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Thread: Virginia governor issues stay-at-home order

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    When you live in a house or even a townhome that has its own separate outdoor space, it's easy to say "just stick to *your* space if there are no safe options". But lots of people in this area live in high rises. They don't have their own outdoor space. To get fresh air and exercise (both important for health), they have to go out. The point a lot of us are making is this: we don't need to dedicate so much space to cars right now. Cars aren't using it. We can instead dedicate that space to giving people an option to walk, run, bike, BE outside, in fresh air, but separate from others.

    I'm not concerned with closing a lane on (e.g.) Military Road, which runs through neighborhoods of mostly SFHs, and is flanked by neighborhood streets. But Lynn and Fort Myer, Four Mile Run Drive, Joyce and Hayes, etc -- those streets that run through areas with lots of multifamily housing -- We should use the space that we don't need for cars right now and use it like trails - open to people walking, running, scooting, and biking, where people later on that list have to yield to people earlier on that list.
    It's a ridiculous ask to have DOT people out putting up cones so people can play outside right now. I'm sorry, I don't believe that the sidewalks anywhere in the region (that is, not desirable destinations that people are flocking to and causing the closures) are so crowded that they are life-threatening.

    Advocacy is great, but at some point it's counterproductive. Making "needs more bike space" the answer to every problem just makes that solution less credible when it actually is appropriate.
    Last edited by mstone; 04-02-2020 at 09:29 AM.

  2. #42
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    It's a ridiculous ask to have DOT people out putting up cones so people can play outside right now. I'm sorry, I don't believe that the sidewalks anywhere in the region (that is, not desirable destinations that people are flocking to and causing the closures) are so crowded that they are life-threatening.

    Advocacy is great, but at some point it's counterproductive. Making "needs more bike space" the answer to every problem just makes that solution less credible when it actually is appropriate.
    Glad to see you're habit of misstating my positions has not changed during these difficult times.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    I'm sorry, I don't believe that the sidewalks anywhere in the region (that is, not desirable destinations that people are flocking to and causing the closures) are so crowded that they are life-threatening.
    Perhaps not, but most people are making an effort to give each other room, and here in NW DC that's pushing walkers & runners into the bike lanes and the roads. There's a lot of demand for outdoors space right now, and relatively little demand for vehicular movement. People need and want to spread out, so why not give them some space?

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  5. #44
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    TwoWheelsDC is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    It's a ridiculous ask to have DOT people out putting up cones so people can play outside right now. I'm sorry, I don't believe that the sidewalks anywhere in the region (that is, not desirable destinations that people are flocking to and causing the closures) are so crowded that they are life-threatening.

    Advocacy is great, but at some point it's counterproductive. Making "needs more bike space" the answer to every problem just makes that solution less credible when it actually is appropriate.
    This isn't about bike space...at least not for me. Frankly, I cringe at the idea that this could somehow be an opportunity for creating space for "cyclists." But everything I'm reading about CV transmission makes me want to stay as far away from people as possible (see here, in particular), and most sidewalks really just don't have the space for that. I live in a dense-ish inner-suburb neighborhood (Park Fairfax), and several times each block I, or another oncoming sidewalk user, has to walk in someone's yard to maintain distance. During peak jogging times, it's even worse, and many joggers just run in the street so walkers/kids/normals can use the sidewalks. I don't want road lanes closed for "epic bike rides," but I would like to see *some* of them closed or modified so normal people can go out for a walk in their neighborhood without having to potentially walk through a virus cloud.

    Having quieter streets for biking is a nice second-order effect, but the priority should just be for making extra space for normal people to get out of the house and still maintain social distancing.

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  7. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    It's a ridiculous ask to have DOT people out putting up cones so people can play outside right now. I'm sorry, I don't believe that the sidewalks anywhere in the region (that is, not desirable destinations that people are flocking to and causing the closures) are so crowded that they are life-threatening.

    Advocacy is great, but at some point it's counterproductive. Making "needs more bike space" the answer to every problem just makes that solution less credible when it actually is appropriate.
    Putting out cones for areas that people could walk/bike safely during this pandemic would be a great use of DOT personnel's time. They are not nearly as busy operationally dealing with accidents, breakdowns, etc. as in normal periods.

    What is a ridiculous use of resources is having police blocking anyone from walking/biking around the mall and tidal basin, including going to/from work, when simply shutting down the roads and parking lots in the area removes the vast majority of visitors and makes social distancing easily feasibly for the rest.

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    The W&OD, 4MR, Bluemont, and Custis Trails have all been packed lately. I talked to a Park Ranger in Bon Air park yesterday and as part of his job, he's doing head counts on these trails and says that they've never been more crowded. Based on my experience using these trails for an hour per day these past 3 weeks, about 50% of the trail users aren't making any effort at all to maintain 6' separation, even though these trails are technically wide enough to allow for that. You routinely see two walkers walking abreast and when you have walkers approaching in opposing directions, bikers and joggers pass through between them in the area of the yellow centerline instead of waiting for the trail to clear on one side. I'm pushing a stroller, but this week, I've been generally walking and jogging in the grass shoulder next to the trail since my wife has an autoimmune disease. I probably shouldn't be on the trails at all, but I don't trust the science saying that you can catch COVID-19 outdoors and am disappointed in the lack of research on the issue.

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    Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority, d/b/a "NOVA Parks," has put out a YouTube video on this topic.

    https://youtu.be/SjTAv_3YgSI

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  12. #48
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    My employer has me coming in Thursdays, West Falls Church to DC. Yesterday I took a motorcycle in and bicycled home on the Custis then switched to local streets in Arlington because the path was too crowded. I was breathing deeply because of the hills and stiff headwind, and was worried about airborne respiration droplets with that many people out recreating.

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  14. #49
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    VA governor "threatened" today of closing parks and trails because of reports of abusers who don't maintain physical distance. He said they will review what happens over the weekend to see if people gather in crowds, or don't leave enough distance.

    In other news, a time traveler said to me today that next Monday the governor closed all parks and trails in VA, siting crowded conditions despite the stay-at-home order.

    What can you do to change it: deliberately go over the grass next to every walker/runner even if you have 6' clearance(assuming you can), so they become more aware and distance themselves from each other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by n18 View Post
    VA governor "threatened" today of closing parks and trails because of reports of abusers who don't maintain physical distance. He said they will review what happens over the weekend to see if people gather in crowds, or don't leave enough distance.

    In other news, a time traveler said to me today that next Monday the governor closed all parks and trails in VA, siting crowded conditions despite the stay-at-home order.

    What can you do to change it: deliberately go over the grass next to every walker/runner even if you have 6' clearance(assuming you can), so they become more aware and distance themselves from each other.
    Although I am a Marylander, I was out on a nice long walk today and noticed that most people are adhering to the 6' rule. I did have one moron who had his head buried in his phone come right at me. There will always be people like this.
    And on a side note. Riding your bike on the road is by far the safest way to go in these times. There are just too many people out and about walking around everywhere.

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