Design Template by Bikingtoronto

« Tuesday Morning Commute - Dope | Main | Norfolk columnist bashes anti-dooring law »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Are there any plans to improve Oxon Hill Road (on the other side of Indian Head Hwy) towards St Barnabas? (and for that matter St Barnabas, particuarly right at the I-495 interchange)?

Now you're talking about MD-414, that is, the part of Oxon Hill Rd. maintained by SHA.

Of course there will be bike lanes along all of MD-414 according to the master plan for transportation . So if you really mean plans.

But if you want to know what will be done, I'm not sure. I think the state portion was repaved a few years ago, up to Livingston Road. The state capital improvement plan doesn't seem to have anything for MD-414 for the next 6 years.

Yet minor improvements for state highways don't show up in the CIP; they call it "system preservation". That includes resurfacing and restriping, and bike lanes can be created where room is available.

And we are always hearing about how some officials envision some sort of revitalization for that corridor, so I think that those plans are simply farther in the future. The Purple Line would follow Oxon Hill road there as well--but when?

To find out what SHA's thinking is, you could start by going to their web site and submitting a comment stating what you think they need to do. They will respond fairly rapidly, generally telling you why they will not do what you ask but giving you great information.

I was at Fort Washington this weekend and was amazed to see a two - way cycletrack on their main circular roadway within the fort complex. By the condition of it, it seems to have been there a while. A nice amenity, especially for families with littler cyclists that need a bit more protection.

Thanks. I have not been in the park for about 18 months and did not realize that there was a cycle track there. For years, there has been a bike lane on the left side of the mile-long circle. My memory is foggy.

Originally that road was a two-way street. I think they added a counterflow (or possibly 2-way) bike lane when the road became one way many years ago.

Although that road has so little traffic that people who bike to the park scarecely need a bike lane, the cycle track is definitely a good idea for kids and very casual riders (or skaters) who drive their bike to the park.

By the way, did you notice something odd about admission fees. You probably did not have to pay since it is winter, but I think I recall the price structure charging more for 2 or 3 cyclists than for a single car with 2 or 3 bikes on a rack.

Speaking from experience (it was my primary commute route for 3.5 years), there is basically no room to add bike lanes on St. Barnabas between the Beltway and Branch Ave. This stretch generally has 5 lanes (2 each way plus a center left turn lane), but VERY narrow lanes (definitely not the standard 12 feet), very heavy traffic (33K-41K ADT), and numerous houses and commercial properties along it. Until last year, most of it didn't even have an adjacent sidewalk...but in part because of that sidewalk construction, any further widening would go into people's front yards. Because of the high traffic volumes, a road diet is probably out of the question. As Jim noted, it's on the master transportation plan for bike lanes, but I just don't see how they'll get it done.

Yeah Froggie, I work in the same building you used to work in - a fella can dream though. (its why I go through town when I bike into work)

Still...still I can sorta kinda see St. Barnabas today the way Wilson Blvd was in Arlington 30 years ago.

And in any case, there's no excuse for this cage: http://goo.gl/maps/HeCs3

Well all this piques my curiosity. Where are you going? Bike lanes would probably be at the expense of the suicide lane. The master plan is often a placeholder because in the past often would not add bike accommodation if not in plan. Now they are becomming more proactive.

It sometimes seems that a trail along the beltway for part of that stretch is easier than

Fm NoVa to the Suitland Federal Center (where the Census and the Metro station are)

From where I live, it's slightly longer to go across 14th street and through SE than go across the Wilson, and adds a hill (coming out of the Anacostia river valley then back down into the Oxon Run channel), but it's by far a faster and safer ride.

Thanks. How often do you take the route via Oxon Hill? Do you ride in the center of the right most lane on MD-414?

I'm guessing that the R4-11 signs on MD-414 don't do too much, but I'm wondering whether the effect was detectable at all.

I have 200-lumen flashing red lights (2 when I am organized) and I think that the R4-11 signs with those lights made a difference on the roads on which I ride, but I live north of US-50. I'm trying to gauge whether any progress has been made with drivers in Southern PG. I assume that getting the driver's attention requires drivers to think you might be a cop when they first notice you, along most multi-lane state highways in PG.

Thanks. How often do you take the route via Oxon Hill? Do you ride in the center of the right most lane on MD-414?

Like maybe three times in the last two years. I took it on bike to work day two years ago (when I biked to work for the first time ever - then took the route through downtown home w/ a coworker), then again more recently after I saw the sidewalk construction was mostly complete. (but it's still not fully connected)

I've only taken the sidewalks, being on the road a little bit right where all the car dealships are in Marlow Heights and there's that third lane (and no ADA compliant sidewalks)

I assume the sign you're talking about is the 'bicyclists may use full lane sign'? With the speed limit of 40 mph and many going faster than that, plus everyone changing lanes rapidly to get out of the way of busses and turning traffic, (and very few of those signs as it is), I do not like the risk I'd have to take on the road. (and towards Marlow Heights, it slightly uphill)

Jim, because of the multitudes of residential/business driveways plus three intersections with heavy left-turning traffic, removing the center left turn lane is pretty much a non-starter. Except right within the Marlow Heights commercial area that Kolohe mentioned, St Barnabas is very ROW-constrained with very high traffic volumes. I just don't see how bike lanes could be added short of very expensive ROW acquisition, likely to be opposed by those homeowners/businesses. Would likely be more efficient and cost effective to connect and extend the Oxon Run and Henson Creek trails.

A PG Co resident who also works at Suitland is interested in lobbying county and/or state for improved bike infrastructure around there. He just moved to Clinton. Have you observed anything there that would be relatively cost-effective to improve? PG residents are in a better position to effectuate change. If too detailed, email me off line.

When I was a child, the place to shop was Iverson Mall. We took Wheeler Road to Iverson. Is that any better?

FYI: I am speculating what M-NCPPC must have in mind, not what I expect to happen soon. But I think that from the beltway to a few blocks past St. Barnebas Episcopal Church, there is a bit of roonm for widening. The busineeses often have a grassy median buffer. Residents would have to be fairly compensated, of course, with both free cash and maybe some sort of fences at the property line.

In the commercial areas, I suspect that M-NCPPC will require additional ROW as a condition for re-development, whenever that occurs. Probably about a decade after Branch Avenue metro becomes a thriving TOD or the Purple Line is extended to Oxon Bill. How many decades before you retire?

The trail extensions have their own problems. MDOT says that Henson Creek Trail can go under the beltway if the culvert is replaced with a bridge. When will that happen? Maybe when the beltway is widened?

"When I was a child, the place to shop was Iverson Mall. We took Wheeler Road to Iverson. Is that any better?"

For part of it. The disadvantage is that you're dipping down into yet another ravine (Barnaby Run) when you go down Iverson Place http://goo.gl/maps/1jk33. The one time I took it, I also found Iverson Street traffic a lot more erratic - i.e. a bigger differential between the slowest and fastest cars - but you do have the semi-empty parking lane for some of it (and then a second right lane for the other part, praying for the patience of the motorist behind you.) (and that you're not riding at a time that takes you directing into the sun)

(and you still have to go through the mess on either side of the Beltway interchange - though the ramp crossings are marked with crosswalks) (but the sidewalk ends just after them)

For a 'cheap' fix, finishing what they started would be the best thing - i.e. putting ADA compliant sidewalks *on both sides* of St Barnabas from Silver Hill Road, under Branch Ave (Rt 5), onward through Marlow Heights & Temple Hill/Raleigh Road past Wheeler Road, then through the Beltway underpass and onto Oxon Hill Road down to Indian Head Highway and National Harbor - would at least be something.

A buddy at work who is a really good cyclist with a really fast bike can actually keep up with the traffic (more or less) and make Suitland to Alexandria in less than a half-hour. But me, being a little more older and cautious, I have to pick and chose my path, and crossing and re-crossing the streets make my trip over the 8 mile just to Natl Harbor over an hour.

But like Froggie said, another alternative (though of course this would require DC action too) in some sort of ideal world would be a path that follows Oxon Run all the way to Pennsylvania Ave. (and in a really ideal world a nice left turnoff from the Wilson Bridge path through the swamp to the farm so you don't have to go back up and then back down again the foot of Oxon Hill)

Yet another option is to make the path to, and the ride on, Southern Ave a bit more safe (i.e. no more 75 mph SUVs on rolling hills). (also a path where Southern Ave in split between Naylor Road and Branch Ave.) Though to say again, Southern Ave (by design) just goes straight though the landscape without any regard for terrain.

And another nice to have (mostly beyond the scope of PG county govt, but they are a player), is to improve (and maintain(!)) the Suitland Parkway trail and extend it at least to the Suitland Metro station, and potentially to Andrews.

I am happy that bikers will be safer. However, let me point out that the improvements have a much-needed safety aspect for drivers as well. A woman was killed on Oxon Hill road simply sitting in traffic when a driver in the oncoming lane turned a curve and his car slammed into her.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009

Categories

 Subscribe in a reader