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Thread: No thank you, Fairfax County

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by acl View Post
    But, asking out of curiousity, why would painting a mid-block crosswalk mean you then have to pave all the way up to the next intersection on the other side? (that's what you're saying, right?)
    No, I'm saying pave to the sidepath on the other side of the road, because I thought there was one. Looking closer, it looks like there is no sidewalk on either side, so I'll scratch what I said about how much it would cost and fall back to "this would be utterly pointless"; I can't see any possible value in painting a crosswalk there instead of at the existing intersection.

    As far as why you'd need to cut the median, I would consider that putting in a new crosswalk would be a new pedestrian project which would need to meet current accessibility standards. I think the standard is that someone in a wheelchair who sees a crosswalk should be able to expect to cross the road, not get stuck in the middle. I don't think there's a carve-out for "nobody should run a wheelchair up that road in the first place".

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    I'd much rather have a 5 foot sidewalk, a few inches of grass, and a curb, than a five foot shoulder with no curb.
    If your interest is pedestrian safety, too many cars go flying of the road at 60MPH for few inches of grass to be anything more than psychological. The fact that there aren't many pedestrians is the only reason that's not more of an issue in practice. That's why the standard for high speed roads calls for separation measured in feet, or barriers where space is constrained.

    The hilarious thing here is that they probably paved the stretch in question because it was cheap & easy to do the last time they repaved the road, and they thought it would be nicer for access to the CCT than the existing gravel shoulder. Putting in grass and paving on the other side would have required different equipment and wouldn't have happened.

    To be pedantic though, they have 48 milllion in the ped program.
    The 48 million number isn't necessarily what you think it is.

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2...ume2/30060.pdf

    So, as in 2013, the 2014 capital budget is $0. There will be $100k available for emergency work. In 2013 they spent $4.5M, the majority of which came from the federal programs which are ending or unreliable sources like developer proffers. The grant dollars are usually tied to big projects for which even the cost of the studies is amazing; small projects aren't worth the administrative cost of the grant application, and DOT wouldn't want to deal with them anyway. If you look at the project list, most of the dollars are going to redoing intersections. That's certainly useful and important to pedestrians, but (IMO, and I know I won't win that fight) that's something that should be coming purely out of the transportation budget rather than getting labeled as a pedestrian project. A lot of the federal dollars fall into that category, basically federal gas tax funds which are set aside to improve pedestrian+car intersections under a pedestrian label, which sounds good to some and pisses of those in the cars which will use the same intersection. Water under the bridge, the House managed to make sure even indirect pedestrian benefit was minimized in the transportation budget. To some degree the commonwealth agrees that some of these are really car-related costs, and there's some bookkeeping oddness that results in VDOT transferring money to FFX to spend on projects (which are then, I think, implemented by VDOT). If you look at the amount spent specifically and solely for pedestrians (sidewalks and trails) it's a disheartening fraction of the $2.5bn county budget. There's just not much for something like "put a 100 foot sidewalk here because I don't like to walk on the shoulder".
    Last edited by mstone; 09-03-2013 at 02:21 PM.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    If your interest is pedestrian safety, too many cars go flying of the road at 60MPH for few inches of grass to be anything more than psychological. The fact that there aren't many pedestrians is the only reason that's not more of an issue in practice. That's why the standard for high speed roads calls for separation measured in feet, or barriers where space is constrained.".
    Col Pike and LRT are posted at 45MPH. Well there are definitely vehicles going at 60MPH on them, I don't think we will ever see walls or even guardrails there.

    My preference would be for not merely a few inches of grass, but trees, bushes, street furniture, etc. Even add a bike lane between the general travel lanes and the sidewalk.

    But I am cynical we will get that. A sidewalk with a curb, and any grass, would still be an improvement.

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