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"While the FMRP Trail is a nice 10-foot wide trail, and is currently being reconstructed in places, the detour also utilizes narrow sidewalks, narrow trail segments, sidewalks with heavy pedestrian traffic and sidewalks with lots of curb cuts. Especially bad is the detour along Mount Vernon Avenue."

Major work on the FMR trail is done. The only remaining section under work is a new spur which leads down to the creek itself, but the mainline (from Mt Vernon Ave to Jeff Davis Highway via Arlandria and Commonwealth Ave) is done.

Not too bad a detour for those coming off the Mount Vernon Trail. The only sketchy part is the bit along Mount Vernon Avenue to connect back up to the trail. But coming down Eads, yeah, many people will likely do Glebe or its sidewalk, depending on their comfort level.

In an alternate reality, accommodation would be made, such as a bike lane on Glebe and/or Mount Vernon. Pure fantasy in this world, of course.

The issue with the sidewalk crossing on Mt Vernon, is the narrowness, the significant numbers of pedestrians, the lack of separation from the road lane, and the short barrier on the east side by the stream. Possible improvements, discussed by BPAC (which is working with ABAC) would be some kind of flexpost barrier on the west side of the sidewalk, a higher fence on the east side, and a temporary curb cut from the road to the trail on the Arlington side, which would make the road a viable option for west bound cyclists. However IIUC both groups are holding off on those proposals, while ABAC proposes superior solutions on the Arlington side - either a temporary PBL on Glebe, or a route through the sewage plant property.

Note, some female cyclists have expressed concern about riding the Alexandria trail, which has worse site lines than the Arlington trail, after dark (evening commutes in winter especially) Alexandria police could help with that, by added patrols.

The curb cut would help immensely. When I've gone that way, stopping in traffic to get the bike over the curb was the sketchiest part.

" A relevant meeting was held 12/21."

????

There's no meeting listed for 12/21 at the link.

"The project will include a new previous surface trail from Bruce Street that goes along the stream. (Highlighted in yellow)"

That should read "pervious".

The pervious wetland trail is basically installed but needs to wait for Spring weather for a few repairs to be made.

"Establish historical tidal wetland condition in Four Mile Run Park (site 3)"

This work is effectively completed except for some of the repair work needed on the wetland trail. Also, the new native plantings need a chance to establish themselves.

There's currently an dead-end terminus to the wetland trail but a small bridge is planned...but not yet funded...to connect this new trail at the eastern end to the bend in the Four Mile Run Park trail behind the softball field backstop.

"And a new crossing just upstream of Commonwealth and Eads"

The bridge being designed to cross Four Mile Run isn't part of the workplan for 2016 and is not yet funded.

Here's more about that design on the project website:
http://4milerun.org/

Kevin, it used to be there. Perhaps it was rescheduled or cancelled.

"While the FMRP Trail is a nice 10-foot wide trail, and is currently being reconstructed in places, the detour also utilizes narrow sidewalks, narrow trail segments, sidewalks with heavy pedestrian traffic and sidewalks with lots of curb cuts. Especially bad is the detour along Mount Vernon Avenue."

As others have already noted, the 4MR Park Trail repaving was recently completed before the holidays. Here's a picture of it (near the Wetland restoration in Alexandria): https://twitter.com/Arlandrian/status/683782911938703361

Commenters have already pointed out that the worst part of that detour is the stretch (ie, the bridge) between the 4MR park parking lot at 4121 Mt Vernon and the 4MR Trail entrance on the Arlington side of the run.

Some might not realize that all of that stretch is in Arlington (the bridge is maintained by Arlington, including the lights).

There are a number of conflicts there between driveways, bus stops, pedestrians and two direction bike traffic.

This could be an opportunity for the communities to work together. Mt Vernon Avenue is screaming for bike infrastructure. The sidewalks along eastern portion of South Glebe Road certainly need improvements as well.

"Note, some female cyclists have expressed concern about riding the Alexandria trail, which has worse site lines than the Arlington trail, after dark (evening commutes in winter especially) Alexandria police could help with that, by added patrols."

ACyclistInThePortCity: how were these concerns raised? It's well-light trail, by and large. Were these concerns referred to APD?

The detour map is probably wrong. Any detour along the 4MR Park Trail would stay on the main trail all the way over to Mt Vernon Avenue and through the park parking lot at 4121. What's depicted in the diagram shows the detour going along the un-lit spur adjacent to the Sunnyside stream which would require a lot more travel along Mt Vernon Avenue and increased conflict with pedestrians.

There has been a push, however, for over 15 years to add bike and pedestrian infrastructure along that stretch of Mt Vernon Avenue. A plan for that stretch was included in the 2003 Arlandria plan but was never implemented. We've been push for an alternative plan to replace it.

"ACyclistInThePortCity: how were these concerns raised? It's well-light trail, by and large. "

In person at a social gathering of area cyclists.

While the Alexandria trail may be well lit, those who are used to the Arlington 4MRT perceive it as equally well lit, straighter (and thus with greater visibility of potential ambush spots) and in part greater visibility to off trail areas likely to be populated at night. Plus I believe there have been a few well publicized incidents on the Alexandria side.

Of course in the past the Alexandri side was relatively lightly used compared to the Arlington side, so perhaps with the Arlington side closed (and assuming no Arlington side detours work out) the trail will become busy enough people will feel safer.

Kevin: "Mt Vernon Avenue is screaming for bike infrastructure. "

And yet, the section of Mt Vernon Ave that was recently rebuilt, between Herbert ans Commonwealth, is now narrower and has no bike lanes. It is now the worst section of Mt Vernon for bicycling (but it does have the newest sharrows! Yay! Whatever!).

Yes, the narrow lanes slow cars, but drivers "trapped" behind my bicycle on that narrow street respond by driving aggressively. Narrowing lanes and adding bike lanes makes sense for a connector street like Mt Vernon. Narrowing lanes and adding sharrows makes sense only for light-traffic neighborhood streets.

My point is that Mt Vernon Avenue needs to scream louder.

Jonathan, Del Ray Central and Del Ray Towers are outside of the Arlandria Plan area and not the section to which I'm referring.

That portion of the Avenue is different and within the boundaries of a different civic association and those of us to the north were not invited to be a part of the planning process.

Traffic increases on the Avenue as you go north after each intersection and the portion that is pertinent to this discussion involving the proposed detour is very much different from what was done in Del Ray.

You can complain that I didn't raise the issue enough in that planning process, but I can also point the finger at you.

I'm trying to have a discussion about Mt Vernon Avenue in Arlandria which has several different conditions at different points that could benefit from different improvements. For instance, particularly near this detour, at some points the lanes are overly wide and might be able to accommodate lanes now.

We have an opportunity to explore those now because a detour has to be created. Why not pursue such an accommodation rather than complain about something that was done imperfectly in the past that has no bearing on the issue at hand.

I'm actually engaging in these discussions continually. What are you doing other than complain?

"Plus I believe there have been a few well publicized incidents on the Alexandria side."

To what are you referring? There was particularly gruesome murder recently in a isolated construction site about 100 yards off the park trail but that's pretty much an anomaly. There have been similar events recently in other parks and along other trails in the DC region. Are we supposed to avoid those as well?

I think it's taking a particularly jaundice view to say that this trail and its sight lines are any worse than the main 4MR trail on even the Mt Vernon Trail, unless you are alluding to something that I'm not aware of.

Kevin

I rode the trail in Alexandria the other day, and I am not saying anyone should avoid it. I am saying that women I know have concerns about having to ride it, instead of riding their usual route on the Arlington side. I do not feel obligated to justify their concern, I am reporting it.

I would also note that what happens elsewhere in the DC region, for example the MBT, is not relevant to someone who lives in say Shirlington or Fairlington, not in NEDC. If you care to note that there have been incidents on the trails through the parks north of Columbia Pike, well some of these people are concerned about riding after dark in those locations as well. I am not going to "mansplain" to them that their concerns are misplaced.

Kevin:

The reason I brought up recent past city work on Mt Vernon Ave is that it shows the current/recent city approaches to bicycling. To wit: bicycling is secondary to cars and to development. City staff hates bike-lane fights and has little willingness to replace traffic lanes or parking lanes with bike lanes. They have little willingness to expand the width of not-yet-built roads to include bike lanes, because that reduces space for development.

The prevailing idea seems to be that people on bicycles are getting in the way of real citizens and that only the real citizens contribute to the economy. They act as if only a few well-organized cyclists care about this stuff.

I also bring it up because successful bike facilities connect to other successful bike facilities. New streets such as the rebuilt section of Mt Vernon (and every single effing new street built or planned for Oakville and Potomac Yard) are being planned/built with zero bike lanes. If you get bike lanes on Mt Vernon in the Arlandria section of Alexandria, it would be nice if they connected to someplace other than Arlington.

If you truly want bike lanes on Mt Vernon Ave, please continue to help change this. For example, if Arlandria has a business association, it would be great if they asked the city for more bike lanes. AFAIK, no business association anywhere in Alexandria has come out in favor of bike lanes.

As for what I've been doing, BPAC pushed for bike lanes when that section of Mt Vernon was rebuilt (this was back when I was more heavily involved in BPAC). We were told that the narrow lanes would slow traffic (they do) and that bicycling would be OK (it isn't; instead we get low-speed aggressive driving; it is very uncomfortable). I do not know if city staff truly expected a different result. In any case, it was an educational experience for me on bike facility ideas versus reality.

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