Design Template by Bikingtoronto

« Eastern Protected Bike Lane meeting do-over much less contentious | Main | Apex Building site - 16' wide Capital Crescent Trail and 10k sq.ft. of bike parking beneath »


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

East of Washington Blvd, it is a no brainer to put in a protected bike lane -- high volume of cars coming off of 50 (i.e. speeding), connection to the 50 trail. Plenty of room to do it.

But, where you put the PBL depends on what you do west of Washington Blvd. Do we cede the most direct and easy-to-follow route (Pershing) to cars, and say we'll always be content with a bike blvd on 7th and 5th? Note that 5th doesn't make it all the way to Washington, so we'd need a counter-flow bike lane on the one-way block of 7th, plus clear signage to show the way from 7th to 5th. We should also be asking for stop signs to be turned so the 7th-5th bike blvd doesn't mean stopping every block. Finally, we need a better connection between 5th and Quincy (the street doesn't go through and the sidewalk connection is tricky, especially with a cargo bike, and, of course, not signed). If so, maybe it makes more sense to have a 2-way PBL on the north side of Pershing west of Washington, to make the transition to 7th easier for those heading east.

Or do we say that people on bikes deserve to direct routes, recognize that Pershing is not a comfortable, low stress route, and that we need PBLs on the length of Pershing?

Or do we at least start with PBLs on the length of Pershing and possibly negotiate down to a bike blvd but only with a funded, scheduled commitments to make the needed improvements?

I used to live a block off of pershing and glebe.

I usually avoided pershing for two reasons:

1. Lack of bike lanes on a fairly busy road.
2. It has a lot of up and down sections compared to similar streets. Why Pershing is hilly while 5th is not I don't know.

The second one wasn't as big of a factor but combined with the first I didn't like dealing with it.

But now with the nice US 50 trail this would have been a great connection for me and everyone else in that neighborhood for a fairly hassle free trip down towards Rosslyn and DC.

5th street already is a pretty good bike boulevard but the intersections along it alternate who gets stop signs which meant that I usually slowed down even when I had the ROW simply because I saw too many people do rolling stops at the intersections that were controlled.

I used to live near Pershing, well within the area shown in the first map above. I ride through that area once every few months when I visit the Clarendon area.

- If Arlington puts sharrows on Pershing, they won't be fooling anyone but themselves. This is an unsafe street for bicycling. Sharrows do not make an unsafe street safe.

- Sharrows would be useful to help mark a bike boulevard parallel to Pershing on streets that are already safe for bicycling. Doing so would help people find the safe bicycling route and would make that route safer. Sharrows do not make an unsafe street safe, but they can make a safe street safer.

- Pershing is a through street. People driving on Pershing are likely to feel that they don't have a good alternative and are likely to respond to the presence of bicycles by driving aggressively. The proposed improvements will likely slow down traffic, resulting in lower-speed aggressive driving (the narrowed street slows drivers, but also add to the feeling of being trapped). It is similar to the recently-rebuilt section of Mt Vernon Ave, just south of West Glebe in Alexandria. In this comment I am relating my experience from that failed (IMO) project, in the neighborhood here I now live.

I moved away from NOMA because there was virtually no place to bike. I happen to be moving to this neighborhood. This is a neighborhood street.

Yet the purpose of this redesign is to reinforce commuters in using this street as a cut through. Notice that the car lanes are 12'. This redesign makes neither pedestrians, nor people on bikes safer.

What would make it safer?
1) Narrower lanes and removal of center line
2) Diverted traffic- If cars are not allowed to continue straight through this street, people will tend to use other roads
3) Lower speed limit to 20mph
4) Speed bumps ever block
5) Stop signs at intersections

Given the above changes I would use it to bike. Otherwise, I encourage people to ask VDOT to take the sharrows off. Nothing in the above design makes the street safer.

Coming from Fairfax, those intersection modifications make me jealous--VDOT won't even consider them here because cars. (Instead, the preferred approach would be to add two turn lanes, a slip lane, and to remove one crosswalk to prevent pedestrians from crossing on one leg of the intersection.)

Pershing is a neighborhood street roughly parallel to 50, Wilson, and Fairfax. It has no business serving as a major commuter route, and it shouldn't cater to through-drivers.

I like eawrist's ideas for this street. Narrow the road and install speed tables every couple blocks. Possibly place a diverter or two, although they might not be necessary once the traffic is calmed. I'd avoid stop signs, which are at least as much of a nuisance to bicycles as they are to drivers.

With all the parked cars and driveways, a PBL would make this road more dangerous, not less, for bicycle riders. It could work if off-street parking on Pershing were entirely eliminated, but it still wouldn't make for nearly as bike friendly a route as the traffic calming measures would accomplish.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Banner design by

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader