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Thread: Arlington's Public Spaces Master Plan Update: Comment on Trails!

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    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Default Arlington's Public Spaces Master Plan Update: Comment on Trails!

    Arlington has come out with their draft Updated Public Spaces Master Plan, found here.

    The planning process webpage is here.

    The document is REALLY long. The trails stuff starts on page 107, though there may be bike-related comments throughout.

    Please add any thoughts you have to this thread, and I'll try to compile. (and send to DPR).

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    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    I had a couple to start off:

    - I continue to be disappointed that DPR's "at a glance" (pages 42-43 in the attached, but used in many of their public presentations) ignores trails.

    - They should talk more about partnering with APS/SRTS in the trails section. E.g. It's great that they mention the need for learn to ride areas (2.26 page 113), but they should explicitly coordinate with APS to make sure the learn to ride areas serve the APS needs.

    - I didn't see anything in there about the need for space for cyclocross and mountain biking.

    - The graphic on the left on page 49 seems to say that PBLs (the picture is Fairfax Dr in front of the Blue Goose, I believe) are trails under DPR's purview. I sure hope not. It also says that "secondary multi-use trails" are solely recreation, when they are described in the write-up as partly connecting.

    - I appreciate the language on page 51 on "streets" being public spaces. Did anyone see if they did a breakdown of land in Arlington County? When I've seen this in the past (e.g. JFAC reports) they just ignore "right of way" (i.e. roads). So if there 150 acres in Arlington, 50 acres of roads, 25 acres of public spaces (parks, schools, publicly owned buildings) and 75 acres of privately owned land, the reports say that it's 75% private, and 25% public (when in reality, it's 50% private and 50% public (33% roads + 17% public ppty) (** These numbers are made up to illustrate the point **) I didn't see that here, but if someone does, please point that out.

    - 2.1 should include maintaining the current stock of trails. The action plan should also include developing plans for maintenance, and working to develop a system to report problems such that they get addresses quickly (addressing all problems - downed trees, potholes, failing subsurface, and workers blocking trails)

    - 2.1 should address the massive delays in getting trails built -- we need a process that gets trails that are needed and funded built quickly, with expedited review.

    - The "outer loop" and "inner loop" trails are a good idea, but we should also provide connections in north, north Arlington, making the Potomac Heritage Trail (along the river) at least a safe gravel trail (~C&O) with connections to Chain Bridge and the Wilson Bridge.

    - Under 2.2.8, they should include amenities like bike repair stands, places to stop in the shade, restrooms and water fountains along with Wi-Fi
    2.2.8. Use Wi-Fi to provide public internet access at trailheads where feasible.
    On the action plan:
    -2.1 should include develop way to use permeable pavers for trails, and develop standards for planting appropriate trees and plants beside trails (i.e. ones with roots that won't damage the trail)
    -
    -why are so many of these primarily DES (particularly trail design - 2.2.1-4 - which was billed as DPR responsibility in the Trail Modernization program; wayfinding)?

    - BikeArlington should be a partner for most of these things, but especially 2.2.5 (trail etiquette, p 183); all of 2.4 (wayfinding and trail naming)

    - APS and SRTS should be a partner on 2.2.6 (develop learn to ride areas); 2.2 should include Safe Routes to Schools (or maybe 2.1 to go with 2.1.5)


    - Otherwise I think the trails section (strategic direction 2, pages 108-117) is pretty great.

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    Thoughts

    1. I really like the discussion of trail standards. I am motivated to see if Alexandria has a set of trail standards, and if we don't if we can adopt some, and if we do, if we need to improve them to match Arlington's. With a couple of new trails apparently on the way in the City, this would be timely.
    2. Signage. It explicitly mentioned regional cooperation, so I assume we in the City will be participating in this process?
    3. I am interested in the commitment to finishing the Rte 50 trail, which I know is a WABA priority. I have less interest in what happens north of the Custis.
    4. Interesting that the map of the 4MR Valley shows the proposed underpass under Shirlington Road, but no mention of it in the text, even though it would be a major improvement to the Arlington Loop. I assume because the 4MRV plan is still evolving?
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 07-05-2017 at 03:32 PM.

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