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Thread: Bike Unfriendly Curb Cut on Walter Reed Project

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    Default Bike Unfriendly Curb Cut on Walter Reed Project

    On the connector project between the W&OD and 4MR trails on Walter Reed, I saw the curb cut yesterday they built on the NW corner of Walter Reed and 4 Mile Run Drive, and it's bad for bicyclists (see photo). They've basically created this chute you have to navigate from the W&OD to go southbound on Walter Reeds new shared use path. If you're going eastbound on the W&OD, it requires making a u-turn to get in the chute. This path is going to be hard to navigate on a bike and pretty much impossible if you have a trailer of sorts.

    I'm not sure why they made this bad a design, particularly when other bike path intersections have used an open design to facilitate bikes and pedestrians moving through here easily. If they wanted to do this really well they would create a connection on both sides of the power line pole to allow users going both ways on the W&OD easy access to the crossing.
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    I've often wondered if in any of the entities responsible for this kind of trail-related work (and thus the redesign of these replacement features) -- have a single cyclist in their employment or in the review processes? It would seem no...
    Can't help but wonder if say, the NPS folks had bike commuters on staff, whether that would help internally get things like, repaving MVT around the bridges, a higher focus...

    If it is (for the Walter Reed example) always a case of "we know how to make sidewalks and curbs, thankyouverymuch" -- and no outside opinion is ever sought from users of the trail (especially non-pedestrian users), that's such a missed opportunity for free & valuable input BEFORE it is too late / expensive to change.

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    I thought that's what Silly Rabbit Trix were for. But yeah I agree that sucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christob50 View Post
    I've often wondered if in any of the entities responsible for this kind of trail-related work (and thus the redesign of these replacement features) -- have a single cyclist in their employment or in the review processes? It would seem no...
    Can't help but wonder if say, the NPS folks had bike commuters on staff, whether that would help internally get things like, repaving MVT around the bridges, a higher focus...

    If it is (for the Walter Reed example) always a case of "we know how to make sidewalks and curbs, thankyouverymuch" -- and no outside opinion is ever sought from users of the trail (especially non-pedestrian users), that's such a missed opportunity for free & valuable input BEFORE it is too late / expensive to change.
    <rant>The Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee, in the past, would sometimes be given the opportunity to look at detailed designs and plans. The current ArlCo Administration has indicated that they prefer the BAC not weigh in on details of projects, despite the fact that we have the on-the-ground expertise and bicyclists' insight. At least twice in the last couple of years, ArlCo has had to go back and spend money and time changing something that would have been done correctly in the first place had they engaged the BAC along the way.<end rant>

    Some other things:
    - The cut is not aligned with the crosswalk. Perhaps they are going to repaint. However, I can imagine someone starting to cross there, being struck by a right-turning driver, and being cited for "crossing outside the crosswalk."
    - The radius seems rather large, encouraging drivers to speed around the corner. Drivers' sightlines to people crossing here are not ideal, particularly if they have the green and this big, round curve to zoom around.
    - Is the pushbutton pointing towards the crossing of Walter Reed? That seems pretty inconveniently located. I'm reasonably certain that no button should be needed here to cross Walter Reed, since Four-Mile Run is the main throughfare and already turns to "Walk" without the need for a button. At least that's been my experience.
    ==============
    Upon review, it appears that pushbutton has always been there (at least according to Google Street view). They should remove it.
    Last edited by Steve O; 02-25-2019 at 08:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    I thought that's what Silly Rabbit Trix were for. But yeah I agree that sucks.
    You're right! Convenient mini-ramps built in two of the new raised curbs -- surely as entry points for some creative bike-balance-beam riding...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christob50 View Post
    You're right! Convenient mini-ramps built in two of the new raised curbs -- surely as entry points for some creative bike-balance-beam riding...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Please let me know how I can assist to make the image below a reality. I've always wanted to have a log ride training spot on my commute to work.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    On the connector project between the W&OD and 4MR trails on Walter Reed, I saw the curb cut yesterday they built on the NW corner of Walter Reed and 4 Mile Run Drive, and it's bad for bicyclists (see photo). They've basically created this chute you have to navigate from the W&OD to go southbound on Walter Reeds new shared use path. If you're going eastbound on the W&OD, it requires making a u-turn to get in the chute. This path is going to be hard to navigate on a bike and pretty much impossible if you have a trailer of sorts.

    I'm not sure why they made this bad a design, particularly when other bike path intersections have used an open design to facilitate bikes and pedestrians moving through here easily. If they wanted to do this really well they would create a connection on both sides of the power line pole to allow users going both ways on the W&OD easy access to the crossing.
    Hi y'all - thanks for the photo on the on the ground reports. I've shared this with the project manager, and she's reviewing comments and plans. Right now, this is definitely still a work in progress, and not the final form. I know there have been a ton of constraints around underground utilities in this area, but I'll let you know what I hear back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    <rant>The Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee, in the past, would sometimes be given the opportunity to look at detailed designs and plans. The current ArlCo Administration has indicated that they prefer the BAC not weigh in on details of projects, despite the fact that we have the on-the-ground expertise and bicyclists' insight. At least twice in the last couple of years, ArlCo has had to go back and spend money and time changing something that would have been done correctly in the first place had they engaged the BAC along the way.<end rant>

    Some other things:
    - The cut is not aligned with the crosswalk. Perhaps they are going to repaint. However, I can imagine someone starting to cross there, being struck by a right-turning driver, and being cited for "crossing outside the crosswalk."
    - The radius seems rather large, encouraging drivers to speed around the corner. Drivers' sightlines to people crossing here are not ideal, particularly if they have the green and this big, round curve to zoom around.
    - Is the pushbutton pointing towards the crossing of Walter Reed? That seems pretty inconveniently located. I'm reasonably certain that no button should be needed here to cross Walter Reed, since Four-Mile Run is the main throughfare and already turns to "Walk" without the need for a button. At least that's been my experience.
    ==============
    Upon review, it appears that pushbutton has always been there (at least according to Google Street view). They should remove it.
    Adding to the frustration here is that Arlington DES has asked for general considerations that they should keep in mind while designing projects, to minimize the amount of back and forth. I get wanting that efficiency.

    But top on every list the BAC has given to DES and every discussion DES has had with the BAC about this are (1) those right angle curb cuts; and (2) the need to design with long wheelbases in mind. These issues were discussed _in conjunction with this project_ and generally. And seemingly ignored in final design.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin Potter View Post
    Hi y'all - thanks for the photo on the on the ground reports. I've shared this with the project manager, and she's reviewing comments and plans. Right now, this is definitely still a work in progress, and not the final form. I know there have been a ton of constraints around underground utilities in this area, but I'll let you know what I hear back.
    From my construction experience, it is best to know the "final form" before the concrete is placed. Hoping from a safety perspective that the "underground utilities" and concrete for curbs and sidewalks are never in conflict. If they are, your utilities are too shallow.

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    I have seen similar curb treatments in Alexandria on both city projects and VDOT projects. My recollection is that this is an ADA requirement to help visually impaired users detect the edge of the sidewalk and the direction of the ramp.

    Click image for larger version. 

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