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Thread: Good News on Infrastructure thread

  1. #261
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    Default Fairfax Dr PBL and Ashlawn ES Connection

    I'm excited for 2 new pieces of bicycle infrastructure that look like they are close to being completed!

    The 2-way protected bike lane on the north side of Fairfax Dr between Glebe Rd and Wakefield St/Bluemont Connector (path leading to the Custis Trail) is really coming along. Right now, it's a de facto sidewalk (a sidewalk is being built next to it, so peds will be separated), and it looks really nice, but it's still not finished. If you choose to ride on it, be careful as the concrete and asphalt do not yet meet (I'm thinking another layer of asphalt is going to be added since the difference is at least 4 inches).

    Looking west from the corner of Fairfax Dr/Glebe Rd
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    Looking west toward Wakefield St/Fairfax Dr/Bluemont Connector
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    A new connection between Ashlawn Elementary School and Bluemont Park (and by extension, Four Mile Run Trail and W&OD Trail) looks almost complete. Ashlawn (my kindergarten alma mater, and yes, these things are important to point out) folks will have a new and safer way of getting across Manchester St on their way to/from the school. The path was being built as part of the renovation (read: major upgrade) to ballfield 3 in Bluemont Park, and the new ballfield even has cute baseball-shaped bike racks!

    Next to the tennis courts, one can see the connection to 4MR and the baseball bike racks
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    Traffic calmed crossing of Manchester St
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  2. #262
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    Default Route 1 Sidepath - Mt Vernon Mem Hwy to Ffx Co Pkwy

    After perusing Google Maps while researching a route, I was surprised to find that the satellite view of a couple sections of Route 1 near Fort Belvoir showed actual sidepaths along the highway. I decided to check it out today.

    For starters, there is a continuous concrete sidewalk running on the east side of US-1 from Mount Vernon Memorial Highway to Fairfax County Parkway. On the west side, however, is supposed to be a paved sidepath. The sidepath is mostly passable with a few spots where one has to lift their bike over a small ditch and switches between asphalt and packed gravel.

    (Quick note: I did not ride on any section that had a sign saying it was closed/no trespassing.)

    at the intersection of US-1/Mount Vernon Memorial Highway; (left) looking at the intersection; (right) looking south at the sidepath
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    (left) a couple of ditches from curbs due to the many housing developments being built; (right) a few, ahem, "blockages" can be found
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    (left) I need a MTB'r to jump this gravel pile; (right) a completed section under Gunston Rd bridge which was awesome to ride on
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    (left) intersection of US-1/Backlick Rd which is used to access the southern end of the Fairfax County Parkway Trail; (right) intersection of US-1/Fairfax County Parkway, the only "Sidewalk Closed" sign I encountered, and future southern expansion of the US-1 sidepath in the distance
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  4. #263
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    Default Prince & Cameron Bike Lanes

    Also on my ride today, I rode the entirety and took pics of the new (eastbound one-way) Prince St and (westbound mostly one-way) Cameron St bike lanes in Alexandria.

    I found them to be quite awesome, though I was more excited just for the asphalt to actually be smooth (my (can't put this due to family-friendly forum) still feel those old potholes sometimes). The bike lanes feel wide enough to allow one to avoid the door zone in most cases, and the upgraded sharrows seem to work. There was, however, one short block of normal sharrows still around, but these were on Prince St just past Royal St and before the cobblestones that were looking to destroy my road bike along with my (still can't post this due to family-friendly forum). All in all, pretty nice.

    (left) start of Prince St bike lane from Diagonal Rd; (right) a couple blocks of upgraded sharrows
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    (left) Prince St bike lane starts again; (right) Prince St bike lane navigating around everyone's favorite statue
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    (left) Cameron St starts from Union St with upgraded sharrows; (right) Cameron St has many more blocks of bike lanes than Prince St, and they're awesome to ride on
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    (left) big changes to Cameron St as it approaches the King St Metro; (right) I love the wayfinding sign here on Cameron St
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  6. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post
    Also on my ride today, I rode the entirety and took pics of the new (eastbound one-way) Prince St and (westbound mostly one-way) Cameron St bike lanes in Alexandria.

    I found them to be quite awesome, though I was more excited just for the asphalt to actually be smooth (my (can't put this due to family-friendly forum) still feel those old potholes sometimes). The bike lanes feel wide enough to allow one to avoid the door zone in most cases, and the upgraded sharrows seem to work. There was, however, one short block of normal sharrows still around, but these were on Prince St just past Royal St and before the cobblestones that were looking to destroy my road bike along with my (still can't post this due to family-friendly forum). All in all, pretty nice.
    I rode the new Cameron bike lanes yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised, as I did not know this was planned. They are REALLY nice. As is the nice butter smooth pavement!

  7. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    As is the nice butter smooth pavement!
    Who are you and what did you do with Casey?

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  9. #266
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    I ride Cameron often and am not sure I like the change from sharrows to door zone paint-defined bike lanes. While it's nice that it's now easy, in some stretches, to ride past backed up autos, I also now find that a significant portion of people driving don't give me three feet when overtaking me.

    They behave as if they think staying in their auto lane suffices. I find this a little odd since on other streets like Commonwealth motorists are pretty good about giving cyclists more space. Anyhow, motorists passing too close now happens fairly often, but didn't in the old design, where I would take the lane.

    I think this street, while smoother, is likely less safe for people on bikes than before.

    (I hope this post doesn't end up in my obit or on a gofundme page.)

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  11. #267
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post
    I'm excited for 2 new pieces of bicycle infrastructure that look like they are close to being completed!

    The 2-way protected bike lane on the north side of Fairfax Dr between Glebe Rd and Wakefield St/Bluemont Connector (path leading to the Custis Trail) [...]
    Looking west from the corner of Fairfax Dr/Glebe Rd
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Great, except... why is the entrance on the east side so narrow? Some people biking are going to use the green signal to go across Glebe on the north side before crossing FFX....

    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post
    A new connection between Ashlawn Elementary School and Bluemont Park (and by extension, Four Mile Run Trail and W&OD Trail) looks almost complete. [...]
    Agree this is awesome. But I believe at least the crosswalk (and possible the trail as well) are actually related to the expansion of Ashlawn Elementary. I point this out to illustrate how these projects provide opportunities for us to get infrastructure improvements.

    Pay attention to these school projects. There are lots in Arlington right now.

  12. #268
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    lordofthemark is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterw_diy View Post
    I ride Cameron often and am not sure I like the change from sharrows to door zone paint-defined bike lanes. While it's nice that it's now easy, in some stretches, to ride past backed up autos, I also now find that a significant portion of people driving don't give me three feet when overtaking me.

    They behave as if they think staying in their auto lane suffices. I find this a little odd since on other streets like Commonwealth motorists are pretty good about giving cyclists more space. Anyhow, motorists passing too close now happens fairly often, but didn't in the old design, where I would take the lane.

    I think this street, while smoother, is likely less safe for people on bikes than before.

    (I hope this post doesn't end up in my obit or on a gofundme page.)
    Note - I don't recall these lanes being particularly a BPAC "ask" - I think BPAC wanted PBL's, they were nixed because parking, and BPAC went along with T&ES plans.

    I have not ridden on them yet, but here are a few thoughts.

    1. Of course the most confident VC type riders can still take the lane, as that is still legal. I suppose they will get honked at more and told by drivers to take the bike lane. Riding may still be safer for them, if the bike lanes do effectively calm traffic, making it slower and getting drivers to pay more attention.

    2. There are folks who won't ride in the street without a bike lane. Adding a bike lane either gets them to ride (with major health benefits) or it gets them off the sidewalk (and yes, I see people riding the sidewalk in Old Town). I don't think I need to reiterate all the reasons riding the sidewalk in a place like Old Town is bad, both for the rider, and for biking in Alexandria

    3. There are people who ride the door zone even where no bike lane is striped. I think I have seen this on Cameron, though I think not on Prince. To the extent that the bike lanes calm traffic, and let parkers know to expect cyclists, this will improve safety for such people. As for whether bike lanes cause drivers to give less or more room to cyclists, I am not sure. IME some drivers pass close when there are bike lanes, some do not, and the same when there are no bike lanes. I would love to see a study, but don't really trust even my own anecdotal observations, or anyone else's.

    4. The real losers, I guess, would be riders who currently take the lane, but are not willing to put up with honking, etc and thus will find themselves pressured to the bike lanes. I don't suppose that calmer traffic will make up for the disadvantages of the bike lane, at least in terms of safety.

    5. To the extent the lanes calm traffic, they will benefit pedestrians and (safe) drivers.

    And yeah, I know, I need to go ride them to have a better informed opinion (though so far the issues raised with them are similar to other door zone bike lanes)

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  14. #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birru View Post
    Who are you and what did you do with Casey?
    #HighMileageRoadieNow

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  16. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    #HighMileageRoadieNow
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