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Thread: April - 3 Police Activity at Roosevelt Island Parking Lot- 8 am

  1. #21
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    Ack. Here's wishing them a complete recovery. Doesn't matter how it happened, just that they fully recover.

  2. #22
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    Yesterday morning around 8am a cyclist was coming down the overpass from the Custis Trail to the MV Trail (over GW parkway) and apparently hit the steel post at the bottom in the center of the ramp. I talked to the NPS officer and he stated the cyclist was in critical condition. Upon leaving I noted there was some gravel on the lower portion of the ramp which could have been a factor although the officer said that speed was a factor. The officer was going to block the trail off but since he had not blocked the top of the trail at Lee Hwy and Lynn St it would not do much good. I did not read anything in the paper about the accident.

  3. #23
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    yikes

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    I really hope we hear that the cyclist is OK. I'm a little distressed from the vague reports.

    But as a community we need to take responsibility too. Hindsight is 20/20, I would have looked at that gravel and not really thought much of it. But if I did think it was a dangerous hazard, I would have fixed it myself. It's just gravel after all; I could clear it with my feet or bring a whisk broom on my next commute. No need for a phone call, a road crew, a work order, or specialty equipment. If it's a chunk of road debris that would cause a cyclist to veer, I'll dismount and move it. If it's a tree limb on the trail small enough to move, I'll move it. Once I even brought a saw the next day because all the branches and leaves of the downed limb blocked the line of sight on a high speed turn. I spent 10 minutes cutting it up. It would have taken NPS 10 days to get around to it, if ever.

    I know every inch of my route like the back of my hand. If there's new debris, I'll know intuitively if it's a problem that only a cyclist would see. We know our life and death conditions and we know fixing them are very low priorities for most everybody else. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. Sometimes we have to take care of ourselves. If we see a problem and can fix it, we should fix it.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan von Buckingham View Post
    I really hope we hear that the cyclist is OK. I'm a little distressed from the vague reports.

    But as a community we need to take responsibility too. Hindsight is 20/20, I would have looked at that gravel and not really thought much of it. But if I did think it was a dangerous hazard, I would have fixed it myself. It's just gravel after all; I could clear it with my feet or bring a whisk broom on my next commute. No need for a phone call, a road crew, a work order, or specialty equipment. If it's a chunk of road debris that would cause a cyclist to veer, I'll dismount and move it. If it's a tree limb on the trail small enough to move, I'll move it. Once I even brought a saw the next day because all the branches and leaves of the downed limb blocked the line of sight on a high speed turn. I spent 10 minutes cutting it up. It would have taken NPS 10 days to get around to it, if ever.

    I know every inch of my route like the back of my hand. If there's new debris, I'll know intuitively if it's a problem that only a cyclist would see. We know our life and death conditions and we know fixing them are very low priorities for most everybody else. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. Sometimes we have to take care of ourselves. If we see a problem and can fix it, we should fix it.
    I completely agree with Brendan, thank you. It does make me realize that an organization like the NPS should have one person dedicated to bike issues and who is a committed biker him/herself, because as you say, only a cyclist can truly see conditions for what they are.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kelley View Post
    This was forwarded to me from the Alexandria BAC listserv,

    "This morning around 8am a cyclist was coming down the overpass from the Custis Trail to the MV Trail (over GW parkway) and apparently hit the steel post at the bottom in the center of the ramp. I talked to the NPS officer and he stated the cyclist was in critical condition. Upon leaving I noted there was some gravel on the lower portion of the ramp which could have been a factor although the officer said that speed was a factor. The officer was going to block the trail off but since he had not blocked the top of the trail at Lee Hwy and Lynn St it would not do much good."
    This was indeed a very scary and sad situation, which I unfortunately came upon shortly after it happened and did what I could to help. I sincerely hope the cyclist is OK. For the record, I don't understand why the officer would say that "speed was a factor" since the only person who did see the accident happen did not seem to think so. I don't know whether speed was a factor or not, but the officer certainly would not know that either, so why say it?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbikechick View Post
    For the record, I don't understand why the officer would say that "speed was a factor" since the only person who did see the accident happen did not seem to think so. I don't know whether speed was a factor or not, but the officer certainly would not know that either, so why say it?
    Because it's a safe catch-all (and probably true). He did not say it was the reason for the crash, just part of it. The gravel is probably the main factor; but, if you slow down enough, you probably ride through it without a problem. With only two tiny points of contact with the ground, you always have to be aware of the trail/road conditions.

  8. #28
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    And as the unofficial president of RUB (Remove Useless Bollards), one wonders if that bollard is actually necessary. There's not a good way for cars to access the bridge without jumping the curb anyway, so it seems pretty unlikely there would ever be any encroachment.

    As you know, Arlington has been working on removing some bollards and replacing others with a less dangerous design. Is this bollard the responsibility of NPS? Probably, I suspect. Would they be open to removing it or replacing it I wonder? Particularly now that it's been shown to be a hazard.

    One alternative idea, if they are truly concerned about cars, would be to place a low railing along the curb by the road which would then separate the road traffic from the sidewalk but would not interfere with ped or bike travel. Just a thought.

    Steve

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    I've got confirmation that the bridge is indeed Arlington's property and that the offending bollard is been planned to be removed soon. It's actually been in the queue for removal for some time so this isn't a response to the crash last week. (which may or may not have involved the bollard). The rigid steel bollards will be replaced with flexible bollards.

    Looks like another bollard falls due in a large part to Steve O's successful "RUB" program!!

    Relevant posts here:

    http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showth...ard-Collar-Map

    http://www.commuterpageblog.com/2010...stanchion.html

    http://www.commuterpageblog.com/2012...on-trails.html

  10. #30
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    On Wednesday evening, the upper bollard on the GW Parkway overpass bridge was removed and a hard plastic one was in its place with a traffic cone over the asphalt patch where the old bollard had been. The lower bollard was removed sometime on Thursday and a new hard plastic one is there. The new hard plastic posts are placed about a foot before (as you approach the bridge) the location of the old bollards. Hopefully the new plastic ones won't break too quickly since there is little vehicle traffic running them over. I've see a couple of these type of posts broken fairly soon after they were installed because the county drives trucks over them for park maintenance (check out the one in Bon Air Park).

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