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View Full Version : Stop signs at crosswalks. Do you yield to cars?



StopMeansStop
07-18-2011, 09:32 PM
Where the W&OD crosses many a road as many of you know there are stop signs for the trail users. Technically, trail users are required to stop, and yield to road users. Road users are required to yield to anyone in the crosswalk.

Most drivers I see will be nice to yield to the trail users. If I see traffic coming up, I usually wave the driver on. The times I dont is if there are cyclists behind me, fearing they will blow the stop and get crushed.

For most of the trails this isn't a big deal, but for crossings around the GW parkway and MVT drivers yielding creates a very dangerous situation. As a driver and cyclist I've seen cars go from 50 to 0 and almost get rammed from behind, or one driver in a lane yields and the cyclists starts to cross and cars in the other lane don't stop and almost hit the cyclist. How can a situation like this be made safer for everyone?

5555624
07-19-2011, 05:42 AM
Natural selection -- let the cars take care of the nimrods on the trail who refuse to stop. (This is also the solution for cyclists who run red lights.)

Making it safer involves common sense and that's no longer common. If there is a STOP sign, then stop -- whether you're a driver or a cyclist. Just slowing down or a "rolling stop" (and that's akin to "a little bit pregnant") doesn't cut it. That said, on the MVT, if there are no cars or a sufficient gap, I don't stop. but I always plan on stopping. If there are cars, I stop. If a car stops and motions me across, I usually motion for it to go ahead. (I don't trust the cars in the other lane to stop.) I rarely ever actually dismount and walk my bike across,

Before proceeding, after stopping, look both ways. If the road is one-way, as a cyclist, you can ignore one direction, although I see drivers ignore one-sway streets all the time. (Yes, daily.) As a driver, the trails are two-way, so a cyclist can be coming from either direction. All to often, a drier making a right doesn't look to the right. (In fact, I assume they will not, whether I am on my bike or walking.)

You mention the W&OD and MVT, but the Custis Trail is where cyclists blow though intersections and drivers, especially at Lynn Street, don't even bother to look at the crosswalk when they're making a right on red.

Dirt
07-19-2011, 06:12 AM
Saw someone get naturally selected today. Not a pleasant experience for anyone involved. It was at an intersection where someone was questioning why there was any enforcement at all. I guess that answers the question.

Love,

Pete

WillStewart
07-19-2011, 06:18 AM
I always yield to cars, unless they stop and wave me on. This ONLY works if all other lanes of cars have no traffic or follow suit in the same manner. I always give a hearty thumbs up and cheery "Thank you!" to return the thoughtful gesture.

acc
07-19-2011, 06:28 AM
I don't mean to be blunt. Well, yes I do but it's early and I am undercaffeinated and upset that a cyclist is hurt. I have a simple approach.

I don't want to die on a bike.

That means I ride within my limits.

I use my own judgment at an intersection no matter how many times I hear "clear."

I am always ready to stop at an intersection. And yes, this slows me down a lot -- tough.

I will lay my bike down if I have the slightest doubt about whether a car is coming up on me too fast and what looked clear a moment ago suddenly looks iffy.

I don't tangle with things bigger than I am.

(Hooking up the caffeine bolus now)
Please watch yourselves.

ann

CCrew
07-19-2011, 06:48 AM
I don't mean to be blunt. Well, yes I do but it's early and I am undercaffeinated and upset that a cyclist is hurt. I have a simple approach.

I don't want to die on a bike.

That means I ride within my limits.

I use my own judgment at an intersection no matter how many times I hear "clear."

I am always ready to stop at an intersection. And yes, this slows me down a lot -- tough.

I will lay my bike down if I have the slightest doubt about whether a car is coming up on me too fast and what looked clear a moment ago suddenly looks iffy.



All fair statements.

I don't think any of us can say we've never rolled a stop, or in retrospect done a boneheaded maneuver. And Ann's right... You can't trust anyone but yourself to determine what's safe.

As to cars. They don't have to stop in most cases especially on the W&OD. There are a lot of very courteous drivers however that will. That can be deceptive in that unless you can be sure that ALL lanes involved are stopped proceeding can still render the accident your fault. When I first started commuting I saw a guy hit in just that fashion. Two lanes of traffic stopped and someone in the rear of the line was inconvenienced and cut right around the stopped cars hitting the rider. As a result I will frequently wave on a stopped or stopping car. It's not fun seeing a fellow rider down and even less fun being that rider. I've beaten enough statistical odds in my lifetime that I try not to tempt too many any more.

eminva
07-19-2011, 08:55 AM
I have no experience on the MVT or GW Parkway.

On the Custis I always obey the bicycle traffic signals (and stop at Quinn), but coming outbound I look over my shoulder at N. Oak Street even if I have the green light to make sure I don't get right hooked.

On the W&OD -- At a minimum, I do a rolling stop and am always prepared to come to a full stop. In Falls Church, there are a lot of intersections and some of them have little traffic so if I can go through with a rolling stop, that's what I do. When motorists stop and motion me through, I check the other direction and if clear, I proceed. If not clear, I'll wait and often the oncoming motorist will see the first guy stopped and come to a stop, too.

Not sure what can be done to make it safer. I've long thought that public safety officials need to do a better job of educating the public about what those zebra-stripey lines across a street mean (and not just limited to places that are trail crossings, the same holds true in marked crossings across the city and suburbs).

Liz

Dirt
07-19-2011, 09:07 AM
I stop at the red lights. I come very close to stopping at the stop signs. If there are obviously no cars or cross traffic, I'll roll through. I come close to getting rear-ended almost every day on the Custis trail when I stop at signs and red lights.

5555624
07-19-2011, 09:17 AM
I stop at the red lights. I come very close to stopping at the stop signs. If there are obviously no cars or cross traffic, I'll roll through. I come close to getting rear-ended almost every day on the Custis trail when I stop at signs and red lights.
Change "almost every day on" to "most of the time when I ride" and that describes my experience, too.

Just the other day, I was waiting for traffic -- not on the Custis Trail -- when someone rolled up behind me. Obviously impatient, I told him to go ahead. (I've seen this nimrod before and he routinely runs red lights.) He zipped right out and almost got hit. The driver looked at me and I just shrugged my shoulders and shook my head.

StopMeansStop
07-19-2011, 09:19 AM
The GW parkway situation is the scariest. Someone died a few months ago because a car slammed on the brakes and the car behind went off the road and took a jogger out.

5555624
07-19-2011, 09:24 AM
The GW parkway situation is the scariest. Someone died a few months ago because a car slammed on the brakes and the car behind went off the road and took a jogger out.

Was that at a designated crossing? The other big problem with the GW Parkway is the people that decide to cross it, like just north of Memorial Bridge.

txgoonie
07-19-2011, 09:56 AM
I was actually thinking about exactly this issue this past weekend while on the WOD! Made me wonder what the exact rules of crosswalks are.

It was later morning, prime time. Tons of ped and bike traffic. At one of the crossings in Falls Church, cars were stopped as a steady stream of walkers and cyclists on the trail ignored the stop sign and happily proceeded across the street. It was a total roadblock. Meanwhile the cars were backing up, and drivers were getting frustrated. I felt their pain, honestly. People were being seriously oblivious. I stopped and waved the waiting cars on (and then went when it was safe, of course:).

I'll hook onto the heels of a walker in the crosswalk if the cars are already stopped b/c I'm not costing them anymore time and they're not a danger (I will cop to that infraction). But a stop is a stop no matter the type of traffic.

Here's a question for clarification, though: a crosswalk gives you protection once you're in it, but it doesn't give you permission to walk out in front of cars, right? I've seen so many people not even look up from their cell phones b/c they're entering a crosswalk. Wonder if I'm missing something.

Jsnyd
07-19-2011, 10:25 AM
I rode the WOD yesterday for the first time. YAY!. There are plenty of drivers who are very courteous to all people on the trail and I am pleased by that, but that kind of irritates me as well. Ill explain. Having had my time in the service, I like to follow the rules if there are rules set. I may roll a stop sign if I can obviously see there is nothing around me, but other than that I come to a complete stop. At least really really close to one. So when I come to a stop sign, unclip and stop just to find a car stopping for me at a place he/she doesn’t have a stop sign, I get irritated when it happens over and over. It creates confusion. Since it happens so frequently, I almost expect cars to stop now. I even came to a few stop signs stopping and waving cars on (like I thought I should in the first place) to see what would happen. Even if they already stopped I would wave them on, and that seems to irritate drivers even more haha! Madness. Sorry you had to put a 1/2 pound of pressure on your break to stop your hybrid while the entire day I’m gaining momentum and wasting energy knowing I have to stop just to be waved on. Thank you for being so kind and patient to allow me to pass through, but I would much rather see you slow a bit just to be cautious and then continue on. Then I can time it out so providing there aren't any other cars, I can just roll through after you pass. :) Just my two cents haha.

eminva
07-19-2011, 11:05 AM
I rode the WOD yesterday for the first time. YAY!

Welcome to the W&OD!



Having had my time in the service, I like to follow the rules if there are rules set.

In Falls Church, there are signs in the middle of the street at all the W&OD crossings reminding drivers that by state law, they should yield to trail users. And yet trail users have stop signs. Even if everyone tried to follow the rules, there would be confusion, or a lot of people stopping and waiting for someone else to go. Add to that the fact that so many drivers and trail users make no attempt to follow the rules, and it can get complicated quickly.

I have also experienced near misses at intersections where I am stopping and the cyclist behind me wants to speed ahead. I've started to anticipate this scenario and if I hear or see another cyclist right behind me, I slow down as I approach the intersection so they have the opportunity to pass me before we get there. I go so slowly down the hill at Rosslyn that no one could possibly be surprised that I stop at the intersections, too.

Liz

RESTONTODC
07-19-2011, 11:12 AM
YES. According to a city of Falls Church police officer, the cyclists must stop and yield for the cars because we (cyclists) have the stop sign and cars don’t have the stop sign. There are the signs in the middle of the street said “Yield for pedestrian”, not for cyclists. The Virginia law also says yield for pedestrian in crosswalk, it doesn’t say anything about the cyclists.

About three weeks ago, I stopped at the stop sign on WOD at N West St in Falls Church. A lady saw me and stopped but guy in rear slam into her hard and pushes her car through the crosswalk. It looks like he didn’t even apply his brake.

He got out and yelled at her “why did you stop?” She was scared and shocked. I got my bike and yelled back to him and tell him to get back in his car. I called the police. When the police arrived, he asked why she stopped. It was her fault that she stopped. He told her that the cyclist has stop sign not her. Luckily, there was a jogger in the crosswalk on the opposite street. I provided my information as a witness and move on. Hopefully, she doesn’t have to be responsible for the accident. I wish know the outcome of it.

Now, I learned that the drivers yield for us are taking a risk. They could be responsible for an accident.

StopMeansStop
07-19-2011, 11:19 AM
Was that at a designated crossing? The other big problem with the GW Parkway is the people that decide to cross it, like just north of Memorial Bridge.

It was at a designated crossing, which like the trails have STOP signs for the trail users. The problem is that drivers either don't realize the pedestrians are required to wait, or they want to be nice and allow them to cross. While I applaud their civility to their fellow man, they are really making the situation far more dangerous.

No good deed goes unpunished....

americancyclo
07-19-2011, 11:42 AM
The Virginia law also says yield for pedestrian in crosswalk, it doesn’t say anything about the cyclists.
Now, I learned that the drivers yield for us are taking a risk. They could be responsible for an accident.

@RESTONDC The Virginia law DOES cover cyclists, specifically. I've cited it below. The drivers that yield to trail users are following the law. The only one responsible for the accident was the person that rear ended the car in front of them.

Based on the following codes below, I'm under the impression that a cyclist (as well as any other trail user) is not to enter the crosswalk if there is oncoming traffic, but once that traffic sees you, and begins to yield, as required by law, you can proceed. To me, this makes the NVRPA stop sign moot. If there is traffic that will hit you, stop. If there is traffic approaching down the road, proceed, they are obligated to yield.

I'd love to hear other interpretations.


§ 46.2-904
A person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, motorized skateboard or scooter, motor-driven cycle, or an electric power-assisted bicycle on a sidewalk, shared-use path, or across a roadway on a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

§ 46.2-924
A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:

1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;

3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.

No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.

The drivers of vehicles entering, crossing, or turning at intersections shall change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously.

§ 46.2-100. Definitions.

"Highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel in the Commonwealth, including the streets and alleys, and, for law-enforcement purposes, (i) the entire width between the boundary lines of all private roads or private streets that have been specifically designated "highways" by an ordinance adopted by the governing body of the county, city, or town in which such private roads or streets are located and (ii) the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place used for purposes of vehicular travel on any property owned, leased, or controlled by the United States government and located in the Commonwealth.

StopMeansStop
07-19-2011, 11:46 AM
Here's a question for clarification, though: a crosswalk gives you protection once you're in it, but it doesn't give you permission to walk out in front of cars, right?

Dead on balls accuarte, however let me append to that:

A crosswalk gives you protection once you're in it, but it doesn't give you permission to walk out in front of cars -- but if you DO walk out in front of cars they are still obligated to stop.

StopMeansStop
07-19-2011, 11:49 AM
I rode the WOD yesterday for the first time. YAY!. There are plenty of drivers who are very courteous to all people on the trail and I am pleased by that, but that kind of irritates me as well. Ill explain. Having had my time in the service, I like to follow the rules if there are rules set. I may roll a stop sign if I can obviously see there is nothing around me, but other than that I come to a complete stop. At least really really close to one. So when I come to a stop sign, unclip and stop just to find a car stopping for me at a place he/she doesn’t have a stop sign, I get irritated when it happens over and over. It creates confusion. Since it happens so frequently, I almost expect cars to stop now. I even came to a few stop signs stopping and waving cars on (like I thought I should in the first place) to see what would happen. Even if they already stopped I would wave them on, and that seems to irritate drivers even more haha! Madness. Sorry you had to put a 1/2 pound of pressure on your break to stop your hybrid while the entire day I’m gaining momentum and wasting energy knowing I have to stop just to be waved on. Thank you for being so kind and patient to allow me to pass through, but I would much rather see you slow a bit just to be cautious and then continue on. Then I can time it out so providing there aren't any other cars, I can just roll through after you pass. :) Just my two cents haha.

I couldn't agree anymore. Where did you take the WOD?

StopMeansStop
07-19-2011, 12:15 PM
Americancyclo

I'm not trying to start an argument, so I hope this doesn't come out sounding that way. However.... ;)

The NVRPA Stop signs (at least the ones in Shirlington) say they are "required by law" so I'm assuming that there is some code behind them and thus enforcable




§ 46.2-924
A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:



Pedestrian code is fairly uniform across the states. The general interpretation is "crossing" means that a pedestrian is already inside the intersection. Whether walking, riding or doing cartwheels as long as a pedestrain is touching the intersection then they are defined to be crossing. And the logic for this reasoning is a pedestrians intent is subjective. They could just be standing there enjoying the sunshine. There is no way for a driver to be certain of the pedestrians intent. However touching the intersection is very objective. Either they are, or they aren't.

If driver A yields to a pedestrian that is inside an intersection, and the driver is rear-ended by driver B for coming to a sudden stop, then driver B is at fault.
If driver A yields to a pedestrian that is outside an intersection, and the driver is rear-ended by driver B for coming to a sudden stop, then driver A is at fault.

RESTONTODC
07-19-2011, 12:20 PM
§ 46.2-904
A person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, motorized skateboard or scooter, motor-driven cycle, or an electric power-assisted bicycle on a sidewalk, shared-use path, or across a roadway on a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstances.


americancyclo, I didn't see the above code of Virginia before. It's very interesting. We need a lawyer to interpret the law.

CCrew
07-19-2011, 12:46 PM
If driver A yields to a pedestrian that is inside an intersection, and the driver is rear-ended by driver B for coming to a sudden stop, then driver B is at fault.
If driver A yields to a pedestrian that is outside an intersection, and the driver is rear-ended by driver B for coming to a sudden stop, then driver A is at fault.

Err, no. Because other factors come into play. Maintaining a safe following distance for the cars is one.

About the only way to escape responsibility for a rear end collision is to be the middle car in a sandwich where the impact from the rear car drives you into the car in front.

I can slam the brakes for a bunny in the road and if the car behind me hits me they'll get the ticket. By your description that wouldn't be the case. Think about it. A kid rides their bike out of the driveway into the street, and you slam the brakes and the car behind you hits you. By your description it's your fault. I don't think that's gonna fly.

Mark Blacknell
07-19-2011, 01:02 PM
A couple of general points:

1) Cops don't necessarily know the law. Especially when it comes to traffic enforcement regarding the interaction of cyclists and motorists. So make sure you know the basics (http://www.waba.org/resources/laws.php) for yourself.

2) There's the law, and then there's our general practices that have evolved over time. If the police all of a sudden started giving out tickets for every vehicle going 56 or more on 66, people would (rightly) go apes#it. When you act well outside of common practice, but within the law (say, going 50 in the left lane on 95), you create a risky situation. Whether that's justified or not is another conversation.

As to the actual question at hand, here's a lawyer's answer: it depends. To my knowledge, Virginia law has never really explored what "No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic." means, so we're left with much uncertainty. I'd be quite comfortable arguing that it means that a pedestrian may cross so long as it did not require motorists to take unreasonable efforts to yield, while others (including many in Richmond) would argue that so long as a pedestrian can see the car, he better stay out of the road. On the whole, Virginia is rather backwards when it comes to the law and protecting pedestrians/cyclists. So don't rely on it. Rely on your own sensible approach to what is safe and what isn't.

(Finally, I'm not entirely sure there *is* any code to support the stop signs facing the WOD, as referenced above. I'd welcome any information to the contrary.)

StopMeansStop
07-19-2011, 01:02 PM
Err, no. Because other factors come into play. Maintaining a safe following distance for the cars is one.

About the only way to escape responsibility for a rear end collision is to be the middle car in a sandwich where the impact from the rear car drives you into the car in front.

I can slam the brakes for a bunny in the road and if the car behind me hits me they'll get the ticket. By your description that wouldn't be the case. Think about it. A kid rides their bike out of the driveway into the street, and you slam the brakes and the car behind you hits you. By your description it's your fault. I don't think that's gonna fly.

But in the examples you point out, there was a valid reason for the lead car to come to a sudden stop. There was an obstacle in the road. In my example there was no valid reason for the lead driver to stop.

Also, in the sandwich situation you describe, only the lead driver is possibly not at fault. The middle driver failed to maintain a safe distance. I read about this after one of those massive fogout accidents.

StopMeansStop
07-19-2011, 01:09 PM
Mark

Nice post. An interesting aside: Did you know that all legally enforceable signs in Virginia that are erected by the various governments are supposed to have a sticker on the back of them? I forgot what it says, but it is a little white sticker indicating it is backed by Virginia code. This is to differentiate these official signs from ones that are installed by others. A cop told me this, but don't like to advertise this for some reason.

Mark Blacknell
07-19-2011, 01:22 PM
Did you know that all legally enforceable signs in Virginia that are erected by the various governments are supposed to have a sticker on the back of them? I forgot what it says, but it is a little white sticker indicating it is backed by Virginia code. This is to differentiate these official signs from ones that are installed by others. A cop told me this, but don't like to advertise this for some reason.

Are you sure it's not to help the UN in event of an invasion (http://forums.randi.org/archive/index.php/t-174713.html)?

RESTONTODC
07-19-2011, 02:11 PM
(Finally, I'm not entirely sure there *is* any code to support the stop signs facing the WOD, as referenced above. I'd welcome any information to the contrary.)

Mark, thank you for clarifying the VA laws. I agree that most cops don't know much about the laws relating to cyclists. Now, I feel it's really a jungle out there.

If there is no code for the stop signs facing the WOD,so the cops can't really enforce it, can they? I heard that cops gave tickets to some cyclist for not stopping.

DaveK
07-19-2011, 02:34 PM
Mark

Nice post. An interesting aside: Did you know that all legally enforceable signs in Virginia that are erected by the various governments are supposed to have a sticker on the back of them? I forgot what it says, but it is a little white sticker indicating it is backed by Virginia code. This is to differentiate these official signs from ones that are installed by others. A cop told me this, but don't like to advertise this for some reason.

Not true.

What you might be thinking of is that temporary parking signs must have been in place for 24 hours before they can be enforced, so the date they are put up and a temporary ordinance is enacted is usually written on the back of the sign. Sign stickers are for inventory more than anything.

JimF22003
07-19-2011, 02:47 PM
When I'm on a trail and am approaching an intersection with a stop sign, I am ready, willing, and able to come to a complete stop. I really, really am. If there is clearly no traffic at all from either direction, I will definitely slow-roll through the intersection (there, I said it.)

But if there is a car, or bike, or pedestrian coming,I am fully prepared to stop. That doesn't mean I put a foot down, or unclip. Usually it means I come to a near stop (as close to a track-stand as I can manage anyway.) I can come to a dead stop immediately from this position.

But the drivers have been so well "trained" that 90% of the time they will come to a stop and wave me through while I'm slowing down and getting ready to stop myself. So what should I do? -- get into a long "no, really, you first, you have the right of way, I insist..." dialog with them?

Believe me, they don't appreciate it. It just p*sses them off. "See, I tried to do you a favor by not insisting on my rights, and this is the thanks I get?"

It just adds to the uncertainty which causes them to yield to me in the first place.

So really, you can't win. For me it boils down to:

1) if it's clear, I'm going through
2) if it's not clear, I'm getting ready to stop
3) if a car is going through properly by not yielding, I come to a complete, full, and metaphysical halt.
4) if a car is going to yield (out of politeness, or fear, or wanting to preserve their paint job by not having a cyclist broadside them), then I am going to give a little nod or wave of appreciation, and go on through.

CCrew
07-19-2011, 02:55 PM
.

Also, in the sandwich situation you describe, only the lead driver is possibly not at fault. The middle driver failed to maintain a safe distance. I read about this after one of those massive fogout accidents.


In your example the pedestrian was the "obstacle". Same thing essentially. You can come to a full stop in any road. Sure, you risk an impeding traffic ticket, but if someone hits you it's 99% it's their fault. Good example from a LEO about rear end collisions: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/733166.html
Safe distance doesn't apply if at full stop. Get in one of those accidents one time, cop will invariably ask "was there one impact or two" If two, it was the first hit from the rear and the second hit pushing you into the front. Get out of jail free card.

Those fogout accidents generally result in the "Failure to maintain proper speed for conditions" ticket marathons. Or in VA there's the "contributory negligence" loophole which is totally an ugly one.

But considering I'm not a lawyer, AND I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night it's really going to be up to a court to decide. Either of us taking the stance that the other is 100% wrong is just going to be a disappointment :)

Mark Blacknell
07-19-2011, 03:31 PM
Not true.

What you might be thinking of is that temporary parking signs must have been in place for 24 hours before they can be enforced, so the date they are put up and a temporary ordinance is enacted is usually written on the back of the sign. Sign stickers are for inventory more than anything.

DaveK is obviously a sleeper agent for the New World Order.

theakston
07-19-2011, 03:40 PM
It was at a designated crossing, which like the trails have STOP signs for the trail users. The problem is that drivers either don't realize the pedestrians are required to wait, or they want to be nice and allow them to cross. While I applaud their civility to their fellow man, they are really making the situation far more dangerous.

No good deed goes unpunished....
There is a lot of confusion over these signs. I personally think that the Stop signs need to be removed. Traffic is supposed to yield to pedestrians in (or attempting to enter) the crosswalk. From what I was told the Stop signs (which usually are combined with a "Dismount" sign - the ones on the GWParkway do) are to instruct the cyclists to stop and dismount at which time they are to be treated as a pedestrian and have the right of way.
There is clearly a need to clarify this set of laws. And to enforce them. People are getting hurt and killed too often.

americancyclo
07-19-2011, 03:41 PM
1) if it's clear, I'm going through
2) if it's not clear, I'm getting ready to stop
3) if a car is going through properly by not yielding, I come to a complete, full, and metaphysical halt.
4) if a car is going to yield (out of politeness, or fear, or wanting to preserve their paint job by not having a cyclist broadside them), then I am going to give a little nod or wave of appreciation, and go on through.

Cheers to you sir!

theakston
07-19-2011, 03:43 PM
Here is another quote from the law regarding crossings for those that seem to think that the car has the right of way unless the pedestrian is alwady in the crosswalk:

C. The governing body of Arlington County, Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, the County of Loudoun and any town therein, and the City of Alexandria, may by ordinance provide for the installation and maintenance of highway signs at marked crosswalks specifically requiring operators of motor vehicles, at the locations where such signs are installed, to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing or attempting to cross the highway. Any operator of a motor vehicle who fails at such locations to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians as required by such signs shall be guilty of a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of no less than $100 or more than $500. The Commonwealth Transportation Board shall develop criteria for the design, location, and installation of such signs. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any limited access highway.

StopMeansStop
07-19-2011, 07:18 PM
theaskton (welcome to the board!)

I never saw section C, however the pedestrians still have to obey the stop signs on trails, which still requires them to yield right of way.

With regards to crosswalks in NOVA as you mentioned above, Arlington has quite a few of these signs already which say something like "yield to pedestrians within crosswalk". I've never seen one saying "yield to pedestrians attempting to cross". Maybe they exist. But it sounds like the county has the authority to post such signs if they wish.

Jsnyd
07-19-2011, 07:44 PM
I couldn't agree anymore. Where did you take the WOD?

I started in Arlington. I think I parked on Four Mile Run Rd, 50yrds short of what I believe to be the start and turned around in Herndon at the rest stop. There and back came out to just over 43 miles. Luckily I started early enough to get off the trail by 10:30am, it was getting hot (this was Monday). I wanted to go further but I figured the distance I covered my first time on the trail was decent. Plus I only had a banana left and was saving that for the way back. I saw a few of the trouble spots I have read about here. At the time I didnt see huge problems but I also understand I was on the trail with probably the least activity of the day. Ill be back out tomorrow morning to hit the other half (or a good chunk of it) and eventually tie those two halfs together one of these days.

StopMeansStop
07-19-2011, 07:57 PM
Nice. The start is actually in Shrlington. Try and park there and when you finish your ride, get a half smoke from the Weenie Beenie. Puts Bens to shame.

Bruce Wright
07-19-2011, 09:06 PM
Americancyclo has it right; cyclists are treated as pedestrians when in a crosswalk. The W&OD stop signs complicate the road crossings. There are almost no other places where there is a stop sign before a crosswalk.

StopMeansStop said "The NVRPA Stop signs (at least the ones in Shirlington) say they are "required by law" so I'm assuming that there is some code behind them and thus enforceable." The W&OD trail stop signs are not VDOT signs. They were placed by NVRPA. The "enforced by law" only means that NVRPA has the authority to put stop signs in their parks. There was a case a while back in which a cyclist was struck in a crosswalk at Belmont Ridge Rd in Loudoun Co. The cyclist was ticketed for not waiting for all traffic to clear because he had a stop sign. I believe he was ticketed under VA code "46.2-821. Vehicles before entering certain highways shall stop or yield right-of-way." The cyclist fought it in court and the case was dismissed. The judge ruled that the cyclist was on a trail and could not be ticketed under the statute because he was not on a "highway" or "road"

There are many places were trails intersect roads and there are crosswalks across the road and there are no stop signs. VA code is pretty clear; we can't enter the crosswalk in disregard of oncoming traffic, but once in the crosswalk motorists must yield (if they have sufficient time to yield assuming the cyclists didn't enter in disregard of oncoming traffic).

It is very discouraging to hear that cyclists are still waving motorists on when they stop at a crosswalk. Some of us who have been herr for many years know that in the past motorists often didn't stop. In some places if we wait until all traffic has cleared, it would be a long wait. We do need to be careful when crossing. My mantra is "one lane at a time." Never assume that if one motorist has stopped, others will also stop.

PotomacCyclist
07-20-2011, 07:12 AM
There have been ongoing discussions about the STOP signs on the W&OD on The WashCycle. I got the impression that those signs should not be there. They confuse the heck out of everyone involved. Some cyclists stop. Some don't. Some car drivers stop. Some don't.

Even though I know that I "probably" have right of way, I still stop at the sign, simply because I know there's a good chance that the next driver to come along is not aware of the laws, doesn't care about the laws or is too distracted to know that there's a trail crossing. It can be frustrating when a well-meaning car driver stops to let cyclists pass, but cyclists can't see around that car to check if there is still fast car traffic in the adjacent lane. I will give such drivers a friendly wave to acknowledge them. If I can manage to peek around and see that the other lane is clear, then I'll cross in the crosswalk. But if there are no good sight lines, then I'll wave the car on.

Re the women who was killed at the GW Parkway crossing, she was stopped on the trail. The car driver stopped to let her pass. Another driver behind the stopped car swerved out of the way and ended up causing the crash that killed the cyclist. The cyclist did nothing wrong.

All of those grade crossings south of the Memorial Bridge are dangerous in general. Given that crash, I now sit back a bit from the edge of the road if I'm waiting there. I'm not going to take any chances. I'll hold back about 10 feet more than I would otherwise. The problem with that crosswalk is that it's very difficult to tell if cars are turning onto that ramp or continuing onto the main road. That section of the trail needs to be re-designed somehow. A bike/pedestrian bridge would be ideal, but expensive. Because of the jumble of on and off ramps, it's not easy to find a good spot to place a grade crossing. But there are a lot of smart people in the area. Someone has to be able to figure out a cost-effective solution over there. Anyone have some spare cash that they'd like to donate toward building a bike/pedestrian bridge? Please?

americancyclo
07-20-2011, 07:56 AM
There are many places were trails intersect roads and there are crosswalks across the road and there are no stop signs. VA code is pretty clear; we can't enter the crosswalk in disregard of oncoming traffic, but once in the crosswalk motorists must yield (if they have sufficient time to yield assuming the cyclists didn't enter in disregard of oncoming traffic).


Thanks for weighing in Bruce. In your experience with WABA and FABB, have you ever seen anyone dispute the term ' in disregard of oncoming traffic'? I think I know what it means, but I wonder if it's a personal, subjective feeling, rather than an objective measurable distance/quality.

napes
07-20-2011, 08:59 AM
Bruce Wright is spot-on, in my opinion. Despite widespread confusion about it, the Virginia Code says that drivers shall yield to bicycle riders and pedestrians at crosswalks and at most intersections, unless there is some traffic control device or law enforcement person directing traffic otherwise. At lights, the bicycle rider/pedestrian has to follow the standard light signals, but the bicycle rider and pedestrian has right of way at all other crosswalks (regardless of traffic speed) and at intersections without signals (if the speed is less than 35 mph).

A crosswalk area includes the bit at the side of the road where the pedestrian/bicylist is as he begins to cross the intersection. See http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+coh+46.2-100 The law, by the way, talks about "at" crosswalks, not "in" crosswalks.

The main reason there are stop signs on trails when they cross intersections is to slow down the bicycle traffic enough to give the car drivers enough safe time to yield to them.

Anyway, here is the Virginia Code:

§ 46.2-904. Use of roller skates and skateboards on sidewalks and shared-use paths; operation of bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, and electric personal assistive mobility devices on sidewalks and crosswalks and shared-use paths; local ordinances.

A person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, or an electric powerassisted bicycle on a sidewalk, shared-use path, or across a roadway on a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

§ 46.2-924. Drivers to stop for pedestrians; installation of certain signs; penalty.

A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:

1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;
2. At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;
3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, at intersections or crosswalks where the movement of traffic is being regulated by law-enforcement officers or traffic control devices, the driver shall yield according to the direction of the law-enforcement officer or device.

No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.

The drivers of vehicles entering, crossing, or turning at intersections shall change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously.

Pedestrians crossing highways at intersections shall at all times have the right-of-way over vehicles making turns into the highways being crossed by the pedestrians.

break-break

At a crosswalk Virginia courts have held “the pedestrian has a superior right -- that is, the right to cross from one side of the street to the other in preference or priority over vehicles -- and drivers of vehicles must respect this right and yield the right of way to the pedestrian. The pedestrian's right of way extends from one side of the street to the other. It does not begin at any particular point in the intersection nor does it end at any particular point. It begins on one side of the street and extends until the pedestrian has negotiated the crossing.” (Marshall v. Shaw. Supreme Court of Virginia, 1955) http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2476417758289562501&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

"The duty of a motor vehicle driver on approaching an intersection is to keep a vigilant lookout for pedestrians between curbs on the traveled portion of the highway, and when pedestrians are negotiating the crossing, or about to step from the side into traffic lanes, to operate his car at such speed and under such control that he can readily turn one way or the other, and, if necessary, bring his machine to a stop in time to avoid injury to pedestrians." (Sawyer v. Blankenship, Supreme Court of Virginia, 1933) http://va.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19330615_0040113.VA.htm/qx

None of this, naturally gives the pedestrian/bicyclist the right to jump in front of traffic too close to stop. The police will probably only interview the driver in such a case. Please be careful out there, especially on roads with two lanes each direction.

StopMeansStop
07-20-2011, 10:06 AM
The law, by the way, talks about "at" crosswalks, not "in" crosswalks.


"Crosswalk" means that part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway; or any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.


By definition, a crosswalk is part of the roadway. You are either in the crosswalk or you're not.



The main reason there are stop signs on trails when they cross intersections is to slow down the bicycle traffic enough to give the car drivers enough safe time to yield to them.


INAL, but that is drawing an inference as to the intent of the law. One could easily suggest that stop signs are at crossings to help prevent users from "entering without disregard" and ensure safety.

"The duty of a motor vehicle driver on approaching an intersection is to keep a vigilant lookout for pedestrians between curbs on the traveled portion of the highway, and when pedestrians are negotiating the crossing, or about to step from the side into traffic lanes, to operate his car at such speed and under such control that he can readily turn one way or the other, and, if necessary, bring his machine to a stop in time to avoid injury to pedestrians."

Absolutely!! When you're driving a two ton bullet (ok, 1.5 tons nowadays) you should always be in control of your car and aware of the situation and react accordingly. Just because a car may have right-of-way does not negate their responsibility to be prepared to stop!

As a cyclist, I'm very appreciate to drivers who yield and give them a nice thank-you wave. As a driver I will yield if I think it doesn't create an unsafe situation for the pedestrians.

But just because the driver has a duty to be vigilant does not mean that drivers are required to yield right of way to pedestrians outside a crosswalk unless there is signage requiring the driver to do so. There seems to be a mindset for some that cars always have to yield to pedestrians waiting to cross, which is just not true.

@PC -- The GW accident was horrible. IIRC the jogger that was killed (not a cyclist) wasn't even crossing and was several feet outside of the crosswalk. The fault lies with both of the drivers, the one stopping suddenly and the one who lost control.

txgoonie
07-20-2011, 01:19 PM
So in the case of the GW Parkway, we are to read that drivers are indeed supposed to yield the right of way to pedestrians wanting to cross at the crosswalks? I understand the burden of drivers to watch for pedestrians and keep safe distance, but doesn't this feel like a rather uncommonly unsafe situation for drivers? GW Parkway is a highway. It doesn't have lights/intersections. People are generally not prepared to come to a dead stop on that road. If a crosswalk is placed on a road like that don't you feel like a large flashing sign a mile beforehand stating "BE PREPARED TO STOP" and several reminders beforehand would really be required, not the modest little signs they have AT the crosswalk? They do it in the case of high-speed roads that have traffic lights - why not for crosswalks?

StopMeansStop
07-20-2011, 01:31 PM
@txgoonie

As you can tell there is a difference of opinion about this. My advice on the GW is to not stop for people waiting to cross, and be prepared for someone else to pull a bonehead move and slam on their brakes.

Mark Blacknell
07-20-2011, 01:40 PM
The speed limit on the road approaching the crossing where the jogger was killed is 25 mph. If the NPS Police spent less time in speed traps on the pedestrian-free north end of the Parkway, and more time enforcing the speed limits down where it really matters to safety, we'd have a better Parkway.

theakston
07-20-2011, 02:14 PM
@txgoonie

As you can tell there is a difference of opinion about this. My advice on the GW is to not stop for people waiting to cross, and be prepared for someone else to pull a bonehead move and slam on their brakes.

By "Bonehead move" you mean being courteous and obeying the law. It's the speeding and tailgating that is the bonehead move. Drivers should be prepared to stop. Problem is the speed even if they stuck to the posted limit 40MPH is probably too fast for that section between all the bridges where there are multiple crosswalks.

StopMeansStop
07-20-2011, 04:17 PM
Speeding and tailgating is certainly boneheaded. But so is coming to a sudden stop on a 2 lane highway for people WAITING to cross. That is not the law.

Jsnyd
07-20-2011, 05:41 PM
Speeding and tailgating is certainly boneheaded. But so is coming to a sudden stop on a 2 lane highway for people WAITING to cross. That is not the law.

Too bad I cant "thumbs up" this.

CCrew
07-20-2011, 06:44 PM
coming to a sudden stop on a 2 lane highway for people WAITING to cross. That is not the law.

I consider it "being considerate". A trait that's lost on a lot of people. Necessary? No. illegal? Arguable. Showing some consideration for a fellow human being regardless of how misguided? Definitely!

If it were my child on a bike trying to cross the street I'd personally appreciate someone putting two tons of steel in the way of the next person that comes along thinking that trying to be considerate is "boneheaded"

PotomacCyclist
07-20-2011, 07:01 PM
In my experience, most drivers will not consider slowing down at those GW Parkway crossings, but some do. The problem for runners and cyclists is trying to figure out if a car is going straight, or turning onto the ramp, (at the Washington Blvd crossing, just to the south of Memorial Bridge) as I pointed out in the previous post. This is an issue because there is rarely a break in the traffic. During busier times of the day, the cars head up the parkway almost non-stop. So the cyclist/runner has to wait quite a long time before a break in the high-speed traffic, or they have to guess at whether that next car is going straight or turning. One of those trail crossings is just too close to the ramp turnoff.

I'm surprised that there aren't more accidents at those crossings.

There are plans to pave the dirt trail along Rte. 110, up to Memorial Drive near the Arlington Cemetery Metro stop. That would be an alternate path for those who wish to avoid the dangerous crossings. But even that trail will involve a grade crossing. I don't know if the project is funded or not, or what the timetable is.

ronwalf
07-20-2011, 07:32 PM
As you can tell there is a difference of opinion about this. My advice on the GW is to not stop for people waiting to cross, and be prepared for someone else to pull a bonehead move and slam on their brakes.

You are presenting a false dichotomy: If you see a pedestrian at a crosswalk, waiting to cross, you should come to a controlled stop. Fortunately for you, since no one seems to acknowledge this law, Virginia has seen fit to provide penalties only when there are explicit reminders (46.2-924C).

Also, considering how many deer there are around here, you should always be prepared for the person in front of you to stop.

StopMeansStop
07-20-2011, 08:20 PM
I consider it "being considerate". A trait that's lost on a lot of people. Necessary? No. illegal? Arguable. Showing some consideration for a fellow human being regardless of how misguided? Definitely!

If it were my child on a bike trying to cross the street I'd personally appreciate someone putting two tons of steel in the way of the next person that comes along thinking that trying to be considerate is "boneheaded"

Please note that my comments were aimed at the GW situation. While I appreciate the courtesy that drivers show in this situation, it is completely misguided. Some innocent woman died a gruesome death. I'd love for those crossings to be fixed somehow. Short of installing traffic lights I don't see a solution.

StopMeansStop
07-20-2011, 08:27 PM
You are presenting a false dichotomy: If you see a pedestrian at a crosswalk, waiting to cross, you should come to a controlled stop. Fortunately for you, since no one seems to acknowledge this law, Virginia has seen fit to provide penalties only when there are explicit reminders (46.2-924C).

Also, considering how many deer there are around here, you should always be prepared for the person in front of you to stop.

It's not a fallacy, I addressed section C already.

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?964-Stop-signs-at-crosswalks-Do-you-yield-to-cars&p=6024#post6024

ronwalf
07-20-2011, 09:25 PM
It's not a fallacy, I addressed section C already.


Except that signs for one user don't change the duty of another.

StopMeansStop
07-20-2011, 09:56 PM
True, but a driver is not required to stop for waiting pedestrians unless signage to that effect is in place, as the code you cited clearly states. I'm not saying none exists, but I've never seen any signs to that effect in VA.

ronwalf
07-21-2011, 07:11 AM
This is true, as long as you take 'require' to mean 'under penalty of law.'

Dirt
07-21-2011, 07:15 AM
This is true, as long as you take 'require' to mean 'under penalty of law.'
I'd love to see what some real enforcement for bikes and cars would do for safety.

RESTONTODC
07-21-2011, 08:52 AM
I'd love to see what some real enforcement for bikes and cars would do for safety.

Hey, don't forget to enforce jogger, especially the one with headset. May be dogs, cats, and deers as well

The recent GW accident was involved jogger, not cyclist. As well as my recent witness accident on WOD, the jogger jumped on the road.

uswebpro
07-21-2011, 09:05 AM
big crash today
VIDEO I JUST TOOK (7/21/2001 AT 9:00 AM)

http://www.facebook.com/v/909708145845

ATTN: DC BIKERS
Do not use the pedestrian crossing on the GW (George Washington) Memorial Parkway. It's a FALSE sense of safety. Today with 2 cars completely stopped a pickup truck barreled through both of them. Thus pushing both (stopped) cars completely though the pedestrian crossing. Luckily the girl that was about to cross waited. I was watching this as it happened. Normally I just go through as the 1st car begins to stop.

Dirt
07-21-2011, 09:06 AM
Hey, don't forget to enforce jogger, especially the one with headset. May be dogs, cats, and deers as well

The recent GW accident was involved jogger, not cyclist. As well as my recent witness accident on WOD, the jogger jumped on the road.
Good point. It was an oversight on my part. Enforcement should be done on all. Will it happen? No. It would require a lot of manpower increase and effort and might not produce much in the way of results. It'll have to remain part of my personal "I have a dream" dream sequence.

americancyclo
07-21-2011, 09:31 AM
big crash today
VIDEO I JUST TOOK (7/21/2001 AT 9:00 AM)

http://www.facebook.com/v/909708145845


That is scary as hell. A lot of us have been through there all too often.

KLizotte
07-21-2011, 09:38 AM
Good point. It was an oversight on my part. Enforcement should be done on all. Will it happen? No. It would require a lot of manpower increase and effort and might not produce much in the way of results. It'll have to remain part of my personal "I have a dream" dream sequence.

I think the only way to improve the situation is to rely upon technology and vastly redesigned infrastructure. Need to make things as idiot-proof as possible.

The way car technology is moving, eventually all cars will have defensive radar and will automatically slow or stop when an object gets too close. Hopefully that will happen in my lifetime....

Mark Blacknell
07-21-2011, 09:41 AM
So maybe if the Park Police spent less time in speed traps up on the northern end of the parkway, and more time down where there are loads of people crossing it, we'd see less of this.

But that would require the NPS to take something besides cars and imaginary standards of historic preservation seriously.

KLizotte
07-21-2011, 09:45 AM
Wow. The crosswalks on Wash Blvd and the GW Parkway have always struck me as government sanctioned jaywalking (at a minimum, why don't they put in blinking lights to alert drivers?!). Unfortunately since the NPS controls the latter it is difficult to apply political pressure to get them to address the problem. Unfortunately it will probably take a truly horrific accident (with deaths) before the officials wake up and do something about it.

Perhaps it is time to organize an petition campaign to fix the crossings? Bad timing though given all the budget shortfalls.... Generally I'm a big fan of NPS and know they are doing their best but these crossings have been there for decades.....given all the money being spent on "shovel ready projects".....Grrrrrrr

I will be even more careful when crossing from now on.

ronwalf
07-21-2011, 09:56 AM
big crash today
VIDEO I JUST TOOK (7/21/2001 AT 9:00 AM)

http://www.facebook.com/v/909708145845


Where's the rear wheel from the red bike?

RESTONTODC
07-21-2011, 09:57 AM
So maybe if the Park Police spent less time in speed traps up on the northern end of the parkway, and more time down where there are loads of people crossing it, we'd see less of this.

They need to lower the speed limit before the crosswalk and enforce it.

During the every afternoon rush hour, the cyclists and joggers are waiting to cross the GW parkway. The front cars would slowing down but the rear cars would blow the horn on them.

Sadly, the parkway should be for people to slow down and enjoy it instead of using as a commute highway.

eminva
07-21-2011, 11:33 AM
I'm not familiar with the MVT at all, but another solution in situations where heavily used MUTs cross heavily used roadways is an overpass -- used to great effect up and down the W&OD (e.g., at Route 7) and of course, the Custis. Obviously a more expensive solution, but haven't we reached the critical mass of users on the MVT where that should be considered?

Liz

Dirt
07-21-2011, 11:38 AM
The difficult part is getting from the Mount Vernon Trail onto memorial bridge. To do so, you must cross GW Parkway at a cross-walk where the speed limit is 45(?) and traffic is usually going 55+mph and an access ramp where traffic is merging and dealing with a crosswalk while going much faster than they should. That was part of my daily commute for years and I finally switched routes. It is just too dangerous. The WORST thing drivers can do is to stop to let people cross. No-one is expecting it and everyone behaves erratically.

Other than that, it is great. ;)

5555624
07-21-2011, 01:49 PM
ATTN: DC BIKERS
Do not use the pedestrian crossing on the GW (George Washington) Memorial Parkway. It's a FALSE sense of safety. Today with 2 cars completely stopped a pickup truck barreled through both of them. Thus pushing both (stopped) cars completely though the pedestrian crossing. Luckily the girl that was about to cross waited. I was watching this as it happened. Normally I just go through as the 1st car begins to stop.

I used to cross there about four days a week, around 3:45 p.m. If a car slowed to stop, I waved it on -- I don't trust the cars in the other lane to stop. I would just wait for a good gap. The normal wait was 1 -2 minutes, the longest I waited might have been three minutes. No wait? Maybe twice a month.

Now, the tunnel under the Humpback Bridge is open and I see no need to ever use this crossing again. Sure, I can think of times it might be shorter, but as long as we have drivers who get more mpg than they have IQ points, it's not worth the hassle.

Justin Antos
07-21-2011, 01:49 PM
Those two crossings are incredibly scary, and they both deserve at minimum lots more signage and blinking lights. Cars are easily going 60+ MPH along there. A long-term solution is probably grade separation somehow.

I try to avoid it, and use either 14th St. bridge or the ped bridge at Rosslyn to cross from Arlington to DC.

5555624
07-21-2011, 01:57 PM
The difficult part is getting from the Mount Vernon Trail onto memorial bridge. To do so, you must cross GW Parkway at a cross-walk where the speed limit is 45(?) and traffic is usually going 55+mph and an access ramp where traffic is merging and dealing with a crosswalk while going much faster than they should.

Except now, you can avoid that cross-walk and take the tunnel under the Humpback Bridge. Is it safer? Well, you might get hit in the marina parking lot, but I consider that less of a risk than speeding/distracted drivers on the parkway. Is it longer? Yes, if you're heading to Memorial Bridge; but, as I learned a long time ago, sometimes cycling means taking a longer (and possibly safer) route.

Dirt
07-21-2011, 02:12 PM
Except now, you can avoid that cross-walk and take the tunnel under the Humpback Bridge. Is it safer? Well, you might get hit in the marina parking lot, but I consider that less of a risk than speeding/distracted drivers on the parkway. Is it longer? Yes, if you're heading to Memorial Bridge; but, as I learned a long time ago, sometimes cycling means taking a longer (and possibly safer) route.

Good recommendation. I haven't gone under the hump-me bridge yet. If I'm going to Haynes Point, I take 14th Street. If I'm exploring the endless wasteland that is NW DC, I use Roosevelt. I'll go explore the tunnel next week. It will be fun. Thanks!

Justin Antos
07-21-2011, 03:50 PM
Intriguing... can you post a map of the route from MVT to Memorial Bridge by going under the Humpback Bridge?

StopMeansStop
07-21-2011, 04:15 PM
I'd love to see what some real enforcement for bikes and cars would do for safety.

I'd like to get jerseys or safety pinned signs that read "I obey traffic laws" on the backs of riders like Dirt. It would be a nice reminder to both cyclists AND cars.

5555624
07-21-2011, 04:35 PM
Intriguing... can you post a map of the route from MVT to Memorial Bridge by going under the Humpback Bridge?

Except for part of the route through the marina parking lot and along the Pentagon north parking lot, it's all on trails.

The blue spot is the cross-walk we've been talking about.

PotomacCyclist
07-21-2011, 04:51 PM
The Washington Blvd. crossings are just as dangerous as the GW Parkway crossing. I don't think this proposed route is an improvement over the direct route. Both are equally problematic. I actually think the Washington Blvd crossing is the most dangerous one in that entire area.

I agree that the trail design is particularly bad over there. The only good solution is a pedestrian bridge or tunnel but those would be very expensive. I can't see either getting funded, unless there is a really bad accident involving multiple deaths. There aren't any good spots for an alternate layout for a grade crossing. There are just too many high-speed roads and on and off-ramps south of Memorial Bridge.

StopMeansStop
07-21-2011, 05:29 PM
Maybe we should bitch to Moran to get funds for this. He likes trying to get the monies

americancyclo
07-22-2011, 08:49 AM
Have there been proposals to do tunnels in the past? Feasibility studies? I know it's NPS land, and from what I've gathered in the media, NPS is a pain to deal with, and funds are tight, but can we draft up a petiton, or at least send some emails to get this on an agenda somewhere?

Justin Antos
07-22-2011, 09:51 AM
Very cool, thanks for the map. I've never tried this route. But to echo PotomacCyclist, this route bypasses only 1 of the 2 crossings to get you from MVT to Memorial Bridge, and I think it forces you to cross Washington Blvd twice, right?

And the second crossing - just at the top of your map - is the one where you have to guess at whether the cars are going straight up to the circle, or bearing gently right and smack towards you. This one is particularly hard at night or in the winter, in my experience.

5555624
07-22-2011, 10:31 AM
But to echo PotomacCyclist, this route bypasses only 1 of the 2 crossings to get you from MVT to Memorial Bridge, and I think it forces you to cross Washington Blvd twice, right?

To get to Memorial Bridge, you only cross Washington Blvd once, where it splits off to go under Memorial Bridge, although you do cross an exit (to GW Parkway south). It does, though, only eliminate one of the "dangerous" two crossings.

americancyclo
07-25-2011, 01:57 PM
A post over at GGW about this today. Cited the video and we got a shout-out in the comments. They're already up to 76 comments over there....
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/11407/crash-shows-need-for-safer-crossings-is-nps-listening/

KLizotte
07-25-2011, 06:29 PM
Except for part of the route through the marina parking lot and along the Pentagon north parking lot, it's all on trails.

The blue spot is the cross-walk we've been talking about.

You still have to cross quite a few very busy road crossings with poor sight lines via this route.

5555624
07-26-2011, 03:06 AM
You still have to cross quite a few very busy road crossings with poor sight lines via this route.

But it does get rid of one that is particularly dangerous and which I, personally, think is the worst one.

In my experience (and limiting it only to the PM commute*), the one from 27 to the southbound GW Parkway never seems to be busy. (Most cars seem to go straight on by on 27.) The sight line is tricky if you are heading north, because it's not really perpendicular to the road.

The one from the northbound GW Parkway onto 27 is busy, but it's not too busy. I only actually have to stop maybe once every other week, if that. As the crossing is perpendicular to the road, the sight line is fine, coming in both directions.

Those are the two "additional" crossings and I'd rather have both of them, than the GW Parkway crossing.

Of course, it's actually easy to avoid the GW Parkway and Rt 27 crossings to get from the Mount Vernon Trail to Memorial Bridge -- go across the George Mason Bridge (14th Street) and take Ohio Drive up to Memorial Bridge. The only "busy" crossing is Independence Avenue and there's a light.


* -- In the morning I cross both of these, as well as the entrance and exits from 27 to the Pentagon North Parking Lot and the exit from 27, just before Memorial Bridge, and have never had a problem. Of course, other than CCrew, everyone else is asleep.