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dasgeh
12-07-2015, 01:38 PM
Tonight 7pm 2100 Clarendon, 3rd Floor
All are welcome

Agenda:
7:00pm Call to Order; Introductions; Approve minutes Gillian
7:05pm Update of the Bicycle Element of the Master Transportation Plan Gillian
7:10pm Ballston Plaza (Fairfax Drive between Stuart and Stafford Streets) Mark Schnaufer
7:30pm Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization Takis Karantonis
7:45pm Arlington Commuter Services new Chief Larry Filler
7:55pm Custis Repair []
8:10pm Four Mile Run Trail Closure []
8:30pm Arlington County Staff Updates:
A. Parks: Lights, paving Kevin
B. Projects: Signs, counts, snow clearing* Daves
C. BikeArlington Henry
8:50pm Budget update Gillian
8:55pm New Business Gillian
9:00pm Adjournment Gillian

dasgeh
12-08-2015, 04:27 PM
Good meeting. Thanks to all who came out.

For those who weren't there, be prepared for large swaths of FMR east of Shirlington to be closed for large swaths of time.

dbb
12-08-2015, 08:28 PM
10238

Discussed last night.

Public meeting at NRECA (4301 Wilson Blvd, Room CC1) at 6:30 pm Wed 16 Dec.

Will discuss changes to bus parking at the Ballston Metro Station

Sunyata
12-09-2015, 07:19 AM
Good meeting. Thanks to all who came out.

For those who weren't there, be prepared for large swaths of FMR east of Shirlington to be closed for large swaths of time.

Is there any additional information on this? (such as dates/locations and if there will be signed detours in effect?)

Thanks for all of your efforts!

sjclaeys
12-09-2015, 08:28 AM
Good meeting. Thanks to all who came out.

For those who weren't there, be prepared for large swaths of FMR east of Shirlington to be closed for large swaths of time.

So what is Arlington County's plan to provide safe and practicable alternate routes for cyclists? Also, I thought that the ABAC meeting notes were usually posted. Is that no longer the practice?

dasgeh
12-09-2015, 08:55 AM
So what is Arlington County's plan to provide safe and practicable alternate routes for cyclists? Also, I thought that the ABAC meeting notes were usually posted. Is that no longer the practice?

There are 3 (three!) projects that threaten to close different parts of the FMR Trail east of Shirlington.

The most concerning is an environmental project (http://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/four-mile-run-stream-restoration/) to do some work in the stream. Large vehicles will use the trail, so cyclists and pedestrians will not. They are planning for trail closures for a year, starting next summer, but are hoping for a shorter time frame. They're detour plan is to route bikes over the stream along Rte 1, then on the "FMR Park Trail" that goes through a park on the ALX side, then up Mt Vernon Ave to get back on the trail. The County staff who presented the detour (technical term is they are in the process of creating the MOT ("Maintenance of Travel") plan) was woefully under prepared. He had not thought through how people were expected to travel on Mt Vernon Ave or on Rte 1, short of saying, basically, "there are sidewalks". He did not know the condition of the sidewalks. He did not know the condition of the ALX Trail. He had not looked at the safety of the ALX Trail (a concern at the meeting). He at not looked at alternatives, such as taking a lane on S Glebe for a 2 way protected cycletrack, or improving a sidewalk on S Glebe for such. He promised to do some homework and come back to the BAC in January.

The other two are:
* A redevelopment at the Berkeley (http://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/berkeley/), which is just west of the work area for the environmental project. I believe the plans involve repaving (so short term closure). The redevelopment plans do NOT include taking down the fence at the back of the parking lot. A relevant meeting (http://commissions.arlingtonva.us/planning-commission/sprc/) is being held 12/21.

* A VDOT project to improve the 395 bridges over FMR creek. They expect some night closures of the FMR Trail over a period of 6 months, starting next year. Detour involves the bridge. BAC asked the County to look at improving bike infra on Martha Custis before that starts.

dasgeh
12-09-2015, 08:58 AM
Pic of detour for environmental projecthttp://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/12/09/7c4b8f58700efa1213dd3b4d6dae77ab.jpghttp://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/12/09/294488f5f084ad564cceb0fe0f7502a7.jpg

chris_s
12-09-2015, 09:06 AM
detour plan is to route bikes over the stream along Rte 1, then on the "FMR Park Trail" that goes through a park on the ALX side, then up Mt Vernon Ave to get back on the trail.

This is my commute, I actually intentionally bail to the Alexandria side at Mt Vernon since I'm headed to Commonwealth Ave and don't want to go past it to the Route 1 bridge. I expect it'll be mostly OK, except the Mt Vernon Ave sidewalk is narrow. Like TR bridge narrow. Dasgeh and I had better not try to pass eachother :)

This is assuming Alexandria is done with THEIR stream project first, because that trail that is shown in the detour on the Alexandria side is closed right now (so I'm staying on the Arlington side and going across Route 1, whose sidewalk is plenty wide).

chris_s
12-09-2015, 09:10 AM
* A redevelopment at the Berkeley (http://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/berkeley/), which is just west of the work area for the environmental project. I believe the plans involve repaving (so short term closure). The redevelopment plans do NOT include taking down the fence at the back of the parking lot. A relevant meeting (http://commissions.arlingtonva.us/planning-commission/sprc/) is being held 12/21.

Unless things have changed, this project should actually WIDEN the trail to 12'. If things have changed, they're going to get a piece of my mind and they should get a piece of the BAC's as well. Widening the trail to 12' there is one of the few bike projects that is actually in the MTP. We require development projects to bring adjacent sidewalks & street trees up to our current standards, they should do the same with the trail.

consularrider
12-09-2015, 09:22 AM
dasgeh, all three of those locations are east of Shirlington,

DismalScientist
12-09-2015, 09:24 AM
Well, since the Earth is a spheroid, they are also west of Shirlington.

lordofthemark
12-09-2015, 10:53 AM
I expect it'll be mostly OK, except the Mt Vernon Ave sidewalk is narrow. Like TR bridge narrow.

There are also a significant number of pedestrians who use that sidewalk - I know, I counted them.

S. Arlington Observer
12-09-2015, 11:04 AM
Seriously, this is the kind of thing that makes me doubt Arlington's commitment to bicycle commuting. They want to simply close a "main road" for a year? I use the route daily, sometimes twice a day. I will, of course, try the detour, which will add significant time. And I am concerned about safety. How does one navigate Route 1?

I may simply use the sidewalk (assuming they don't close that too) along S. Glebe. I suspect others will too. This is not a recipe for either cyclist or pedestrian safety.

This is not a serious community when it comes to promoting cycling. Much of Europe is serious, but Arlington is not. Very distressing.

S. Arlington Observer
12-09-2015, 11:23 AM
I want to write the County Board about this (and about the general lack of consistency between County rhetoric and actions regarding "the car free diet"). But I suppose I'll wait until after the 14th (next week.) The two new Board members are to be sworn in then. I'm not sure how to email them now.

dasgeh
12-09-2015, 11:33 AM
dasgeh, all three of those locations are east of Shirlington,

They moved since you left.

Or fixed.

dbb
12-09-2015, 11:51 AM
It seems that the biggest issues are at the transition points between where the detours start/stop and the the FMR trail. The proposed detour has cyclists crossing FMR on Route 1 and then heading west in Alexandria. While the trail there begins at Route 1, there is a poorly paved cutoff close to the bridge abutment. Might make sense to use this opportunity to improve that cutoff.

On the west side, the detour ends at Mount Vernon Ave about 0.2 miles south of the FMR trail entrance with the logical route on Mount Vernon Ave. The Mount Vernon Ave bridge sidewalk is pretty narrow (and gets a fair amount of ped traffic) so cyclists will need to be comfortable taking the roadway. The first curb cut that would allow cyclists to get back on the trail is at the intersection of Glebe and Mount Vernon, which will make for some fairly clumsy traffic there.

Seems to me that the project owners should look at how they would actually maintain traffic and make some modifications that would facilitate, well, actually maintaining traffic. We could consider a temporary curb cut to the south of the bus shelter on Mount Vernon near Glebe that would allow cyclists to get right on the trail as well as some clean up of the alternatives (the sidewalk along the Glebe by the WWTP, aggressive sweeping of Glebe to minimize road debris for cyclists, and some thought to getting cyclists off the detour on Mount Vernon and back to the trail.

Steve O
12-09-2015, 12:04 PM
On the west side, the detour ends at Mount Vernon Ave about 0.2 miles south of the FMR trail entrance with the logical route on Mount Vernon Ave. The Mount Vernon Ave bridge sidewalk is pretty narrow (and gets a fair amount of ped traffic) so cyclists will need to be comfortable taking the roadway. The first curb cut that would allow cyclists to get back on the trail is at the intersection of Glebe and Mount Vernon, which will make for some fairly clumsy traffic there.

You are describing the westbound route. At the meeting I brought up the situation for eastbound cyclists. If we use your strategy that cyclists will need to be comfortable taking the lane, then they would cross Mt. Vernon, ride across the bridge, cross Mt. Vernon again to get to the trail. The Alexandria crossing is not at a light.

Or
They would have to "salmon" the sidewalk across the bridge (not sure you can salmon on a sidewalk, but you get my drift).
If we feel the bridge is awfully narrow to accommodate people on bikes and people on foot, then taking the detour eastbound is an even bigger problem.

dbb
12-09-2015, 12:12 PM
Good point. The westbound detour is the easier of the two. Eastbound might be cleanest if you leave the trail at S Lang and take the lane/sidewalk on Glebe approaching Mount Vernon (which would be pretty busy in the morning rush). Turn south on Mount Vernon to get the detour.

Not an approach I would recommend for anybody uncomfortable with traffic - merging into a busy road and turning left onto the detour.

Clearly this entire traffic maintenance thing needs to be discussed in greater depth.

Arlingtonrider
12-09-2015, 12:30 PM
It would be great to have an alternative to going through FMR Park, which is not very appealing for those of us who ride home alone late at night.

DismalScientist
12-09-2015, 12:45 PM
You all might want to consider 31st street and Eads into Crystal City as an alternative. Or, if you are more masochistic, from the corner of Glebe and Glebe, take Army Navy to 20th or 23rd over the hill to CC. In both these alternative, there is a potential infrastructure issue. On the first, Glebe between the start of the project to Hill St (to get to 31st) could be a mess. On the second, the signal at Glebe and Glebe and Four Mile Drive needs to recognizes bikes on Four Mile Drive and turn appropriately green coming from the West.

lordofthemark
12-09-2015, 12:46 PM
You are describing the westbound route. At the meeting I brought up the situation for eastbound cyclists. If we use your strategy that cyclists will need to be comfortable taking the lane, then they would cross Mt. Vernon, ride across the bridge, cross Mt. Vernon again to get to the trail. The Alexandria crossing is not at a light.

Or
They would have to "salmon" the sidewalk across the bridge (not sure you can salmon on a sidewalk, but you get my drift).
If we feel the bridge is awfully narrow to accommodate people on bikes and people on foot, then taking the detour eastbound is an even bigger problem.


Sidewalks are all two way, IIUC. There is no salmoning on sidewalks (though I would exercise due care coming to a driveway at higher than pedestrian speed in the 'wrong" direction, but that is not an issue here - no driveways) I think the number of pedestrians may be lower in AM commuting hours (not certain) so if EB is mostly AM peak, it may not be that bad. In the worst case, one could walk one's bike across the bridge.

lordofthemark
12-09-2015, 12:48 PM
You all might want to consider 31st street and Eads into Crystal City as an alternative. Or, if you are more masochistic, from the corner of Glebe and Glebe, take Army Navy to 20th or 23rd over the hill to CC. In both these alternative, there is a potential infrastructure issue. On the first, Glebe between the start of the project to Hill St (to get to 31st) could be a mess. On the second, the signal at Glebe and Glebe and Four Mile Drive needs to recognizes bikes on Four Mile Drive and turn appropriately green coming from the West.

If you are going WB (as Arlingtonrider is concerned with) the terrain is not so bad, correct? (I did that once) But the intersection you reference is pretty bad, IIRC.

DismalScientist
12-09-2015, 01:09 PM
The terrain on 31st is OK both east and westbound. The problem is Glebe Road between Hill Road and the bike trail. Since 31st goes so far north, you probably want to go north on Eads and connect with the MVT at the Crystal City Connector.

The terrain on Army Navy is OK as well. It's a hill going east or westbound on 20th or 23rd. I think 20th is a little lower elevation and certainly has less traffic than 23rd. These hill are worse going west. An alternative is to just follow Army Navy all the way into North Crystal City and go south to get to the Crystal City Connector or go through the pedestrian tunnel under I 395 and take the Washington Blvd sidewalk to the Memorial Bridge. Army Navy is the flattest way to get to Crystal City other than the Four Mile Run trail. There is a fair amount of traffic on Army Navy, but generally it is polite.

Going eastbound, you take Four Mile Run Drive to Glebe and Glebe. Turn left onto Glebe and right on 28th in one half block. With the green light, you should have enough time to bike to 28th before traffic catches you from behind. (This is the light that should be reconfigured to be activated by bicyclists.)

Going west, turn left on Glebe from 28th and watch for cars turning south on Glebe from the exit ramp from I-395. Generally the cars are good in seeing you, but make eye contact to be sure.

dasgeh
12-09-2015, 02:38 PM
In addition to the County's attitude about this "We need to close a major part of our trail network to save some money? Sure!" I am VERY concerned with the way they have been going about this. They only came to the BAC after insistent emails from the Chair (to which there was never a response). They clearly had not done their homework before the BAC meeting. They did not know the sidewalk widths. They had not looked at crime reports. They hadn't thought through, aside from lines on a map, what they were using to replace a safe, comfortable trail. They hadn't thought through how different populations will use their detour -- night/early morning commuters, families, Arlington Fun Riders (there are probably lots more).

Hopefully, they will be better prepared in January, but I have been extremely disappointed by their work so far, which is something I don't often say about County staff.

Arlingtonrider
12-09-2015, 04:23 PM
Their "homework" should include (in addition to checking crime reports) biking through any detours under consideration, eastbound and westbound, both during the day and at night, and documenting good and bad aspects along each option under consideration.

dbb
12-09-2015, 07:59 PM
Their "homework" should include biking through any detours under consideration, eastbound and westbound, both during the day and at night, and documenting good and bad aspects along each option under consideration.

The process of analysis of alternatives is a lot easier when you have (elect to have) a single choice. It is pretty common for highway construction to spend some money to make detours effective. It takes a bit more than drawing a couple of lines on a map. We should get the same consideration.

AlexandriaBiker
12-09-2015, 10:14 PM
At a BAC meeting last winter we discussed the proposed bridge over FMR from Eads to Commonwealth. Does this project include initial bridge planning or construction? Including the work now should save Arlington some money and hopefully shorten any future closing for bridge construction. If we are lucky it may also motivate Alexandria to move the bridge up our project list.

Steve O
12-10-2015, 11:13 AM
At a BAC meeting last winter we discussed the proposed bridge over FMR from Eads to Commonwealth. Does this project include initial bridge planning or construction? Including the work now should save Arlington some money and hopefully shorten any future closing for bridge construction. If we are lucky it may also motivate Alexandria to move the bridge up our project list.

This idea has been bouncing around a long, long time.
http://www.thewashcycle.com/2009/10/four-mile-run-cyclistpedestrian-bridge-.html

http://www.4milerun.org/

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2011/01/alexandria-transportation-committee-to-discuss-bikeped-grants.html

http://www.novaregion.org/DocumentCenter/View/10460 (go to slide 32)

chris_s
12-14-2015, 08:52 AM
* A redevelopment at the Berkeley (http://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/berkeley/), which is just west of the work area for the environmental project. I believe the plans involve repaving (so short term closure). The redevelopment plans do NOT include taking down the fence at the back of the parking lot. A relevant meeting (http://commissions.arlingtonva.us/planning-commission/sprc/) is being held 12/21.

FYI - the 12/21 meeting about the Berkeley has been re-scheduled for January 28th.