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Thread: Washington Blvd repaving thru Westover

  1. #101
    DismalScientist is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    I live in the Westover area and never said that I preferred to ride in the travel lanes. I ride in the unprotected bike lanes on Washington Blvd, which allows me to be seen by drivers in the main travel lanes and allows me to be passed without me affecting drivers. If protected lanes (behind parked cars) are carved out of the road (which is an impossibility due to its width) I will not ride in these lanes because I would not be able to go safely and sufficiently fast that the PBL would be efficient for me. Furthermore, I will not ride in the main lanes because because I cannot keep up with 30 mph traffic.

    You provide a list of places within 3 miles. From exactly what location would an inexperienced cyclist benefit from PBLs on Washington Blvd? I live in the precise location that would presumably benefit from PBLs and yet I would use Washington Blvd only to go to Lacey Woods Park, Ballston and East Falls Church metro. Of course, if I were inexperienced, I would take the WOD/Custis going east or west. If I lived north of Washington Blvd, I would take 16th street east or 22nd street west to those destinations.

    By the criteria you state, you are basically saying that all arterials in Arlington and in every metropolitan area in the country should be equipped with PBLs. Please tell me exactly where any PBL exists on a street lined with single family houses.

    Yes, North Arlington does have plenty of destinations to which (inexperienced) people can safely bike. The residential areas generally have a complete network of neighborhood streets.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    Please tell me exactly where any PBL exists on a street lined with single family houses.
    It is typically difficult to do that because of driveways. King Street Phase 2 (which has some detached SFHs) is a buffered lane, and I believe the proposal T&ES will release for Seminary (where many adjoining SFH owners want a bike lane, because of the difficulty of getting out of the driveways onto an uncalmed roadway) will be for a buffered lane. I know of PBLs in DC adjacent to single family rowhomes, but I guess you mean detached SFH's.

  3. #103
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    Dismal, I get it. You are advocating for what helps you. But it doesn't help many. There seems to be no convincing you that it's worth serving the masses, even if it moderately downgrades what you get. It also seems to fall on deaf ears to point out that increasing the number of cyclists will make you safer, thus benefiting you.

    As someone who talks to "interested but concerned" folks often, they won't bike on the neighborhood streets because (1) they are still mixing with cars; (2) the routes are not easy to remember or follow; and (3) the routes are hillier. It's no coincidence that many of the major routes are the flattest and most connected in the County -- they were designed to avoid the hills and connect far destinations back when people used horses. So, yes, we need safe and comfortable bike infrastructure on all major aerterials. PBLs without parking should be fine on roads with many driveways.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Where there is no on street parking, a simple buffered lane without protection (or with flexposts, which don't prevent escape) is an alternative. One would think that in genuinely low density areas on street parking on arterials might not be important, but nonetheless it often seems to be.
    Currently, Washington Blvd in the area in question is one lane each way with conventional bike lanes each way and parking on the north side. I'm fine with the current configuration and also would be fine with buffer lanes on both sides if they took out the parking lane, although I doubt that could be swung politically. I think flexiposts for show are a bit ridiculous. That said, I prefer that residents park parallel on the street than back out of their driveways into a busy road, particularly if I am a cyclist on that road.

    Even with buffered lanes, I would still suggest my biking kids to take alternate parallel routes.

    (I glanced quickly at Seminary Road--That looks like a tougher one as the street grid is incomplete in the area. The only way to put any bike facilities in would be to reduce the number of lanes, which is currently 2 in each direction. I don't know traffic counts are, but trying to cross Seminary west of 395 at the jog on Fillmore on bike is a real bear.)

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    Currently, Washington Blvd in the area in question is one lane each way with conventional bike lanes each way and parking on the north side. I'm fine with the current configuration and also would be fine with buffer lanes on both sides if they took out the parking lane, although I doubt that could be swung politically. I think flexiposts for show are a bit ridiculous. That said, I prefer that residents park parallel on the street than back out of their driveways into a busy road, particularly if I am a cyclist on that road.

    Even with buffered lanes, I would still suggest my biking kids to take alternate parallel routes.

    (I glanced quickly at Seminary Road--That looks like a tougher one as the street grid is incomplete in the area. The only way to put any bike facilities in would be to reduce the number of lanes, which is currently 2 in each direction. I don't know traffic counts are, but trying to cross Seminary west of 395 at the jog on Fillmore on bike is a real bear.)
    That it's difficult to remove onstreet parking from an arterial suggest to me that the area is not as low density as much of the USA is. (I would also note that newer suburbs are much more likely to have arterials with more but narrower lanes, rather than one wide lane in each direction - see Ashburn for example)

    The part of Seminary under study is east of I395, the City is likely to propose a road diet from 4 to 3 lanes - to discourage speeding - the limit is 25MPH but is widely disregarded - and to ease pedestrians crossing the streets - to reduce lane changing that creates crashes - to provide a center left turn lane that would expedite traffic and reduce rear end collisions - to ease people getting out of their driveways. The traffic volumes are significantly less east of Jordan than from I395 to Jordan, as much traffic from I 395 turns SB onto Jordan - it is possible that different treatments will be proposed east and west of Jordan, but I would not want to prejudice what T&ES may propose. IF a 4 to 3 road diet is done, it is very likely (and keeping with the City bike-ped master plan) that the extra space would go to bike lanes. There is no on-street parking in that area, so they would not be parking protected PBLs.


    I will try not to speak of other jurisdictions, but in Alexandria at least, I strongly hold that even a mostly detached SFH area needs to have complete streets - both for the safety and comfort of residents who want to walk and bike, for the safety of residents who prefer to drive within the 25MPH speed limit, and to make it possible for people from nearby denser areas to walk and ride through it and to use transit within it. if the central "hole" of Alexandria is excluded from complete streets and traffic calming, we will fail to achieve our vision as a City. How that plays out in other jurisdictions will depend on details of geography.

  6. #106
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    Oh, so you are arguing for buffered bike lanes now? Well, that is very different than the original proposal to put a cyclotrack between Westover and Frederick Street. Obviously I wouldn't have a problem with paint-buffered lanes as that wouldn't force me into the main travel lanes.

    As far as hills go, one can easily find that the earliest transportation corridors in this area were the railroad and 16th Street. In other words, the flattest ways east of Westover are, in fact, the alternative more bike-friendly routes. Wash Blvd wasn't added to the street system until the early 20th century.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    Oh, so you are arguing for buffered bike lanes now?
    Not sure if this is for Dasgeh or for me. I accept that a pair of parking protected bike lanes on Seminary is not possible - there is no room for two general travel lanes, a center turn lane, two bike lanes AND even one parking lane. Whether flexposts (which I do consider to have some value, but that is another discussion) are possible or not, I am not sure. In some places (like Van Dorn) the City has put in flex posts at easier spots, making for sort of a hybrid between a buffered lane and a flex post protected one.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Not sure if this is for Dasgeh or for me.
    I'm not advocating for anything short of protected, so no idea what Dismal is referring to. Also, Washington is way flatter than 16th, so ?

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    PBLs without parking should be fine on roads with many driveways.
    What exactly are PBLs without parking if not just buffered lanes? Are flexiposts sufficient to provide protection but not painted buffers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post

    By the criteria you state, you are basically saying that all arterials in Arlington and in every metropolitan area in the country should be equipped with PBLs. Please tell me exactly where any PBL exists on a street lined with single family houses.
    Virginia Ln where the W&OD runs next to it crossing several driveways. Macarthur Blvd in Maryland.

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