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I've also been stopped by a security guard while I was on my bike on Ellsworth when it was closed to cars. In the mornings, I get through while the road is open, so it's fine. In the afternoons (I guess they close it - what? - Thursdays and Fridays of the work week?), I just take another route home.

I wonder if those same security guards ever remind motorists who park outside Starbucks each morning that the street is clearly signed "No Parking."

BTW...I read somewhere that the Sarbanes Transit Center - if it ever actually opens - will be a "walk your bike" zone....

How does the "enhancements" funding compare to CMAQ and other funding sources as far as bike infrastructure goes? While the news is disappointing, some of the comments by cycling enthusiasts on bike websites seem to indicate that this may not be a disaster for bike infrastructure funding.

I don't know all the details of federal bike infrastructure funding, so I don't know the real impact of this congressional deal.

"“I am so glad that House Republicans met Democrats halfway."

I think a reasonable case could be made that the compromise absolutely was a "halfway" compromise between the right-wing nutcases in Congress, and moderate right-wing Democrats like Boxer.

They met halfway in transportation. Halfway between 1950 and 2012, that is, which would be 1981, the year Ronald Reagan took office.

It's morning in America, and I'm on a 50-pound Hi-ten steel Peugeot 10-speed with balky friction shifters.

Michael,

Under TE, about 56% of the money for that program went to Bike/Ped programs. About 5% of CMAQ money goes to bike/ped.

I think all of the SRTS can be considered for bike/ped and most of Rec Trails too.

So even if cyclists get half of the new money set aside for AA, it will still be a massive cut.

No explanation in this article, or the link, on why Ellsworth is closed, or even that it's a street for that matter (just "Ellsworth?")

A little more info for those of us not from the area would be nice. I can understand the lack of info on the Silver Spring blog, but this one has readers from all over the area.

Sounds like a great idea. Why don't you write up an explanation and I'll add it to the post.

Re Ellsworth, i ride up that way most days and i haven't detected a pattern as to the closures. As far as i've been able to tell from past research, the county gave the City Place owners the right to close the street to all vehicle traffic whenever they feel like it as part of the development deal.

When i'm riding up Ellsworth from the Sligo valley, at the turn just before the Round House building, i look ahead to see if they've placed the barrier across Ellsworth. If so, i make the turn and cut over past Whole Foods to the Silver Spring Green Trail (such as it is).

Ellsworth is always closed on weekends from Friday eveningish through Sunday. I got some talk from a guard once and I said thanks, I'll remember it next time and proceeded to ignore him. There are usually cops stationed there and I would listen if they said something. Those guards have absolutely zero authority as Silver Spring is not a municipality. Plus if you go into the parking garage there you will see a bike rack. I've also heard them tell folks before they can't smoke, which is amusing given there is no rule about that either.

In fairness, it gets ridiculously crowded on weekends so I wouldn't bother with it then anyway. Easier to cut across Wayne and go down to Sligo Creek that way.

I dont know Ellsworth but if it is a "public road" then a security guard has no authority.

Ellsworth is closed and is converted into (basically) a giant sidewalk/mall etc. It is crowded with people, including kids and dogs, running everywhere. Its not a place to be riding and, at only one block, its not a great hardship to be asked to wheel your bike.

I think we cyclists have much better issues to spend our energies on.

+1 SJE. I really have no clue as to the legal perspective, but from a practical standpoint there is no reason to try and ride your bike through there when it's closed. Even walking is kind of tricky at that point.

Riding around through that crowd only reinforces the idea that cyclists are dicks. Just go around.

Why would I write it up? I'm the one who doesn't know, remember? That's your job.

The heat seems to be making y'all kind of irritable.

Why would I write it up? I'm the one who doesn't know, remember?

Because you're the one who sees a problem with it. If your solution is to just complain to me about it, well, then consider the complaint filed. If you would like the relationship here to be that you identify problems and I fix them then I'm going to need a pay raise.

As for how you would find out, you would do it the same way I would, by taking time from other activities and researching it.

dayglo-I guess I'm the cause of your problem because I forwarded the link to washcycle without providing a detailed elaboration on what I thought was a lot of interesting cycle-related info in the article. Proper blog etiquette is to ignore that which is irrelevant to you--or to use one of those fancy search engine thingies if you want to know more.

Completely off-topic:
I sheared through my saddle bolt about a month ago. That hadn't happened for more than 10 years. OK, wear and tear. Then again today. Twice in month sounds like me doing something wrong. I'm not any fatter. Any suggestions?

@SJE,

Has anything else changed? Is it the same seat post in the same bike?

You want the bolt good and tight to prevent slipping but too tight.

but *NOT* too tight.

Same seat post on the same bike. I was thinking that maybe I needed to adjust it a little.

This was a letter from Isaiah Leggett's office to the office of the county attorney asking whether the no-photography policy the developer (PFA) was attempting to impose on people using Ellsworth Drive was a violation of First Amendment rights. It spells out the easement conditions that exist over Ellsworth Drive, and explains why the developer does indeed have the right to close the street to "vehicular" traffic at will.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/daily/073007/073007_PrinceGeorges.pdf

In April of 1998, Montgomery County entered into a General Development Agreement with PFA Silver Spring LC (the “Developer”), a Maryland limited liability company, for the Redevelopment of Downtown Silver Spring as part of the County’s Silver Spring Retail Redevelopment Urban Renewal Project. The project was to entail the creation of mixed use space, consisting of retail, entertainment, restaurant, office, hotel and public use space. Central to the Agreement was the lease to the Developer of several parcels of property in downtown Silver Spring owned by the County, including the portion of Ellsworth Drive extending between Fenton Place and Georgia Avenue. The County retained an easement over specific portions of the leased properties for vehicular and pedestrian use.

In September of 2002, pursuant to the terms of the Development Agreement, the County entered into a lease with the Developer and recorded a Declaration of Easements in the Land Records. The Declaration of Easements provided that the County reserved “Public Use Easements” over several of the leased parcels, including Interior Ellsworth Drive, the Gateway Plaza, the Silver Spring Plaza, an area referred to as the “Breezeway Easement Area,” and all adjacent streets and ways. The easements defined the areas as “Public Use Space,” pursuant to Section 59-A-2.1 of the Zoning Ordinance of Montgomery County, which provides that public use space is “[s]pace required by the sector plan and other space devoted to such uses as space for public enjoyment.” The County retained a “perpetual non-exclusive easement and right of passage and use, free of charge,” for pedestrian and vehicular ingress and egress on, over and across the public use spaces.

In addition to the Public Space Easements, the County also retained the right to close Interior Ellsworth Drive, Gateway Plaza, and Silver Spring Plaza four times per year for public festivals. The Developer retained the right to close any one or all three of those spaces to public vehicular, but not pedestrian, traffic from time to time, as well as the right to “impose and enforce such reasonable rules and regulations as [the Developer] deems necessary to maintain order and to promote the safety, security and economic success of the Downtown Silver Spring Project.”

[emphasis added]

Oh, sorry, i spelled Isiah Leggett's name correctly, i.e. not the way he spells it.

I sheared through my saddle bolt about a month ago. That hadn't happened for more than 10 years. OK, wear and tear. Then again today.

Do you mean your seat post binder bolt? When you say you sheared through it, do you mean it sheared through when you were tightening it?

Could have been fatigue in the first case, and a substandard bolt with too much torque in the second?

The federal money provided for bike/ped/etc** projects under the previous "enhancements" program will still be offered, but states can "opt out" of using it entirely for bike/ped/etc projects. Now they can use 50% of the money for other transportation projects, including building roads. I assume Maryland will continue to use 100% of the money on bike/ped/etc projects. Maryland appears to be providing more money for bikes lately, not less, if you count http://www.cycle.maryland.gov/ But for cyclists in states like Alabama, well, good luck.

**By 'etc' I mean non-ped/bike items like visitor centers, trail waysides, etc. which can be funded with enhancements money.

In the House bill DC and MD got 35% increases in total funding due to formula change in state aklocation. Need to check if that survived before sayi f much about local funding cuts. We may have gotten a bigger share of a shrinking pie.

It spells out the easement conditions that exist over Ellsworth Drive, and explains why the developer does indeed have the right to close the street to "vehicular" traffic at will.

But under Maryland law, bicycles are not vehicles.

"Every person operating a bicycle or a motor scooter in a public bicycle area has all the rights granted to and is subject to all the duties required of the driver of a vehicle."

So bicycles are only vehicles when operated in a "Public Bicycle Area." What is that?

“Public bicycle area” means any highway, bicycle path, or
other facility or area maintained by the State, a political subdivision of this State, or any
of their agencies for the use of bicycles.

I point this out to show the generally ridiculous state of the law in Maryland. It's hard to know what the legislature meant or what the law is.

Other bike-ped ominous elements of the new bill - mandatory sidepath rule on Fed lands is in, Complete Streets language is out, CMAQ has broader eligibility that strains common-sense definitions of "CM" and "AQ", and unlike many other transfers of Fed transpo funds, the "opt out" of the state part of "TA" (nee TE) can be done on Day 1 with a snap of the fingers by unelected state DOT execs.

Also, need to keep an eye on the companion transportation appropriations bill ("THUD") also churning. TIGER funding was under some threat, haven't heard latest. Also had a cut proposed to Fed WMATA assistance in last version i saw

"seat post binder bolt?" Whatever its called, its that bolt that binds the seat to the seat post. It sheared through while riding.

Thanks for everyone's ideas. I will try not to tighten it too much, and keep a spare! (My wife says its because I'm too awesome. See why I married her!)

Really? I should do your job for you because you didn't?

All you needed to do was include a half a sentence explaining it. You know, what you do on this blog every day.

Is this how you respond to all comments about your site from your readers, telling them if they aren't getting the info they need from you to go somewhere else?

Unbelievable.

Beaker,

I did click on the link to find out before posting.

If I have to go googling everywhere just to find out the most basic information about a story, why should I come here in the first place?

It's the most basic job of journalism to give the essential information and anticipate what some readers won't know. It's not hard. Oh, but wait - this isn't journalism, this is a blog. Never mind.

@dayglo Washcycle is the best source of bicycling info in the DC area. Mr. Wash doesn't get paid--he does is because he enjoys doing it. Please recognize that this operation--the blog, the readers, the comments, the reposting of links--all runs on goodwill.

That's it. Goodwill. That's all anyone here is being paid. Please chip in or go home. Thanks.

Yes, I realize that - and my simple request for a little bit of information in a story was goodwill too! It was simply an innocent, polite suggestion for a tiny bit of information.

Unless I mistook the response, it was not responded to with goodwill though. It sounded snarky to me. But maybe I was wrong. If I mistook your response, WashCycle, I apologize.

It helps to temper criticism with praise. Your original post doesn't sound angry, but also contains zero positives. It is 100 percent criticism.

Group hug time.

dayglo, your first comment to me didn't sound like Goodwill. It sounded like criticism, and not the constructive type. Here's how I see it, this blog isn't going to be perfect, and I haven't the time to strive for that. I'm pretty much going for good enough. Did I give you enough info to find out about this if you wanted to? I think I did. Did I answer every possible question that one might have? No I didn't. But my hope is that the holes will be covered over in the comments - by me or others.

If you had instead asked a question like "Hey, what's the Ellsworth Street about?" I would have just tried to answer it. But instead you criticized the whole way things work here as I see it. That's fine, but that, in my mind means your signing up to help make things better.

If you're complaining about the way things work here, but you aren't willing to help make things better than, yeah, I'm annoyed and I'm no longer interested in helping you. Why should this all be one way?

I don't see how any reasonable person could read my original comment as unconstructive.

I simply asked for more info, and said why. Yes, I did ask you to anticipate that not all your readers know something, but that's what you do every day when you write anything, so I didn't think it was a big deal.

As little as "the closed section of Ellsworth Ave. in Silver Spring" would have been enough. I didn't ask for perfection, just a few words.

I'm happy to help any time you want. I thought I WAS helping, by alerting you to a bit of missing information in your post that you seemed to already know, and could simply share, without me having to look it up for you. But next time I'll be sure to say "hey, what's the ____ about?" so it's more clear.

Jonathon,

Your post is 100% criticism too! Gotcha.

@dayglo: Your continued refusal to accept the simple and obvious fact that your original post was off the mark is astonishing and sad.

If you didn't know what Ellsworth was all about, you could have looked it up or asked about it in a polite fashion. That is how things get done around here and in most other areas of life.

Insisting that you have some kind of right to demand an explanation is only made weirder and more unbearable by the fact that you elevate the level of your apparent indignation and suffering to the point where you feel it is necessary to personally insult the unpaid volunteer who writes this blog.

Your immature behavior on this blog has hopefully crested with the "Gotcha" response to Jonathan (not Jonathon). To paraphrase you: "It's the most basic job of journalism to check the essential information"

It's amazing and never ceases to amaze me how many people, incl. you, lack even the most rudimentary knowledge of basic procedures of human interaction, be it online or in real life.

Please remember that
respect, goodwill and polka dot jerseys are earned, not given away.

And now for the group hug as Crickey7 proposed.

Sometimes the comment thread sets a trap. Here the trap was well-intentioned misunderstanding.

In a comment thread, explanations intended to show how a reasonable person could, with all good intentions, say what one said, will almost always be construed as additional self-justification.

The comment thread trap will not let go. All resistance is futile.

dayglo, perhaps unconstructive wasn't the right word. But it wan't corrective beyond saying "you need to do more work." This wasn't correcting an error or answering a question or disagreeing with something. It was just a call for me to do more work. And my answer to that is no. I'm not really interested in doing more work on this than I already am. If I were, you'd have already seen the post about WAGBRAD or InterBike from last year.

I offered to let you make the improvements yourself, but you - like me - were not interested in doing any more work either. So, here we are...with the status quo.

I'm sorry if I seemed terse, but the blog is what it is - and this was a link dump post on top of that - and I do the amount of work that I do. If that's not enough work for you then either offer to pitch in or work it out in yoga or something, but I'm just not interested in hearing that I'm not working hard enough.

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