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Is there some other official definition of Sidepath that I don't know about - I thought if you signed a sidewalk as a bike route that it became a sidepath...

Also yay I got quoted on Washcycle. ;)

my comment for the occasion -- the .85 addt'l ride correlation is in a multiple regression model that controls for other things. A straight bivariate regression of bikelanes v. rides associates 3.58 addt'l rides with an addt'l km of bikelane

Chris, I was just trying to explain why one would not see the word "sidepath" on the slide. If there is a difference between a sidewalk and sidepath, I don't know what it is. It's like stream and creek.

A "sidewalk" is a facility for walking, hence the name. Some jurisdictions allow bicycling on them, some don't. I almost never see the term "sidepath" in official plans, but the term "path" (or "trail") when talking about a paved strip almost always refers to a shared use facility, as in hiker/biker trail or shared use path. Standards call for shared use paths to be at least 8' width, whereas sidewalk standards in the suburbs often allow 5' sidewalks. A "sidepath" specifically means a shared use path adjacent to a road.

It's important to use the terms as correctly as possible. Montgomery County is calling a proposed 5' wide strip of concrete along River Road (with some grass between the concrete and the road) a "bike path". While cyclists will be allowed to use it, if you build something 5' wide next to a road it's a sidewalk, not a path.

While cyclists will be allowed to use it, if you build something 5' wide next to a road it's a sidewalk, not a path.

Agree. I'd even go further and say that even at 10' you still have something that is substandard for the transportation minded cyclist.

Bicycles are vehicles and should never be discouraged from using the roadway which is what these extra wide sidewalks do. Doing so only encourages cars to continue moving at speeds greater than wise for the safety of the community.

We all should be seeking complete streets not separated 2nd class facilities.

Biking is legal on many sidewalks, in some cases even encouraged, so sidewalks clearly aren't just for walking. I once got yelled at for running on a sidewalk. "It's a sideWALK not a sideRUN!" I think you're taking it too literally, just as they did.

Most sidewalks are legally shared use facilities. Has AASHTO or some other authority ruled on the use of sidewalk and sidepath terms? Have they set a width difference, or is that just your opinion?

A razor scooter is a vehicle too, should they never be discouraged from using the roadway?

No, just my opinion. You and I both know that in some places cyclists are legally required to abandon the roadway and use a path when available. But worse is the general public perception that cyclists should do this everywhere.

I'm not familiar with this particular road redesign but unless the designers specifically include appropriate bike accommodation (i.e., bike lane, sharrows, wide outer lane or shoulder) aren't they further perpetrating that idea.

I never bike uphill on this road and instead use Southgate and Orme when headed west. But I might do it if there were a wide sidepath there that I could use as a climbing lane.

As for the facility perpetuating the false idea that cyclists don't belong in the road - it might, but that isn't reason enough to oppose it. I don't think NYC cyclists would say the West Side Greenway has made things worse. The correct solution is to pair the facility with education. I'll be damned if I let ignorance be a reason for rejecting an improvement.

Well, the Southgate Road option will be disappearing, due to the expansion of the cemetery, so making it easier to take Columbia Pike is necessary. The real "problem" is where Columbia Pike passes under Washington Boulevard.

JeffB, I agree with your point on many roads, but this particular area is particularly tricky. Columbia Pike (an artery for South Arlington) passes under Washington Blvd. Above, Washington Blvd is essentially a highway. Columbia Pike has highway-like exits to get onto Washington Blvd. Going "South" on Washington Blvd leads you to the highway-like interchange between Washington Blvd and 395S.

So in this particular location, Columbia Pike isn't a "normal" street, and I agree it's worth thinking about solutions that take bikes out of the path of cars accelerating to get on the highway.

The proposed plan doesn't seem like the best way to do so. It seems like planners haven't thought through the way bikes should come and go through this area, connect with other bike routes, etc. As others have pointed out, this could be an important gap in Arlington's bike network, as there aren't good alternatives to get from Columbia Pike and points south and west to Pentagon City and points north and east (like DC).

Given that Columbia Pike is slated for streetcar tracks, I think the parallel bicycle boulevards and the 10' wide sidewalk/sidepath are a reasonable compromise.

The 10' wide path will continue under the new Washington Blvd bridge all the way west to at least S Courthouse Rd, hopefully to Wayne St to connect to the 9th St Bike Boulevard (*cough* submit comments at http://pikemultimodal.com/ *cough*).

Joyce St is also getting wide sidewalks under the 395 overpass (13' I think) and Army Navy Dr is slated for a cycletrack. Put 'em together and you've got decent (though clearly not ideal) bike facilities from fairly deep into the western portion of the pike all the way into Pentagon City & beyond.

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