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Thread: Bike Unfriendly Curb Cut on Walter Reed Project

  1. #11
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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.
    Here are a couple of recommendations.

    Add the section shown in blue/gray.
    Make the ramps more like they used to be (circled in green)

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    Add to the mix how hazardous they are to low income cyclists without lights at night + broken streetlights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyKane50 View Post
    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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    Yup. This is a case of disability rights advocates and cycling advocates being in opposition. I would think that these designs must be bad even for disabled people because they tend to attract a lot of crap (leaves, trash, road salt/sand) that nobody will ever clean out, but to be fair I'm not disabled so I might not fully understand the issues they're trying to address. It is the case that this sort of design is the new normal, it will be an uphill fight to avoid them, and if they've poured the concrete you can probably stick a fork in it.

    Edit to add: if someone has a lot of energy, the most productive approach would probably be for WABA or LAB or PFB or somesuch to work with an advocacy group for people with mobility/visual impairments to try to find something agreeable to both and take that to VDOT etc with a united front. I'm sure the DOTs didn't change this on a whim (they don't change anything unless forced to) so just pushing back without addressing the root cause (and getting into a losing fight against ADA) is probably not going to produce results.

    Edit again: all that notwithstanding, smart money says the biggest constraint here was "don't touch any of the poles"
    Last edited by mstone; 02-25-2019 at 04:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    Yup. This is a case of disability rights advocates and cycling advocates being in opposition.
    I am almost certain that I saw somewhere quite recently that Arlington and/or VDOT is now moving away from those curb style ramp edges because of what happens when snowplows hit them, and going back to the sloped edges.
    Does anyone else remember seeing that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyKane50 View Post
    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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    This curb cut wasnít used at nearby Barcroft or George Mason drive projects, nor any of the recent Custis intersection improvements. Iím sure itís a solution for some conditions, but I wouldnít just assume itís mandatory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyKane50 View Post
    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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    I've been told that curbs like that are almost always about water management and/or soil retention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    I've been told that curbs like that are almost always about water management and/or soil retention.
    Soil retention makes sense for the concrete barrier next to the power line pole, but it doesn't make sense on the curb cut for the road. If you see the curb cut they build on the southwest corner by the Shell station, it's wide and easy to navigate for bikes crossing both Walter Reed or Four Mile Run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    Soil retention makes sense for the concrete barrier next to the power line pole, but it doesn't make sense on the curb cut for the road. If you see the curb cut they build on the southwest corner by the Shell station, it's wide and easy to navigate for bikes crossing both Walter Reed or Four Mile Run.
    I'm 100% guessing here, but I would bet that either, the area by the pole is slightly lower than the road, so they (think they) need the curb by the road to keep water from flowing into the sidewalk/bike path/whatever that is; or they think this is such a big area that cars would end up driving on the sidewalk/bike path/whatever that is if there weren't a vertical barrier (that may even be an ADA thing). As to the water, if the topography is such that the area by the light pole would become a pond without the second curb, then just removing the second curb doesn't work.

    Not excusing the design, but it helps to know what the real issue is to come up with a solution.

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    Update: This morning when I was running by the intersection and waiting for the light, I saw and overheard five personnel from Arlington discussing the curb cut. A couple of them were not construction workers as they had office wear on under their vest and hardhat. Hopefully this leads to a fix as they were pointing out widening the curb cut and looking at where the pedestrian light is.

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  12. #20
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    It appears that the curb cut has been repoured. It's still under plastic but it appears that the curb was shortened, making a wider pedestrian landing. It looks like it will be better but still an awkward angle. Sorry that it's upside down. I'll try reposting from my phone to see if it will come out right side up.


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    Last edited by Judd; 04-14-2019 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Deleted a blurry photo and tried to fix the upside down one.

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