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Thread: Columbia Pike @ Washington Blvd Crosswalks

  1. #1
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    Default Columbia Pike @ Washington Blvd Crosswalks

    After my wife saw *another* pedestrian hit on Columbia Pike at the Washington Blvd Bridge offramps (on May 31- we have seen nothing in the media about it), it is time to do something.

    It is time for Guerilla Signage.

    We need more signage at the offramps from Washington Blvd that drop motor vehicles onto the Pike on the north side, where we have had numerous car vs bike and/or pedestrian collisions. I have observed that the north side sidewalk is seeing a lot of 2-way bicycle traffic. I cannot blame them- taking the lane on that quick downhill stretch has a high level of risk. But the crosswalks at the 2 exit ramps onto the Pike are not safe. Motorists are taking advantage of being able to turn on red and likely are *not* looking for pedestrian or faster bike traffic, especially from the right. It does not matter if you have the walk light. You are at risk. Period. Short of demanding No Turn On Red designation here, we may need to shame Arlington County into action. So... Guerilla Signage (a little like we did during the PAL Ambassador days).

    Behold my suggestions for signs: Click image for larger version. 

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    The signs mimic standard road signage, by design. *Both* north side offramps *need* these signs ahead of the Stop sign, drivers' right.

    I do not have the resources to produce these, but someone out there does. You have my permission to take this proposal and run with it.

    GO.

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    I believe that a permit is needed to post traffic related signs. Here is VDOT's FAQ page about signs. Here is a relevant quote:

    Can I Purchase a Sign from VDOT?

    VDOT does not make signs for sale to the public. There are a number of sign fabrication companies that can supply highway signs. Owning such signs are legal.

    However, posting signs on public highways or streets by citizens is against the law, whether they be standard highway or simple cardboard signs.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by n18 View Post
    I believe that a permit is needed to post traffic related signs. Here is VDOT's FAQ page about signs. Here is a relevant quote:
    Yup, the definitely don't want signs. On the other hand, if you can design a road to facilitate people getting run down by distracted drivers, VDOT has a desk for you!

  4. #4
    Steve O's Avatar
    Steve O is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starduster View Post
    Short of demanding No Turn On Red designation here,
    Why should we not demand this?

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    ShawnoftheDread's Avatar
    ShawnoftheDread is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    “We need to take matters into our own hands and make guerrilla signs because people are getting mowed down.”

    “But guerrilla signs are illegal!”

    Umm, yes.

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    I haven't visited the area for over a year I think, would a mirror help? It seems less objectionable.

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    Steve O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n18 View Post
    I haven't visited the area for over a year I think, would a mirror help? It seems less objectionable.

    No, a mirror is not the solution here. It's the classic "cars-looking-left-to-turn-right-on-red-and-not-noticing-people-entering-crosswalk-from-the-right" problem.

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    Is it this spot(SteetView)? I remember having a close call when coming from the left, and the traffic boxes obscure cars which try to turn right.

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    No turn is red is absolutely necessary here but also insufficient.

    Even with "no turn on red" signage at these two intersections, I expect a low enough compliance rate that I would still feel safer riding in the street through this mess in spite of the obvious hazards of that. This sidewalk will not be safe to ride until both RTOR is prohibited AND some ancillary traffic calming measure is adopted to support that. Cameras for continuous automated enforcement? How about raising the crosswalks, forcing drivers to navigate a speed bump?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    No turn is red is absolutely necessary here but also insufficient.

    Even with "no turn on red" signage at these two intersections, I expect a low enough compliance rate that I would still feel safer riding in the street through this mess in spite of the obvious hazards of that. This sidewalk will not be safe to ride until both RTOR is prohibited AND some ancillary traffic calming measure is adopted to support that. Cameras for continuous automated enforcement? How about raising the crosswalks, forcing drivers to navigate a speed bump?
    It seems like you'd need railroad crossing gates to prevent cars turning right on red.

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