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Thread: New S Capitol St Bridge Ribbon Cutting

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    Default New S Capitol St Bridge Ribbon Cutting

    (posting for Jessica H)

    The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Douglass Bridge is at 11 am on Tuesday Sept 7.

    Let's all go, and celebrate the new bike path! I am hoping that we might be able to be the first wave of cyclists over it.

    I got 6 tickets on EventBrite. Here's where you can get more:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/frederi...s-167347391553

    I propose starting at Hains Point (Golf Course parking lot) wheels out at 10:00 am.

    We can combine the ride and shoot up to Lake Artemesia after the ride via the ART.

    Let me know if you are joining me.

    Will keep an eye on the forecast. Hopefully blue skies will prevail!

    Sent from my H3123 using Tapatalk

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    Steve O's Avatar
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    Can someone who has been there confirm or deny that these bollards were placed. Gawd, I hope not.
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    I plan to go by this evening and will let you know what I see. I have mixed feeling about bollards. I do hate them and the risks they pose to cyclists and peds. But I hate cars driving on bike/ped paths even more. So until we solve stupidity (or cars), I guess I will tolerate bollards. But not happily!

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    Steve O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epilsk View Post
    I have mixed feeling about bollards. I do hate them and the risks they pose to cyclists and peds. But I hate cars driving on bike/ped paths even more. So until we solve stupidity (or cars), I guess I will tolerate bollards. But not happily!
    You do not have to unhappily tolerate bollards. In almost all cases other, non-hazardous interventions work as well or better. FHWA recommends against their use unless all other interventions have failed and there is a history of encroachment. That would clearly not be the case in this instance: Nothing else has been tried and there is no history whatsoever.

    In my experience when I have encountered cars on trails they have been more like comic relief than any sort of danger. Some confused driver has gotten lost and is either stopped or crawling along trying to figure out what to do. These cases would almost always have been avoided with better design and signage - no bollard required.

    Please read this:
    https://www.ohiobikeways.net/bollard_hazard.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    In my experience when I have encountered cars on trails they have been more like comic relief than any sort of danger. Some confused driver has gotten lost and is either stopped or crawling along trying to figure out what to do. These cases would almost always have been avoided with better design and signage - no bollard required.
    This. For some reason most of the local jurisdictions are convinced that a bollard is the only possible thing to do at an intersection. They'll point to various instances of cars on the W&OD or other trails, and if you go and look at where the cars went on the trail you'll see what looks like a road or a driveway, maybe with a little 8x10 inch sign off to the side saying "motor vehicles prohibited". The possibility of painting the surface with a giant NO CARS or somesuch is seemingly unimaginable.

    And the idea of making the trail wider but split with a median so that cyclists & pedestrians don't have to squeeze into a tiny space between bollards at just the point where there is a maximum of complicated and rushed maneuvering is completely out of bounds.

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    I biked over for a look this evening but could not get close enough to tell if they installed bollards or not. At 7 pm there was a lot of construction activity going on and there was some kind of barrier across the bike/ ped lane that really obscured the view. I guess we will have to wait and see.

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    We rode across the new bridge before and after the 50 States ride yesterday. There are three large bollards at either end of the bridge.

    It took some effort to reach the open side of the bridge, which on Saturday was the western side. Getting to and from Anacostia Park was challenging. It was cool to ride across the new bridge, but I'll probably wait until they make more progress on finishing the pedestrian/cyclist access routes. It looks like it's going to be awesome when it's finished.

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    Having ridden my bike across the old bridge going to work at the Naval Research Laboratory for over 30 years before I retired, I am almost sad that I have little reason to go across it now. I did try it this morning and will do it again after more work has been done at both ends.

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    Steve O's Avatar
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    I took the opportunity to ride across yesterday. And yes, I was distressed to encounter three hideous, ugly and dangerous (as well as useless) bollards on either end.
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    I sent this letter to the chair of the DC BAC.



    I had the pleasure of riding across the new Frederick Douglas Bridge yesterday. It's a very beautiful bridge and an enormous improvement for people walking and biking, of course.
    I must say I was very distressed to see the hideously ugly and non-compliant bollards blocking the sidewalk. What a travesty to sully the beautiful bridge with those ugly concrete obstacles.


    More importantly they are in direct contradiction to FHWA guidance, which states that "bollards should never be a default treatment, and should not be used unless there is a documented history of intrusion by unauthorized cars, trucks, or other unauthorized vehicles."

    The bollards contradict both of these: they were placed by default, and there is no history of anything, since it's brand new.

    I wonder why DDOT chose to disregard FHWA guidance? Was the bicycle/ped community engaged at any point in providing input on this design element? If not, why not?

    AASHTO Guidance published way back in 2012 states:

    "The routine use of bollards and other similar barriers to restrict motor vehicle traffic is not recommended. Bollards should not be used unless there is a documented history of unauthorized intrusion by motor vehicles. Barriers such as bollards, fences, or other similar devices create permanent obstacles to path users. Bollards on pathways may be struck by bicyclists and other path users and can cause serious injury. Approaching riders may shield even a conspicuous bollard from a following rider’s view until a point where the rider lacks sufficient time to react. Furthermore, physical barriers are often ineffective at the job they were intended for—keeping out motorized traffic. People who are determined to use the path illegally will often find a way around the physical barrier, damaging path structures and adjacent vegetation. Barrier features can also slow access for emergency responders."

    I think this last point is an important, salient one. The bollards not only block unauthorized vehicles, but will also make it difficult to access the sidepaths for emergency needs or maintenance, such as snow removal.They really are a bad, bad idea; they are not recommended by federal guidance, and are ugly to boot. How do we go about getting them removed?

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