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Dropping the speed limit to 25 MPH, without doing anything else, won't help either. Not when A) there's virtually no enforcement to begin with, B) the existing 40 MPH speed limit is routinely ignored, C) the design of the road facilitates a 40-50 MPH speed, and D) simply slapping up a lower speed limit has been shown to not significantly reduce vehicle speeds.

Not surprised. Went to see a movie in georgetown, biking back around 11:30 PM across the key bridge with GF, and said a number of very shady characters hiding around that section.

Always better to use the other side of the bridge...less traffic all around.

GWPrkwy: Speed cameras, tickets; instant revenue, eventual behavior modification. So simple, there must be a law preventing NPS from doing it.

Only a separate grade crossing or a light will work. With the increase in cycling, it's only a matter of time till more fatalities occur here, and there will finally be action.

The "action" could be to put up a guardrail or fence and eliminate the crosswalk. From the NPS point-of-view, crossing the GW Parkway, itself, between Memorial Bridge and the George Mason (14th Street) Bridge can now be done safely and easily by using the tunnel they just opened under the Humpback Bridge. Yes, using the tunnel means getting to/from Memorial Bridge requires crossing a couple of exits to/from Rt 27, but those are not at the excessive speeds found on the northbound GW Parkway.

For the NPS., since they can point to tunnel from the eastern side of the parkway to the western side, getting rid of the crosswalk is probably the cheapest solution.

(I used to cross at that point several days a week on my p.m. commute, but now I just use the tunnel.)

5555624,

How do you use the tunnel to cross from the MVT to the Memorial Bridge? I might try that, but I can't see how on a map.

Also, if they fence off the crossing, they'd have to fence off the dirt track on the northern side too, and probably the entire area, since the dirt track proves cyclists and joggers will just make their own crossings.

dayglo,

See post #75 in this thread: http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?964-Stop-signs-at-crosswalks-Do-you-yield-to-cars/page8

If you're heading north, the turn-off is just as you come over the Humpback Bridge. Go around the memorial and through the tunnel. Once through the tunnel, head north through the marina parking lot. At the end of the parking lot, take the trail and stay left. It will split and take the left-hand section and cross a bridge over the Boundary Channel. In the parking lot, make a right and head to the exit. Head west on t he road around the Pentagon parking lot and then up the ramp. This puts you on the trail/sidewalk along Route 27. Head north.

Essentially, you trade the GW Parkway crossing for the exit from Route 27 to the southbound GW Parkway and from the northbound GW Parkway to Route 27. I don't find either of those a problem.

5555624,

Thanks! I'll try it today.

5555624,

Looking at the map, I see that if I took your suggested route, I could cut right over to the cemetery by taking Route 110 for a short distance.

Anyone know if bikes are allowed there and if it's advisable?

The problem with that section (in particular) of the Key bridge is that you're funneled right between the Whitehurst and the brick pavers. The criminals can just duck out through the park and down on to the Canal or in to Georgetown.

The problem with the other side of the bridge is that there is also an easy 'escape' for the attackers via the stairs that head right down to the Head of the CCT.

With trail attacks on the rise, I'm getting a little uneasy about the CCT commute.
On the one hand it has a few things going for it that would make it a bad choice for attackers: few access points, bounded on one side by the river and the Canal on (part of) the other side, and a relatively long way to any neighborhood (ie. to get back home)

Still, if people are getting attacked on the Key bridge, its not too much of a stretch to imagine attacks on the CCT or Canal.

Be safe out there folks,

Froggie, I agree, but implied in my comment is that it would be followed/enforced.

5555624,

That's a rather lengthy detour, and it trades two grade crossings for four plus biking trough parking lots. I don't think closing the GW crossing is the solution.

Alternatively, we could close the GW Parkway from the current split to Washington Blvd and move the split to under Memorial Bridge. All drivers would then go left at the current split, merge with Wash Blvd traffic and then head under the Bridge to the split. I don't actually think that's a good solution, just that inconvenience can go both ways.

dayglo, bikes are not allowed on 110. There is a dirt path that you can use (I've done it) and Arlington plans to make that a real trail someday. It involves a grade crossing of the GW Parkway to Memorial Drive ramp.

Thanks, washcycle. Had a feeling bikes weren't allowed.

I've heard about the trail - hope it's real soon.

washcycle

As I said,it does add some road crossings. I am not sure why all road crossings are the same, because the two combined are not as bad as the GW Parkway crossing. (In my p.m. commute, I stop maybe once every three months for those two additions combined.)

Is it longer? Yes. I don't know that I'd say it's "lengthy," but ymmv.

If people want the NPS to take action, what do they want? More importantly, how do they propose to pay for it? I've seen people suggest a tunnel? A pedestrian bridge/overpass? Eliminating the crossing is cheaper than both. The last time I checked, the federal government is still operating the current fiscal year without an approved budget. Next year's budget, FY 2012, is going up for approval. It's probably too late to get it into the FY 2013, since no one knows what they want. Maybe the FY 2014 budget? Money for eliminating the crossing could probably be pulled from the road maintenance fund. The NPS can say they eliminated a problem and point to the existing tunnel as an alternative.

As I pointed out elsewhere, you can always avoid crossing the GW Parkway and going under it, by crossing the George Mason Memorial Bridge, going up Ohio Drive, and to the Memorial Bridge. It involves only one major street crossing and there's a traffic light at Independence Drive.

By my measure it's about 4/10 of a mile longer. But it will ride slower than that because there are some hills, sharp turns and parking lots to deal with. About half a mile. Which is a big chunk of the 3-5 miles most people say they're willing to bike someplace.

It's actually three extra crossings and one of them involves looking backward over your shoulder as cars come over a hill and around a bend. It matters because it's increased exposure. It triples your chances for making a mistake.

I think most people want NPS to build a tunnel, but others would be fine with a HAWK signal.

As for paying for it. I don't think the choices are: figure out how to pay for it, or accept a closure. [FYI - The 2011 budget was enacted on April 15, 2011, as Public Law 112-10] There is highway money. We spend it on all kinds of things. Spend some of it on this. It isn't rocket science. We may have to wait, but cyclists are pretty used to that. Still, saying that it will take a long time is not an excuse to do something stupid. It is a reason to get started now.

If, alternatively, we close this intersection to car traffic, drivers can always go across the river on the 14th street bridge then on to Independence Avenue and across Memorial Bridge to get back onto the Parkway. That's at least as acceptable as making cyclists do that right?

5555624, the Rte 27/Washington Blvd crossing is just as dangerous as the GW Pkwy crossing is. Maybe more dangerous. The only good solution is a bike bridge or a tunnel, both of which are costly.

I agree that the entire area south of Memorial Bridge is dangerous where cyclists and pedestrians try to cross the various roads and ramps.

Neither Washington Blvd nor the GW Parkway is an interstate highway. Why can't they install a regular traffic light on them? That's relatively inexpensive.

My blue-sky preference would be for cantilevered descent bridges directly from the walkways on both the north and south sides of the bridge, landing between the MVT and the river. This would bypass all crossings, avoid the drainage and lighting issues a tunnel would create, and allow access to the MVT from either side of the bridge.

CaBi is hiring more drivers for their bike rebalancing vans.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/trp/2514740417.html

They mentioned this on the official Facebook page.

Michael H.

Yes, I understand that Rte 27/Washington Blvd crossing is dangerous. I never said it wasn't. (I cross it every morning as part of my morning commute.) I, perhaps mistakenly, thought the discussion was about crossing the GW Parkway. I would think getting rid of one dangerous crossing would count for something.

washcycle

No one is making the cyclists cross the George Mason Memorial Bridge into DC and going up to the Memorial Bridge. I'm just suggesting an alternative, since so many people have problems with crossing the GW Parkway. As long as there have people who don't know how to drive or how to ride, there are going to be problems.

However, I give up. Although I get on Memorial Bridge every morning, on the Virginia side, I don't see why it's a :"destination." (Some afternoon, I'll have to go and hang out to see the attraction.) The only time I'm there is because I am crossing the bridge. If someone is using the MVT to get to it, they've passed alternative crossings into D.C.

555, I pointed that out because the detour involves a longer route without increasing the overall safety of the risk. It's just substituting the dangerous Rte 27 crossing for the dangerous GW Parkway crossing.

I usually take the 14th St. Bridge to DC except in non-peak hours. At those other times, I'll ride to and from Memorial Bridge. It's much easier when there aren't many cars around.

"safety of the risk" -- Hmm, not sure why I just typed that phrase. I think I meant "safety of the ride".

The Park Service is going to be very reluctant to ruin the park-like atmosphere or traffic flow in what's technically a park by installing a traffic light. It's a de facto major commuter highway, of course, but still technically a parkway in a park.

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