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maybe it's "Disrespect Mountain Bikers Ahead" and there wasn't enough room on the sign?

It gives you enough time now to come up with stuff like "Yo mamma so fat, she's got more folds than a Brompton."

Hey I stopped, got off the bike, didn't see any traffic on the road, remounted and continued across the road.

I don't comply because there is not much traffic, and there is a long sightline to check for cars.

It isn't nearly as dangerous as the crossings at the Memorial Bridge.

More park service idiocy when it comes to cycling. *sigh*

1) Design roadway to kill cyclists.

2) Put up lots of ass-covering signage.

3) Profit!

It's funny how if two drivers ever die on a stretch of road, there's an effort to immediately alter the configuration of the road itself to accommodate drivers. Meanwhile, here's the bike equivalent of I-395, and these shitheads demand cyclists dismount and walk across two driveways--one of which isn't even a through street.

Again, this is there entirely to absolve the park service of any responsibility when someone is killed.


Who to email about this?

This is probably the same exact sign that they removed from Rock Creek Trail along the river in front of the Kennedy Center...they didn't have anywhere to store it, so they just posted it in a random location.

We should start a pool to bet on when they'll install rumble strips here as yet another "precaution."


The ramp is also dangerous for cars. There is no merge area at the end of the ramp. Many car/car accidents happen there. Clearly there needs to be a sign warning drivers of the trail crossing on the ramp. (Dismount Vehicle Ahead, maybe?) Basically, they need to re-do the entire thing.

It's such a stupid set of signs that confuses cyclists and drivers. Realistically as Josh pointed out, cyclists have a great line of sight there and there really isn't much need to dismount unless it's extremely crowded both with vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic (something I have seen twice ever).

NPS would do better to warn on the one lane semi-tunnel and definitely on the crosswalks further up by Memorial Bridge.

Recently, Walk Bike signs were put up at the bridge over the Pierce Mill mill ditch. I wonder how many people will actually pay attention to that.

for anyone sufficiently aware of their culture, this is not surprising at all.

expect more of it.

this is not a meaningful democracy on ANY measure. the plutocracy set the agenda. bureaucrats follow. then the rest of use get to ratify or reject. that's not democracy....

you and your input do not matter...someone asks, "who do we write or call," about idiot signs and policies?...ha ha ha: are you kidding? the ddot office for bikes doesnt return calls or emails and their most common answer is "i dont know."

right near there is the arlington road that has bike lanes...and when it hits alexandria, the bike lanes disappear, despite huge discussion with alexandria. why did this happen? no one knows at the ddot office in alexandria...it must be God....

you dont matter in the general election come november, either.

read ulrich beck: *risk society.* then read *car jacked.*

bicyclists are an oppressed and marginalized group. maybe when cyclist realize this theyll change their attitude...the problem is cycling is in its infancy. cyclists are white, college educated, etc., and when the police man or city hall tells them that cyclists are their concern, the words blind and confuse...because they are believed...even though these words bear no relation to action. authority is God. as is obedience. and white college educated folks simply cant believe they can be directly lied to. theyre naive. their formal "education" has trained them (read: betrayed them) well...

go ask black people, for an alternative view of why what happens, happens...

try negotiating the school system with a smart child; or the healthcare system with a friend or relative or has cancer and needs treatment...etc etc. the process defines frustration, and irrationality.

we have so fucked ourselves in this culture...and we are paying for it, big time...we will not see it get better in our lifetime.

The photo has an unfortunate camera angle, since it cut out the park police officer to the right telling drivers not to stop.

Stansfield: Actually it does matter that people speak up and things are changing, albeit slowly. For example, punishment (beyond a ticket) used to be used to be rare for any driver that killed a cyclist (I started paying attention in 2004). Now it is more common, so long as that driver is a "hit and run driver" or a "drunk driver" (in fact it even works if the driver only has a history of drunk driving; see the Bicycle Magazine article "Broken" for examples). The situation is still an outrage, but slightly less so.

The fact is that politicians and government officials get few actual messages (versus click-to-send form-letter messages) and they pay attention. Yes, they pay more attention to their corporate donors, but they they do pay attention.

I think any planner could tell them that any time you have a need to put up two signs (neither of which work), you have a design flaw.

Jonathon, also, the presence of airbag data recorders that work as black boxes should make it easier to prosecute drivers who were speeding when they hit a cyclist (or ped). It should give an indication of how often the cyclist "came out of nowhere)" because the driver was going 150% over the speed limit.

Little early for happy hour. No? OK, I'd like a big bottle of whine.

If you don't like the sign, don't pay attention to it.

"Ahead" means at some point in the future. I expect all these cyclists will dismount at their destination.

Of course, by dismounting at the crosswalk, the bikes take longer to cross and thereby hold up cars longer.

SJE: I would say that they place themselves in danger for a longer period of time by dismouting and walking vs. slowing down and passing through when safe.

My complaint is that this seems to be "put on the cyclists" instead of the 2,500 pound vehicles that are much more dangerous when moving than anything the MUP can pose.

In terms of overall trends though, while this is a setback, the general trend around the airport has been an improved bicycle path and sometimes at the expense of cars. The onramp to the south of this one is closed (though they should by now have removed the stop sign and straightened the path so there's not a hairpin turn right next to a tree).

And once upon a time in the 90's, all the crossings at the airport were at grade.

If you do happen to dismount your bike here, you're liable to get clobbered by the bike coming up behind you, especially southbound where this is on a long down slope.

I've wondered why this road exit from the airport is still open. There is another exit from the airport to Northbound Parkway at the north end of the airport that does not have a grade crossing with the trail.

i had thought that the 'Stop' sign on the trail meant that users - including bikers - were required to stop and cars had the right of way.

In any case, despote what you say about users having the right of way, one tends to use caution to reduce the risk of getting flattened.

Fully agree on the signs - i've never seen anyone dismount, and to do so risks accident.


I'm sure that if they posted "Pull Down Your Pants" in addition to "Dismount Your Bike" then cyclists would be more likely to stop at the "Stop" sign.

After all, posting ridiculous signage in no way undermines the authority of signs in general.

Jonathan Krall:

Ive seen you at various meetings over the years...clearly youre a good person trying to do good while creating a good society...

youre naive. your comments sound like they were written by npr or bill moyers' staff (although even bill moyers doesnt think the usa is recoverable or a democracy anymore -- which is amazing!!)

i mentioned two books, filled with operationalized definitions, measures, history, etc.. -- you utter liberal sound-bites that sound good...since youre sights are set so low, you'd be perfect to work for WABA or LAB or Jim Sebastian at DC DDOT...

Let's imagine we could meet with the NPS to review their management of the trail. Here's what I would suggest as issues:

(1) What does a crosswalk mean? Traditionally it means that cars must yield to people in the crosswalk. If so, instead of "stop" signs for the trail users, there should be a "yield" sign on the road, and a "caution" sign for the trail

(2) What is the justification for "stop" and "dismount" signs for trail users, rather than "yield" signs? Is there any evidence that they are necessary?

(3) When NPS makes changes to how they manage the trail, is there a standard way to gather public input before making changes?

(4) Do the employees of the NPS stop and dismount their bikes when they ride past intersections?

There are so many things we could be doing to make these trails better. It is disheartening to see the NPS actually make things worse.

@Johnathan Krall:

That's what you get for responding in good faith to someone who opens their comment with "for anyone sufficiently aware of their culture, this is not surprising at all."

Stansfield Peel: I've been commuting by bike for over 30 years. The rights of bicyclists has gotten attention by the media, the legislature and the police. There are new laws. Is it Utopia? No-even Portland pales next to Copenhagen or Amsterdam. But the Europeans took a long time to get where they are. The analogy to civil rights is apt, but recall it took an actual war, many great leaders, and 150 years before there was a black president.

Until they install a "'Dismount Bike Ahead' Sign Ahead" 10 yards in front of the "Dismount Bike Ahead" sign, I'm going to ignore what's there and resort to common sense.

I don't know, I kind of like the "pull your pants down" idea for a sign.

There is no point in arguing with Mike (aka stansfield peel).

Remember folks, the signs dont actually mean anything.

Yellow is advisory. That sign has as much legal standing as "falling rocks ahead". The rocks are not actually required to fall.

Someone asked about who to contact. Here are some names, positions, and numbers for folks:

Tim Bevins
National Park Service
Transportation Scholar
George Washington Memorial Parkway | Mount Vernon Trail
timothy_bevins@partner.nps.gov | 703.419.6435

Steve Lorenzetti, Deputy Superintendent
National Mall and Memorial Parks
Park Headquarters 202.485.9880

Georgeann Smale
Right of Way Permits
National Park Service - National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington DC 20242
(o) 202-619-7276
(c) 202-465-6221

@MV Jantzen: Forgive me for not addressing what you say point-by-point, but I would suggest that perhaps NPS could be asked to explain why it does not follow AASHTO. Pertinent parts include:

Shared use paths are unique in terms of the assignment of the right of way, due to the legal responsibility of drivers to yield to (or stop for) pedestrians in crosswalks. Most state codes also stipulate that a pedestrian (and by presumed extension in many states, a cyclist entering a path crosswalk) may not suddenly leave any curb (or place of safety) and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. The result is a mutual yielding responsibility among motor vehicle drivers and path users, depending upon the timing of their arrival at an intersection. The speed differential between bicyclists and pedestrians on the pathway must also be taken into account. Bicyclists approach the intersection at a far greater speed than pedestrians, and they desire to maintain their speed as much as possible. The result is a need to remind bicyclists of their responsibility to yield or stop, while not confusing the issue of who has the legal right of way at midblock crossings.

In conventional roadway intersection design, right of way is assigned to the higher volume and/or higher speed approach. In the case of a path‐roadway intersection, user volumes on the path should be considered. While in many cases roadways will have greater volumes, user volumes on popular paths sometimes exceed traffic volumes on minor crossed streets. In such situations, total user delay may be minimized if roadway traffic yields to path traffic, and given cyclists' reluctance to lose momentum, such an operating pattern often develops spontaneously. In such situations, YIELD or STOP control is more appropriately applied on the roadway approaches (given an analysis of speeds, sight distances, etc. as described below).

Application of intersection controls (YIELD signs, STOP signs, or traffic signals) should follow the principle of providing the least control that is effective. Installing unwarranted or unrealistically restrictive controls on path approaches in an attempt to “protect” path users can lead to disregard of controls and intersection operating patterns that are routinely different than indicated by the controls. This can increase an unfamiliar user's or driver's risk of collision, and potentially lead to a loss of respect for the control at warranted locations.

A common misconception is that the routine installation of stop control for the pathway is an effective treatment for preventing crashes at path‐roadway intersections. Poor bicyclist compliance with STOP signs at path‐roadway intersections is well documented. Bicyclists tend to operate as though there are YIELD signs at these locations: they slow down as they approach the intersection, look for oncoming traffic, and proceed with the crossing if it is safe to do so. Yield control (either for vehicular traffic on the roadway or for users on the pathway) can therefore be an effective solution at some midblock crossings, as it encourages caution without being overly restrictive.

AASHTO (2012). Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Bicycle Facilities. Section 5.3.2.


now youve got me really confused: im sure i speak for many when i say that we are still waiting for a black president...

(you walked right into that one...)

jjjjj beat me too it by that much.

We’re all dumb natives. Yellow signs are advisory cautions. White signs (like speed limit signs) are regulatory. Red signs (like stop signs) are regulatory right-of-way markers. http://www.trafficsign.us/signcolor.html Drivers and cyclists are dumb animist natives with their own independent beliefs about what they think the regulations are. Traffic engineers and planners are speaking the King’s English from their well structured bibles. The two groups meet in a clearing and babble their inscrutable languages at each other without any understanding.

My money’s on them installing bollards next.

From the AASHTO language quoted above:

Installing unwarranted or unrealistically restrictive controls on path approaches ... can ... lead to a loss of respect for the control at warranted locations.

I worry about this because I ride with my 9-year-old daughter a lot. When I'm with her, I stop at these idiotic stop signs (and others on other paths) because I don't want to send her the message that stop signs are optional. Idaho stops are great for adults (and probably teens as well), but at 9, she does not have sufficiently mature judgement to decide when it is safe to slow down, look, and keep going without a full stop.

I always wondered whether or not there was signage for drivers anywhere on that ramp besides at the crossing. Some drivers will slow down and stop, but many don't. Depending on which way you're riding, that can simply be because the line of sight for cars isn't as good as it could be, but it's also largely because people come speeding down that off-ramp and are often going too fast to stop even if they see you in time.

Luckily, I can continue to ignore those signs, since for cyclists the line of sight is pretty good and I can generally just speed across that roadway. Now, if they'll put the damn crossing at grade I'll be much happier. They fixed the uphill side a bit after that cyclist crashed there a few months back, but the downhill side still sucks.

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