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Thread: Cars going off GW Parkway between North Boundary Channel and Trollheim

  1. #1
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    Default Cars going off GW Parkway between North Boundary Channel and Trollheim

    Every few months I see freshly torn-up turf and mud in the stretch of MVT between Trollheim and the northern end of the boundary channel. Sometimes there is still a car there (or in the river), but often not. I fear the day that the car goes off the parkway and hits a trail user (pedestrian, cyclist or even a scooter). Perhaps NPS is not aware how frequently this happens so that they do not feel the need to modify the roadway or at least install a wall? With that thinking, I figured that if we kept track, we could provide numbers to them. Please add as you either witness the event or the remains.

    So, starting the 2019 count, sometime between 7:30am Friday, 4 January 2018 and 7:30am Monday, 7 January a vehicle clearly left the parkway and entered the trail. That is 1, so far.

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    Pictures may help solidify your point to NPS. I know it can be hard to grab a photo, especially early in the morning or late in the evening, but it definitely would help the cause.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrP View Post
    install a wall?
    Easy. Just tell the current administration that some of the GWMP drivers are immigrants.

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    I've seen the direct aftermath of at least two in the last 2-3 years and I'm seriously baffled about why this happens. Whenever I drive the GWMP through that section I think "what is going on here that would force me off the right side of the road on a right-handed curve with decent sightlines?" I can't figure it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    I've seen the direct aftermath of at least two in the last 2-3 years and I'm seriously baffled about why this happens. Whenever I drive the GWMP through that section I think "what is going on here that would force me off the right side of the road on a right-handed curve with decent sightlines?" I can't figure it out.
    Speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Speed.
    This. Also, if they did add a wall, they'd probably put the trail between the wall and the road, because that's safer for out-of-control drivers.

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    dasgeh is right. Drivers treat the GWMP as a highway, so even though the speed limit is 40, drivers hit 50 and even 60 mph (if not more in some cases).

    On the idea of a wall (not THAT one), the main issue NPS has always had with building stuff is the following word: viewshed. A wall would mess with the viewshed of the Potomac River and surrounding park areas, so that might be a no-go.

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    Well of course speed is a factor for crashes/incidents all along the GWMP, but this spot and the incidents that happen there are pretty unique and speed on its own can't explain it. The physics of it just don't add up...going off the right side of the road in a sweeping right turn is exactly the opposite of what should happen when taking a corner too fast. So what about the road design in this particular area contributes to these incidents? Like it or not, the speed issues aren't likely to be addressed, but if there's a road design issue that's contributing to these issues (maybe the merge from S Arlington Blvd plays a role?), then those seem like the places where NPS may be more willing to take action (in addition to some sort of physical barrier to protect the trail). But if the solution is "people just need to slow down," well...good luck with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post
    dasgeh is right. Drivers treat the GWMP as a highway, so even though the speed limit is 40, drivers hit 50 and even 60 mph (if not more in some cases).

    On the idea of a wall (not THAT one), the main issue NPS has always had with building stuff is the following word: viewshed. A wall would mess with the viewshed of the Potomac River and surrounding park areas, so that might be a no-go.
    NPS hasr three foot high stone walls along the Parkway in the area, so there is a precedent.

    As far as the cause, I've speculated before that the drivers merging in from the S Arlington Blvd/Washington Blvd/Memorial Circle are probably the ones going too fast as they come across two lanes of the GW Parkway and if it is wet or icy they hit the grass and the MVT. Of course, the reports on the incidents never provide that kind of detail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by consularrider View Post
    NPS hasr three foot high stone walls along the Parkway in the area, so there is a precedent.
    My favorite is the wall on 123 eastbound over the GWMP where the GWPM offramps onto 123, which has been hit several times in the last couple of years. Imagine being so bad at driving that you hit a wall on the **inside** of a merge area.

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