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Thread: Making Seminary Road in Alexandria better

  1. #11
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    I'll throw in a beer--does that mean we move Monday's meeting to Port City?! As a new West Ender (moved from Arlington), it's pretty frustrating to see the opposition to bike facilities on Seminary especially when the arguments are "I don't see bikes there!" when a) that's because it's not comfortable for a lot of people who would be interested in biking, and b) me and my SO are on Seminary/Janneys at least three times a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laurenist View Post
    I'll throw in a beer--does that mean we move Monday's meeting to Port City?! As a new West Ender (moved from Arlington), it's pretty frustrating to see the opposition to bike facilities on Seminary especially when the arguments are "I don't see bikes there!" when a) that's because it's not comfortable for a lot of people who would be interested in biking, and b) me and my SO are on Seminary/Janneys at least three times a week.
    Id be up for a Port City meeting. I was going to pitch Jim on replacing one of the monthly meetings with a social open house event instead....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  5. #13
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    STAFF RECOMMENDATION 5/30/2019

    Guess I'll need to take the shared lane when I ride Seminary Road. That is going to displease a few drivers.
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    Last edited by KWL; 05-30-2019 at 07:33 PM.

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  7. #14
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    Hope they don't mind being stopped when I have to turn left off Seminary because they protested an alternative with a center turn lane!

  8. #15
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  9. #16
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    Doesn't painting sharrows automatically revoke Vision Zero policy?

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    I hope someone was able to attend last night. If so, did City staff explain the rationale behind that center section using seven foot buffers plus sharrows on the travel lanes? ISTM if you have seven feet between the main travel lane and the curb, you'd want to make that a painted bike lane. The proposed design looks more expensive (in addition to painting the lines at the edge of the main travel lane and the buffer and the bike logos, it requires lots of diagonal striping), more dangerous (advocating mixing modes of travel into the same lane), slower (when folks like Ken & I take the lane), and more dangerous (as motorists swerve into the other travel lane to pass us).

    Is there some engineering guidance from AASHTO or some other organization explaining when you'd choose a no-man's-land buffer plus sharrows over a normal painted lane?

    I just don't understand that part of the recommended design at all.
    Last edited by peterw_diy; 05-31-2019 at 08:06 AM. Reason: whoops, just noticed it's a 2 + 1 auto design, not 1 + 1 + turn -- even more dangrerous to pass eastbound people on bikes

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  13. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Doesn't painting sharrows automatically revoke Vision Zero policy?
    Is the city even following it's own policies in this design. If they aren't, that would be the strongest place to start. Staff can try and accommodate outspoken critics of bike/pedestrian infrastructure, but if Vision Zero or Complete Streets policy state otherwise, this wouldn't meet those policies.

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  15. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterw_diy View Post
    I hope someone was able to attend last night. If so, did City staff explain the rationale behind that center section using seven foot buffers plus sharrows on the travel lanes? ISTM if you have seven feet between the main travel lane and the curb, you'd want to make that a painted bike lane. The proposed design looks more expensive (in addition to painting the lines at the edge of the main travel lane and the buffer and the bike logos, it requires lots of diagonal striping), more dangerous (advocating mixing modes of travel into the same lane), slower (when folks like Ken & I take the lane), and more dangerous (as motorists swerve into the turn lane to pass us).

    Is there some engineering guidance from AASHTO or some other organization explaining when you'd choose a no-man's-land buffer plus sharrows over a normal painted lane?

    I just don't understand that part of the recommended design at all.
    There is no sidewalk part of the way there (the uphill side) . The City has a policy to fill sidewalk gaps. This is a priority gap to fill (one of the few in the City on a street with volumes this high) They can call the striped buffer "filling the gap" (They say that they want to build a real sidewalk someday, but that will take over a million dollars the City does not have at the moment) Makes less sense on the other side where a sidewalk exists, but since that's downhill the sharrows is not quite as unattractive as on the uphill side. Oh, and by not calling them bike lanes, they can hope to assuage the claim that this is about bike lanes and the evil bike lobby. The disadvantage, in my view, is that when people ride in them (as they will) there will be no treatments at intersections and transitions - those are not always great in the City (what good DOES a "bike lane ending" sign really do?) but here we will have none. (I guess one reason to not call it a "bike lane" is because where the road diet ends, at St Stephens, the transition to the sharrows WILL be awkward, and this way they can avoid blame for the transition, by claiming the sharrows was the bike route for the whole way) Also the legal status is not clear (at least to me). If a person on a bike and a walker or runner have a conflict, will this be treated as a sidewalk where the ped always has ROW? Will dockless escooters (legal in bike lanes, not on sidewalks per the MOUs) be legal in these lanes?

    So er yeah, its convoluted. I still prefer option 3. But you asked for an explanation. There is a video of the whole meeting here https://www.facebook.com/TESAlexandriaVA/

    The next step will be ANOTHER community survey - link coming soon.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 05-31-2019 at 08:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    Is the city even following it's own policies in this design. If they aren't, that would be the strongest place to start. Staff can try and accommodate outspoken critics of bike/pedestrian infrastructure, but if Vision Zero or Complete Streets policy state otherwise, this wouldn't meet those policies.

    The critics are suggesting all these policies (and also the bike/ped chapter of the transportation master plan, and the sustainability plan) have been passed by stealth and with the support of the evil bike lobby. When someone from T&ES mentioned that the City has a goal to reduce VMT and auto commute mode share, about a dozen voices shouted "why?" Fun times.

    (note the outspoken critics of bike/ped infra do NOT like the City proposal - it still makes too many changes to the road for their taste, and it does not keep Seminary 4 lanes for the entire length. The politics as this goes to Traffic and Parking Board, and then to Council, will be interesting)
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 05-31-2019 at 08:22 AM.

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