Humpback Bridge Update
Just got a response from Fed Highway Admin on the Humpback Bridge closeout. They seem to have a plan to clean up the dips/humps in the bike trail.
My email to them:
To: FHWA, EFL (FHWA)
Subject: Humpback Bridge Project Closeout - Repairs to the bike trail
As the work to close out the project continues, please ensure two spots on the bike trail are repaired.
1-On the path from the 14th Street Bridge to the Mount Vernon Trail, the bike path has a dip where the construction equipment crossed the bike path to build the detour. This dip collects water when it rains and will be icy this winter. Ice at that point might result in accidents and present possible liability.
2-The contractor put an asphalt overlay on a stretch of the bike trail between the south of the bridge and the intersection of the trail and the path across the 14th Street Bridge. I believe the overlay was placed where construction vehicles crossed the trail. At this point, it serves as a "speed bump" that might surprise a rider and result in accidents. Please ensure that overlay is removed.
The FHWA response (received today)
"Please know that both of these issues will be addressed when the trail work is completed in this area, which should be in the next two weeks. Thank you for your comments.
Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division
Federal Highway Administration"
The end seems to be in sight.
Didn't someone on the forum indicate a while back that there was also some commitment to widen the junction between the MVT and the trail leading to the 14th Street Bridge? It looks very much like that intersection, which is frankly unsafe, is going to be left as is.
Yes, the MVT / 14th street bridge - part of a major renovation project by NPSGW, typically shows a complete lack of thought. They have created a sharp 90 turn (its worse than before isnt it?).
But I also wonder that its not a problem that will solve itself. Once grass takes on that ground in the triangle between the MVT and the 14th Trail - I assume bikers will just start wearing a grove and cutting across the law. I already do it when the ground is not wet and soft.
The improvements to the bridge are significant. But its unfortunate that they still do absolutely thoughtless things like fixing this trail intersection when they could of. Designing it right the first time usually costs de minimis. Having to retrofit a solution usually costs significant.
The issue of the tight turn was addressed in a thread last March but didn't get any traction. I think we could get better designs but riders would have to be involved much earlier in the process.
We can certainly help through the involvement of the folks on this forum.
Thanks for refreshing my memory.
Gotta say, I don't think design changes are needed. That makes it sound as if it is a bigger deal to fix at this point than it actually is. All they need to do is put down enough additional asphalt on either side of the trail from the bridge where it meets the MVT to allow easier right hand turns from both the trail and the MVT. It really is that simple.
I'd agree that the intersection should be enlarged a little after living with it for this long. You just can't expect everyone to make that turn within their half of the path, even slowing down to a snail's pace. I think the bumps in the trail are more of a hazard though. I had a puckering moment the first time I took my hand off the bars to signal my turn coming downhill from the bridge towards the intersection and had no idea there was a bump there.
I'll jump onto the bandwagon in agreement with you guys about the lack of safety consideration given here. That turn is way too tight, especially in a place where signaling one's intentions is important. Did you send your note to anyone in particular at the FHWA, dbb? Does NPS have anything to do with this? It seems ridiculous for them to not address this now.
I was also disappointed that they didn't pave the entire section from the new trail up to the concrete part of the 14th St. Bridge trail. It's not that much to pave, maybe 20 feet (?). The transition from the concrete off-ramp to the new trail is a little rough in a couple spots. When the crews had all of the equipment and materials on site, they could have easily patched up and smoothed out that section of the trail too.
(I haven't ridden there in a couple weeks. Maybe it's different now, but I don't think it is.)
I have been communicating with FHWA at EFL.FHWA@dot.gov I am sure they would love to hear from others!
Originally Posted by Arlingtonrider
I sent a note to Tim Bevins from the National Park Service addressing the need to round the corner a few minutes ago.
It might be a useful exercise to identify some of the jurisdictional boundaries for the popular bike trails so we can offer input to the folks that actually own the trail. It isn't completely clear who "owns" the Crystal City Water Park path from the MVT to the Water Park, for example.
Last edited by dbb; 10-13-2011 at 08:00 PM.