Although the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) has been installing R4-11 (Bicycles may use full lane) signs on many highways, managers have indicated that sharrows will be used more sporadically, if at all. So I was quite surprised to see some sharrows on MD-450 in Bladensburg, where right the lanes are 12 feet wide.
Unfortunately, SHA placed the sharrows about 4 feet from the curb rather than in the center of the lane. I sent them the following complaint.
I am filing this under "complaint" because it may or may not be time-sensitive. I noticed about 4 sharrows painted in the right lane and if more are planned, it would be wise to reflect on these concerns before proceeding.
MBPAC and others have warned SHA that the guidance for sharrows is incomplete and/or misleading. Sharrows are used under two very different situations: On lanes that are wide enough to share side-by-side, and on lanes that are too narrow to share side by side (often with an R4-11 sign). In the former case, sharrows should usually be about 4 feet from the curb or pavement edge--and that is what the guidance said. But when the lane is too narrow to share side by side, then sharrows should be in the center of the lane.
Here you have sharrows 4 feet from the curb on 12 foot lanes. Such sharrows communicate to drivers that the cyclists should be keeping right to make room for the car to pass within the lane--but there is not enough room. The sharrows also communicate to drivers that a cyclist using the full lane (generally about 7 feet from the curb) is hogging the lane when he should be farther to the right. Given that we even have R4-11 signs on this road, you have just painted sharrows that contradict the message of the R4-11 signs.
For examples of the right way to do this, please see the photos for the following cities:
A side benefit of mid-lane sharrows is that they do not wear away as fast as sharrows placed in the tire tracks, But the main reason not to place sharrows 4 feet from the curb in a 12-foot lane is that doing so encourages cyclists to ride in a place where drivers will attempt to pass bikes within the lane with insufficient clearance--exactly the opposite of what the R4-11 sign was designed to do.
I'll let you know what they decide.
Jim Titus is a bicycle advocate from Prince Georges County. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he is affiliated.
River Road and Capital Crescent Trail: One of the most interesting proposed locations because of its distance from the other stations in the network. It is the farthest removed, roughly a mile from the closest station in the downtown Bethesda area and a mile from the closest Friendship Heights area station. Officials are hoping for a location behind the shopping center that includes the Whole Foods grocery store, but ongoing construction may be an issue.
The new 11th Street Bridges are already open and have been for some time. Work continues on Phase II, but for cyclists and pedestrians most of the relevant work is complete. The new local bridge includes a much wider sidewalk with overlooks of the river that jut out over the old bridge's supports (and cyclists may use the roadway if they don't like those). There's also a new parklet on the old bridge's southwest footprint that includes a trail connection between the Navy Yard Promenade and the bridge with a trail spur upriver for the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.
Local 11th Street Bridge commemorating the District Department of Transportation’s decade of transportation advancements and the full opening of the local bridge to two-way traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians. This free, family-friendly event will take place on Saturday, September 7, 2013 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
People often ask me about buying used bikes and I usually point them in the direction of the Bike and Roll annual bike sale. Sadly, they usually ignore me. But the two people who have listened to me have been happy with their purchases. That is a small sample size, but it bodes well.
For some time now, the ART near RFK Stadium has been constrained and detoured to make room for the stormwater drainage tunnels project. But no longer. The trail is rebuilt, repaved, replanted and better than ever.
Back in early July, The National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Secret Service (Secret Service) held a public open house on the joint-agency President's Park South Project. This project will redesign the park immediately south of the White House including E Street, N.W. between 15th and 17th Streets, Washington, D.C. E Street was closed after 9/11 and has never been reopened creating quite a barrier to cyclists (pedetrians can get through their OK, but on a bike it is a massive hassle). See earlier posts on this here, here and here.
The NCPC contest was non-binding (but it "informed" the process), and so the four new alternatives presented at the July meeting are very different from the ones in the NCPC contest.
Two of the alternatives (2 & 3) include a bicycle path along the southern edge of E Street and the two others (4 & 5) route bicyclists around the existing perimeter streets (15th Street, Constitution Avenue and 17th Street). The latter two do this to create an expanded viewing area south of the existing fence - the shaded purple area on the image below. [1 is the no build option]
I think it would be a shame if this project didn't include a space for a bike path on E Street. I don't see why they can't expande the viewing area and include the bike path - the two do not seem mutually exclusive. Isn't that what we have on the north side of the White House?
Anyway, if you'd like to comment to that effect, public comments are being accepted until September 12th at this website. Comment early and often.
It's hard to tell if this is thanks to Capital Bikeshare or just the continued growth of bicycle transportation. The answer is almost surely both. Of course, the Census won't county many of these people as bike commuters.
shoehorning two train tracks, passenger platforms and a 12-foot-wide trail through existing easements and right of way under the Apex Building poses serious and expensive engineering problems, officials contend. They say the best solution would be to demolish the building, which houses the pharmacists group, the Regal Bethesda movie theaters and other businesses.
The only problem with this prescriptive was that while surrounding property owners were interested, the pharmacists weren’t.
But that may be changing. ASHP recently hired Holland & Knight attorney David Silver to handle talks with the county, which appear to be getting serious.
“We’re now having discussions on what would work for us,” Silver said. “We’re seriously considering it and they may be in a position to make it worth our while.”
That would mean tearing down Apex to give builders unfettered access to build the station and then granting the pharmacists’ group zoning to rebuild at a higher density. Or, the group could sell to a third-party developer.
See that Metropolitan AME? THAT is what a win-win looks like.