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Thread: Is the Lynn/Lee Hwy intersection in Rosslyn safer?

  1. #41
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    If it does go grade-separated, the key thing is for the overpass/tunnel to be placed where people can conveniently use it. If it's not well situated or is just for the convenience of motorists, people will still take the path of least resistance. A for instance is the overpass of Rt. 50 at 7 Corners, where it was so much easier to just dangerously cross the road that they had to put up fencing to get people to use the overpass. Since there are so many different directions and modes at play at the IOD, I can see that happening here as well. If a tunnel is dank and dangerous, people will not use it. If a flyover is out of the way, covered with snow and ice, or, for cyclists, narrow and filled with pedestrians, people will still use the grade crossing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PotomacCyclist View Post
    Instead of just prohibiting right turns off that ramp, VDOT could remove that ramp altogether. Many drivers would likely ignore such a right-turn ban unless police were there almost non-stop. It's better to rely on infrastructure design than ongoing enforcement. So remove that ramp and right turns would be impossible.

    As you mentioned, there are already alternatives for drivers who currently make that right turn.

    One issue would be for drivers who are crossing TR Bridge to get onto Lee Hwy. These drivers are traveling from Foggy Bottom to Rosslyn. They can simply travel on I-66 North (in DC)/E St NW to the Whitehurst Freeway. They would have to turn onto M St in Georgetown for one block before turning onto Key Bridge. Once they cross Key Bridge, they can take Ft Myer Dr south and turn right onto Lee Hwy. The trip from Foggy Bottom to Lee Hwy would be slightly longer, but not to an extreme extent. Perhaps the length of Key Bridge. Drivers who are heading from Foggy Bottom to I-66 west would continue to have the same access as today. The only lanes that would be removed under this idea would be those that branch off from I-66 to Lee Hwy. It's not a super-long stretch of road.
    The ramp of which you speak is one of two for those using the TR Bridge non-HOV during HOV times. In other words, eliminating this ramp would force all non-HOV traffic onto the GWMP/Spout Run or Whitehurst/Key Bridge. That would be a HUGE, HUGE change. I'm all for moving the ramp (we need a light for the other crossing anyways), or even banning the right turn entirely, but closing the ramp entirely, without drastic improvement in other options... no way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    If it does go grade-separated, the key thing is for the overpass/tunnel to be placed where people can conveniently use it. If it's not well situated or is just for the convenience of motorists, people will still take the path of least resistance. A for instance is the overpass of Rt. 50 at 7 Corners, where it was so much easier to just dangerously cross the road that they had to put up fencing to get people to use the overpass. Since there are so many different directions and modes at play at the IOD, I can see that happening here as well. If a tunnel is dank and dangerous, people will not use it. If a flyover is out of the way, covered with snow and ice, or, for cyclists, narrow and filled with pedestrians, people will still use the grade crossing.
    I hear you. On the other hand, we've studied the issue twice, and planned a tunnel. Any other solution is easily 15 years away. If NPS is involved...

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    let's think a bit out of the box: how 'bout linking one of those security barrier things to the beg button, so that when pedestrians have the right of way, there's a wall blocking the right turn?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    let's think a bit out of the box:
    How about a railroad-crossing-style gate that comes down with the "no-right-turn" signal? Added benefit: it would hit the tops of cars blocking the crosswalk.

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  9. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbike33 View Post
    How about a railroad-crossing-style gate that comes down with the "no-right-turn" signal? Added benefit: it would hit the tops of cars blocking the crosswalk.
    Do you know how many times I've fantasized about this while dodging around box-blocking cars...

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  11. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    For a few reasons, I'm not a huge fan of grade separation for this intersection. First, it would require new infrastructure.
    My solution does not require any new bridges or tunnels, but does require reconfiguring a bunch of roadway surface and probably some retaining walls and such. (and NPS...)

    A tunnel under Lynn Street, unfortunately, presents a number of challenges due to the topography. For eastbound cyclists going to Key Bridge, they will either still need to cross the IoD as it is now or take the tunnel and then turn left. Given the elevation differences and the short distance to the GWMP off ramp, I am not certain it is possible to build an ADA acceptable ramp from a hypothetical tunnel to the Key Bridge without some sort of zigzag or something. I believe it's at least a 7-8% grade. And that would eliminate the opportunity to reconfigure that ramp, because moving it would only increase the grade of any connector from the tunnel. And coming up a grade to the ramp crossing may make sight lines worse for everyone.
    I am guessing a good portion of people on bikes will opt to continue to take the left across the IoD than to go all the way down through the tunnel, sharp left and all the way up to the bridge. Or...they will game the light and choose one or the other based on light timing. That's what I would probably do.

    A tunnel only helps for a fraction of people dealing with the intersection, while my solution improves it for everyone.
    For instance, Northbound cyclists and peds on Lynn will still deal with the IoD as it is and the right-on-red cars. Southbound cyclists and peds on Lynn will still have to deal with right-on-red cars who are looking the other way. We can try to force southbound cyclists to take Ft. Myer Drive, but going to the Bikeshare station is a lot shorter along Lynn Street than all the way around, so we're not going to stop people on bikes from using that sidewalk in both directions.
    Last edited by Steve O; 12-18-2015 at 06:51 PM.

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  13. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    The ramp of which you speak is one of two for those using the TR Bridge non-HOV during HOV times. In other words, eliminating this ramp would force all non-HOV traffic onto the GWMP/Spout Run or Whitehurst/Key Bridge. That would be a HUGE, HUGE change.
    Not true: non-HOV drivers on TR Bridge can also get off onto Route 50. If they then immediately exit at Lynn Street, that puts them in Rosslyn just a few blocks south of IOD anyway.
    Last edited by scoot; 12-18-2015 at 08:27 PM.

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