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Thread: There goes the neighborhood - Pentagon City

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    Default There goes the neighborhood - Pentagon City

    There is lots of activity going on in the Pentagon City area, but none of it is currently good for bicyclists. The widening of the sidewalks on South Joyce Street underneath 395 brought construction trailers to the climbing lane and bike lane on Army-Navy Drive. (I do hope that Arlington is collecting rent from the contractor for using the road.) Heading north on Army-Navy Drive, just before the Ridge Road overpass, a contractor is building a house. To get water to the house, a hole was dug in the street. It just so happens that the hole landed in the bike lane. Though the steel plate is long gone and the hole has been patched, a nice sink hole has developed in the bike lane. Continuing north on Army-Navy Drive, we next encounter the construction on Hayes Street. Arlington has a project to improve the streetscape and to provision for the future street car line along Hayes Street. The project currently involves digging up the street between Army-Navy Drive and removing some of the existing infrastructure. To accommodate this, Hayes Street was narrowed to two lanes and the bike lane was blocked. Moving along Hayes Street, you next come to the Eads Street bike lane. Long ago, it truly was a bike lane, but south bound between 23rd Street and Glebe Road, the bike has effectively ceased to exist (except that the Arlington County Bike Map continues to show a bike lane), there are still some signs and symbols along the road, but the bike lines have faded along long stretches of the road or have been patched over. Coming north on Eads, stretches of the bike lane have been taken over by tour buses, putting the bicyclist out in the road.

    Last night, the news came from Metro - the bike lockers at the Pentagon City Metro stop were to be permanently removed at the end of August. I have to vacate my locker by next week. Hardly the lead time I would have wanted, but not surprised that there wasn't better coordination on this.

    There have been other posts and comments about similar problems in other parts of Arlington regarding maintenance and construction of roads and biking infrastructure. It is too bad that Arlington can't do a better job of accommodating not only cars, but bicyclists and pedestrians with these projects. Part of a contractors responsibility on these projects should include how they will accommodate all modes of transportation. For the Hayes Street project, signs could have been posted to detour bicyclists onto Joyce Street. No doubt many bicyclists would figure that out, but why not require the contractor to include detour signs?

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    I thought WMATA was ADDING bike parking, not taking it away? Was that only inside the DC limits?

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    I see this all the time on a smaller scale. Trucks parked blocking the cutouts, rude consession stand runners downtown blocking the coutouts in the already ballard congested areas, construction crews shutting off an entire corner downtown. Goes on and on. I suppose its natural for people who dont bike to not think like a bicyclist; but I can still hate the F@ckers.

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    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    I thought WMATA was ADDING bike parking, not taking it away? Was that only inside the DC limits?
    The individual bike lockers have mostly been a disaster--very underutilized, relatively expensive, and space hogs. They've been putting in more traditional bike racks and experimenting with secure bike parking which can handle more bikes and offer far more flexibility (so you aren't tied to one station).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    The individual bike lockers have mostly been a disaster--very underutilized, relatively expensive, and space hogs. They've been putting in more traditional bike racks and experimenting with secure bike parking which can handle more bikes and offer far more flexibility (so you aren't tied to one station).
    Ok, that's a little better.

    The rest of the stuff in the post still sucks, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    I thought WMATA was ADDING bike parking, not taking it away? Was that only inside the DC limits?
    The Hayes Street project will (when completed) double the amount of bike parking at Pentagon City and some of it will be covered.

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    Take Action!

    Report the sinkhole in the bike lane using the Report a Pothole online form. Basically ALL pothole filling in the County is complaint-based. If nobody reports it, it doesn't get addressed.

    Call (703-228-3392) or email the project manager for the Hayes Street project with your detour suggestion. The more staff hear from us about problems the more likely they are to avoid those problems on future projects.

    Call the DES Call Center (703-228-6570) to report the faded bike lanes on Eads.

    I got nothing on the Joyce Street project - it's being run by the Federal Highway Administration and the project doesn't appear to have a web page or any other contact information.

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    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    All the road work is making life difficult for all users of the road, unfortunately. But I'm hopeful that the process will be worth it. The mid-block crosswalks on Hayes St. could help to slow down cars. It should also resolve the problem of pedestrians trying to play Frogger while darting across Hayes St. to move between Pentagon Centre and the mall. The problem is that they sometimes try to time their scamper just as a cyclist passes by, i.e., me. I almost got knocked over by a pedestrian who was playing this game of Frogger jaywalking. (It's pretty easy for a pedestrian to knock over a cyclist from the side. It doesn't take much force at all.) I'm not sure why they didn't use the well-lit pedestrian tunnel.

    Re the Joyce St. project under 395, did they remove the standpipes on the west sidewalk? I rode through there yesterday and didn't see any. I don't remember if the standpipes were only located on one of the sidewalks. When that project is complete, it will be much more pleasant to ride from Pentagon City to Columbia Pike and back. Though cyclists can use Joyce St., cars go pretty fast under 395. I really don't like riding on the road at that section. Improved lighting will also make that route safer for pedestrians. There's a homeless guy who hangs out in the dark right next to the sidewalk. I don't know if he is aggressive or not, but I'm always taken aback when I pass right by him in the dark while running along the sidewalk.

    Even after the current work is finished, be prepared for more. Crews will move onto the other sections of Hayes St. next, until that entire block is renovated. Over on Joyce St., there could also be construction obstacles in the near future. The Pentagon Row courtyard will be redone at some point. I imagine there will be some heavy equipment on the road and bike lane at that time.

    A few blocks over, Crystal Drive is also undergoing renovations, to convert it to two-way use. It will be easier to bike south from Long Bridge Park in the future. But for now, the only option is to ride on the wide sidewalk or ride over to Eads St. along 12th St.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_s View Post
    I got nothing on the Joyce Street project - it's being run by the Federal Highway Administration and the project doesn't appear to have a web page or any other contact information.
    The only info I've found is the project notice site: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportun...=core&_cview=1

    The bid documents in PDF form have very detailed plans of the project. I don't remember if the PDFs are located on the linked page or on a similar FedBizOpps.gov webpage. It's very difficult to browse through the PDFs. The diagrams are tiny so you have to zoom in. Even then, it's difficult to read the numbers and labels. I'm aware of the general overview of the project, but I'm still not clear about the details. The sidewalks are supposed to be widened, but without altering the overpass supports, I don't know how they can fit them in without squeezing everything into the available space. I think the finished design will be an improvement for cyclists and pedestrians, but I don't have a good idea of what it will really look like.

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    Chris,

    Thanks for the contact information. I have reported the pot hole problem and the bike lane markings to DES and also reached out to the project manager for the Hayes Street project. DES has logged both issues and the project manager will be meeting with the contractor to discuss the issues I raised. She has promised to get back to me with a response and any actions that will be taken.

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