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Tim Kelley
02-20-2015, 12:34 PM
From NPS:


Public Open House
March 3, 2015
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

National Park Service
National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive SW
Washington DC 20242

We will present rough sketches of design concepts that were developed at a workshop that evaluated previous studies of the area, existing and projected traffic conditions including accident, speed and road/trail volumes, and the memorial character of the area. These concepts will be the foundation for the development of alternatives to be presented later in the year. Please take this opportunity to offer your thoughts about this process and the ideas that were generated before we develop alternatives.
Comments will be accepted at the open house or may be provided online through the NPS Planning Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website.

On March 3rd the sketches will be posted to the project website and comments will be accepted from March 3, 2015 to March 10, 2015. You can access this site from the project website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/mctpea Navigate from the left side of the page to Document List, then 2015 Design Concepts, and Comment on Document.

dasgeh
03-02-2015, 01:22 PM
Bumping, since this is tomorrow. I added to the Forum Calendar (after I found it)

chris_s
03-02-2015, 02:14 PM
You've got to really appreciate how they're accepting comments for a whole 7 days.

mstone
03-02-2015, 04:02 PM
You've got to really appreciate how they're accepting comments for a whole 7 days.

Why slow down the predetermined outcome?

And oh my god, that web site.

bobco85
03-03-2015, 10:43 AM
I really hate how the drawings are shown as a list of 30 different images that must be downloaded to view. I will not be able to make it to the meeting tonight, but I will download the images and turn them into a video so that people can compare them more easily. I'll update everyone when I have created the video (probably by tomorrow night).

Tim Kelley
03-03-2015, 10:46 AM
I really hate how the drawings are shown as a list of 30 different images that must be downloaded to view. I will not be able to make it to the meeting tonight, but I will download the images and turn them into a video so that people can compare them more easily. I'll update everyone when I have created the video (probably by tomorrow night).


Sounds very helpful!

When you've made that, can you make sure to share it with BikeArlington? We'll put it out over our channels.

bobco85
03-03-2015, 10:56 AM
Sounds very helpful!

When you've made that, can you make sure to share it with BikeArlington? We'll put it out over our channels.

I definitely will! Would posting it on their FB page be the best way to let them see it?

Tim Kelley
03-03-2015, 11:01 AM
I definitely will! Would posting it on their FB page be the best way to let them see it?

Why don't you send it to us at info@bikearlington.com? Thanks!

bobco85
03-03-2015, 11:11 AM
Why don't you send it to us at info@bikearlington.com? Thanks!

Okay, I'll do that!

chris_s
03-03-2015, 11:46 AM
I really hate how the drawings are shown as a list of 30 different images that must be downloaded to view. I will not be able to make it to the meeting tonight, but I will download the images and turn them into a video so that people can compare them more easily. I'll update everyone when I have created the video (probably by tomorrow night).

These are awful. The drawings are largely inscrutable with no context, no legend and little (if any) explanation.

"Please give us feedback on these hand-draw, largely unlabeled alternatives which we have taken pictures of with our cell phone camera in the next 7 days. No really, we VALUE your feedback."

The public outreach budget for this EA must be about twelve dollars.

americancyclo
03-03-2015, 12:17 PM
While these are pretty bad, I like the design proposed by 0873 in that it clears out a lot of the spaghetti like mess of the roadways and puts a good amount of space between the trails and the roadways, while it would increase the number of road crossings to 4 instead of the 3 it is now. I'm not sure why they have all the extra ramps for 110, though.

chris_s
03-03-2015, 12:42 PM
While these are pretty bad, I like the design proposed by 0873 in that it clears out a lot of the spaghetti like mess of the roadways and puts a good amount of space between the trails and the roadways, while it would increase the number of road crossings to 4 instead of the 3 it is now. I'm not sure why they have all the extra ramps for 110, though.

I think there are probably some great designs in here, but with the size / quality / lack of explanations, consistent legends or explanation it's hard to tell what is being proposed, let alone compare them.

scoot
03-03-2015, 02:25 PM
Yes, at this point it's obfuscated enough that the only useful feedback I can give is "What???"

It looks like each drawing was done with a different format for colors and symbols, and most of the images contain no legend to explain. So I can't even tell which crossings are at grade and which are separated... and that's really important.

Plus there are so many options that it's impossible to keep them all straight. I guess that's ostensibly the point though: to allow the public to weigh in on the concepts before they are developed into a handful of alternatives.

scoot
03-03-2015, 03:02 PM
I like the design proposed by 0783

Yes, that one looks like it eliminates the worst bicycling hazards (since this picture uses a universal bridge symbol, I'm assuming that GWMP crossing is grade separated!). They should put a crosswalk at the west end of the circle as well. It's important to allow safe access to both sides of Memorial Bridge. On the DC side, it's difficult to safely get from the downstream crossing over to Rock Creek Parkway in order to head up along the river toward Kennedy Center. I usually go all the way around the far side of Lincoln Memorial rather than attempt to cross the road to reach the sidewalk above the staircase that leads down to Ohio Dr.

For automobile traffic though, I'd prefer to see both directions of GWMP routed under the eastern half of Route 27. That way at the northbound merge, 27 would come in from the right, and GWMP would come in from the left. Proportionally, 27 traffic is more likely to be heading over Memorial Bridge than to Rosslyn, while traffic approaching on GWMP is more likely heading to Rosslyn than over the bridge. I think too many drivers would be trying to change lanes there with this design.

Some of these spaghetti ramps could be removed overnight without significantly affecting driver mobility. For instance, how many people go northeast up 27 (past the west side of the Pentagon) and then turn to head south down GWMP? Couldn't the few people who do that use 395 or Boundary Channel instead? Or if their destination is LBJ Park, they could either park in the Virginia lot, or take 110 up then around Memorial Circle.

PotomacCyclist
03-03-2015, 08:49 PM
I rode CaBi over to East Potomac Park and walked down Buckeye Drive to the open house. (The cold rain was not pleasant. There were some slippery spots on the sidewalk. When I tried to walk around some of the puddles on the sidewalk, I found that the grass was soggy while the leftover ice was smooth and slippery.)

I mentioned the problems with looking through all the designs on the website. Apparently they can click on the photos and view each one. I mentioned that I had to download and open each image separately, which is a very cumbersome process. I did say that someone on the forum was going to combine the images into a short YouTube video. They seemed very pleased to hear that. Maybe they could add a link on the website, if that's OK.

Anyway, I looked at the various drawings and concepts. They are really just loose sketches and brainstorming ideas more than polished concepts at this point. Even up close, I couldn't make sense of all of the drawings. Some were overlaid on maps of the Memorial Circle area, which made it easier to figure out what changes were being proposed. For the drawings taped up on the wall, I didn't have a frame of reference. I couldn't tell exactly which trail segment or road segment was being moved or altered or removed on those drawings.

I don't think the specifics are vital at this point. The representatives said that they are going to continue to review input and combine those ideas with those from professional road/trail engineers. They will also make budget assessments of various options. They want to narrow down everything to 3 to 5 clean proposals. Those proposals might be hybrids that combine elements from several of the existing sketches. One guy said that the process could take 18 months, but he might have been thinking of environmental review too. Another rep said that they were hoping to get the preliminary formal concepts out by this summer, for further public comment. On the long-term view, the entire process, from brainstorming to polished concepts, to environmental review, to engineering review, to budgeting and construction, could take 5 years, but that's only a rough guess. I mentioned 5-7 years, based on what I've seen on other big projects. The rep seemed to think 5 years might be a good guess, but there are dozens of things that could affect such a timeline at this point.

As for the parameters of the process, the rep said that NPS wants to keep Memorial Circle in place. They also want to preserve the viewshed of Memorial Ave., Memorial Bridge and the Lincoln Memorial. He said that everything else was on the table, which surprised me. Of course, there will be budgetary restraints, but there are no specific numbers at this time. I would guess that the final 3-5 options will include some concepts that are less expensive than others, while the most expensive option might be difficult to fund.

He also said that NPS would pay for the project as long as it fits into their overall national budget, which is over $2 billion. (Too bad we can't spend all that money on Memorial Circle, MVT and Rock Creek Park.... No, I realize that they also have to cover the large national parks out west, but $2 billion to spend on DC-area infrastructure would be awesome. For us, anyway.) NPS employees can't lobby Congress for specific funds, but civilians are free to ask their Congressional representatives to vote for extra funds for the Memorial Circle project. Groups like WABA can also try to build support for the project, so continue to provide input to the NPS, your representatives and advocacy groups as the process continues.

I mentioned some of my biggest concerns about that area: the trail intersections and safety issues for cyclists and pedestrians. Even if you have sent in comments last year, it can help to repeat concerns and suggestions in the new brief comment period.

Some of the preliminary sketches included some very radical ideas, such as removing several ramps and road segments through the area. One sketch took out all the road segments east of Washington Blvd. except maybe one lane of the GWMP, with that road being rerouted. I don't remember the details, but I saw that all of the trail segments east of Washington Blvd. would now be intersection-free trail segments. That would turn that entire area into a car-free park. That option would likely be very expensive, so I'm not sure this would be done. But at least they put it out there in the preliminary stages.

I don't think the NPS would go for any overhead bike/pedestrian bridges, unless they were pushed far away from the Memorial Ave./Memorial Bridge viewshed. I don't know how that would work, but this is why they are asking for comments. If you have an idea, send it in. I wouldn't worry so much about commenting on specific sketches. Send in specific examples of hazardous points and what type of improvement could fix it. But if you do see a sketch that you like, write in support of it. Detailed reasons would be helpful.

Road removal, bike tunnels and road realignment were on the table for the sketch phase, but for the polished concepts, these could be an issue with the budget. The more support there is for funding, the more options the NPS would have for the final designs. Bike tunnels and road realignment/removal would be expensive. On the other hand, simpler ideas like rumble strips don't solve the entire problem there. Because the Memorial Circle is at the center of one of the most popular tourist areas in the DC area (and in the U.S.), sitting between the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery, there could be more political support for spending larger sums on this project. (I hope.) According to a CNN article, 4 million people visit the Cemetery each year. Many if not most of those visitors are not DC-area residents. Thus, the anti-DC members of Congress would not have an incentive to knock down a DC-area project, because safety at the Circle can affect many of their local constituents, who can and do visit the Cemetery. The Cemetery is considered sacred ground to many across the U.S. and the Lincoln Memorial is one of the most famous and most visited sites in the U.S. All this could make it somewhat easier to convince Congress to pay for a better, and more expensive, solution to the problems around Memorial Circle.

I mentioned that I've seen families running across multiple lanes of traffic at the Circle because they couldn't figure a way to walk from the Cemetery to Memorial Bridge (and presumably the Lincoln Memorial). I was completely stunned to see this, but then I realized that an out-of-town visitor isn't likely to figure out how to walk between the two locations. So it's not just a cyclist-car driver issue. The NPS rep was interested to hear the comment and asked me to post it again on the website, even if I had already posted it last year. I said I would. It helps to point out that pedestrian safety is also a problem at the Circle. It also shows that even if there aren't that many injuries there, the traffic patterns can certainly be unsafe for many visitors. I've seen the mad dash technique used multiple times by pedestrians there. And with 4 million visitors a year, there are a lot of potential situations like this.

PotomacCyclist
03-04-2015, 10:37 AM
The NPS rep also said that they won't be adding traffic lights in or next to Memorial Circle either. So the final concepts will have to include other means of improving safety for all users. If traffic lights and bike bridges are out, it seems that tunnels and road removal/realignment would be the best options. Those would be expensive, but what are the alternatives? They seem to be serious about redoing the entire area to improve safety, and if lights and bike bridges are not possible, then the expensive options would be the only real choices. Unless I'm missing something here.

When I mentioned the budget and lobbying for funding, that's when the rep said that NPS employees couldn't lobby on their own, while civilians can write and campaign for funding for the Memorial Circle project. He tossed out a number. I won't say what it is, because I don't want to create unrealistic expectations. But it was very large. He said NPS probably wouldn't spend quite that much money on this project, but it did indicate to me that, at least at this point, NPS really is thinking big here. Maybe this is the norm at the early stages of a project, before the realities of limited funding hit everyone. Then again, this location is so prominent locally and nationally that maybe there is the political will to spend big (or at least bigger than usual) on this project.

dasgeh
03-04-2015, 10:58 AM
I also stopped by. There were not many members of the public there, and it seemed like they were all cyclists. So there's that.

They are taking comments for the next 7 days, not limited to these designs. Some of the designs still had at-grade crossings, and some of the NPS representatives toyed with ideas like pedestrian/cyclist refuge islands, which would allow peds/cyclists to cross one lane of traffic at a time. I strongly recommended that all designs with any at-grade crossings be disqualified.

I spoke to a number of people from NPS. They would all encourage me to put my comments in writing (they had forms there or there's the online option). The one comment that actually got a few of them to pull out and take notes was the idea to design with family cyclists in mind. In other words, when thinking about whether a crossing works for "cyclists", think about whether it works with the Dad on a long-tail biking a toddler or two around the area, or for the 8-year-old who is biking with her family. If it works for those people, it will work for all people on a bike.

And WABA was there. Greg pointed out that NPS is also looking at the Memorial Bridge itself, and that the designs should probably work together....

PotomacCyclist
03-04-2015, 02:22 PM
An older thread related to the earlier phase of the public outreach process:

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?7506-Memorial-Circle-Safety-Improvements

bobco85
03-04-2015, 08:22 PM
I just finished uploading the video of all the sketches. There were a few sketches with multiple copies, and I put them in numerical order according to file name. I also added a quick video capture of scrolling through the project area on Google Earth. Hopefully this will help people see all of the designs.


http://youtu.be/f_2FRdlXQL8

I'll send the link to the BikeArlington e-mail as well.

PotomacCyclist
03-04-2015, 09:50 PM
You might even be able to convince the NPS to add the video to the project website. They seemed excited to hear that someone was creating a video like this. I don't know if that would break some sort of regulation. Maybe they could post it on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

mstone
03-05-2015, 07:39 AM
I'd rather they just post a pdf.

dasgeh
03-05-2015, 08:24 AM
Oh one other thing: some of the notes at the open house were "low impact" changes, which is NPS code for changes they could make in the short term. Things like rrfb at the crossings, more enforcement, any enforcement. When submitting comments, you might consider including a section on what NPS could do now to make the area safer.

kwarkentien
03-05-2015, 09:58 AM
"rrfb"?

bobco85
03-05-2015, 10:14 AM
"rrfb"?

RRFB stands for Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/resources/techsum/fhwasa09009/

PotomacCyclist
03-05-2015, 10:53 AM
IMG_0783 is very interesting. It's likely to be one of the more expensive proposals, but it could be the most beneficial in terms of improving safety for trail users. (I'm not sure about pedestrians traveling from Arlington Cemetery to Memorial Circle and Memorial Bridge. That's also an important issue.)

The concept solves the problem of the dangerous trail crossings by removing the need for so many crossings. All three of the dangerous trail/road intersections would be gone, because they would no longer be required. The trails would still be there (although one section would be moved a couple hundred feet, which shouldn't be a problem for anyone). The GWMP would be realigned and much of the "spaghetti" road mess would be gone. There would be one remaining trail/road intersection, but it looks like a bike tunnel would be built there. Thus, cyclists traveling on the Washington Blvd trail or the MVT and headed to Memorial Bridge would now have an entirely intersection-free route. Much of Columbia Island would become a car-free park, to the east of the new GWMP alignment. I think this would be incredible. Cyclists, runners and pedestrians could travel or linger or stop to take in the incredible views in that area without having to worry about high-speed automobile traffic just feet away.

As you can see from the image, this concept would remove most of the road lanes on Columbia Island. The existing road configuration splits the northbound and southbound lanes of the GWMP into separate routes on the island. It's the same with Washington Blvd., or actually a bit worse, because northbound Wash. Blvd. is itself split further into two separate paths. The concept would consolidate all of that mess, so the north and southbound routes would lie close to each other, and away from most of the trail network. The trail network can easily be expanded in the area that would be cleared of road lanes.

Cyclists traveling from the Wash. Blvd. trail or the MVT to the Cemetery would still face one road intersection, but the sightlines are relatively good (I think). Pedestrians traveling from the Cemetery to Memorial Bridge would face that same new crossing. But since drivers would be heading straight into Memorial Circle and a 90-degree turn, they would not be able to maintain speed the way they can through existing road/trail intersections.

[For cyclists on the Wash. Blvd. trail, there would be one more troublesome road crossing, but to the south of Columbia Island, so it may not be within the scope of this project. The crossing is at the exit ramp from Wash. Blvd. to the north Pentagon parking lot. This crossing could be made safer if the bike trail/sidewalk were widened and extended along the curved ramp for 40 ft., before crossing the road. This would make it easier to judge whether an oncoming driver is headed straight along Wash. Blvd. or is turning right into the parking lot. The other road crossing, 100 ft. to the north of that spot, is less of a problem because it's easier to see cars/drivers headed up that ramp.]

If NPS is serious about resolving all the safety issues at Memorial Circle and on Columbia Island, they should go with something like the IMG_0783 proposal. I will edit this comment and send it into the NPS website/comment form.

Any thoughts on this? Agree or disagree? My only worry about this proposal is the cost. It would involve the removal and realignment of a lot of road lanes. But the benefits would be significant, for all users and visitors. It would also open up most of Columbia Island and turn it into a true recreational park, where people could relax or travel leisurely without fear of high-speed car traffic.

8016

P.S. I see that this photo was already posted on the thread. I don't think there are any remaining intersections for trail users on Columbia Island, other than for those traveling to the Cemetery.

dasgeh
03-05-2015, 11:21 AM
There are lots of aspects of 783 that are great, but I think we shouldn't minimize the danger created by the unsignalized, at-grade crossings for the bike/ped paths. This is a major route for people coming from north/central arlington to the Memorial Bridge via the 110 trail. These crossings would take place just before cars enter the circle. While the speeds would be lower than with, eg, the current Pkwy crossing, they're still likely to be high and drivers will be focusing on traffic in the circle.

PotomacCyclist
03-05-2015, 11:25 AM
I added another paragraph for the submission to the NPS website:

The benefits would be significant, for all users and visitors. It would open up most of Columbia Island and turn it into a true recreational park, where people could relax or travel leisurely without fear of high-speed car traffic. Memorial Circle and Columbia Island are supposed to be parks and a place of remembrance (with Arlington Cemetery, Memorial Bridge and the Lincoln Memorial nearby), not a high-speed freeway. The Cemetery hosts 4 million visitors a year, most of whom are not local DC-area residents. Many of them walk between the Cemetery and Memorial Bridge and the Lincoln Memorial. I have seen many people, including families, trying to dodge traffic in Memorial Circle because it's not apparent how pedestrians are supposed to traverse the area. People should be the priority on Columbia Island, not high-speed cars.

PotomacCyclist
03-05-2015, 11:34 AM
There are lots of aspects of 783 that are great, but I think we shouldn't minimize the danger created by the unsignalized, at-grade crossings for the bike/ped paths. This is a major route for people coming from north/central arlington to the Memorial Bridge via the 110 trail. These crossings would take place just before cars enter the circle. While the speeds would be lower than with, eg, the current Pkwy crossing, they're still likely to be high and drivers will be focusing on traffic in the circle.

That is the one flaw with this proposal. I hope it's addressed in the final proposal or hybrid proposal. But it makes a great start by removing all of the other grade crossings.

Perhaps the road lane could be further reconfigured, to include some twisting turns before it approaches the circle. Drivers would have no choice but to slow down significantly if the road were to be designed like that. As the road approaches the Circle, it could take a steady turn to the right, then enter the Circle more like a merge than a 90-degree turn. The drivers would have to slow to a near stop in such a configuration. This would make it much safer to retain a trail crossing there.

The other idea would be to include a bike/pedestrian tunnel there, but I don't know if there is enough room. It would also affect the viewshed of the Circle and that is something NPS said they do not want to do. Maybe the tunnel could be designed without too severe of a grade change for trail users and without affecting the aesthetics of the Circle (which is an important consideration for NPS on this project).

I think I'll post a follow-up comment about the intersection, to highlight the problem. That intersection is important for all the pedestrians who walk between the Cemetery and the bridge.

chris_s
03-06-2015, 09:53 AM
783 indicates traffic signals on Memorial Drive which I believe NPS is dead-set against. That said, given the low volumes normally seen there, I'm not sure they would actually be necessary.

Dewey
03-09-2015, 11:46 AM
Thank you for doing this video @bobco85. It helped me to see all the drawings. I too found the inconsistency confusing. IMG0803 marked "tunnels option" appears in line with @PotomacCyclist's tunnels suggestion but includes an at grade crossing south of the circle. I do not like the idea of tunnels to redirect folks under existing roads without fixing the problems above.

I agree with @PotomacCyclist IMG0783 is my preferred option. I like how this option moves vehicle traffic to the south west, opening up waterfront park space for public enjoyment. I appreciate the cloverleaf connectors from the Mt Vernon Trail up to the Bridge sidewalks. As @Dasgeh and @PotomacCyclist mentioned, Pedestrians walking to Arlington cemetery and cyclists coming up the bike paths on Memorial avenue would need to cross the two entry/exit roads on the south west side of the circle. This would require at-grade crosswalks with light signals otherwise you would simply move the road/pedestrian/cyclist interface problems to the south west. Tunnels under those entrance roads might be an alternative to at-grade light signals.

dasgeh
03-09-2015, 12:46 PM
Friendly reminder (to me, at least):


A comment period closes in 1 Days, 12 Hours, 14 Min.

dasgeh
03-10-2015, 12:38 PM
FWIW, my comments:
Overarching comments:
• When planning facilities for people on bikes, National Park Service (NPS) should envision an 8-year-old girl enjoying a bike ride with her family, or a dad pulling his kids behind his bike in a trailer or toting his kids on a cargo bike. If you design facilities that are safe enough for those people, and if you design facilities that they can navigate on their bikes, then you will have designed facilities that work for all people on bikes.
o For these cyclists, unsignalized grade crossings, especially where there are multiple lanes and high speeds, are not safe enough. Similarly, bicycle infrastructure that is separated from motor vehicle infrastructure must include protection more than just paint, i.e. protected bike lanes are needed, not “traditional” bike lanes.
o For these cyclists, steep paths are not easy to negotiate.
o For these cyclists, tight turns are problematic: particularly for a parent with a trailer, a trail-a-bike or a cargo bike, the distance between wheels, and therefore the turning radius of their bike are larger.
o These cyclists need more lateral width to safely navigate: a child may be less able to ride in a narrow straight line, and a trailer or cargo bike is likely wider than a traditional bike.
• National Park Police should be involved in planning, and should ensure that the rules of the road are enforced, especially against those with the most power to harm others: motorists. Roads should be designed with
• NPS should plan for ongoing maintenance of the transportation system, not just for people driving, but for people biking and walking as well. This maintenance should include clearing snow and ice, filling spot-problems, like pot-holes, as well as appropriate repaving.
• NPS should widen the trails in this area, and should consider separate facilities for people walking and people biking, especially along the highly popular Mount Vernon Trail. At the very least, NPS should follow nationally recognized NACTO standards to widen the trail to 12 feet.
• Any plan for Memorial Circle should be considered in conjunction with the plan to rehabilitate Memorial Bridge. In particular, Memorial Bridge should include multimodal facilities, including protected bike lanes. NPS should consider protected bike lanes running in the center of the bridge, which could separate and run along the outside of the grassy portion of Memorial Circle. Such a design, if adequately protected on either side from motor vehicle traffic, would allow cyclists a safe passage through Memorial Circle, where they could connect with the various trails in the low-traffic-volume area South of Memorial Circle.
Low Impact Improvements:
• Put in signals, such as RRFBs or HAWK Signals at any grade crossings of the GW Parkway, as recommended in document 771 and others
• Install an additional crossing south of Memorial Circle, as recommended in document 771 and others
• Add signage near the Lincoln Memorial to aid in wayfinding for people on bikes and walking
Long term improvements:
• Any plan must eliminate unsignalized grade crossings for the trails (unfortunately all plans seem to leave some grade crossings)
• Any plan must widen the Mount Vernon Trail under the Memorial Bridge.
• Any plan must include accommodations for trail along 110 East of Memorial Drive.
• Plan 783 seems particularly promising, as it consolidates motor vehicle traffic onto the South side of Columbia Island, and preserves most of the island as park land. However, as written, this plan requires people biking and walking to cross a number of roads at-grade. Those should be made into tunnels or signalized. If that is not possible, NPS must ensure that motor vehicle speeds are reduced as much as possible.
• Any plan must decrease maximum vehicle speeds. Note that 775 seems like it would increase vehicle speeds, without removing grade crossings, thereby making people who walk and bike much less safe.