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Thread: 22 Mile Trail Parallel to I-66 -- Helpful Video and Input Needed

  1. #151
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    The WWB path is next to a 10 lane expressway, the PBLs and sharrow Army Navy Drive path are next to 10 (soon to be 11) lanes of I-395 with no sound wall, and the Washington Blvd path is next to a 6 lane expressway. All of these are used modestly and in proportion to their usefulness for getting around. Better connected bike paths get more usage, which is the most important thing for the success of the I-66 path.
    Army Navy Drive is at a different elevation from the highway. The Custis is only beside the highway for short stints, and then it is often at a (slightly) different elevation. The existing 27 trail is uncomfortable and, imo, underused given it's usefulness. I know plenty of people who take the MVT to the CC connector, or even Pentagon Roads instead of taking the 27 trail. The new Washington Blvd trail isn't open yet, but is not nearly as long (less than 1/2 mile, maybe more like 1/4 actually against the highway).

    For a short distance, this design wouldn't be fatal. But there's a point at which it will be. IIRC, the next-to-the-highway portion isn't really 4 un-interrupted miles, but 1 or 2 miles at a time. I suspect 1 mile is too long, but we'll see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    the PBLs and sharrow Army Navy Drive path are next to 10 (soon to be 11) lanes of I-395 with no sound wall
    FYI, adding a sound wall along Army Navy Drive is in Transurban's imminent plan for widening I-395.

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  4. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    The WWB path is next to a 10 lane expressway, the PBLs and sharrow Army Navy Drive path are next to 10 (soon to be 11) lanes of I-395 with no sound wall, and the Washington Blvd path is next to a 6 lane expressway. All of these are used modestly and in proportion to their usefulness for getting around. Better connected bike paths get more usage, which is the most important thing for the success of the I-66 path.

    For clarification, I'm not advocating for this bad design on I-66, but I would put safety and connectivity of a path above comfort and pleasantry in projecting usage. Despite a less than ideal design, this is still a major improvement over riding in traffic on 40+mph roads or on the sidewalk of 6-8 lane roads.
    I am, in the end, glad that this will be there. I think its benefits as a new route for people on bikes will be positive. I don't think it will end up converted to general travel lanes. While I might have been worried that light usage would reflect badly on the cause of adding trails, I think we have inoculated against that precisely by pointing out all the limits of this trail.

    I do think though, that comfort and pleasantness have a big impact on total MUT usage. Important parts of the constituency for MUTs are "recreational walkers", dog walkers, runners (some will put connectivity over aesthetics, but I doubt all will) slow recreational riders, etc. I suspect this trail will be used by transportation riders, by fast recreational riders, and by a subset of runners. And that will pretty much be it. That may actually make it more comfortable for fast riders (because there will be few walkers to pass) but it will do less for the total trail community than it might have done.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 11-05-2018 at 09:48 AM.

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  6. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    Despite a less than ideal design, this is still a major improvement over riding in traffic on 40+mph roads or on the sidewalk of 6-8 lane roads.
    That is an extremely low bar.

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    I will probably use the new trial heavily, since I am in Fairfax, even maybe just for rubbing it in. Cars exhaust is not that of a big difference than what you experience with roads with bike lanes, since you are next to cars anyway. Noise is higher, but the biggest issue maybe road debris. I think there are many would be cyclists in Fairfax that would start cycling since the new trial offers more options, and there will be more demand for better infrastructure after it opens.

    However, there should be some social media/news campaign(or better yet, banners over I-66 bridges) directing athletes who drive(who would be new cyclists) to a specific educational site or forum like this one, so they become aware of any issues before getting something too big, not allowed on some trials, or not the best product for the planned commute. One example, SolarBikeCar bought something before becoming aware of this forum, and instead of being hailed for going green, and making a healthier choice, he was vilified. I see this as a communication failure.

    So prepare for the Fairfax Wave. It will be slow at first, but it's coming!

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    In none of these cases is there a sound wall outside the path, trapping the noise / exhaust / debris on the trail. With no place for these things to dissipate, the riding environment will be MUCH worse on the future I-66 as designed.
    The debris issue is huge--the plows will shoot wheel covers, mufflers, bumpers, smart cars, etc., over the modesty wall, and VDOT will never come through to clean off the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrP View Post

    As a result of feedback from bicycling advocates and surrounding communities, recent design changes incorporate a taller, 50-inch-high concrete barrier to separate the shared use path when it is on the highway side of the noise wall. This is similar to the barrier that separates the trail from the roadway on the Capital Beltway's Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
    Sooooo, how helpful will a 50" concrete barrier be in this scenario, VDOT? https://www.eventbrite.com/e/inciden...ts-38465028937

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In fairness, the Jersey wall in the picture is likely a 32-inch Jersey wall. I just finished working on a report showing crash testing of semis with concrete barriers protecting bridge piers, and there is more protection from a 42-in. or 50-in. barrier. With a 42-in. barrier, a rider on the trail is only likely to be killed by the edge of the truck trailer as it leans over the wall (some testing showed some trailers extending as much as 9.5 feet past the barrier line for a 42 in. barrier!) There were limited data for 50 in., but generally trucks stayed on the other side of the barrier at that height, although the truck could still potentially roll over on the highway side of the barrier and allow the trailer contents to fly across. Hmm, much like pictured here. Safe!

    Of course, I'm no engineer, so don't ride the trail based on anything posted here.

    Don't get me wrong, I would definitely ride this trail if it improved my commute, but that's about it. How good are helmets at protecting riders from flying hubcaps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    In fairness, the Jersey wall in the picture is likely a 32-inch Jersey wall. I just finished working on a report showing crash testing of semis with concrete barriers protecting bridge piers, and there is more protection from a 42-in. or 50-in. barrier. With a 42-in. barrier, a rider on the trail is only likely to be killed by the edge of the truck trailer as it leans over the wall (some testing showed some trailers extending as much as 9.5 feet past the barrier line for a 42 in. barrier!) There were limited data for 50 in., but generally trucks stayed on the other side of the barrier at that height, although the truck could still potentially roll over on the highway side of the barrier and allow the trailer contents to fly across. Hmm, much like pictured here. Safe!

    Of course, I'm no engineer, so don't ride the trail based on anything posted here.

    Don't get me wrong, I would definitely ride this trail if it improved my commute, but that's about it. How good are helmets at protecting riders from flying hubcaps?
    Yeah, it didn't look like it was a 50" barrier though it looks like even a 50" wouldn't stop those stumps from being hurled over the jersey wall. I just found it ironic that it was a VDOT picture.

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  18. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    The debris issue is huge--the plows will shoot wheel covers, mufflers, bumpers, smart cars, etc., over the modesty wall, and VDOT will never come through to clean off the trail.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechit...gogue_mechitza

    Clearly VDOT needs to become ultraOrthodox.

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