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Thread: Pershing Drive Protected Bike Lanes

  1. #1
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    Post Pershing Drive Protected Bike Lanes

    Hey y'all --

    Not too long ago, county staff released some revised plans detailing proposed improvements to the Pershing Drive Complete Streets Project. While the county is citing RoW issues (i.e., we don't want to take away the free parking) with expanding safe bike facilities to include Pershing Drive west of Washington Boulevard, their revised concept includes Wilson-esque protected bike lanes for the stretch of Pershing from Barton up to Danville Street, ending in a configuration that looks like this when you reach the Danville-Wash block:
    Name:  pershing lanes termination.jpg
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    Because VDOT is performing a micro-sealing treatment on Pershing this summer, it will give the county an opportunity to almost immediately re-stripe and begin a test pilot project.

    As someone who lives on that end of Lyon Park, and who bikes this stretch on his way to 5th St. to get around and about in an east-west fashion, I wish this plan did more. At the same time, I'm happy to see even a small, three-block PBL stretch within walking/riding distance of not only where we live, but almost immediately in the backyard of three large apartment complexes, at least one of which contains a non-trivial number of committed-affordable units. Further, when the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) held its monthly meeting Wednesday, there was loud and strong support for bringing PBLs to this part of Pershing Drive...

    ...but, there were also a small (~3 people out of 25-30 attending) group of naysayers, whose arguments came down to:

    • This doesn't exactly match the original plan, which called for a large planted median down this stretch of Pershing Drive

    • I don't want to see "those plastic posts" when I look out my window (yup)


    I understand some of the concerns w/r/t the first point, but I have no doubt this project will make this stretch of Pershing not only safer for folks on bikes, but for pedestrians, drivers, and the neighborhood as a whole.

    The LPCA had originally planned to draft and vote on a response to send to the county; however, since it couldn't reach a unanimous consensus, despite what felt to be strong support for PBLs, it decided to hold off. What the LPCA is deciding to do next seems a bit vague, but if you live in Lyon Park, or you frequent this stretch of Pershing Drive, and want to see expanded bike infrastructure -- even if it's only a few blocks worth -- continued to be build throughout the county, please take some time to contact the project manager working on this, Valerie Mosley. If you do so, please remember to be polite, emphasize that you appreciate the work being done, and, if you live in Lyon Park, double down on emphasizing that, too Also, feel free to contact the LPCA itself, and offer up your support for improving this street.

    My understanding, based on the BAC Google Group, is that the county was planning on receiving final comments by 6/30 -- so, please, take a few minutes, and let them and the LPCA hear from you.
    Last edited by cyarie; 06-16-2017 at 01:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    I hate these. Cattle chutes eventually lead to the slaughterhouse. Just a matter of time. I am not taking the bike lane between parked cars and the sidewalk just to get right hooked by a car that can't see me.

  3. #3
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    I think this will be great for cyclists on Pershing Drive. Currently, when heading eastbound on Pershing, right after crossing the Washington Blvd intersection there's about 100 or so feet where Pershing Dr bears right (causing everyone to have to turn), the bike lane hasn't formed, and drivers cut to the inside of the "curve" which then doesn't give enough space to ride between the parked cars and main travel lane. This design fixes that issue.

    The rest of the PBL going to Barton looks like it will be more comfortable to ride in, and I like what they did for cyclists traveling westbound by putting in that bike box.

    This stretch of Pershing Dr was always the least bike-friendly for me on what is otherwise a nice and straightforward bypass to the Fairfax/Wilson/Clarendon bike lanes, so I'm glad to see improvements are coming.

  4. #4
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    I still think this would be better as a two-way cycle track on the north side, connecting to a contraflow bike lane on that single one-way block of 7th.

    But this seems like a good compromise.

    And anecdotally, I met a daily commuter who lives near Lubber Run. To get into DC, he jumps on the W&OD and either goes N to the Custis or S to the MVT, because he thinks Pershing as-is is unsafe to bike on. This is a tiptoe in the right direction.

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    This looks great, and would be amazing if paired with a contraflow lane on 7th and a bike phase of the light to get to and from it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_s View Post
    This looks great, and would be amazing if paired with a contraflow lane on 7th and a bike phase of the light to get to and from it.
    I'd actually be happy to just start with turning some of the stop signs down 7th and then 5th so I can keep my CaBi tank moving while heading down to Ballston, but that sounds nice, too

    Also, I'm not convinced these will lead to more right hooks, because the plans change the intersection geometry in a way that'll force cars making turns onto Pershing's side streets to go much, much slower. For real, you can currently make some wide and fast turns on Cleveland and Danville; try that with the PBL layout, you're going to catch a giant concrete planter. The current layout also allows parking right up to the intersection, which eliminates any possibility of safely turning to avoid hooks. Even if these *did* increase right hook odds (again, not convinced they do), it still eliminates dooring, and would be: a) an overall safety improvement, and b) a nice (if small) piece of bike infrastructure that'll help convince those interested, but concerned riders to get out on a bike and go somewhere.

    Sounds like an overall positive to me.

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    There's a public meeting about this today from 4:30pm-7:00pm at Lyon Park Community House.

    Will bike folks turn out? Or will it just be neighbors complaining about parking?

  8. #8
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    Judd is online now I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_s View Post
    There's a public meeting about this today from 4:30pm-7:00pm at Lyon Park Community House.

    Will bike folks turn out? Or will it just be neighbors complaining about parking?
    I was all set to leave and then the skies opened up and persisted for most of the duration of the meeting. Doesn't look like the opportunity to comment online is up yet, but I'll make sure to comment as soon as it does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    I was all set to leave and then the skies opened up and persisted for most of the duration of the meeting. Doesn't look like the opportunity to comment online is up yet, but I'll make sure to comment as soon as it does.
    Yeah, I got REALLY, REALLY wet on my way to the meeting.

    Materials and comment form are expected to be up by the end of the day today and open for comment for two weeks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    I was all set to leave and then the skies opened up and persisted for most of the duration of the meeting. Doesn't look like the opportunity to comment online is up yet, but I'll make sure to comment as soon as it does.
    I was also guilty of this (also, my folks are in town before we head out of it). Gonna comment when the box goes up -- still really worried that plopping a median down the middle of Pershing from Barton to Wash will lead to a duplication of the s***show that exists east of Barton. Also curious to hear what the neighborhood was thinking about this, given the *actual* feedback was more split/indifferent than the CA's original letter from a year back would indicate, but the most cantankerous and curmudgeonly voices are always the loudest...
    Last edited by cyarie; 05-23-2018 at 12:17 PM.

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