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Thread: No snow clearing this winter

  1. #21
    DismalScientist is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Gee, l always thought it was the responsibility of property owners to clear the sidewalks in front of their establishments. Furthermore, Key Blvd. provides bike lanes between the locations in question.

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    1. Dave Patton was the FABB bike summit, and maybe I misheard, but I thought he said they were going to clear some trails (I presume Custis first)

    2. Arlco, despite a positive cash balance, which is IIUC a cash management issue, is in fact facing various fiscal stresses due to reduced tax revenues associated with BRAC (which has left lots of vacant office space in the county) and federal cutbacks.

    3. Arlington is rated as a Silver level biking community. I am not sure the snow clearing policies of other Silver rated communities. Clearly there are many factors that go into the ratings, and a Silver level community is not going to be perfect on each one. The notion that Arlington is not at all bike friendly looks very odd from the point of view of someone living in Fairfax County.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbelt View Post
    Agree, I think just a 3 or 4 foot plow strip with a little ATV plow like they have for sidewalks would suffice.
    Was the county going to treat the trails with ice-melting chemicals, or just plow them?

    Plowing alone is good for those of use who ride studded tires in the winter, but I think for many folks, treating the surface is perhaps more important than plowing snow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    Gee, l always thought it was the responsibility of property owners to clear the sidewalks in front of their establishments. Furthermore, Key Blvd. provides bike lanes between the locations in question.
    Since my post is the only one I see that mentions locations, I'm assuming this is a response to it.

    I don't think the Custis Trail counts as the responsibility of the property owners, unless you're referring to Arlington County's responsibility.

    Key Blvd stops at Rhodes St., it does not go down Rosslyn Hill.

    Nick

  5. #25
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    Scott become the eastern part of Key Blvd, which goes down to Nash in the heart of Rosslyn and has bike lanes.

    The Marriott should be shoveling the sidewalk in front of the hotel, as should all the other apartment complexes up the hill, just as I have to shovel the sidewalk in front of my house, even though I don't own that sidewalk. The rest of the Custis, W&OD and MVT are a different matter.

    What I find interesting is that while the #7 bike friendly community, Madison, WI, does plow bike trails, they do not use chemicals to deice them (nor the neighborhood streets) to limit algae growth in the lakes. As a result, winter bike commuters recommend the use of studded tires. Plowing only works for big storm events and little ones will leave ice regardless. We should be happy here that, unlike Madison, we have the solar snowplow that does most of the work. For in Madison, the streets can remain ice-packed all winter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    Scott become the eastern part of Key Blvd, which goes down to Nash in the heart of Rosslyn and has bike lanes.

    The Marriott should be shoveling the sidewalk in front of the hotel, as should all the other apartment complexes up the hill, just as I have to shovel the sidewalk in front of my house, even though I don't own that sidewalk. The rest of the Custis, W&OD and MVT are a different matter.

    What I find interesting is that while the #7 bike friendly community, Madison, WI, does plow bike trails, they do not use chemicals to deice them (nor the neighborhood streets) to limit algae growth in the lakes. As a result, winter bike commuters recommend the use of studded tires. Plowing only works for big storm events and little ones will leave ice regardless. We should be happy here that, unlike Madison, we have the solar snowplow that does most of the work. For in Madison, the streets can remain ice-packed all winter.
    You obviously haven't tried to ride the Custis trail in the winter, if you think that the solar snowplow does much work. Behind the sound barrier, the trail gets little sunlight, and it can take weeks to melt.

    As to Key Blvd, what is your on-road path from N. Rhodes St to Key Blvd? Either you have to go over to Lee Hwy or Wilson Blvd. Have you actually ridden this in the winter or are you just looking at Google Maps?

    I'm fine with using studded tires. But when the snow is deeper than your axles, studded tires don't do much good, you are not moving forward through snow that deep. Well, maybe if I had a Surly Moonlander: http://surlybikes.com/bikes/moonlander Studded tires are available for that bike, too, though they're $150 apiece.

    Studded tires don't help pedestrians very much, though.

    Nick

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    Plowing helps a lot though. Clearing the snow down to the last 1/2" or so means that even the shaded areas melt really quickly. Its not the "scrape down to pavement and then treat with salt" treatment that roads get, but I'd be delighted if they'd just run the plow down the W&OD with the blade held a little above pavement after snow events.

    After the massive snowstorm in 2010, where we got like 30" of snow, the W&OD was basically impassible for over a month. And then it was in terrible shape; exposed areas did melt off, but the chronically shaded areas were thick, rutted ice for weeks. They finally ran a plow down the trail (not scraping pavement, just removing the bulk of the buildup) and within a day or two the whole trail was clear.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    Plowing helps a lot though. Clearing the snow down to the last 1/2" or so means that even the shaded areas melt really quickly. Its not the "scrape down to pavement and then treat with salt" treatment that roads get, but I'd be delighted if they'd just run the plow down the W&OD with the blade held a little above pavement after snow events.
    Whoever manages the Custis would probably have to smooth out the tree bumps in order to effectively plow. A win-win situation!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickBull View Post
    You obviously haven't tried to ride the Custis trail in the winter, if you think that the solar snowplow does much work. Behind the sound barrier, the trail gets little sunlight, and it can take weeks to melt.

    As to Key Blvd, what is your on-road path from N. Rhodes St to Key Blvd? Either you have to go over to Lee Hwy or Wilson Blvd. Have you actually ridden this in the winter or are you just looking at Google Maps?


    Nick
    I think you are missing my point. I have no problem with the county plowing the trails. However, you picked a trail to complain about that 1) is a sidewalk and therefore should be cleared by property owners and 2) is a place with an adequate on-street alternative one block away.

    I can assure you that I ride all winter and on the Custis, if appropriate. I try to avoid the Custis downhill in that area in both winter and otherwise as I view it as unsafe relative to on street routing. It is unsafe, in my opinion, because it is basically a sidewalk into Rosslyn. Generally, I will take Clarendon down the hill and take Lynn, thereby avoiding the intersection of doom. An alternative for those of fainter heart (and the answer to your alternative routing questions) is to take Key to Veitch, make a left, cross Lee Hwy, continue straight on 22nd (I think) and continue straight on Scott (again across Lee Hwy) and straight onto Key again to Nash.

    Places like Arlington have a big problem with large snowfalls because they are rare and people are generally unaccustomed to dealing with snow. Arlington has adequately demonstrated that it cannot get neighborhood streets or public sidewalks plowed after large snowfalls. As a result schools are cancelled for long periods, etc. It just seems a little rich to suggest that Arlington lose its bicycle friendly status over this issue. As I pointed out, there are other bicycle friendly locations where trails remain ice covered in winter.

  10. #30
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    Regarding Arlington's silver status, I note that at least next year's LAB Bike Friendly Community (SM) application (the draft version that's online now, anyway) asks specifically about clearing snow from the off-street bicycle network; this is a separate question from clearing snow from bike lanes & shoulders of the on-street bike network. "Never" is one of the options.

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