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Thread: Car on the W&OD

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    Steve O's Avatar
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    Default Car on the W&OD

    On my way home from WTF Coffee Club this morning I encountered this car traveling southeast on the W&OD, about 1/2 mile northwest of Columbia Pike:
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    The driver, an older Asian woman, had two children with her in the back seat (I'm guessing she was likely either a grandmother or caregiver). She told me she had no idea how she got on the trail, that she was just following her GPS. She was also clearly flustered. I wish I had probed more to try to determine where she could have entered. It had to have been south of Wilson somewhere, because I find it highly unlikely anyone would drive under Wilson Blvd on the trail when a clear and easy escape route is so visible. (However, people can be surprisingly stupid.)

    She said she was from Chicago and unfamiliar with the area.

    I told her to drive very slowly about 1/2 mile to a street and then turn right, but only on the walk signal. Hopefully she followed those instructions.

    I wish I had also instructed her to call the State of Illinois (or wherever her license is issued) and ask them to rescind her driver's license. Although one may claim this is a "simple mistake," it actually must be really hard to do, given the millions of cars that pass beside the trails and do not drive onto them--including almost everyone who is from out of town.

    Anyone who is so clueless or oblivious or unable to safely operate their vehicle should not be allowed to drive, IMO.

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    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    She told me she had no idea how she got on the trail, that she was just following her GPS.
    This part is at least plausible and somewhat of a "bug" in Google Maps (assuming she was using that and not a dedicated vehicle GPS), as it can be easy to mistakenly get walking/biking directions if you aren't paying attention...that last bit is important though. You have to be inattentive to make that mistake. You have to even more inattentive to make the turn onto a trail...and you have to be totally incompetent to **keep driving** along a trail that is so obviously not a road.

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    So this is just past the wetland overlook. There is a little road that goes into Glenncarlyn Park and ends at a small parking lot. (The map says it's a trail, but you can see the parking lot it goes to.) After that there is a low-water bridge that, I think, used to have a seemingly useless bollard but no longer does. This is likely how she got on the trail since it's just northwest of that overlook. Considering the driving skills shown, she's quite lucky she didn't end up in Four Mile Run while going over the low-water bridge.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8639...!3m1!1e3?hl=en
    Last edited by huskerdont; 10-26-2017 at 02:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    This part is at least plausible and somewhat of a "bug" in Google Maps (assuming she was using that and not a dedicated vehicle GPS), as it can be easy to mistakenly get walking/biking directions if you aren't paying attention...that last bit is important though.
    My Lyft driver a few weeks ago actually did this when I was coming home from the airport, and I had to take his phone and move it off bike directions into car directions. There was a language barrier which wasn't helping the situation, especially as he drove at a somewhat high speed around the airport. But even he realized something was totally wrong, he just couldn't figure out what.

    I have used garmin, waze, google and apple maps, and NEVER been directed onto a bike/pedestrian trail unless I specifically hit bike directions in google. I use gps almost every time I drive for traffic info so if directing people onto local trails was a real issue around here, I'd have likely noticed it by now. I think it's just an excuse people give when they make a wrong turn. The few times google defaulted to bike directions it was incredibly obvious since the map and time-to-destination made no sense in a car.

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    lordofthemark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emm View Post
    My Lyft driver a few weeks ago actually did this when I was coming home from the airport, and I had to take his phone and move it off bike directions into car directions. There was a language barrier which wasn't helping the situation, especially as he drove at a somewhat high speed around the airport. But even he realized something was totally wrong, he just couldn't figure out what.

    I have used garmin, waze, google and apple maps, and NEVER been directed onto a bike/pedestrian trail unless I specifically hit bike directions in google. I use gps almost every time I drive for traffic info so if directing people onto local trails was a real issue around here, I'd have likely noticed it by now. I think it's just an excuse people give when they make a wrong turn. The few times google defaulted to bike directions it was incredibly obvious since the map and time-to-destination made no sense in a car.
    QOTM: So, what is our expected time to arrival? If we are going to be late, you should text our host.
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    So this is just past the wetland overlook. There is a little road that goes into Glenncarlyn Park and ends at a small parking lot. (The map says it's a trail, but you can see the parking lot it goes to.) After that there is a low-water bridge that, I think, used to have a seemingly useless bollard but no longer does. This is likely how she got on the trail since it's just northwest of that overlook. Considering the driving skills shown, she's quite lucky she didn't end up in Four Mile Run while going over the low-water bridge.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8639...!3m1!1e3?hl=en
    That's a good guess, but I'm voting for the steep hairpin trail coming off of the end of N Greenbrier St to a left directly onto the W&OD.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8668...!3m1!1e3?hl=en

    In any case, it took some concerted maneuvering for her to get on the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    On my way home from WTF Coffee Club this morning I encountered this car traveling southeast on the W&OD, about 1/2 mile northwest of Columbia Pike:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	car on wod.JPG 
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ID:	15636



    She said she was from Chicago and unfamiliar with the area.
    I highly doubt anyone from Illinois would ever do this. Looks like fake news to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Anyone who is so clueless or oblivious or unable to safely operate their vehicle should not be allowed to drive, IMO.
    But think of how many QOM's she picked up!

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    Name:  bollard.gif
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    Quote Originally Posted by n18 View Post
    Name:  bollard.gif
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    Oh no! Please don't post 3 bollards in a row. That is like saying "Betelgeuse" three times.

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