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View Full Version : Bollard needed?



creadinger
02-16-2015, 07:43 PM
Over the past 6 months I have personally witnessed 3 cars driving on the 4-mile run trail between the north end of Commonwealth Ave and Route 1.

Drivers are obviously confusing the trail for some super-secret road that only they know about. I know that bollards have been proven to be bad for cyclists in some instances because they're an obstacle that can cause crashes, but I feel that in this case, a bollard may make the most sense because the trail is obviously attracting a lot of drivers.

Anyone else witness any drivers on the trail? Any other ideas?

kwarkentien
02-16-2015, 10:56 PM
Wow! That's the first I've heard of this being a problem.

AlexandriaBiker
02-17-2015, 01:14 AM
I ride through this area 2-3 times a week and will watch for evidence of this happening. There must be tire tracks or some evidence of ruts in the grass.

bobco85
02-17-2015, 07:55 AM
Thank you for bringing this up, as I completely forgot about it!

I've encountered a driver on that connector before (he was almost at Route 1 and looked very confused), and I have seen police cars and maintenance vehicles using it as a shortcut a couple of times. I have only witnessed people going from Commonwealth towards Route 1 and never the opposite way.

The issue is at the end of Commonwealth Ave where there is circle with 2 paths coming off of it. The first path is fine because it is sidewalk-width and has a curb cut and ramp. However, the second path is wider and continuous with the road (i.e., no curbs/ramps/etc. separating the asphalt between it and the circle). There is a sign reading "No Motorized Vehicles" but it is not on the circle; instead, it is on the left side of the T intersection with the path running alongside Four Mile Run. A driver would have already driven off the circle before seeing it.

My recommendation: the sign warning "No Motorized Vehicles" needs to be moved closer to the circle and some white paint should be put on the outer edge of the circle to communicate to drivers that it is closed off. If that doesn't work, then I'd go for a flexpost.

Steve O
02-17-2015, 08:46 AM
Over the past 6 months I have personally witnessed 3 cars driving on the 4-mile run trail between the north end of Commonwealth Ave and Route 1.

Drivers are obviously confusing the trail for some super-secret road that only they know about. I know that bollards have been proven to be bad for cyclists in some instances because they're an obstacle that can cause crashes, but I feel that in this case, a bollard may make the most sense because the trail is obviously attracting a lot of drivers.

Anyone else witness any drivers on the trail? Any other ideas?

Bollards should only be used as a last resort, after other solutions have been tried. For instance, are there clear and easily seen signs that indicate cars are not allowed? Is the trail painted in a way to indicate that it's not a road, etc? Only after other non-dangerous solutions have tried and failed should a bollard be installed.
I just looked at street view, and there are no signs whatsoever. Bollards would not deter a determined driver from driving there, because she could just drive around them. So the problem we are trying to solve is confused drivers. Signs are the first and better solution for that problem.

dcv
02-17-2015, 08:57 AM
Bollards should only be used as a last resort, after other solutions have been tried. For instance, are there clear and easily seen signs that indicate cars are not allowed? Is the trail painted in a way to indicate that it's not a road, etc? Only after other non-dangerous solutions have tried and failed should a bollard be installed.
I just looked at street view, and there are no signs whatsoever. Bollards would not deter a determined driver from driving there, because she could just drive around them. So the problem we are trying to solve is confused drivers. Signs are the first and better solution for that problem.

bollard hater

mstone
02-17-2015, 07:04 PM
Why bollards? Why not a wall? How 'bout a moat? With guard sharks, or at least ill-tempered sea bass.

Or paint.

Fairlington124
02-18-2015, 08:24 AM
First post here (woo!). I use that stretch quite a bit. Never seen motorized vehicles but I could believe that some use it.

Why not some graphic commands, like this "pedestrian and bike" sign I would see a ton of in Germany? http://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/97684/114334543/stock-photo-a-road-sign-for-a-pedestrian-zone-bike-lane-and-no-parking-114334543.jpg

Are there any such signs in the US lexicon of road and path signage?

KLizotte
02-18-2015, 11:14 AM
I've seen a car driving from Commonwealth to Rte 1. The driver didn't look confused at all and simply went full speed ahead and bounced off the curbing on to the driveway to the car dealership. Sigh.

chris_s
02-18-2015, 11:33 AM
I've seen 2 cars on that stretch of trail myself. I agree that it needs better signage and that we should definitely try that before putting a hard metal hazard in the middle of the trail.

brendan
02-18-2015, 11:45 AM
If it's where I think it is, I've seen a drunk driver trying to figure out how to get his car unstuck from on top of the pile of rocks on the bumpout in the trail.

I called the cops.

They didn't find him, but found a lot of damage further east on the trail where the driver had "desired lined" his way back onto the highway.

:(

B

creadinger
02-18-2015, 11:52 AM
Anything would work better than what we have now, which is Confused Driver Ave.

I agree, we should first try lots of paint, and more/bigger signs. If that doesn't work, a flex post may work better, but the point should still be to keep these idiots off the trail. I refuse to share MUPs with cars. Considering how much press drivers on the W&OD gets (Ok, mostly because there are sometimes serious injuries from drunk idiots :(), this is happening quite a lot and virtually no one talks about it.

This last incident on Sunday, the driver drove Commonwealth to the circle, paused, then made the right turn onto the trail and continued as if everything was ordinary. When he got to Rt 1, he paused again, drove off the curb to the side street, then into the car dealership. It was a Volvo S80, with Maryland plates. Prior to all of this the moron passed me awfully close going down Commonwealth considering the other lane was empty.

creadinger
02-18-2015, 11:57 AM
I ride through this area 2-3 times a week and will watch for evidence of this happening. There must be tire tracks or some evidence of ruts in the grass.

The trail there is about one traffic lane wide, so the drivers I've seen pretty easily stay off the grass. The only time someone really leaves the pavement is when they 3-point-turn at Rt. 1 to go back the way they came, or drive over the curb.

Mikey
02-18-2015, 12:15 PM
from the Google Street view (https://www.google.com/maps/@38.840012,-77.055853,3a,75y,35.17h,86.52t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sYzWGMwNtUmijafZmlDRAyA!2e0)I can see why it is confusing if it looks like this in real life.

creadinger
02-18-2015, 12:31 PM
from the Google Street view (https://www.google.com/maps/@38.840012,-77.055853,3a,75y,35.17h,86.52t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sYzWGMwNtUmijafZmlDRAyA!2e0)I can see why it is confusing if it looks like this in real life.

And as Bobco pointed out I think, if you move over and zoom in, you can see the (maybe) 1 sqft sign saying motorized vehicles prohibited. What good is that?!

baiskeli
02-18-2015, 12:31 PM
I used to live on Commonwealth and use that trail alot, and I've never seen this. Perhaps there's some change related to the construction on the eastern side that's confusing drivers? Or else somebody has found a secrete illegal shortcut around traffic?

CaseyKane50
02-18-2015, 01:02 PM
Another alternative to paint, signs and bollards is to not plow the trail. As you can see, no cars have braved the trail.
7869

baiskeli
02-18-2015, 01:18 PM
from the Google Street view (https://www.google.com/maps/@38.840012,-77.055853,3a,75y,35.17h,86.52t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sYzWGMwNtUmijafZmlDRAyA!2e0)I can see why it is confusing if it looks like this in real life.

Turn clockwise 90 degrees and you see a cyclist getting his 15 seconds of fame. Or maybe it's creadinger trying to wave the Google car away from driving on the trail.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.840012,-77.055853,3a,75y,110.93h,79.57t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sYzWGMwNtUmijafZmlDRAyA!2e0

Mikey
02-18-2015, 01:20 PM
Yep I had a laugh at that. They blurred the face but not the bike, anyone recognize?

jrenaut
02-18-2015, 01:27 PM
Did they also blur his left foot, or is that just a page load hiccup?

Mikey
02-18-2015, 01:29 PM
Did they also blur his left foot, or is that just a page load hiccup?

Probably could read the trade mark label on the shoe. Google Maps is not going to advertise for them.

creadinger
02-18-2015, 01:52 PM
Turn clockwise 90 degrees and you see a cyclist getting his 15 seconds of fame. Or maybe it's creadinger trying to wave the Google car away from driving on the trail.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.840012,-77.055853,3a,75y,110.93h,79.57t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sYzWGMwNtUmijafZmlDRAyA!2e0

No, that's not me. I had to do a double take though because that is the exact color of my bike, and I had a rack like that too. I don't have any guesses as to who it is.

peterw_diy
02-22-2015, 12:09 AM
I communicated with Alexandria City staff (T&ES transportation planning division) about this. In response to the concerns raised here, they intend to add some markings on the pavement although that can't happen until the spring and they're going to see what other signage they can fabricate & install to help keep cars off the trail.

creadinger
02-22-2015, 10:23 AM
Awesome! Thanks for talking to them! It sounds like potentially all the solution we should need. Time will tell, but hopefully the additions come spring time will end this problem.

peterw_diy
07-28-2015, 11:02 PM
Well, looks like what we got was another sign. I can't say I like the placement. At all.

consularrider
07-29-2015, 12:49 AM
Yeah, that sign is clearly in the wrong place since that section of pavement looks more like a sidewalk entry the the one to the right.

baiskeli
07-29-2015, 08:08 AM
[QUOTE=consularrider;120946]Yeah, that sign is clearly in the wrong place since that section of pavement looks more like a sidewalk entry the the one to the right.[/QUOTE

Yes, and now it implies that motor vehicles are allowed on the other section.

bobco85
07-29-2015, 09:30 AM
Another sign, much less this useless position for one, will not solve the problem of drivers using this section of trail.

I don't know why I didn't think of this until now, but is there a "No Outlet" or "Dead End" sign on Commonwealth Ave just past Luna Park Dr? I think having one of those signs would help explain to drivers that there are no connecting roads like the trail for them to use.



Yes, and now it implies that motor vehicles are allowed on the other section.
At the very least the smaller sign is still there should a driver miss the new one.

chris_s
07-29-2015, 10:30 AM
Another sign, much less this useless position for one, will not solve the problem of drivers using this section of trail.

I don't know why I didn't think of this until now, but is there a "No Outlet" or "Dead End" sign on Commonwealth Ave just past Luna Park Dr? I think having one of those signs would help explain to drivers that there are no connecting roads like the trail for them to use.


At the very least the smaller sign is still there should a driver miss the new one.

I believe there is a small "No Thru Street" sign between Reed & Luna Park, but nothing after Luna Park.

Just 2 weeks ago or so I had to warn some woman off from driving up onto the trail from that circle. Thankfully her windows were down as it was a nice job so she could hear me shout at her.

creadinger
08-03-2015, 09:34 AM
On streetview there's a small "No thru Street" sign right after Reed, but it's way off to the right, and usually in the shade, so would barely be noticed by anyone. No other signs that I could see on streetiview.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.836691,-77.057153,3a,90y,13.79h,89.87t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srjVOpng0m70jYOm6yzyQUA!2e0!7i1 3312!8i6656

Yeah, I have to say, this is an infrastructure signage fail. As others have said, they put the new sign in the exact location that makes the asphalt connector look MORE like a road than it was before! Thanks Alexandria.