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Thread: South Eads Street workshop, Wed. May 21, 2014, 7-8:30 pm

  1. #1
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    Default South Eads Street workshop, Wed. May 21, 2014, 7-8:30 pm

    The South Eads Street Corridor Study is an effort to transform the street into a Complete Street, with better design for all transportation modes and users: pedestrians, cyclists, transit, cars.

    A pilot program will include repaving and the addition of a protected "bike facility" between 15th and 23rd Streets. Sounds like a cycle track to me. I was informed that this would be built by the end of the year, probably in the fall. The four traffic lanes would be reduced to three: one in each direction, and a center two-way left turn lane. The County would study the effects of the new design. If the pilot is successful, then the temporary bike facility could be upgraded with improved separation from car lanes.

    This is one example of a protected cycle track that is posted on the site:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The current road is pockmarked with temporary pothole patches. The lane markings are not that clear, or missing completely, on sections of the road. The repaving and cycle track will be a big improvement.

    http://sites.arlingtonva.us/ccpc/str...orridor-study/

    http://projects.arlingtonva.us/capit...ts/entry/2/80/

    I believe there are existing bike lanes on parts of the section between 23rd St. and S. Glebe, but those are not protected. There is a lot of construction going on along Eads, north of 15th St., with plans for much more construction. Probably better if roadwork on that part of Eads is delayed and coordinated with the Metropolitan Park projects and the large PenPlace project. (PenPlace could include five or six new buildings on the empty field between Army Navy Drive and 12th St., and Fern and Eads St. The existing Residence Inn would remain.)

    ----------

    A "Visioning Workshop" is scheduled for Wed., May 21, 2014, from 7 to 8:30 pm, at the Aurora Hills Community Center, 735 18th St. S. (next to the fire station).

    The announcement also mentions an online survey, (but the link is not available on the website yet). [EDIT: The survey is now available. See the following post.]

    ----------
    Last edited by PotomacCyclist; 05-12-2014 at 11:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PotomacCyclist View Post
    The announcement also mentions an online survey, but the link is not available on the website yet.
    The link appears to be up now.

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    Ohhhhhhhhh!!!!!! It's like Xmas today! S Eads could so use this!!!! I can't wait!!!!!


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    Quote Originally Posted by PotomacCyclist View Post
    The South Eads Street Corridor Study is an effort to transform the street into a Complete Street, with better design for all transportation modes and users: pedestrians, cyclists, transit, cars.

    The current road is pockmarked with temporary pothole patches. The lane markings are not that clear, or missing completely, on sections of the road. The repaving and cycle track will be a big improvement.
    ----------
    Thanks for the heads up. This will be interesting to see and a nice improvement. Probably will be much better to use than Crystal Dr., which is a circus on the best of days. Anyway, Eads is a mess and needs to be repaved from Army Navy, all the way to Glebe. I've been riding it while the 4MR closure is going on and it's not fun.

    The cycle track sounds nice, but I wish they would tackle some of the problems to the south of 23rd St first. Where they want to put the cycle track the road is super wide and there are two lanes, so if you take the right lane, cars can easily pass to the left. No biggie. South of 23rd St. the road narrows greatly and there's little space to maneuver. Despite a semi-marked bike lane, both lanes feel narrower than usual. Often, even if I'm in the middle of the bike lane drivers hesitate to pass me so I think they feel it too. On the northbound side tour buses park back there, which take up the WHOLE parallel parking lane + bike lane if it exists, forcing cyclists into the only travel lane. It's also a corridor that taxis and Metro buses use so it's pretty heavily trafficked.

    Anyway, not complaining. I look forward to the improvements. Survey completed.
    Last edited by creadinger; 05-12-2014 at 12:22 PM.

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    Crystal Drive will also change this year. The Crystal City-Potomac Yard Transitway (bus rapid transit) project should start up in the coming weeks or months, and finish up by next year. Much of Crystal Drive will change to include a bus-only lane. (I think a new lane will be added south of 26th St., replacing the narrow park between 26th and 29th St. The new lane might extend to S. Glebe Rd.)

    The Transitway will eventually be converted to a streetcar system. [EDIT - As most people know, the streetcar projects were canceled.]

    http://sites.arlingtonva.us/ccpc/tra...rd-transitway/

    http://sites.arlingtonva.us/ccpc/fil...2014-04-22.pdf

    *****

    There could also be construction work on some of the east-west streets this year, including 15th and 18th Streets. Bell/Clark Streets from 12th to 18th St. could be redesigned too. (There are plans for 23rd and 27th Sts. as well, but those projects might not start this year.)
    Last edited by PotomacCyclist; 04-19-2015 at 08:09 AM.

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    There are now large wooden signs in the area, announcing the project and the workshop (this Wednesday).

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    Before I opened the thread, I thought this was what's his name (can't believe I'm blanking) from the forum doing his annual free maintenance class.

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    Bump. Workshop tonight!

    If you can't make it, take the quick and easy online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Eads

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    Too many competing bike events tonight.

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    Interesting presentation. While much of the info is also available online, I got a better sense of the approach and mindset of some of the staff members involved with Arlington County projects and planning. They do seem to take multimodal transportation very seriously, which is a good thing. They are not anti-car, which one attendee started to imply. They want to consider the needs of all people using transportation networks, from pedestrians and transit users to cyclists and car drivers.

    Eads Street will be repaved by this fall. The temporary cycletrack will probably be marked with plastic bollards. Then the County will study the effects on traffic patterns and congestion. Will the cycletrack encourage more people to bike in that area? Will it be safer for cyclists? Will the reduction in car lanes cause congestion? Will some drivers detour onto other roads such as Clark St. or Fern St.? Will the new road configuration be more welcoming and safer for pedestrians? We shall see.

    I'm glad that County staff are aware of some of the major safety problems along the road, including the drivers who take right turns on red at high speeds from Eads. I've seen this myself. It's simply astonishing and frightening to see. I've seen a few drivers take those right turns on red, traveling at maybe 30-40 mph, without slowing down at all to see if there are pedestrians in the crosswalk. Such behavior displays a complete lack of concern for the safety and lives of others. Everyone knows that the area is busy, with many pedestrians on local sidewalks and crosswalks. Apparently County police have written up loads of tickets because of this, but they can't be stationed at every intersection, every hour of every day. If there are fewer lanes and better marked lanes, maybe drivers won't treat it as a speedway. Much of the traffic is at a more reasonable speed, but there are enough speeding drivers to create safety hazards, especially for pedestrians.

    I'm also glad that the County is not going to rely on sharrows for key bike routes (unless there is no space for a bike lane or cycletrack). I don't like riding on sharrows on busy roads. If you stay toward the middle of the lane, where the bike figures are located, some drivers will speed up from behind, with a few almost trying to ram cyclists. If you stay a little too close to the right side of the lane, some drivers will try to squeeze by, passing with only a couple inches of clearance. Neither situation is pleasant.

    Eads St. can offer cyclists an alternative route between Four Mile Run and the future Army Navy Drive cycletrack, and connections to Pentagon City, Columbia Pike, the Pentagon, the Washington Blvd. Trail (next to the Pentagon) and Long Bridge Drive (with a future path to the Humpback Bridge and the MVT, without the detour through LBJ Grove). Crystal Drive and Clark/Bell St. are other north-south routes, but not as convenient for riding to Pentagon City, the Pentagon or Columbia Pike.

    Be prepared for some short-term inconvenience this fall, when the repaving begins. After that, it will be nice to ride on smooth pavement, instead of the pitted and pockmarked road it is today.

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