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chris_s
11-16-2015, 03:39 PM
King Street Complete Streets Community Meeting (http://apps.alexandriava.gov/Calendar/Detail.aspx?si=11092)
Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
TC Williams High School Rotunda Room
3330 King Street

The public is invited to a meeting to provide input on an upcoming Complete Streets project along King Street (http://alexandriava.gov/localmotion/info/default.aspx?id=86423) between Janneys Lane and Radford Street.

This part of King Street sure could use a road diet & some bike lanes...

lordofthemark
11-17-2015, 08:41 PM
The meeting was interesting. At the table I was at the non cycling locals and the cyclists were in harmonious agreement - 4 to 3 road diet, making possible PBLS and a combination of left turn lanes and pedestrian islands, with changes at King and Scroggins to slow down cut through traffic. T&ES liked our ideas. At the end though the usual pushback came - against a road diet "because traffic is backed up from Callahan to Melrose" "bike lanes are too dangerous on a 35MPH road " and "we know there will be more traffic" Part of this I think was a difference, between those who lived near TC where King is a speedway, and those who live closer to Janneys, where it gets more backed up.

T&ES said they would study the flows to see what is possible. I believe that the backups are caused by the King/Callaway intersection and the 2 lane stretch of King, so modeling will show that a road diet ( possibly combined with a lane diet) will not appreciably reduce auto LOS even while calming top speeds.

T&ES also reiterated the need to connect the whole bike network.

There was also discussion of RFBs, sidewalk improments, bus stop spacing, and circulation at TC Williams.

The whole thing may benefit from positive results from the post project review of the complete streets changes east of Janneys. More on that tomorrow.

chris_s
11-18-2015, 08:34 AM
T&ES said they would study the flows to see what is possible. I believe that the backups are caused by the King/Callaway intersection and the 2 lane stretch of King, so modeling will show that a road diet ( possibly combined with a lane diet) will not appreciably reduce auto LOS even while calming top speeds.

I've been driving this stretch at least twice a week all autumn; Any backups that occur rarely extend beyond Janney's and can be blamed 100% on the King/Callahan intersection at the bottom of the hill. There is never, ever enough traffic on this stretch to justify four lanes. Not even at the peak of TC drop-off and pick-up.

A four-to-three road diet from Janney's to at least Kenwood is a no-brainer. The block between Kenwood and Radford is worth having a discussion about, but should probably get dieted as well.

lordofthemark
11-18-2015, 08:45 AM
Note - while there is no on street parking on this stretch (which should spare us the sturm und drang of the debate about the lanes east of Janneys) there are quite a few houses with driveways going directly on to King, which likely will place constraints on the kind of biking facility that can be built. It seems like a buffered lane is more likely than a flex post protected lane - the good news is that if you take away one general traffic lane (11.5 feet) plus narrowing the remaining lanes, there should be room for buffered lanes.

CaseyKane50
11-18-2015, 12:45 PM
I've been driving this stretch at least twice a week all autumn; Any backups that occur rarely extend beyond Janney's and can be blamed 100% on the King/Callahan intersection at the bottom of the hill. There is never, ever enough traffic on this stretch to justify four lanes. Not even at the peak of TC drop-off and pick-up.

A four-to-three road diet from Janney's to at least Kenwood is a no-brainer. The block between Kenwood and Radford is worth having a discussion about, but should probably get dieted as well.

At last night's meeting, the city's presentation reported that "peak hour volumes are no greater than 650 vphpd (vehicles per hour per direction)" on the section of King Street under discussion.


Per Para 3.3.6 in FHWA’s Road Diet guide (http://www.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets/info_guide/), a 4-to-3 Road Diet is “Probably feasible at or below 750 vehicles per hour per direction (vphpd) during the peak hour,” and can be considered cautiously “between 750 and 875 vphpd during the peak hour.”

chris_s
11-18-2015, 01:15 PM
At last night's meeting, the city's presentation reported that "peak hour volumes are no greater than 650 vphpd (vehicles per hour per direction)" on the section of King Street under discussion.

Always nice when my gut lines up with reality. :)

lordofthemark
02-11-2016, 08:07 PM
At tonight's meeting T&ES presented three options. Option 1 was basically no build plus - they would add ADA compliant curb cuts,at the bus stops, stripe crosswalks parallel to King only, and nothing else. Option 2 is what I would call a 4 to 4 road diet - convert one of the westbound lanes to a left turn lane, add ped islands, crosswalks, RFB lights, and some other intersection improvements, no bike accomodations. Option 3 is a 4 to 3 road diet, with buffered bike lanes in both directions from Chinquapin to Janneys. From Chinquapin to the west end if the study area, the westbound buffered lane would continue. Eastbound we would get a sharrows, because they want a right turn lane into the High school, and the wide sidewalk is available for cyclists unwilling to take the lane. Buses will stop in the bike lane, and there will be several driveways across it, which is why T&ES does not propose a PBL. T&ES presented data showing minor incremental delay to motorists. They seemed to favor option 3, which adds to the traffic calming, adds seperate on between peds and motor traffic, shortens the motor traffic area peds must cross, as well as providing accommodation to cyclists. 70% of attendees supported 3, the rest split between 1 and 2, with at least one picking choice 4, which was to present their own idea in a comment form. There was discussion of adding traffic lights, which T&ES thought was not possible, of reducing the 35MPH speed limit, of adding protection to the bike lanes, etc. Note the buffered lanes would be 5 ft plus a 2ft buffer.

scoot
02-11-2016, 11:48 PM
At tonight's meeting T&ES presented three options. Option 1 was basically no build plus - they would add ADA compliant curb cuts,at the bus stops, stripe crosswalks parallel to King only, and nothing else. Option 2 is what I would call a 4 to 4 road diet - convert one of the westbound lanes to a left turn lane, add ped islands, crosswalks, RFB lights, and some other intersection improvements, no bike accomodations. Option 3 is a 4 to 3 road diet, with buffered bike lanes in both directions from Chinquapin to Janneys. From Chinquapin to the west end if the study area, the westbound buffered lane would continue. Eastbound we would get a sharrows, because they want a right turn lane into the High school, and the wide sidewalk is available for cyclists unwilling to take the lane. Buses will stop in the bike lane, and there will be several driveways across it, which is why T&ES does not propose a PBL. T&ES presented data showing minor incremental delay to motorists. They seemed to favor option 3, which adds to the traffic calming, adds seperate on between peds and motor traffic, shortens the motor traffic area peds must cross, as well as providing accommodation to cyclists. 70% of attendees supported 3, the rest split between 1 and 2, with at least one picking choice 4, which was to present their own idea in a comment form. There was discussion of adding traffic lights, which T&ES thought was not possible, of reducing the 35MPH speed limit, of adding protection to the bike lanes, etc. Note the buffered lanes would be 5 ft plus a 2ft buffer.

Thanks for this info.

From your description, Option 3 sounds wonderful. It evinces a thorough consideration of a variety of issues affecting users of King Street, and whoever designed it should be commended.

Roadways generally function best when all passing (except of left-turning vehicles) is done on the left, and it sounds like T&ES gets this. Example: merging into traffic to pass stopped buses is not ideal for bicyclists, but trying to pass them on the right is a fool's errand. Also, the sharrows treatment west of TC will reduce right-hook conflicts with a subset of the driving population rarely lauded for their situational awareness or attentiveness (i.e. student drivers and dropoff parents), so I think it's the right call for the beginning of the eastbound bicycle facility.

Are the 3 vehicle lanes each 11 ft wide?

Options 1 and 2 are obviously not optimal here, but I would hope at the very least that they would include sharrows.

CaseyKane50
02-12-2016, 08:20 AM
Thanks for this info.

From your description, Option 3 sounds wonderful. It evinces a thorough consideration of a variety of issues affecting users of King Street, and whoever designed it should be commended

There will likely be a few more tweaks that could make it better. The City had said they would be refining the plans as they zero in on a final option.


Are the 3 vehicle lanes each 11 ft wide?
According to the drawing passed out last night, there are two different road configurations in option 3

Typical cross-section between Radford Street & Chinqapin Drive

11' shared lane/10' drive lane/10' left turn lane & pedestrian islands/10' drive lane/5' bike lane

Typical Cross-Section Between Chinquapin Drive & Janney's Lane

5' bike lane/2' buffer/10.5' drive lane/11' left turn lane & pedestrian islands/10.5' drive lane/2' buffer/5' bike lane


Options 1 and 2 are obviously not optimal here, but I would hope at the very least that they would include sharrows.

As presented last night, neither option 1 nor 2 had any bicycle improvements. Option 1 is probably a non-starter, as it really only improves access to the buses. Option 2, would address nearly all issues, except it would still be unsafe for bicyclists. At least at the meeting last night, it was a distant 2nd to Option 1 in the voting.

There will be at least one more public meeting and an on-line opportunity for people to comment on the options available.

lordofthemark
02-12-2016, 08:32 AM
The left turn lane would be 11 feet, the two driving lanes 10.5 feet. So this is a lane diet as well as a road diet, I guess.

The positive thing here is that both T&ES and everyone from the community who spoke, wants to see motor vehicle traffic slow down (currently 85% of traffic goes at over 41 MPH in a 35MPH zone, and some in the community think even 35 is too high) Not only to make it easier to cross the street, but to make it easier for people who live on the street to pull their cars out of the driveway. While there was some concern that option 3 might mean shorter gaps between cars in which to turn onto King, T&ES pointed out those cars would be slower. The folks who previously had spoken against a 4 to 3 road diet, focused more this time on asking for traffic signals, to create gaps in traffic. T&ES responded with the regulatory difficulties of adding signals at low volume intersections.

There was one cyclist whom I have not seen before who was trying to make a case for adding some protection (flexposts, presumably) to the bike lanes at the locations where there is no driveway or busstop. City was concerned that would make maintenance more difficult. I did not get into that issue - in the context of an audience largely consisting of non-cyclists who supported a buffered bike lane alt (for their own reasons) I felt it was better to take what was on offer (and I do not know that a few flexposts on a mostly non PBL would really do much for us) There was also some discussion of whether there was room for at least a non-buffered EB bike lane near the HS, by reducing the center strip - T&ES responded that they could not tell without getting further into design issues. It was agreed that bike lane would have to be between the right turn lane and the through lane.

There was no mention of sharrows in options 1 and 2. Quite frankly, as a non-fan of sharrows on 35MPH roads, I am not disappointed in that. If King does not get something better than sharrows, lets not pretend its a cycling route for anyone other than the strong and fearless (who will not need sharrows to take the lane) The segment near the HS is different - the less confident will have the sidewalk option (though they should exercise it carefully on weekdays at school start and release times) and given that option 3 has a buffered bike lane, a sharrows is worthy to connect to it.

One advantage of a sharrows there is that it normalizes the vehicular left that cyclists will need to proceed from there on to Kenwood, which is expected to get bike lanes at some point.

bobco85
02-12-2016, 09:29 AM
I attended the meeting last night, and I am hopeful that Option 3 (road diet, buffered bike lanes, pedestrian islands) will be chosen because I think it will best increase safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike and it will have a huge impact on cycling in the area.

Regarding the buffered bike lanes, I think this would be a good opportunity for installing flexposts to help keep that separation from drivers. They can space them appropriately so as to not block any driveways.

Assuming Option 3 is chosen (fingers crossed), I am concerned about 2 issues that were brought up at the meeting but not yet addressed.


It was brought to everyone's attention at the meeting that on Sundays, the First Baptist Church of Alexandria uses the right lane of eastbound traffic for parking with a sheriff staying there to supervise. It was mentioned that they were granted parking on the street there only while they were adding more off-street parking, but this apparently has been allowed to continue even after they finished increasing their off-street parking. Should a buffered bike lane be placed there, we would need enforcement on that block. Flexposts would help, too.
Approaching Janneys Lane eastbound, the road configuration is expected to switch from whatever improvements back to 2 lanes as the intersection features 1 straight lane and 1 right turn slip lane. There would need to be sufficient distance for cyclists who wish to continue on King Street as they merge left from the buffered bike lane into the left (straight) lane while drivers will be simultaneously merging right from the single traffic lane into the right turn slip lane.


I got the impression that many of the local residents at the meeting had been clamoring for safety improvements (reduced speeding, pedestrian crossings) for years, so I hope that this works out for them.

Fairlington124
02-12-2016, 10:03 AM
I would suggest that those speaking/writing in favor of the plan emphasize the slow-speed aspect. Many residents along King Street do not bike, and might even be negative towards biking following the King Street bike lane debate. If all they hear is about how the plan would make it better for bikers, they might sour to it, if nothing else, to spite the plan.

Rather, safety for pedestrians, namely children (TC Williams school) and the elderly (the soon-to-be Alexandria Memory Care at 2800 King) should be emphasized. Another key talking point should emphasize how the plan will slow down "out-of-towners" "cutting-through" on a "neighborhood road".

I would advise that discussion about the biking facilities should be from a technical perspective (i.e. why flexposts are preferable to sharrow) as opposed to a normative perspective (the City needs to get more people biking and out of their cars).

lordofthemark
02-12-2016, 10:34 AM
It was brought to everyone's attention at the meeting that on Sundays, the First Baptist Church of Alexandria uses the right lane of eastbound traffic for parking with a sheriff staying there to supervise. It was mentioned that they were granted parking on the street there only while they were adding more off-street parking, but this apparently has been allowed to continue even after they finished increasing their off-street parking.

T&ES did not think that was the case. The current aerial photo on google maps appears to have been taken on Sunday AM (by the full lot at that church and another nearby church, and it does not appear that there is on street parking. I am not sure how to reconcile that with somewhat impassioned assertion from the gentleman last night.

Fairlington124
02-12-2016, 10:43 AM
Sounds like some are trying to normalize the concept of a private interest capturing exclusive use of a public asset. We've seen this battle before elsewhere in the region.

lordofthemark
02-12-2016, 10:45 AM
Sounds like some are trying to normalize the concept of a private interest capturing exclusive use of a public asset. We've seen this battle before elsewhere in the region.

The guy at the meeting was rather angry about the church getting use of the on street parking. No one else was even certain that that occurs. Sounds like some of us might want to ride by there on Sunday and check it out.

bobco85
02-12-2016, 11:05 AM
The guy at the meeting was rather angry about the church getting use of the on street parking. No one else was even certain that that occurs. Sounds like some of us might want to ride by there on Sunday and check it out.
It's certainly worth checking out. If I remember, I will bike by Sunday morning just to make sure.

CaseyKane50
02-12-2016, 12:19 PM
The presentation from last night's meeting is available (http://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/localmotion/info/gettingaround/King%20Street%20Community%20Presentation%202%20-%20FINAL.pdf). You can also take the survey (https://engage.alexandriava.gov/portals/191/Forum_537/Issue_3417)

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The polling is also included.

10950

bobco85
02-14-2016, 02:34 PM
So, I went to check out the parking situation at First Baptist Church of Alexandria on King Street as one of their services had let out, and I found something interesting:


The claim that a lane of traffic is being used for church members to park turned out to be false.
In the block that the church is located, the right lane of eastbound traffic and left lane of westbound traffic are blocked off by police who were guiding traffic both on King Street and church members leaving the parking lot.
The flow of traffic was largely uninterrupted on King Street except for the occasional stoppage by police to let cars turn onto King Street; they're already incorporating a road diet with much success here!


Pics below:

looking eastbound on King Street showing the right lane of eastbound traffic blocked off
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looking westbound at the westernmost exits showing the right lane of eastbound and left lane of westbound traffic blocked off
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If Option 3 is selected, I think this would make the officers' jobs easier because managing 1 lane of traffic each way would be easier than 2 lanes.

Fairlington124
02-14-2016, 02:45 PM
All good evidence and fact-finding. Photographic evidence helps a lot.

S. Arlington Observer
02-15-2016, 09:20 PM
So, I went to check out the parking situation at First Baptist Church of Alexandria on King Street as one of their services had let out, and I found something interesting:.......

....if Option 3 is selected, I think this would make the officers' jobs easier because managing 1 lane of traffic each way would be easier than 2 lanes.

Great work. Thank you.