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Thread: Arlington Needs a new Bike Plan. We can do better.

  1. #11
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Chris's link is Arlington-only. If you're not an Arlington resident and if you don't mind spending a couple extra seconds, you could send an email directly to the County Board. It's easy.
    To: county.board@arlingtonva.us

    Subject: Fund a robust public process to update Arlington's bike plan

    You might say something like:
    I am not an Arlington resident, but I visit Arlington. I would visit Arlington more, and spend more money in Arlington, if it were more bike-friendly.

    The Bike Element of Arlington's Master Transportation Plan is obsolete. To make Arlington a bike-friendly community for everyone, from age 8 to 80, we need an updated bike plan that lays out a complete network of low-stress bikeways. Without a clear vision of the network we are trying to create, opportunities to implement that network at a low cost through repaving and redevelopment will pass us by, resulting in higher costs later.

    Please fund a robust public process to update Arlington's bike plan in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget. A robust process, including outreach to under-served populations and backed by consultants with expert technical expertise would be worthy of the term "The Arlington Way" and ensure that we end up with the clear, shared vision necessary to move forward to efficient implementation.

  2. 03-24-2016, 08:39 AM

    Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    I think the data is in terms of perceived safety rather than accident rates. Frankly, I don't want to promote infrastructure that creates a false sense of security for Isabella. Why should we design infrastructure for the least common denominator if it has the effect of excluding the more experienced riders?
    I disagree that the incorporation of protected bike lanes into bicycle infrastructure excludes experienced riders. It just does not focus on experienced riders. I myself find them very enjoyable to ride in, but I understand that they are not raceways and must be taken a little slower (i.e., more casual).

    My view as a vehicular cyclist is that we need bicycle infrastructure for those who are less experienced with riding in traffic because it helps get them started. They will likely still have to ride with traffic on their route, and it's important that they do develop the skills for riding in traffic, but protected bike lanes will help those cyclists build more confidence with riding in general. Having a good piece of low stress bicycle infrastructure like a trail or a protected bike lane also helps to bridge many gaps when planning routes, and it can be the difference when the average person considers biking somewhere instead of driving.

    I want everyone to eventually be able to ride on any street with confidence and safety, and I think protected bike lanes are an essential stepping stone to help to get people to that point. An update to the Arlington bike plan would help create these opportunities for more cyclists.

  4. #13
    lordofthemark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post

    A lane does not have to be at least 13 feet wide before passing is safe. Cars are explicitly allowed to cross double yellow lines to pass slow moving cyclists as long as they can pass safely.
    yes, and they can do that from a 10 feet wide lane, just as from a 12 feet wide lane. So what do we lose by the lane diet? I am still not seeing that (other than the arguable position that drivers will be less tolerant of lane takers when there is seg infra on the road - but aren't good VCers absolutely immune to honks, close following, etc? )

    Note two other benefits of seg infra besides the (debated) safety benefit, and the encouragement to less experienced riders A. Where traffic in the general lanes is very heavy, it can make it possible to more safely filter. B. It increases cyclist distance from exhaust pipes - while we focus on dangers from accidents, exposure to emissions is one of the health concerns with road cycling.


    Note - I do agree that car protected bike lanes should not be the default accommodation in all places. In general PBLs should be prioritized on the fastest, least comfortable roads. Where possible non door zone bike lanes protected by curbs (avoiding the visibility blockage by parked cars issue) or flexposts (avoiding the visibility issue, and making "escape" somewhat easier) or buffered bike lanes (avoiding the visibility issue and making escape easy) should be considered. Parking protected PBLs are for places where parking simply cannot be removed, and the conditions on the road make taking the lane an option only for a minority of cyclists. Perhaps especially on uphills, where even many experienced riders will be riding fairly slowly.

    Also, we should look at changing signaling to make seg infra safer, since much of the danger from it is due to intersections that are signed and signaled as if seg bike infra was not there.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 03-24-2016 at 09:28 AM.

  5. #14
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    Without some infrastructure many people will not ride at all. Including me.

    I bike to work because I have infrastructure that makes me feel comfortable enough to do so. The bike lanes are of varying quality on S. Eads Street (from fully protected to just being a narrow margin outside the auto lanes) but they do give a space to ride apart from the delivery trucks, buses and impatient commuters. Without them I would not use that street - ever. While that might make gung- ho elitists happy, it would mean fewer cyclists overall.

  6. #15
    DismalScientist is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    The accident at K and 15th today illustrates my point. The only PBLs in the District I will ride in is L Street. The only parking-protected PBLs in Arlington are Eads and Hayes Street. I don't think Hayes has enough traffic to justify such treatment and the turn into VA Highlands Park is nerveracking from both a driver's and cyclists perspective.
    I think Eads Street had bike lanes before. Southbound Eads at 23rd is a disaster waiting to happen. Others have commented on the likely potential for right hooks at northbound at 20th.

    I have no problem with buffered lanes. I think curbs are a mistake because they lessen escape routes.

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    The accident at K and 15th today illustrates my point. The only PBLs in the District I will ride in is L Street. The only parking-protected PBLs in Arlington are Eads and Hayes Street. I don't think Hayes has enough traffic to justify such treatment and the turn into VA Highlands Park is nerveracking from both a driver's and cyclists perspective.
    I think Eads Street had bike lanes before. Southbound Eads at 23rd is a disaster waiting to happen. Others have commented on the likely potential for right hooks at northbound at 20th.

    I have no problem with buffered lanes. I think curbs are a mistake because they lessen escape routes.
    I don't think the crash at K and 15th today occurred due to the design of having a protected two-way cycletrack. It occurred as a result of 1) jerks blocking the bike lanes which forced cyclists to go around them and 2) cyclists not paying attention to their surroundings by worrying only about the cars instead of oncoming traffic. If it illustrates your point, then by the same logic any parallel trail/path including sidewalks would also be unsafe because of the same sightline issues. Today's crash could just have easily occurred at the Intersection of Doom or any other busy crosswalk where drivers do not yield to other road-users.

    IME, the Hayes St PBL has been amazing, and I have found it infinitely better than riding in the door zone bike lanes that were previously there. My only issues with drivers have been on the right turn I have to make from 15th St/Joyce St to get onto it (they like to forget the bike lane exists, sometimes forcing me onto the sidewalk to turn). With the Eads St protected bike lane, all issues I have had were from drivers turning right onto Eads St in front of me, occurrences which typically happen regardless if I am in a PBL, bike lane, or regular lane of traffic. Now, if only they could invent a protected-from-driver-stupidity bike lane (maybe with force fields?), a PFDSBL if you will

  8. #17
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    I am kind of wary of two way PBL's.

    I have only been on the Hayes Street PBL a couple of times. It was okay, and I did not go fast. Yeah there is not that much traffic - probably one reason a PBL was added, to narrow the road for traffic calming purposes.

    I have use Eads quite a few times. I am very vigilant at the busier intersections. In the absence of the lane (when there was snow in the PBL) I did not take the lane on Eads, but detoured to quieter parallel streets. I did not find Eads terribly comfortable before the PBL.

  9. #18
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    Maybe it's time for Arlington to try some Dutch treatments, no curbs but different pavement heights for pedestrians, bikes, and cars (sloped edges).

  10. #19
    Judd's Avatar
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    I think we need to get back to the real topic here, which is "Why is Dismal so opposed to Isabella eating ice cream?"

  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by S. Arlington Observer View Post
    Without some infrastructure many people will not ride at all. Including me.

    I bike to work because I have infrastructure that makes me feel comfortable enough to do so. The bike lanes are of varying quality on S. Eads Street (from fully protected to just being a narrow margin outside the auto lanes) but they do give a space to ride apart from the delivery trucks, buses and impatient commuters. Without them I would not use that street - ever. While that might make gung- ho elitists happy, it would mean fewer cyclists overall.
    This, exactly this (except I ride on Quincy and not S. Eads). Infrastructure is key for a safe and relaxed commute. The bikelanes on Quincy aren't great but they're way better than nothing.

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