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

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  1. #1
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    Default 22 Mile Trail Parallel to I-66 -- Helpful Video and Input Needed

    Hello --

    The VDOT "Transform 66" project continues apace. The good news is that VDOT has responded to our requests and included a 22 mile mixed use trail parallel to I-66 all the way from the beltway to Gainesville, VA. The bad new is that when I say "parallel," well, just take a look at the short video:

    FABB Presentation

    Please take a look at this and if you are able, attend one of the meetings. If you can't attend a meeting, please send an email. It seems to be the last chance for input.

    Thanks.

    Liz

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    Thanks for sharing!!!


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    Yikes. I don't think I'll be able to make it to any of the meetings this week but I'll definitely send an email tonight. I drove home from Georgia today and spent time observing all the road noise and debris that ends up on the side of the road. This would be an awful "Trail" as currently depicted.


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    Seems like when I-66 gets plowed, a lot of the snow and ice from the freeway will wind up on the trail, making it unrideable until spring, and a mess throughout the year.

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    Default Trail is to the north side

    My main problem with the trail is how much Sun exposure it gets so any snow would melt faster. Ideally it should be to the south of I-66 including the south of any noise wall. However, the current design puts it to the north side of I-66, and the noise wall is north of it.

    Here is the current design:

    <NORTH>
    <Noise wall>
    <TRAIL> <-- Gets full Sun here
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <SOUTH>

    If they just switch the noise wall so it's between the trail and cars, then the trail doesn't get sun in the winter months:

    <NORTH>
    <TRAIL> <-- No Sun here
    <Noise wall>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <SOUTH>

    What I prefer:

    <NORTH>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Noise wall>
    <TRAIL> <-- Gets some Sun here because of possible trees and building to the south
    <SOUTH>



    And after seeing the video, I don't like it. We are blocked from seeing trees and birds with tall noise wall, so it's not enjoyable, and only 2 feet tall barrier between us and cars, so it's not safe. However; on the plus side, car drivers would be able to see us going faster than they are. Unfortunately, I can't get to the meetings either.
    Last edited by n18; 06-11-2017 at 06:20 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by n18 View Post
    My main problem with the trail is how much Sun exposure it gets so any snow would melt faster. Ideally it should be to the south of I-66 including the south of any noise wall. However, the current design puts it to the north side of I-66, and the noise wall is north of it.

    Here is the current design:

    <NORTH>
    <Noise wall>
    <TRAIL> <-- Gets full Sun here
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <SOUTH>

    If they just switch the noise wall so it's between the trail and cars, then the trail doesn't get sun in the winter months:

    <NORTH>
    <TRAIL> <-- No Sun here
    <Noise wall>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <SOUTH>

    What I prefer:

    <NORTH>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Road lanes here>
    <Noise wall>
    <TRAIL> <-- Gets some Sun here because of possible trees and building to the south
    <SOUTH>



    And after seeing the video, I don't like it. We are blocked from seeing trees and birds with tall noise wall, so it's not enjoyable, and only 2 feet tall barrier between us and cars, so it's not safe. However; on the plus side, car drivers would be able to see us going faster than they are. Unfortunately, I can't get to the meetings either.
    The Woodrow Wilson bridge trail has clear sound barriers between traffic and the trails on the Virginia part of it which works quite well. That would be a solution to keep the trail on the north side, which I'm assuming has been surveyed out, while getting sun to the trail in winter. It would also allow drivers to see how much faster bikes go than cars during rush hour.

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    Another point, if people are still polishing their remarks.

    In the case of fast moving weather, such as a hailstorm or lightning storm, it would leave trail users, particularly those on foot, with no place to shelter. It seems there are pretty long sections without exits. Imagine one were pushing a stroller and a fast moving lightning storm came up with the nearest exit point 1/2 mile or further away. No place to go; no way to flee into the nearby neighborhood or industrial park or commercial area. Trapped with literally no way to shelter whatsoever. This seems pretty scary to me.

    ------------------
    If they actually build it the way it's planned, it will be world famous! Many conferences I've been to include presentations that show epic failures: bike lanes that end at brick walls, two ends of a bridge that don't line up, buildings that fall over, etc. This trail will be paraded out at every transportation conference for the next few decades as an example of an epic failure. If VDOT would like that ignominy, then they should go right ahead.
    If someone attends one of the meetings and would like to include this comment idea, do it. You may even use the word "ignominy" if you like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by n18 View Post
    And after seeing the video, I don't like it. We are blocked from seeing trees and birds with tall noise wall, so it's not enjoyable, and only 2 feet tall barrier between us and cars, so it's not safe. However; on the plus side, car drivers would be able to see us going faster than they are. Unfortunately, I can't get to the meetings either.
    The video is being updated. The wall at a minimum is 32" but VDOT says the will likely install 50" and fencing on top. Still not a great experience but better protection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nosrednaj View Post
    The video is being updated. The wall at a minimum is 32" but VDOT says the will likely install 50" and fencing on top. Still not a great experience but better protection.
    Talk about feeling trapped! Without any shy zones and vertical walls on both sides, the trail will function narrower than it actually is and will be seriously claustrophobic. Each of the other analogies (TR bridge, Wilson bridge) allow you to see outside the trail to something, like a river. Although most adults will be able to see over a 50" barrier, the view will be of the expressway, and it most certainly will not reduce noise or pollution.
    The wall will not stop plows from launching snow from the highway onto the trail (see video with even higher sound walls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7nl...ature=youtu.be). Hard to know if the "fencing' on top will stop it. If so, then it won't be long before the fencing itself is destroyed by the plowing. I also think people will still throw stuff like tires over the fencing, but maybe not mattresses.

    Also, at least with the low wall, in the case of some sort of serious emergency, trail users might be able to go over the wall onto the shoulder of the highway. Emergency vehicles could respond to injured parties from the highway itself. How would emergency vehicles reach incapacitated people on the trail in a timely manner? Would an ambulance be able to drive down the trail? Would there be enough room to carry someone on a stretcher around the vehicle to the rear?

    There is no way this design can be fixed with the trail inside the sound wall no matter how many "improvements" are proposed. It is fundamentally flawed. I sent a note to my delegate and state senator as suggested by dasgeh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trailrunner View Post
    Seems like when I-66 gets plowed, a lot of the snow and ice from the freeway will wind up on the trail, making it unrideable until spring, and a mess throughout the year.
    Does anyone have any experience riding over the Wilson Bridge during winter? What happens to the snow ? The bike trail there is not so different than what VDOT is proposing except no wall on one side....just awesome views of the Potomac.

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