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Thread: Bike trail at Jefferson - Part 1 of 3

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    Default Bike trail at Jefferson - Part 1 of 3

    All,

    I spent some time this afternoon at the Jefferson Memorial meeting with staff from the National Park Service National Mall and Memorial Parks. I met with Sean Kennealy, Chief of the Facility Management Division and Eliza Voigt, a Planner with the NPS.

    While the meeting began to discuss my fondness for the traffic cones that frequently block the crosswalk from the trail off the Mason (14th St) Bridge to the sidewalk in front of the Jefferson, I also wanted to work to open a dialog between the NPS and the cycling community. We ended up discussing much of the cycling route from the bridge to the sidewalk leading to the tidal basin. All in all, I was pleased with the discussion and the NPS willingness to discuss improvements.

    As part of the discussion, I indicated I would present several topics to improve cycling around the Jefferson to the members of the forum for feedback. I suggested the forum members were not shy about offering thoughts. To that end, I will present several postings that show issues around the Jefferson with a request for your opinions and thoughts. While I will attempt to be objective it is because I am trying to mask my opinions. I felt that the NPS staff wants to improve the memorials and how they accommodate cycling but may be limited by resources, priorities or regulatory approval.

    The good folks at Greater Greater Washington have offered thoughts on this area and a couple of their postings are provided. The first is on the ideas for a security wall around the Jefferson and the second discusses bicycle connections

    Please wade in with your thoughts about these and other ways to improve cycling in the vicinity of the Jefferson. Iím hoping to focus on the physical improvements that would actually improve the cycling routes.

    They said that the traffic cones are in place to keep motorists from turning into the driveway leading to the parking area that was closed after 9/11. The cars that park in front of the barrier belong to Park Police officers that are based out of the Jefferson. Mr. Kennealy indicated that he was working with the Park Police leaders to get the traffic cones well behind the crosswalks (essentially in line with the jersey barriers between the sidewalk and the memorial).


    The way cones have been placed


    The new location of the cones

    While Iím unconvinced that the cones actually serve any function, if they are out of the way of cyclists I can live with keeping them out of our way.

    They also indicated that they plan on repaving Maine Avenue near 15th Street (where the pothole repairs have pothole repairs) as soon as the weather permits paving. That should help those cyclists who ride in the roadway from Maine Ave, along Ohio Drive and then to East Basin Drive.

  2. #2
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    Default I don't see this as a problem

    I ride this stretch at least three times a week. I've never seen the cones as a problem. While moving them back is also not a problem, this is not what I think we should be spending time and resources complaining about. To me, this is similar to complaining about car drivers not following the law while we are running stop signs. We all need to look at the plight if others and consider the full picture rather than just our little circle of concern. I only post this because you asked for comments, not to try to stir something up.

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    I am excited to hear about the paving. Thanks for doing the legwork on this!

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    KLizotte is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hancockbs View Post
    I ride this stretch at least three times a week. I've never seen the cones as a problem. While moving them back is also not a problem, this is not what I think we should be spending time and resources complaining about. To me, this is similar to complaining about car drivers not following the law while we are running stop signs. We all need to look at the plight if others and consider the full picture rather than just our little circle of concern. I only post this because you asked for comments, not to try to stir something up.
    While I agree it is hardly a huge problem it does become an issue during cherry blossom time (and peak tourist season) when there are hoards of people walking thru the area and tour buses ar dropping people off at that location. I have also seen people have a hard time negotiating that turn who just hopped on to a Cabi from the nearby station and are still getting used to how the bike works.

    I think people have gotten frustrated over the issue because it was so idiotic and easily remedied at no cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hancockbs View Post
    I ride this stretch at least three times a week. I've never seen the cones as a problem. While moving them back is also not a problem, this is not what I think we should be spending time and resources complaining about. To me, this is similar to complaining about car drivers not following the law while we are running stop signs. We all need to look at the plight if others and consider the full picture rather than just our little circle of concern. I only post this because you asked for comments, not to try to stir something up.
    Having crashed into the cones last April, I do consider them a problem. This was during the Cherry Blossom time, so there were lots of pedestrians, cars, etc., including an oncoming pedicab. The cones were set out between the lanes of the parkway, so to get across from Jefferson to the 14th St bridge, I had to speed up a tad because of the lines of oncoming pedestrians and pedicab, then take one last look to check for traffic in the one open land of the parkway. I must have pulled left as I looked, and when I looked forward again was headed straight for a cone. I could have easily gone left of it because that's where my inertia was going, but if there was a car that I hadn't noticed I'd be dead. I tried to go right of it but hit it head on. It basically folded and I went down, landing mostly on my elbow. Nothing seemed broken and I wasn't bleeding much so I rode ten miles home. But before going upstairs, I decided I'd better try to clean up a bit so I wouldn't freak out my wife. Doing so, my finger went right into a hole in my elbow and blood came pouring out. I got it cleaned up, but when I went upstairs my wife took one look at me and said "We're going to the hospital."

    So ... I do find those cones objectionable, and getting them out of the way will be a huge improvement.

    Nick

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbb View Post
    All,

    I spent some time this afternoon at the Jefferson Memorial meeting with staff from the National Park Service National Mall and Memorial Parks. ...
    Thanks, dbb!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    And then there was one!

    Just rode through the Jefferson area and there was but one (yes one!) cone.Click image for larger version. 

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    The little sign was interesting.

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    americancyclo is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbb View Post
    The little sign was interesting.
    That sign is nice, since it's low to the ground, you can easily read it after you've fallen down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbb View Post
    And then there was one!

    Just rode through the Jefferson area and there was but one (yes one!) cone.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0271.jpg 
Views:	153 
Size:	91.5 KB 
ID:	2393

    The little sign was interesting.
    Magnificent work!

    I'm slightly worried though, because this morning as I rode by that spot, there were two park service guys, one of them a policeman, using a penlight to try to look into a white sedan with dark tinted windows parked right where the blue car is in your photo. Hope the cones don't come back.

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    I will be consolidating the comments over the weekend to provide a list of things the cyclists have suggested as well as some priorities. While it will likely require the wisdom of Soloman, you have me instead. Will post my roll-up for your thoughts.

    Thanks to all for the input.

    Dana

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