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View Full Version : New traffic lights for Bicycles and Pedestrians in Rosslyn



Dirt
04-27-2011, 08:39 AM
Custis trail content. At least two of the intersections along the Custis Trail in Rosslyn are getting new traffic signals. Scott and Oak Streets are both getting new lights. Not sure when they're scheduled to go on-line, but it looks to be some time in the next week or two.

Hugs and Kisses,

Pete

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5065/5661132580_e5a7d85c41_z.jpg

RESTONTODC
04-27-2011, 02:46 PM
I don't see how the lights can help with the bicycles and pedestrians traffic. There are so much bicycles, pedestrians traffic and very little of automobile traffic in this section. I would be nice if Arlington county can make the right land as a bike lane.

Rick

Chris Eatough
04-28-2011, 07:02 AM
Yes, these are scheduled to be operational within a couple of weeks. The 2 locations are both where the Custis Trail crosses a road that has a traffic light. The traffic lights for bikes and pedestrians replace the previous "Walk/Don't Walk" signals, which were apparently not effective, since many cyclists and pedestrians would continue through on the "Don't Walk" setting even though cross traffic had the green light. This causes dangerous situations and crashes. A red traffic light will be a clearer indication to cyclists and pedestrians that cross traffic has a green light and should lead to safer conditions for all.
Feel free to comment on this thread if you think the lights are working well and if you think they increase safety at those locations. County planners and engineers do read this forum!

DismalScientist
04-28-2011, 08:23 AM
I think the walk/don't walk signals were "ineffective" because people chose to ignore them. I don't see how these signals will change anything.

Dirt
04-28-2011, 08:51 AM
I think the walk/don't walk signals were "ineffective" because people chose to ignore them. I don't see how these signals will change anything.

They incorporate Arlington County's new "Taser Enforcement" technology. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT ;)

Chris Eatough
04-28-2011, 08:58 AM
A signalized intersection with red and green light phases is a stronger traffic control device than a "walk/don't walk" message especially to cyclists who could even make the argument that "I wasn't walking I was riding!".

eminva
04-28-2011, 09:07 AM
Interesting. Going outbound in the afternoon, I rarely see cyclists stop for the red at Oak Street (same for pedestrians), assuming traffic is clear. I guess there is a sense that sightlines are good and traffic coming out of that street is light. I see more people stopping at Scott Street and waiting for that light -- maybe by then they need to catch their breath.;)

The one I worry about is Quinn Street coming eastbound in the morning -- sometimes cars turning from Quinn on to Lee Highway don't stop to look at the trail to make sure it is clear (especially with distracted drivers on cell phones, etc.). They just turn their head left and not right. For that reason, as well as the heavy pedestrian traffic, I take the Roslyn hill quite a bit more slowly than most on the inbound trip.

Liz

RESTONTODC
04-28-2011, 09:41 AM
"I wasn't walking I was riding!".

Now, the pedestrians are going to say I wasn't stopping because I didn't see the "Don't walk" message and I wasn't riding!

Hopefully, the lights will reduce accidents.

Rick

RESTONTODC
04-28-2011, 09:59 AM
From the picture, it looks like both walk/don't walk for pedestrains and traffic lights for bicycles will be installed.

OneEighth
04-28-2011, 11:19 AM
I think Liz has got it right.
Heading downhill toward Quinn Street is the intersection to really worry about. The sound barrier creates a big blind spot for drivers and for cyclists who are heading downhill. On top of that, drivers are naturally inclined to pull forward into the crosswalk and look to their left to see oncoming traffic on Lee Highway.
Maybe some signage warning about the path would help?
Of course, it would help if some of the NoVA DHFRT members would ease up on the afterburners when approaching that intersection. It's way more meaningful to go fast UP the hills...
Just sayin'.

JimF22003
04-28-2011, 11:37 AM
Here's me telling the truth. I stop now if the cars have the right of way, but continue on through the "don't walk" sign if there are no cars.

I will do the same thing with a red light.

Dirt
04-28-2011, 12:06 PM
I've been hit at every one of those intersections over the last 5 years. I'm happy to see more prominent signals. Hopefully this will get cyclists obeying the rules a bit more. Not sure what to do about the cars that ignore the rules.

baiskeli
04-28-2011, 12:49 PM
I will obey these signals (or at least stop before running a red when it's obviously safe). Here's why:

I expect cars to do their part to keep me safe by obeying traffic laws, so I have to do the same.

Going downhill fast, it's not safe to plow through an intersection against a signal.

Going uphill, it gives me an excuse to stop and rest and not look lazy.

Dirt
04-28-2011, 01:09 PM
Great answer, Baiskeli. I follow the rules and obey the signals, but I've learned not to trust the cars. I do my best to instill their trust in me. Can't expect them to obey the rules if I am not willing to do the same. Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. That way I can live to ride another day.

Dirt
04-29-2011, 09:30 AM
Scott Street was activated this morning. Oak street is still not active.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5264/5670424003_fd86c044d1_b.jpg

OneEighth
04-30-2011, 09:47 PM
Re: Dirt's reason for editing the last post----
Yes, indeed you are...but it's okay 'cuz you're a [I]fast[I] pretty, pink flower.

Mark Blacknell
05-02-2011, 09:33 PM
Well, he's also a pretty pretty princess.

~

This installation is an experimental one, and the data collected from actions here will influence future decisions (well beyond Arlington) about the efficacy of these installations. I look forward to seeing the results.

OneEighth
05-03-2011, 08:36 AM
What kinds of data and how is it going to be collected?
Not sure what kinds of performance measure(s) one would use to determine return on investment for this beyond a common-sense based argument.

Mark Blacknell
05-03-2011, 08:41 AM
They're sampling how many blow the intersection before and after, pretty much. Pre-install sample already taken, of course, and the post-install sample will come at some point this year. I think it's conducted over a number of days.

baiskeli
05-03-2011, 09:54 AM
I think the signals send a strong message just by being there. They say that bikes are part of the transportation system too.

(I admit I blew through it the first time, after looking very carefully for cars though).

OneEighth
05-05-2011, 12:31 PM
I finally noticed that there is a surveillance camera in place at the Scott Street intersection. Guess that answers the "how are they gathering data" question.
Smile!

Dirt
05-05-2011, 01:40 PM
I finally noticed that there is a surveillance camera in place at the Scott Street intersection. Guess that answers the "how are they gathering data" question.
Smile!

This will go down on your permanent record. ;)

OneEighth
05-05-2011, 01:56 PM
I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record
Oh yeah? Well, don't get so distressed
Did I happen to mention that I'm impressed?

I like having a little Violent Femmes in my head for the evening ride.

Dirt
05-05-2011, 02:29 PM
I like having a little Violent Femmes in my head for the evening ride.
I went through a phase where I tried to use Femmes lyrics in every day conversation on a regular basis. I got tired of it and went on to The Talking Heads. Definitely spices up a work-related conversation.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah. Bicycle traffic monitoring. I still haven't taken the time to look for the camera doohicky. I'll do that on my way home. or not. :D Same as it ever was.

Mark Blacknell
05-06-2011, 03:30 PM
I held her in my arms, but it wasn't you.

Dirt
05-20-2011, 09:32 AM
Oak Street lights went active this week.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5141/5739255855_f4490537d1_b.jpg

Hugs and Kisses,

Pete

consularrider
05-20-2011, 02:16 PM
Saw both intersections on the way home from the Ride of Silence on Wednesday night. Nobody paid any more attention to them than they did the pe-existing light setup.

StopMeansStop
05-22-2011, 05:59 PM
Here's me telling the truth. I stop now if the cars have the right of way, but continue on through the "don't walk" sign if there are no cars.

I will do the same thing with a red light.

I advise you not to do that on the Oak St. crossing. Almost all the drivers who use that light know this is a short green and they will speed up to make the light. And here's the rub -- you can't see the cars until the last instant. This is compounded by the fact there is a "no turn on red" sign there, which was installed by the county because cyclists coming down the hill always blow the stop sign. Yes, there are stop signs on both sides of oak streets for cyclists. I've never seen anyone every stop for one in 10 years, unless a car was coming.