Coincidentally, GGW has a post on this same subject, so for another review of it, go here.
The National Park Service has been working on alternatives for a project to improve the Mount Vernon Trail at Theodore Roosevelt Island Parking Lot. They've worked up four of them, of which two have already been dismissed. They are accepting comments on the remaining two through April 22nd. After the comments have been analyzed, they'll choose a preferred alternative this summer, and settle on a design by the end of the year, with work to begin next year.
All of the alternatives are designed to:
- Discourage trail users traveling through parking lot
- Widen northern segment of Mount Vernon Trail to 9 ft. width with 2 ft. shoulders
- Install stop signs for motorists to define right of way at trail crossing
- Separation of activities at entry to Theodore Roosevelt Island (TRI)
- Install water fountain near trail and entry to Theodore Roosevelt Island (TRI)
- Install various directional and site interpretive signage
On the northern end, both alternatives widen the trail, but alt 2 (seen below) includes a separate pedestrian path
In the middle, both alternatives change the trail crossing of the parking lot. Currently the trail crosses perpendicularly at street level, requiring two very sharp 90 degree turns (which is why many cyclists use the parking lot), but the proposed designs have the trail cross the parking lot at an angle, allowing for more gentle turns. In alt 1, the trail crosses at the middle of the bottleneck on a speed table.
In alt. 2, the pedestrian path follows the route of the current trail and the bike trail crosses at the northern end of the bottleneck. The trail drops down to street level and is protected by speed bumps in the roadway.
At the entrance to TR Island, both designs use trees and walls, as well as a more circuitous path, to discourage cyclists from heading through the parking lot. Alt. 2 is shown below.
Personally, I prefer the speed table crossing, but like the alternative 2 TR Island bridge entry better. On the north end, I like the idea of the pedestrian path, but I wonder if it is necessary.
Both alternatives increase impervious surfaces (though alt 2 by almost twice as much) and require cutting down a tree. Alternative 2 will remove 2 parking spaces, have no shoulders on the pedestrian path and will require a below standard turn of less than 20' radius. It's also likely to be more expensive.