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Thread: Alexandria Trasportation Master Plan Pedestrian and Bicycle Chapter

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    Default Alexandria Trasportation Master Plan Pedestrian and Bicycle Chapter

    The DRAFT Pedestrian and Bike Chapter of the Alexandria Transportation Master Plan has been posted for comments.

    The document includes information on the following:

    • Top 10 On-Street Bicycle Projects (page 67)
    • Recommended locations for Capital Bikeshare Stations (page 55)
    • Top 3 Trail Projects (page 71)
    • Priority Trail Crossing/Transition Improvement Projects (page 73)
    • Bicycle Performance Measures (page 77)
    • Top 10 Sidewalk Projects (page 69)
    • Pedestrian Performance Measures (page 76)



    You can provide comments to the City on-line via AlexEngage until January 31, 2016.

    There is also a public meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, 2016 from 7-9 pm at T.C. Williams High School
    Last edited by CaseyKane50; 01-14-2016 at 01:44 PM.

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    I glanced at it and then highlighted the issues that mattered to me below. I'll probably send them a comment. Overall, I thought it was decent and I was pleased with them picking up on some of the big-ticket items many commuters care about. I think it's funny they didn't mention the stupid bollards, rather just 'widen' paths near where they are. I also got the impression they're just doing sharrows on Royal St, which doesn't really change much on it at all. I did like their snow removal comments, particularly about complaining to NPS to do snow removal.

    "Develop internal and external maintenance practices to improve snow and trash removal on streets and trails, prioritizing popular commuter routes. Work with the National Park Service to formalize a partnership related to maintenance and snow removal on the Mount Vernon Trail."
    Yes, please.

    "2 Royal Street (from Jones Point Drive to Bashford Lane) Neighborhood bikeway to provide north-south connectivity in Old Town and provide connection to the Mt. Vernon Trail. This improvement would provide a more desirable and comfortable route for bicyclists, leading to less walking and bicycling conflicts on Union Street and parallel sidewalks. Additional analysis needed. "
    Hmm, this sounds suspiciously like they're not going to do anything. Frankly, I find Royal or even just taking Washington, far more relaxing than Union, especially in warm weather times.

    "2 Mount Vernon Trail and Royal Street Improve signage, widen trail on sharp turns and provide wayfinding signage in this area. "
    Yes, please. Well, really, just the widening of the trail would be awesome.

    "5 Potomac Yard Trail near Shoppers/Barnes and Noble -Work with property owners at Potomac Yard Center to formalize connection to Potomac Yard Trail
    from northeast corner of shopping center
    . A worn dirt path exists now, indicating demand."
    Definite, no brainer.

    "6 E. Abingdon Street from Mt. Vernon to Slaters Lane Widen trail as it transitions from off-street to on-street, add signage and improve crossing at Slaters Lane. Install southbound contraflow lane on E. Abingdon Drive to connect to Mt. Vernon Trail spur."
    I'm 100% on board with this and think it's long needed. Particularly the contraflow lane given how many folks go this route.
    Last edited by Terpfan; 01-15-2016 at 09:50 AM.

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    There is a tremendous amount in the plan to be excited about. In my area, there is the extension of bike lanes on King from Janneys up to Bradlee as a priority project - actually public outreach has already begun for the Janneys to Quaker piece, I was glad to see extension beyond Quaker to Bradlee as part of a priority project. The sidewalks from Bradlee to 28th street (sidewalk/MUTs from 28th to Beauregard are part of the already approved and soon to get underway King/Beauregard project). Bike lanes on King from Bradlee to Beauregard did not make the cut for top ten projects, but are not far behind. The West End transitway bike lane/MUT got extended all the way to King, and is a priority.

    The vision is huge, and I think mostly right for Alexandria. There are some potential issues with implementation - they allow priority bike corridors to get a regular painted lane, rather than protected or buffered lane, though the language indicates that will only be where there is no space (but of course there are ways to create space, if one has the will) And a bikeway might be (as Terpfan fears) just sharrows, though a proper one would install roundabouts and take out stop signs. And the biggest question is funding. At least one of the big trail extensions is funded, and a lot can be done as part of regular street repavings, but some of the big improvements will require dollars that have not yet been allocated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpfan View Post
    I glanced at it and then highlighted the issues that mattered to me below. I'll probably send them a comment. Overall, I thought it was decent and I was pleased with them picking up on some of the big-ticket items many commuters care about. I think it's funny they didn't mention the stupid bollards, rather just 'widen' paths near where they are. .
    Yes, do send in your comments.

    Regarding bollards on page 57 of the bicycle section, bollards are addressed.

    a. Design trails to maximize user safety and meet standards and best practices, including the placement of fixed structures at transition points, and appropriate wayfinding and signage.
    b. Remove unnecessary bollards, signs or obstructions that create choke-points at trailheads.
    I have sent the City pictures of some of the bollards that are found throughout Alexandria. I am hopeful that after this plan is approved, they will begin to address some of them.

    Here is one of my favorites

    Name:  IMG_3376.jpg
Views: 135
Size:  43.0 KB

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyKane50 View Post
    Regarding bollards on page 57 of the bicycle section, bollards are addressed.
    a. Design trails to maximize user safety and meet standards and best practices, including the placement of fixed structures at transition points, and appropriate wayfinding and signage.
    b. Remove unnecessary bollards, signs or obstructions that create choke-points at trailheads.

    Hopefully, "best practices" means they will follow FHWA guidance:

    Some trail managers install bollards, gates, or other barriers to restrict unauthorized use. Trail managers should question whether bollards, gates, fences, or other barriers are needed at all. For the purpose of the bullets below, "bollard" includes bollards, gates, fences, or any other barrier constructed or installed next to, within, or across a trail presumably to restrict unauthorized access.


    • Even "properly" installed bollards constitute a serious and potentially fatal safety hazard to unwary trail users. In addition,no bollard layout that admits bicycles, tricycles, and bicycle trailers can exclude single-track motor vehicles such as motorcycles and mopeds. For these reasons, bollards should never be a default treatment, and should not be used unless there is a documented history of intrusion by unauthorized cars, trucks, or other unauthorized vehicles.


    (My emphases)

    I would suggest that all bollards be removed. Then, if there is a documented history of intrusion--and other interventions, such as signage, design, surface paint and other efforts have been tried and failed--should bollards be considered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Hopefully, "best practices" means they will follow FHWA guidance:

    Some trail managers install bollards, gates, or other barriers to restrict unauthorized use. Trail managers should question whether bollards, gates, fences, or other barriers are needed at all. For the purpose of the bullets below, "bollard" includes bollards, gates, fences, or any other barrier constructed or installed next to, within, or across a trail presumably to restrict unauthorized access.

    Yes, I hope so too. My notes to the city have included references to the FHWA Recreational Trails Program and specifically to the section on Bollards, Gates and Other Barriers. Non-residents can provide feedback to the Pedestrian and Bicycle chapter, so I would encourage you to go to AlexEngage to add your feedback and comments.


    • Even "properly" installed bollards constitute a serious and potentially fatal safety hazard to unwary trail users. In addition,no bollard layout that admits bicycles, tricycles, and bicycle trailers can exclude single-track motor vehicles such as motorcycles and mopeds. For these reasons, bollards should never be a default treatment, and should not be used unless there is a documented history of intrusion by unauthorized cars, trucks, or other unauthorized vehicles.


    (My emphases)

    I would suggest that all bollards be removed. Then, if there is a documented history of intrusion--and other interventions, such as signage, design, surface paint and other efforts have been tried and failed--should bollards be considered.
    Yes, I hope so too. In my notes to the city, I have referenced the FHWA Recreational Trails Program and specifically the chapter on Bollards, Gates, and other Barriers.

    You can provide feedback to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Chapter, even if you aren't a resident of Alexandria, so I would encourage you to go to AlexEngage to add your feedback and comments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyKane50 View Post
    Yes, do send in your comments.

    Regarding bollards on page 57 of the bicycle section, bollards are addressed.



    I have sent the City pictures of some of the bollards that are found throughout Alexandria. I am hopeful that after this plan is approved, they will begin to address some of them.

    Here is one of my favorites

    Name:  IMG_3376.jpg
Views: 135
Size:  43.0 KB
    Oh, I totally missed that--good catch!

    I think they can pretty much remove all of the bollards they have because none of them strike me as safe. While I know people do idiotically find ways to drive where they shouldn't, if they're worried then switch them all to flexiposts. The one by Royal St that's like big enough to tie down an aircraft carrier to always drives me nuts.

    Knowing they addressed this issue, I am more positive toward the plan as a whole. Plus I do think the city is making a good faith effort and has been. While I'm no longer a city resident, I find that when DC/Arlington/Alexandria put this emphasis on that it drags along Fairfax County, which is good for me. I don't think FFX would have done a master bike plan, let alone put in the bike lanes on Belle View Blvd/Beacon Hill Rd, had it not been for other regional governments (with really Arlington at the helm followed by DC/Alexandria) pushing it so hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpfan View Post
    I did like their snow removal comments, particularly about complaining to NPS to do snow removal.
    One point someone might want to make: clearing snow on the MVT and 27 Trail ALL THE WAY TO THE BRIDGES is very important for creating a connection for Alexandria cyclists to DC. Yes, this touches on snow clearing in Arlington County and in DC, but the truth of the matter is that a network that doesn't get folks in and out of DC is of limited value.

    Similarly, Alexandria (and Arlington, and all of NoVa) should work with DC to FIX AND MAINTAIN the routes along the bridges.

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    I submitted my comments - a few thoughts:

    1) the plan should ensure that either a) traffic signals don't require actuation or b) all actuated signals properly detect bicycles
    2) neighborhood bike ways are awesome...but only if they can properly cross big ugly arterials. The total absence of any mention of HAWK signals in the plan is concerning.
    3) the plan needs a prioritization criteria for "effectiveness" with higher points for protected bike lanes and no points for sharrows with normal bike lanes in between

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    With the forecast for a major snow event this weekend, you might find you can't get out to ride your bike. To help pass the time, you could review the proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Chapter of the City’s Transportation Master Plan and provide feedback by taking the survey. The full document, including the appendixes and survey are here

    The survey is open to residents and non-residents; inputs from all who work or visit here, not just those who live here, will be useful. In completing the survey, Alexandria BPAC would appreciate your recognition that the plan is intended to serve all populations in Alexandria, yet people in some sections of the City, such as Arlandria and the Beauregard Corridor are typically under-represented in surveys such as these.

    You can help in making this plan the best City-wide plan for everyone. Here are a few specific suggestions:

    1. Recommend safety as the #1 goal for both pedestrian and bicycling goals. Safety is an integrated goal that will require the City to take proven steps to achieve measurable results, such as slower vehicle speeds, improved crossing conditions, sidewalk gaps closed, separated bicycle facilities, bicycle network gaps closed, and education for all road users – pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.

    2. Recommend that street bicycle projects on the West End be strongly considered, in recognition of the relatively few safe choices for bicycle routes in the West End compared to the bicycle network options and slower traffic speeds in the eastern part of the City. King Street, Seminary Road and Van Dorn/Beauregard would all fill important network gaps.

    3. Recommend including comments similar to the following to help make the plan more useful and effective for all:

    • Make a stronger commitment to Vision Zero to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities from traffic crashes as soon as possible.
    • Provide implementation plans and timelines for pedestrian improvements that will make walking safe, comfortable and convenient.
    • Provide implementation plans and timelines for priority bicycle networks, particularly those with no near-term development planned,
      for example, N. Beauregard Street (north of the Mark Center), Seminary Road, and King Street.
    • Provide implementation plans and timelines for the City’s first protected bike lanes and neighborhood bikeways

    Thank you.
    Last edited by CaseyKane50; 01-21-2016 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Fixed a bad link

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