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Thread: Pointless Prize: KOT and QOT

  1. #221
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    Dec 2018
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    Well, where to begin on tonight's epic Trail Love / Trash Vendetta adventure...?!

    I packed 3 bags ("QPB's" - Quick Pick Bags from now on) this morning and on the commute in, pondered where to focus my evening efforts along 4 Mile Run, now that I'd completed a nice full pass from Mt. Vernon Ave to W. Glebe. The winds had certainly brought more trash back to these same areas, though not as bad as originally, so riding home I decided to start that stretch again, returning to my first QPB location (just east of the Mt. Vernon underpass.) This time, I worked on the "upper trail" - those 2 little connecting spurs of trail that let you reach Mt. Vernon Ave vs. going under it.

    Plenty of trash against the low brick wall there that runs along the S. Glebe sidewalk; a full pair of gloves, a t-shirt and a duffel bag for my growing Trash Virtual Wardrobe. That filled the first bag. I moved down to the lower trail and the slope that runs between upper and lower pavements... I spotted a $5 bill in the grass. Pocketed that bad boy, figuring the Trail Gods were being munificent. A few trash items later, I spotted a $1 bill! And sure enough, 10 feet away ANOTHER $5-er! For a total of $11 bucks found, in a nice twist on this great pay-it-forward idea... because conveniently that amount is just enough to cover the yoga donation (benefits the 4MR Conservatory) at my next 4 Mile Run Farmer's Market yoga session, 3/10!

    Moving to the underpass for my next QPB, I started filling another bag. As I was done with it, I heard "That must be Chris!" from behind, and who should roll up to stop but @reji, The Originator of the QPB and thus my mentor! As you'd expect from The Originator, she whipped out a bag and we started working on the west side of the underpass. I filled one more bag there, as did she, and my third bag completed by retracing the path back through the underpass -- I always spot trash I missed this way -- the light hits things differently, walking in either direction.

    AS IF ALL THAT WEREN'T ENOUGH... Wait, there's still more...!
    With a little nudge during our brief meeting tonight, I took on the responsibility of becoming an unexpected ward of Giraffey as well! My first foray into Calvinball, and I'll barely get any work done tomorrow, pondering what to do next with Giraffey...!

    Trail Booty!
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    Yessir, yessir, three bags full!
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    The Originator (r) and one very excited follower (l)!
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    Giraffey warming up again
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    Last edited by ChristoB50; 02-27-2019 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Captions

  2. #222
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    3 more QPB’s after dropping Giraffey off... all picked up along “my stretch” of 4MR... “my” used here as a term of endearment, not by any means implying exclusive quick-picks support on that stretch!

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  4. #223
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    Closing out February and my "Two Weeks of Trail Love, Trash Vendetta" with 2 more bags, for a total of 32 bags since @reji proposed the idea here at Valentine's Day!
    I decided to change my zone tonight, even though riding past "my stretch" (see post #222 above) and seeing new trash blown in was very tough to skip -- I wanted to focus on the short, very trashy section of asphalt trail pavement that runs adjacent to the Exxon, across from Weenie Beenie. All along that rock retaining wall bracing the Exxon parking lot (while trying to get anything in arm's reach through the metal fence onto Exxon's grassy median, so it wouldn't blow into the trail next...)
    Then on Jennie Dean Park to find a trash can (and spot & add 2 big 40's bottles.)

    Thanks again, @reji, for the idea... Looking forward to racking up more miles and more bags in March!

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  6. #224
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    Nov 2014
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    I rode my bike to a well attended advocacy meeting tonight in Fairfax VA hosted by @BikeFairfax (aka FABB) with VDOT and Fairfax County officials about the proposed I-66 Trail Outside the Beltway, as well as plans by FFX county to connect to it from outside the I-66 corridor, and an update on trail upgrades Inside the Beltway. There were a number of cyclists there, including FABB reps, and I chatted with Cathy M (whom I believe is participating in BAFS2019).

    I'm not a very good bump on a log unless I'm sleeping through a meeting, so I asked a few question like "why not switch the sound barrier and trail barrier between motorized vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists since it uses existing space more safely?" (...no, because the homeowners won that NIMBY battle already with the elected county supervisors); "what do all the different color codes and symbols mean on your PowerPoint maps?" (...a legend will be provided in an updated version); "can you please upload your coded maps with legend on the web?" (...yes, but not yet); and, "how do you determine when to approve payments to the contractor and manage delivery risk if your contracts do not include any performance milestones?" (...lengthy discussion on the basics of public-private partnerships and who bears the risk...buy me several beers if you want to unpack this one!).

    It was good to see such good coordination between VDOT, their lead contractor, Fairfax County and FABB (@BikeFairfax). They are trying to do the right thing for cyclists/pedestrians within the constraints of motorists and property owners who don't want any of this in their backyard (NIMBYs...not in my backyard) and money left over after the cars take the lion's share.

    While the basic parameters have been defined, contracts negotiated, and construction already underway on some sections of the 22 miles to be reconstructed, there are still lots of finer details yet to be defined re where exactly the trail will go, if it is at/below/above grade with vehicular traffic, and exactly what kind of physical barrier will separate people from motorized vehicles (though current standard is a 50 inch high concrete barrier--when at grade). There will be lots more public meetings where you can ask questions and provide input/feedback. This is especially true of the "outside corridor" trails and cycle tracks to be built by Fairfax County to feed into the I-66 trail and connect to Vienna and Dunn Loring MetroRail stations.

    On a closing note, this is probably the single most significant opportunity to get non-motorized modes of transportation built along the I-66 corridor in my almost 30 years of bike commuting along that route. Another opportunity like this probably won't come around for another generation. I encourage you engage and make a lasting difference that will benefit cyclists/peds for years to come.

    Find out more info here: https://fabb-bikes.org/project/i66-trail/

    Sent from my VS501 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Boomer2U; 02-28-2019 at 11:02 PM.

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  8. #225
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    Transform I-66 Outside the Beltway

    Sent from my VS501 using Tapatalk

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  10. #226
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    Fairfax County's piece of the bike connectivity puzzle..

    Sent from my VS501 using Tapatalk

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  12. #227
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    Meanwhile, inside the Beltway will see some significant improvements, too

    Sent from my VS501 using Tapatalk

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  14. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomer2U View Post
    I rode my bike to a well attended advocacy meeting tonight in Fairfax VA hosted by @BikeFairfax (aka FABB) with VDOT and Fairfax County officials about the proposed I-66 Trail Outside the Beltway, as well as plans by FFX county to connect to it from outside the I-66 corridor, and an update on trail upgrades Inside the Beltway. There were a number of cyclists there, including FABB reps, and I chatted with Cathy M (whom I believe is participating in BAFS2019).

    I'm not a very good bump on a log unless I'm sleeping through a meeting, so I asked a few question like "why not switch the sound barrier and trail barrier between motorized vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists since it uses existing space more safely?" (...no, because the homeowners won that NIMBY battle already with the elected county supervisors); "what do all the different color codes and symbols mean on your PowerPoint maps?" (...a legend will be provided in an updated version); "can you please upload your coded maps with legend on the web?" (...yes, but not yet); and, "how do you determine when to approve payments to the contractor and manage delivery risk if your contracts do not include any performance milestones?" (...lengthy discussion on the basics of public-private partnerships and who bears the risk...buy me several beers if you want to unpack this one!).

    It was good to see such good coordination between VDOT, their lead contractor, Fairfax County and FABB (@BikeFairfax). They are trying to do the right thing for cyclists/pedestrians within the constraints of motorists and property owners who don't want any of this in their backyard (NIMBYs...not in my backyard) and money left over after the cars take the lion's share.

    While the basic parameters have been defined, contracts negotiated, and construction already underway on some sections of the 22 miles to be reconstructed, there are still lots of finer details yet to be defined re where exactly the trail will go, if it is at/below/above grade with vehicular traffic, and exactly what kind of physical barrier will separate people from motorized vehicles (though current standard is a 50 inch high concrete barrier--when at grade). There will be lots more public meetings where you can ask questions and provide input/feedback. This is especially true of the "outside corridor" trails and cycle tracks to be built by Fairfax County to feed into the I-66 trail and connect to Vienna and Dunn Loring MetroRail stations.

    On a closing note, this is probably the single most significant opportunity to get non-motorized modes of transportation built along the I-66 corridor in my almost 30 years of bike commuting along that route. Another opportunity like this probably won't come around for another generation. I encourage you engage and make a lasting difference that will benefit cyclists/peds for years to come.

    Find out more info here: https://fabb-bikes.org/project/i66-trail/

    Sent from my VS501 using Tapatalk

    Grrr.

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  16. #229
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    Upcoming Advocacy Opportunities in Fairfax County, NOVA

    Sent from my VS501 using Tapatalk

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  18. #230
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    I humbly submit this for QOT points:

    On Monday, I attended an Alexandria Traffic and Parking Board meeting, and spoke on behalf of making the MVT safer by banning right turn on reds at the entrance of the Porto Vecchio condominium (southern most trail crossing of the MVT before it goes from Alexandria into Fairfax County). It was terrifying, but it was successful! The Alexandria Traffic and Parking board unanimously voted to recommend banning right turn on reds at this intersection. Now it goes to the city who will hopefully install the sign asap.

    Rootchopper also spoke about getting hit by a driver at this intersection, and Zack D from BPAC also spoke on behalf of banning right turn on reds. 2 members of the condo association spoke as well, although they were against this change.

    In case you're wondering, this is the typed up version of what I said.
    -------------------------
    Hi, my name is EMM. I'm here on behalf of the Friends of the Mount Vernon trail, a volunteer organization that works to improve the Mount Vernon trail for all users. I'm also a regular user of the MVT, and am here to support the banning of right on reds at this intersection.

    Between 300 and 400 thousand pedestrians and cyclists used the trail right outside this intersection, as evidenced by Alexandria's bike and pedestrian counter data. This intersection is a very busy stretch on the MVT, and is a key connection between Alexandria and Fairfax County.

    Due to the poor sight lines for drivers turning right out of Porto Vecchio at this intersection, it is an inherently risky intersection for people who walk and bike. The landscaping work the condo help a little with improving driver sight lines, but it has not materially improved this situation--within the last year I have known at least one person who has been hit by a car trying to turn right on red at this intersection, and I have had numerous near misses myself when cars failed to yield to walkers and bikers while trying to turn right on red here. Just last weekend I had to swerve around a car that was completely blocking the crosswalk in an attempt to see far enough down the parkway to turn right, forcing me and numerous joggers to enter the GW parkway to avoid the car.

    In order to limit the inconvenience to residents of Porto Vecchio, the friends of the MVT supports adjusting the light cycle so that Porto Vecchio residents have a shorter gap between green lights. We’d also support giving Porto Vecchio a leading green to de-conflict them with bus traffic that is trying to turn left out of the building across the parkway. We also strongly recommend changing the left turn signal for southbound drivers to be red when bikes and pedestrians have the right of way on the trail. This will further improve the safety of bikes and pedestrians crossing at this intersection.

    Ideally, when people walking or on bikes have a walk signal or green bike signal, drivers will not be turning right on red out of Porto Vecchio, or left into Porto Vechio from the parkway. This will also give drivers the knowledge that they have the complete right of way when leaving or turning left into Porto Vecchio, and minimize their risk of sudden stops or crashes with bikes and walkers.

    Making this change is consistent with Alexandria's Vision Zero plan to prevent death and serious injury, and is crucial for keeping trail users safe, so I urge you to support changing the sign at this intersection a complete ban for right on reds.

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