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Thread: Is this the new normal for our trails?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrP View Post
    Where did all the people come from?
    I have been riding on the trails on Sunday mornings at 6:30 or 7am in summers for several years - 6:30am when it plans to be a scorcher. The trails were generally empty until 10am. Last Sunday and today, at 6:30am trails and roads were full of cyclists and pedestrians. Lots of cycling groups of 8 riders or more. And so many cyclists making bad passes - one apologized for miscalculating (I understand this and appreciate the apology), one gave a finger when a startled shout (no cursing) was given for nearly running us off the trail and another gave a dirty look for the same thing, but there were more. So, what can we do about bad passes? Some were dangerous.

    Are the crowds this large because no one is going on vacation? COVID has gotten more people exercising outside? More people have decided to change their habits and use the trails? It is great that there are so many people exercising, but how do we get more or wider trails to handle them all?
    (roads were full of cars today too - why were so many out at 6:30am on a Sunday? Roads have not been as good as an option for exercise as it was three months ago when people were still being reasonable drivers. Now they seem to be going faster and ignore all, especially traffic signs and signals - one driver paused to let people cross at Old Reston Ave and W&OD but continued despite the red light (it was still a walk signal too!)).
    The pandemic appears to have reminded a lot of people that trails exist. Fortunately, things have eased up considerably on "my" section of the W&OD since I wrote the following post in "Near Misses":

    Me: guy whose property backs up against the WOD.

    Also me: guy who has stopped using the WOD during the pandemic because it is not only more crowded than he has ever seen, but also because it has been overrun by sociopaths and idiots who clearly couldn't GAF about even the most basic precepts of social distancing and mask use.

    ALSO Also me: guy who has gained fresh understanding of why so many people seem to hate cyclists after observing (and nearly being killed by) recent cyclist behavior on said overcrowded WOD.

  2. #12
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    Capacity constraints in term of trail widths, tight corners, etc have become all the more clear.

    And don't even get me started on a "trail" which is basically a 5-foot sidewalk, reduce a bit by puddling water and an uneven surface due to tree roots. A 5-foot sidewalk is borderline adequate for two passing pedestrians, to say nothing of bikers, or reduced widths due to the mentioned hazards.
    Last edited by Fairlington124; 08-07-2020 at 03:50 PM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewdane View Post
    The pandemic appears to have reminded a lot of people that trails exist. Fortunately, things have eased up considerably on "my" section of the W&OD since I wrote the following post in "Near Misses":

    Me: guy whose property backs up against the WOD.

    Also me: guy who has stopped using the WOD during the pandemic because it is not only more crowded than he has ever seen, but also because it has been overrun by sociopaths and idiots who clearly couldn't GAF about even the most basic precepts of social distancing and mask use.

    ALSO Also me: guy who has gained fresh understanding of why so many people seem to hate cyclists after observing (and nearly being killed by) recent cyclist behavior on said overcrowded WOD.
    Time to go back to mountain biking

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  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    Time to go back to mountain biking
    Or riding your “road” bike.

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  7. #15
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    Some trails seem less traveled. Here's the usually well-worn dirt path between Washington Blvd and the GW Parkway near Memorial Bridge.
    Name:  Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 8.05.45 PM.jpg
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  8. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairlington124 View Post
    Capacity constraints in term of trail widths, tight corners, etc have become all the more clear.

    And don't even get me started on a "trail" which is basically a 5-foot sidewalk, reduce a bit by puddling water and an uneven surface due to tree roots. A 5-foot sidewalk is borderline adequate for two passing pedestrians, to say nothing of bikers, or reduced widths due to the mentioned hazards.
    Even the best trails in the region have issues. Take the W&OD near route 9, where at the best of times it's ridiculously narrow, squeezed in, with bad sight lines, and now has weeds covering literally one entire lane on a blind turn. If only we could find a little money to improve the trail. Completely unrelated: the new roundabouts & such were part of a $28 million project to add a lane to route 7 for about 2 miles. That's about the same as NVRPA's annual budget, which mostly goes into the water parks, etc.; the W&OD's share averages about $1M/year operating & capital. Ironically the W&OD actually makes about $750k/year from utility easements and similar sources and pays for itself more than any non-toll-road in the region.

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  10. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    Even the best trails in the region have issues. Take the W&OD near route 9, where at the best of times it's ridiculously narrow, squeezed in, with bad sight lines, and now has weeds covering literally one entire lane on a blind turn. If only we could find a little money to improve the trail. Completely unrelated: the new roundabouts & such were part of a $28 million project to add a lane to route 7 for about 2 miles. That's about the same as NVRPA's annual budget, which mostly goes into the water parks, etc.; the W&OD's share averages about $1M/year operating & capital. Ironically the W&OD actually makes about $750k/year from utility easements and similar sources and pays for itself more than any non-toll-road in the region.
    Tangentially related perhaps, but I've found a really nice alternative to the W&OD through there up to the point where the trail runs along Route 9 near the traffic circle. I'm sure some others know it, but if not: eastbound on the trail at Hamilton, right on 704 to the immediate left on Irene Road/706. Right on Meadowlark, then right on Simpson. Those two parallel Route 7 all the way to 9. I've done this a bunch of times and rarely encounter more than a car or two. I've also only ever seen one other cyclist, so let's keep this to ourselves. /s

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