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Thread: Safety and the WOD: a Survey

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    Default Safety and the WOD: a Survey

    Time to take a survey.

    The W&OD Trail wants your input!



    The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is conducting an online survey that focuses on the W&OD Trail operations with a particular concentration on safety, as well as the habits of our trail users. Your input will be an invaluable tool in assisting us with the management of and future improvements to the W&OD Trail. We hope you will consider giving us your opinion.

    To access the survey, simply visit www.novaparks.com, click the link and follow the simple instructions. The survey, which is anonymous, will take approximately 10 minutes. You can also click here to access the survey directly: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XM5DJNC

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    This is a really terrible survey. Bad, unexplained choices. WTF is a "conflict"? Like guns drawn? Why do I need to choose the top two safety improvements if I think 3/4 are useless? WTF does a coffee shop app have to do with trail safety?

    Sounds like they've decided to add a speed limit and do more enforcement at useless stop signs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    This is a really terrible survey. Bad, unexplained choices. WTF is a "conflict"? Like guns drawn? Why do I need to choose the top two safety improvements if I think 3/4 are useless? WTF does a coffee shop app have to do with trail safety?

    Sounds like they've decided to add a speed limit and do more enforcement at useless stop signs.
    Pretty much any survey is terrible. I put "Strongly Disagree" for speed limit and stop signs, as well as some of the other stupidest ideas. But hopefully they take the responses for what they are - a guideline of what people think, rather than absolute direction.

    Honestly, if they take the survey as gospel, they weren't going to do anything good in any event, so it doesn't matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    Pretty much any survey is terrible.
    True, when it's on surveymonkey.

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    Is WTF a technical term?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    This is a really terrible survey.
    This sums up my reaction too.

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    I appreciate that they are doing this, but I'm worried by what I perceive as a (pretty typical) bikes-are-a-problem-to-pedestrians-on-the-trail-and-to-cars-at-crossings demeanor to the thing. I don't see speed or not stopping being the root of trail problems; it's the Crazy Ivans, ninjas, and ELITEs that don't understand how to use the trail safely with others around, or that others are on the trail at all. If more people treated the trail like a road and less like a glorified, personal sidewalk, we'd all be safer, and we'd all get along.

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    NVRPA has been pretty responsive to cyclists and people that use their park. The problem has not been NVRPA, but the various jurisdictions through which the WOD traverses. I know sometimes we can be overly defensive and prickly that these things are rigged against us - but I would give NVRPA the benefit of the doubt. I see a lot of positive solutions in this. And if there is a lot of cyclists support for positive solutions, then maybe they will happen.

    Does part of the survey not make sense? Then send NVRPA a direct note and share your views.

    WOD is a really well used park. Sometimes that capacity on the WOD is, well, over capacity - and not safe. And there are not safe actors from every tribe. Is there a way to make things better? I think there is. And I think this is a positive step towards getting there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcannon100 View Post
    NVRPA has been pretty responsive to cyclists and people that use their park. The problem has not been NVRPA, but the various jurisdictions through which the WOD traverses. I know sometimes we can be overly defensive and prickly that these things are rigged against us - but I would give NVRPA the benefit of the doubt. I see a lot of positive solutions in this. And if there is a lot of cyclists support for positive solutions, then maybe they will happen.
    NVRPA is responsible for the trail stop signs, and my understanding is that there are some senior people who are fairly anti-cyclist and are dead set against anything that would let a cyclist cross any street without a foot down stop. The enforcement blitzes are largey falls church and loudoun, but it's NVRPA that gives them the legal basis for the harassment. I've also heard from some VDOT people that they're aren't particularly thrilled with some of the signs, but they have no jurisdiction. Don't get me started on the stop signs on side trails that merge into the W&OD in the middle of open fields. I get increasingly steemed the more I consider the paternalism of them spinning those useless signs as necessary to protect my safety because I'm too stupid to be trusted to simply go across an empty road.

    Does part of the survey not make sense? Then send NVRPA a direct note and share your views.
    I added extensive comments.

    WOD is a really well used park. Sometimes that capacity on the WOD is, well, over capacity - and not safe. And there are not safe actors from every tribe. Is there a way to make things better? I think there is. And I think this is a positive step towards getting there.
    The thing is, almost none of the things they brought up will actually address safety issues. (Even ignoring the bizarre questions about finding coffee shops.) Pointless speed limits (which you know will only be enforced on quiet stretches in loudoun county) aren't going to help. Why? Because any reasonable speed limit is going to be too high for conditions when the trail is crowded. What would help? Messaging about changing lanes to pass, or slowing down until it is either possible to do so or pass at a walking speed if the trail is too congested to change lanes. Oddly, the survey only suggests that as an option for organized events. (?!?!) They touched on doing "something" to keep people from driving on the trail, but didn't ask about the unsafe and useless bollards (which they seem dead-set on replacing ad nauseum). I find it hard to believe that NVRPA hasn't heard any of this before, (I've been in meetings where they have) so I do wonder why it seems like we're starting from zero (or maybe a little behind zero, as the survey does seem to reflect the preferences of those who want bikes to go 13MPH while stopping at every trail crossing while ignoring historic cyclist input).
    Last edited by mstone; 03-13-2014 at 09:14 PM.

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    I didn't like the survey much either, but was glad to have the opportunity to make my points in the comment section at the end (some of which are the same as posted by Dkel and mstone, above). If nothing else, taking the survey helped me think of some things I wanted to focus on in my comments. I think it's positive that they're trying to make things better for trail users. My emphasis was on education for all users (and drivers!) rather than limits.
    Last edited by Arlingtonrider; 03-14-2014 at 05:09 AM.

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