the lines have faded to the extent that they are barely visible in the dark, making it more difficult to see turns and follow the trail at night, esp. where there are oncoming headlights.

shannon
01-08-2014, 06:36 PM
On the 110 trail along Arlington Cemetary, some reflective striping (or just the yellow line down the middle of the trail would be nice. It is hard to see where the path ends and the grass starts.

Fast Friendly Guy
01-09-2014, 04:48 AM
On the 110 trail along Arlington Cemetary, some reflective striping (or just the yellow line down the middle of the trail would be nice. It is hard to see where the path ends and the grass starts.

Hey, Shannon,
I second your nomination for this improvement! Say, are you the guy I chatted with around 7:45 AM on FMR and MVT, Mon or Tues morning from Shirlington to the airport? You had yellow a jacket and foggy goggles, and we talked about Gary the homeless guy?
Dave

Fast Friendly Guy
01-09-2014, 04:53 AM
I'd like to see the reflective striping on the FMR and MVT trails re-painted. In many parts the lines have faded to the extent that they are barely visible in the dark, making it more difficult to see turns and follow the trail at night, esp. where there are oncoming headlights.

I agree with you, Arlingtonrider, with one proviso: No striping on all hilly turns (eg corkscrew of death on Custis near Spout Run) use reflective signs or side reflectors rather than stripping because reflective stripes are as slippery as ice when they're wet (and can cause some nasty spills--believe me I know) Dave

Fast Friendly Guy
01-09-2014, 05:01 AM
I'll second the Custis roots, and bizarro roller coaster - the whole section from the Lee overpass down to Rosslyn has bits n' pieces that aren't so nice.


The roots are especially bad heading into town, just beyond the exit for Ballston (Fairfax Dr.)--they redid so much in that area--why not this, the worst? (they did grind down, somewhat, a few, but it wasn't enough)

Also in desperate need of repair is that totally rough 10 ' section on Custis going down to Rosslyn on the left of the yellow bollard, just before crossing N Scott St. It took me down hard about a month ago!

jnva
01-09-2014, 07:31 AM
Repave and widen the entire Custis. If it's a transportation corridor, it needs to be done. I hate patching, it just creates bumps later.

dasgeh
01-09-2014, 08:48 AM
Repave and widen the entire Custis. If it's a transportation corridor, it needs to be done. I hate patching, it just creates bumps later.

I completely agree with you, but if there's money to do something RIGHT now, I'll take it. Thinking about it more, and recognizing the bad patching jobs on the trail, I'm more in favor of just doing one or two big sections, and doing them right. The section they redid in Cherrydale is still pretty good. I think we should use this pot to get another section up to that level.

NickBull
01-09-2014, 09:41 AM
The roots are especially bad heading into town, just beyond the exit for Ballston (Fairfax Dr.)--they redid so much in that area--why not this, the worst? (they did grind down, somewhat, a few, but it wasn't enough)

Also in desperate need of repair is that totally rough 10 ' section on Custis going down to Rosslyn on the left of the yellow bollard, just before crossing N Scott St. It took me down hard about a month ago!

I was also going to post about the problem near N Scott St. Just to clarify what the problem is: Heading east-bound toward Rosslyn, just about where the sound barrier next to Lee Hwy ends, the bike path merges onto sidewalk before eventually crossing Scott St., which is the first road crossing on the downhill run to Rosslyn. The merge from the east-bound lane of the bike path to the sidewalk is fine. The problem occurs when an east-bound cyclist has to go in the west-bound lane to pass pedestrians. The merge from the bike path to the sidewalk creates a diagonal edge that can easily catch a tire and cause a cyclist to go down (as it sounds like happened with Fast Friendly Guy). This hazard has been repaired before, but as I went through that section this morning I noticed that the blacktop has worn down / disintegrated in that spot so that the hazard has returned.

Nick

consularrider
01-13-2014, 08:47 AM
Another one of our favorites is the asphalt to concrete transition on the 4MRT between the I-395 and W Glebe Rd underpasses. The eastern one has been "fixed" twice since this trail extension was completed four years (?) ago, but has again cracked and is in the process of slumping and creating a serious bump. It is smoothest in the center of the trail, so we risk head on collisions as cyclists move center to avoid the jarring bump.

Brendan von Buckingham
01-28-2014, 07:09 AM
Second.


On the 110 trail along Arlington Cemetary, some reflective striping (or just the yellow line down the middle of the trail would be nice. It is hard to see where the path ends and the grass starts.

heading west/north at night is impossible to see trail edge with on coming headlights from cars. An edge stripe would help tremendously.

PotomacCyclist
01-28-2014, 03:19 PM
Is the Rte 110 trail paved? I rarely ride over to Memorial Bridge these days, mostly because of all the dangerous road crossings, and take the 14th St. Bridge (George Mason) instead.

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2011/02/route-110-trail-gets-funding-work-could-begin-next-year.html

dasgeh
01-28-2014, 03:55 PM
Is the Rte 110 trail paved? I rarely ride over to Memorial Bridge these days, mostly because of all the dangerous road crossings, and take the 14th St. Bridge (George Mason) instead.


That's not the 110 trail people are talking about. The 110 trail goes north from Memorial Drive (though not in a straight line -- it follows the wall around the cemetery) and connects to Iwo Jima. You can see it here (https://www.google.com/maps/preview/@38.8857842,-77.0644007,17z/data=!5m1!1e3).

Fast Friendly Guy
01-28-2014, 05:14 PM
I was also going to post about the problem near N Scott St. Just to clarify what the problem is: Heading east-bound toward Rosslyn, just about where the sound barrier next to Lee Hwy ends, the bike path merges onto sidewalk before eventually crossing Scott St., which is the first road crossing on the downhill run to Rosslyn. The merge from the east-bound lane of the bike path to the sidewalk is fine. The problem occurs when an east-bound cyclist has to go in the west-bound lane to pass pedestrians. The merge from the bike path to the sidewalk creates a diagonal edge that can easily catch a tire and cause a cyclist to go down (as it sounds like happened with Fast Friendly Guy). This hazard has been repaired before, but as I went through that section this morning I noticed that the blacktop has worn down / disintegrated in that spot so that the hazard has returned.

Nick

Yep! That's exactly it....and I'm not the only one who's fallen here.

vvill
01-28-2014, 05:41 PM
Yep I broke my elbow/wrist on a crash right there in 2011. Front tire went in a groove and I landed hard on Scott St. I'd overtaken someone and was moving back to the right side of the trail heading east. The front tire punctured too at some point.

I'm always much more careful in that section now.

holdthebeach
01-29-2014, 09:14 AM
If I remember correctly from the last BAC meeting, one of the reasons that trails could not get cleared effectively, even if the county actually allocated money to clearing trails, was that our plows wouldn't fit everywhere. Since we discussed having bikes with trailers for doing maintenance work on trails, could this be an affordable solution for snow removal? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reIHx1ozxYk (I saw it on the ArlNow comments :D)

Even if these could be rented like the county's snow blowers for clearing sidewalks, it could make a difference.

More info here: http://www.velomobiles.co.uk/2013/01/pedal-powered-snow-removal/

Steve O
02-03-2014, 12:07 PM
This is not so much a fix as an improvement that makes sense and also elevates cyclists in the transportation hierarchy.

At locations that are T-intersections with lights, provide a separate "through" light for cyclists traveling opposite the T. Some examples include:

- Wilson w-bound at Pierce (by the Fire Department). Since cyclists are on the far right, they do not really need to stop for cars entering from Pierce. Flashing yellow for cyclists might be appropriate to accommodate peds.

- Wilson w-bound at Courthouse (by Ireland's Four Courts). Same thing. Adjustments to how the parking is designed here would help. Also, perhaps flexible bollards to delineate where the cyclists are, to prevent wide turning cars from straying into the bike lane

- Military s-bound at Marcey. No reason to stop here on red if cyclists can just keep the right lane. May not even need a separate light, but just a sign, "Cyclists may proceed on red with caution; yield to pedestrians"

In fact, all three of these locations could probably be accommodated with signage, some paint and maybe some flex bollards, which would be cheaper than designing and installing separate bicycle signals.

FYI - I already "Idaho stop" these locations, even though I fully observe the red lights at all the other Wilson/Fairfax Dr. intersections. It's because these lights are senseless for the cylist in the same way they are senseless for the peds on the adjoining sidewalk.

There are probably more of these around. Anyone?

Part of the point here is not that these changes would make an enormous difference in travel times for cyclists (one staff member asked me, "What problem would this solve?"). The point is more that it provides a visible advantage to cyclists in a completely safe and appropriate way. Observers who note this may be inclined to think:
"Wow, that's cool. The County is doing a good job improving cycling infrastructure."
"Hey! Maybe I should ride a bike, too, if I can get a special light just for me."
"WTF! Now those radical cycle lobbyists are getting even more special treatment. Time to run one over."

On balance, I hope the first two sentiments would outweigh the third.

Steve O
02-03-2014, 12:16 PM
On the 110 trail along Arlington Cemetary, some reflective striping (or just the yellow line down the middle of the trail would be nice. It is hard to see where the path ends and the grass starts.

November 4, 1998, at night, traveling into the headlights, the only way I could stay on the trail was to ride pretty much directly on the hard-to-see stripe in the middle. Likewise with the other cyclist coming the other way. On the corner near the Carillon we had a head-on collision. Both bikes were damaged (mine was totaled; his probably, too); I broke my thumb and he suffered an unspecified knee injury. It was pre-cellphone for me, so I hobbled to Rosslyn and asked a security guard for a phone to call my wife.

And yes, we both had lights on. It was one of those situations where all the factors just happened to line up exactly wrong.