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Thread: Car on the Custis

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    A flexpost is safer than a steel bollard
    A hand grenade is safer than a cruise missile, but I'd not use either to clean out my closet, except as a last resort.
    Hey, I never said it had to be steel; they make them out of concrete, too! Also, since they are objects meant to prevent intrusion and not offensive weapons, I'd rather go with a guard dog being safer than a landmine (works with the closet-cleaning, too).
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I am with you theoretically. I challenge you, though, to cite a single, real life example of a location where other strategies such as clear, visible signage and surface treatments have failed and there is still a history of incursions. I am not personally aware of any.
    I could easily point to every buffered bike lane in the area that has seen increased protection from driver incursion by adding flexposts, but that wouldn't be fair because we're talking about trail incursions.

    I suppose a proper example would be hard to find, because how many times in these cases will signage and surface treatments be used before a more permanent solution is found? I'd point to the Commonwealth Ave/Wayne F. Anderson Bikeway driver incursions as an ongoing problem that has not yet been solved using signage and/or pavement treatments. Signage has been improved multiple times, and rocks were placed closer to the trail access to discourage drivers, but it will be proven ineffective the moment a driver makes it onto the trail again. It's like those workplace safety signs (XX days without an accident); the moment a driver makes it onto a trail, the number goes back to zero. For the record, I do think a flexpost would be useful in this location.

    On the contrary to your challenge, can you find a real world example of a trail that has been protected from vehicle incursion without having to use flexposts/bollards?

    Of course, my theories about the effectiveness of flexposts only work if they are properly implemented. To the detriment of my argument, it's a known fact that flexposts in the DC area have not been properly implemented (placed only at trail entries, marked with a diamond surrounding, leaving plenty of room for trail users to get around, maintained so that collards aren't left, etc.). I wish they were better maintained which would maximize their effectiveness, but I still think they have a use in preventing driver incursions on trails.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post
    I suppose a proper example would be hard to find, because how many times in these cases will signage and surface treatments be used before a more permanent solution is found? I'd point to the Commonwealth Ave/Wayne F. Anderson Bikeway driver incursions as an ongoing problem that has not yet been solved using signage and/or pavement treatments. Signage has been improved multiple times, and rocks were placed closer to the trail access to discourage drivers, but it will be proven ineffective the moment a driver makes it onto the trail again. It's like those workplace safety signs (XX days without an accident); the moment a driver makes it onto a trail, the number goes back to zero. For the record, I do think a flexpost would be useful in this location.

    On the contrary to your challenge, can you find a real world example of a trail that has been protected from vehicle incursion without having to use flexposts/bollards?
    Check the manual for how to properly implement things! For example, splitting the trail so that each lane goes around an obvious impediment is a much more useful treatment then slapping down a flexpost as a half-assed lazy fix. Once it no longer looks like a road, you don't have to deal with idiots in cars.

    Of course, my theories about the effectiveness of flexposts only work if they are properly implemented. To the detriment of my argument, it's a known fact that flexposts in the DC area have not been properly implemented (placed only at trail entries, marked with a diamond surrounding, leaving plenty of room for trail users to get around, maintained so that collards aren't left, etc.). I wish they were better maintained which would maximize their effectiveness, but I still think they have a use in preventing driver incursions on trails.
    But why bother with flexposts at all in this imagined world where things are done right?

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  4. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    Once it no longer looks like a road, you don't have to deal with idiots in cars.

    But why bother with flexposts at all in this imagined world where things are done right?
    You underestimate the ingenuity of idiots... How many people have driven their cars onto sidewalks or into a lake because their GPS told them too?

    http://www.oddee.com/item_98264.aspx

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  5. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post
    On the contrary to your challenge, can you find a real world example of a trail that has been protected from vehicle incursion without having to use flexposts/bollards?
    How would we know? There are long sections of the W&OD that have never had an incursion (and, granted, a couple of sections that have). NVRPA removed the bollards from virtually the whole trail more than 20 years ago. (I'm working on them taking the Maple Avenue ones out, too.)

    The reason is that the risks associated with the obstacle are greater than the risks associated with the incursion. I am certain that is true. Although there have been a couple of widely publicized incursions on the W&OD, I don't believe any trail users were injured. I can assure you that if there had been 100+ flexiposts at all the intersections sprinkling the trail over the last 20 years, there would have been hundreds of minor crashes and almost certainly some more significant injuries.

    That is why FHWA recommends against them until after other strategies have been tried and failed. I may give you the Commonwealth Avenue location in its current form. I believe a redesign, however, could fix it without need for a middle-of-the-trail obstacle.

    Truthfully, I'll take the once-a-year oblivious driver on the trail over the default use of bollards or flexiposts. They virtually always turn out to be harmless and provide a bit of comic relief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post

    That is why FHWA recommends against them until after other strategies have been tried and failed. I may give you the Commonwealth Avenue location in its current form. I believe a redesign, however, could fix it without need for a middle-of-the-trail obstacle.

    The Commonwealth entrance could be fixed with this really simple redesign:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    The Commonwealth entrance could be fixed with this really simple redesign:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Heh heh. Hey, they substituted boulders for bollards there, arguably more of a hazard to cyclists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I may give you the Commonwealth Avenue location in its current form. I believe a redesign, however, could fix it without need for a middle-of-the-trail obstacle.
    The signage that exists at 4MR and Commonwealth is not installed per MUTCD standards. Most significantly, the new signage was installed past the asphalt in question (on the left side rather than the right side) and is closer to the 4' concrete walkway than the asphalt. The fix should be easy but I can only speculate why Alexandria T&ES hasn't fixed this signage.

  11. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterw_diy View Post
    The fix should be easy but I can only speculate why Alexandria T&ES hasn't fixed this signage.
    Please, do so publicly

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  13. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    YUMMMMMMM, collards

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    Char[re]d. Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Although there have been a couple of widely publicized incursions on the W&OD, I don't believe any trail users were injured.
    Before I even moved to this area, I was involved in an incident with an impaired driver on the W&OD. This was the same woman that hit an older gentleman and landed him in the hospital.
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/dr...rticle/2530949

    My best friend and I were almost hit by this woman just east of the Hunter Mill crossing between Reston and Vienna. She was traveling at a very high rate of speed for such a narrow trail (close to 50mph) and was pretty oblivious to the cyclists and walkers that were dodging her car. Had I not had incredibly quick reflexes, both my friend and I could have been severely injured.

    However, it should be noted that a flex post would not have stopped this intoxicated woman. A concrete barrier/bollard may have, though.

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