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Thread: Washington Blvd repaving thru Westover

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    The lack of parking is just for the support of local businesses ( which own the lots in back and may own the on-street diagonal parking--so no it's not "free") and not for nearby residents. If you eliminate parking, you just drive business to other locations. For God's sake, it is just a one block business district. This is really not an opportunity to save the world.
    On the occasions where I drive to Westover, I have never, repeat never, had a problem finding a parking space within a half block of where I was going. I'm not sure where this "lack of parking" comes from. Maybe it just refers to the diagonal parking or the small Lost Dog/Stray Cat/Thai Noi parking lot. Maybe problems of Sunday morning for the Farmers market?

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    Quote Originally Posted by accordioneur View Post
    I'm with Dismal - I think there are better uses of the government's resources than creating redundant infrastructure on what will always be an unpleasant cycling route. My guess is that given the superior alternatives already available, a Washington Blvd cycletrack/PBL/whatever would see too little use to be worth the investment.
    If I understand correctly, I don't think lordofthemark is arguing for any specific bicycle infrastructure at all, but broadly for a mindset that gives more weight to the needs of local people in and around communities like Westover, and less weight to those who merely wish to speed through such places in their cars.

    Yes this street is a poor fit for a cycletrack, for all the reasons mentioned previously on this thread. But that doesn't mean it should be sacrificed on the altar of vehicular throughput. Just as W&OD is a superior alternative for thru-cyclists in the area, so too is I-66 available for drivers. Narrower lanes, raised pedestrian crossings, and/or lower speed limits could make a big difference. There is no reason that cyclists, even slow ones, couldn't or shouldn't be made to feel welcome sharing the road in this space.

    The larger point: If we can't overcome political and bureaucratic roadblocks to achieve even baby steps like traffic calming in Westover, what hope do we have in the larger fight for the long-term health of our planet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    If I understand correctly, I don't think lordofthemark is arguing for any specific bicycle infrastructure at all, but broadly for a mindset that gives more weight to the needs of local people in and around communities like Westover, and less weight to those who merely wish to speed through such places in their cars.

    Yes this street is a poor fit for a cycletrack, for all the reasons mentioned previously on this thread. But that doesn't mean it should be sacrificed on the altar of vehicular throughput. Just as W&OD is a superior alternative for thru-cyclists in the area, so too is I-66 available for drivers. Narrower lanes, raised pedestrian crossings, and/or lower speed limits could make a big difference. There is no reason that cyclists, even slow ones, couldn't or shouldn't be made to feel welcome sharing the road in this space.

    The larger point: If we can't overcome political and bureaucratic roadblocks to achieve even baby steps like traffic calming in Westover, what hope do we have in the larger fight for the long-term health of our planet?


    Broadly this. Although my concerns extend ( here and elsewhere) beyond direct provision of transportation to larger issues of urban form and housing supply, my concern here is largely with the weighting of walkability versus accommodation of the auto. Despite Arlington having in the past been a model, I think in some ways they are failing to go the next level (perhaps their attention is elsewhere now, with studies of Lee Highway and Four Mile Run Valley ongoing). I also find many people both cyclists and bike haters tend to assume road diets and lane diets that create bike lanes are done so principally for the benefit of cyclists, and don't see the larger complete streets and traffic calming context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by accordioneur View Post
    I hereby withdraw my proposal to build a wall along the southern border of Arlington.
    Wait! But wasn't Alexandria going to pay for it anyway?

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    When did I say I was against traffic calming? Raised crosswalks would be fine. I think narrowing the street wouldn't be a good idea given the parking situation. I don't think one block of wider lanes really leads to speeding and I think speeds are generally lower through Westover proper than the rest of Washington Blvd.

    I would think that communities like Westover are what people should be promoting. It's walkable with many small businesses. Parking is available for more distant shoppers, but it is not as car dependent as most business centers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    When did I say I was against traffic calming?
    Quote Originally Posted by accordioneur View Post
    I'm with Dismal - I think there are better uses of the government's resources than creating redundant infrastructure on what will always be an unpleasant cycling route.
    I am sorry, I did not mean to suggest that you (or anyone else here) opposed traffic calming. My intent was to push back on the defeatism I read in the bolded phrase. I believe it is possible to transform any busy street into a place that is pleasant for cycling. And it doesn't require any bicycle-specific infrastructure to do so in places like Westover, just a willingness to acknowledge and fix the real issue: too many speeding cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    I would think that communities like Westover are what people should be promoting. It's walkable with many small businesses. Parking is available for more distant shoppers, but it is not as car dependent as most business centers.
    That is fair kinda. But it depends on context. Its inside the beltway, and as noted before, two metro stations are just over a mile away. It has something of a connected street grid (which provides the parallel bike routes some mentioned). Perhaps ped improvements without lane narrowing will work for Westover - but I hope elsewhere in inside the beltway NoVa (and similar places elsewhere in the region) we aim for something more walkable and less autocentric than this in places that have as much potential. I think we will need to if we are really going to make major progress on reducing per capita VMT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    My intent was to push back on the defeatism I read ...
    One man's defeatism is another's realism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    That is fair kinda. But it depends on context. Its inside the beltway, and as noted before, two metro stations are just over a mile away. It has something of a connected street grid (which provides the parallel bike routes some mentioned). Perhaps ped improvements without lane narrowing will work for Westover - but I hope elsewhere in inside the beltway NoVa (and similar places elsewhere in the region) we aim for something more walkable and less autocentric than this in places that have as much potential. I think we will need to if we are really going to make major progress on reducing per capita VMT.
    Although I think that overcoming the car culture may be the hardest thing of all.

    I was once walking up McKinley Road to Westover. I could see the Post Office. A person came out of her house and got in her car as I walked by. A moment later she passed me on her way to park at the Post Office.
    In fairness, she beat me there by almost a minute, so there was that time savings.


    (Also, I suppose that may have been her first stop on a series of errands, if I want to give her the benefit of the doubt.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by accordioneur View Post
    One man's defeatism is another's realism.
    “The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
    – Michelangelo

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