I've been asleep on this one a bit, but luckily FABB has not. VDOT is holding a series of meetings on the future of I-66 as a multimodal facility. FABB and other bike advocates think this is a great opportunity to extend the Custis Trail from the W&OD Trail at 495 to Haymarket (which is a city, not a place where one can sell their hay. Take my word for it, you'll only make that mistake once). Such a facility is included in the Fairfax County Trails Plan as well as the Tier I I-66 FEIS (see more at FABB).
I think this is probably the biggest potential trails addition in the area that is out there.
One meeting has already been held, but there are two more this week
Please consider attending one of the I-66 meetings to learn more about the project and voice your support for bike access, or Take Action Now to insist that biking and walking be an integral part of the planned multi-modal improvements to the I-66 corridor.
Providing bicycle and pedestrian facilities along I-66 will:
Improve bicycle and pedestrian access to transit and surrounding neighborhoods
Promote biking for both long distance and short local trips
Reduce traffic congestion along I-66 and neighboring roads
Provide a great recreational asset and opportunities for physical fitness
Two other meetings are planned for next week:
Tuesday, February 3, at Oakton High School in Vienna from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 5, at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office in Fairfax from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
I guess it doesn't have to be the "Custis Trail", since it doesn't directly connect to the existing one. They could name it after someone else from Fairfax - like Lauren Graham.
Most readers by now know that Arlington added its first cycletrack on S. Hayes in August, and perhaps that the county plans to add another stretch to S. Eads this year (though talk was of doing it this September) between 15th and 23rd, but there is more that Arlington is working on and planning to do on top of that.
On S. Eads, the county will reduce the road from 4 lanes to 3 (one in each direction and center turning lane) to make room for the protected bike facility. This is a pilot project but if all goes well, it would become permanent.
Wilson Blvd between Rosslyn and Courthouse could also get a protected bike lane when it's repaved next year. This is in design and evaluation right now. Another project on Wilson will repave the road from N. Frederick to Manchester street in spring of 2015. That project will create bike lanes between Bluemont Park and N. Frederick Street. Sharrows will then connect those bike lanes to ones on N. George Mason Drive and the Bluemont Trail. Later those bike lanes could be converted to cycletracks.
Construction is expected to begin in late 2015 on improvements to the Custis Trail around the "Intersection of Doom" in Rosslyn. This will include widening the trail from 10 feet to 16, improving visibility at the Holiday Inn entrance, removing a lane from Lynn Street that will shorten the crossing there and adding waiting areas at both corners. Control of right turns on red are in development.
The County is working on a complete review of bicycle parking and planning to use an app to help them with this. Efforts include review of best practices from elsewhere, better coordination with other County agencies, installation of more bike parking in the curbside right-of-way (especially in commercial districts), changes to the zoning code to require bike parking minimums in all development and working with private property owners to add more bike parking. In addition, the County plans to start using an app called RackSpotter that will allow for crowdsourcing the location of every bike rack in the county in order to create a complete inventory as well as identify places where racks are needed. Users will also be able to see where the closest rack is, including a photo. Games to encourage use will be used. The product is currently in beta testing.
The County has nearly completed the installation of 280 on-street wayfinding signs planned for the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and 200 more along the Custis Trail. The County plans to add another 400 signs on its trail network in the near future.
The County now has 31 automated county devices including the Bikeometer in Rosslyn. The data from these can be viewed by anyone at this website.
Arlington does plan to clear snow from trails this winter, but maybe not from the W&OD Trail. NVRPA is concerned that the trail will be damaged during snow removal.
One unusual problem Arlington is dealing with is that the only contractor they had to paint bike lanes green went out of business, so they're trying to work through that setback to find a replacement.
The Bikeometer in Rosslyn is the first in the United States that is not on the West Coast. It provides a highly visible, engaging and fun view of the volume of bike usage on the Custis Trail in Arlington. Ride past the Bikeometer and notice the daily bike count tick off another digit and acknowledge another car-free trip in Arlington County. The information displayed is real time and also includes month and year to date data.
Expect to see some big numbers as the year goes on since the Custis trail accommodates around half a million bike trips per year!
Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette pulled the ribbon off with a Capital Bikeshare bike.
Realize Rosslyn is a new effort to promote public participation in a community planning process aimed at realizing the transformation of Rosslyn from a 1960’s auto-centric area into a vibrant and distinctive urban place featuring great housing, retail and office space.
A draft Rosslyn Plan Framework has just been released and the project team wants your input! Drop by to learn more about the proposed vision for the future of Rosslyn, and talk to project planners about the key principles that serve as the foundation of the plan. And tell us what you like or what could be better in terms of the public open space, transportation, and urban design and building form plan recommendations.
Drop in for as much or as little time as you have available, and help shape the future of Rosslyn! Light refreshments will be provided!
The plan framework is here. Below is the bike facilities portion
It looks like they include quite few cycle tracks in downtown, a trail connection from the Marine Corps Memorial to the Roosevelt Bridge (finally), and two other new connections to the MVT among other things.
But it doesn't seem to do much about the intersection of N. Lynn and the Mt. Vernon/Custis Trail. That's disappointing.
At NoMa's July 4th bash "Awards will be given to the best decorated bicycle, tricycle, 4-wheeler (wagon), and dog. There will be a Parade Decoration Station with materials for children to decorate their bicycles" You can also bike to the Palisades Parade with Tommy Wells and BicycleSpace.
Virginia may develop the air rights over I-66 near Rosslynn and East Falls Church Metro stations. These developments could represent opportunities to improve the Custis and W&OD Trails in those areas. "Arlington County is currently undertaking a review of the Rosslyn Sector Plan. As part of that process, development over I-66 in the northern and eastern edges of the Rosslyn Metro Station area can be evaluated. While there are no existing mixed-use development rights over the I-66 right-of-way at either Rosslyn or the East Falls Church Metro Station location, the East Falls Church Area Plan currently supports mixed use development on VDOT and WMATA's property next to I-66." Here's more with pictures of the areas.
Cindy Sheehan's cross-country bike ride, the "Tour de Peace" wound up coming into town across the Memorial Bridge at the same time that the pro-gun rights "Toy Gun March" was crossing the same bridge. "I didn't even know about another march across the street," said anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan with a laugh.
In Montreal, many apartment leases start on the same day of the year (July 1), leading to a shortage of moving trucks. So what does one do? "Aside from people simply carrying their worldly goods by hand down streets, some novel solutions to the congestion and cost have emerged. Claire Poirier said she was skeptical after learning that her two daughters had hired bicycle-powered movers to supplement two family cars for their move. But as family members looked on, the movers, Yohann Mouchboeuf and David Pelletier, piled and strapped two couches, a box spring, a bed frame, two mattresses, a large bookcase, a stove and full-sized refrigerator on two bicycle trailers before pedaling off. "
August 1st is reportedly the opening date for the new 0.1 mile section of the Met Branch Trail behind the Monroe Street Building.
Alexandria's ordinance making sidewalk cycling legal has some people upset. DCist really knows how to sell the change "Sidewalks throughout Alexandria could become a lot more crowded and difficult to navigate with the latest decision by the city's leaders." Well, that is one thing that COULD happen, but it almost surely will not. There will be a slight uptick in the number of sidewalk cyclists and the impact will be trivial on most people.
"The Virginia state government has issued a call to the private sector for ideas on improving Interstate 66 outside the Capital Beltway" How about extending the Custis Trail?
Chicago's bike sharing system, Divvy, start tomorrow; while LA's bike sharing system by Bike Nation hits a snag. They were going to use ad revenue to pay for it, "But advertising on a bicycle kiosk in Los Angeles falls under a city contract with CBS Outdoor and JCDecaux, which jointly hold the rights through 2021 to sell advertising on "street furniture," which includes bus stops, public toilets and newsstands." Does that sound familiar?
On a recent edition of The Tommy Show on 94.7 FM, many callers complained about cyclists. Mostly listeners were just ranting, but Tommy later admitted that "they could have done it in a more educational manner."
When you bike the Custis Trail, you pass right by the grave of a Revolutionary War Veteran. A recent Eagle Scout project added a handrail to allow access between the cemetery and the trail.
So much about bike sharing
Other trailblazing cities (that's us) seem to be looking on to NYC's rollout with a bit of exasperation. For a local element 'Meanwhile, Chris Holben, project manager for Capital Bikeshare in Washington, defended his city’s claim to being the country’s bike share pacesetter. “It is the most successful, to date,” he said. “We’ll see what happens in a couple more weeks.”'
Meanwhile, Chicago is starting the process by discovering that there are overage fees and that the bikes cost $1200. You don't say? Can we just send them all of our pre-CaBi news articles to cut, paste and reprint? And I love this quote: "Nobody is going to pay $75 — plus daily overtime fees — to ride a bike a few times. And if you ride a lot, you will ride your own bike," he said.
Businessweek predicts that CitiBike won't make money. They may be right, because expanding the system beyond the ideal profit point is probably in the city's best interest. But they may also be wrong, and I suspect the system could turn a profit if that were the goal (not counting what it would cost to rent all the land needed for the stations).
Earl Blumenauer thinks New Yorkers will love it. "Closer to home, I’ve watched Capital Bikeshare, Washington’s bike share program, begin to redefine the city. From its onset in 2011 with 49 stations and 400 bikes, the system has exploded in less than three years of operation — celebrating its four-millionth rider this spring. Now the system has 224 stations and 1,900 bikes throughout the region, becoming the only mass transit system in America that fully pays its operating cost.I witness it on a daily basis being used by tourists, people on errands, and even those commuting to work. The New York system, with three times the bikes and 75 more stations, is poised to enjoy even greater and more rapid success.
Jonathan Maus visits the US DOT HQ in SE. I don't find M Street or New Jersey Ave to be so difficult to bike, but I'll agree they could be better. "there's a strong core of bike commuters at USDOT" and "I asked Lesh if the FTA would ever accept bikeshare as an officially recognized public transit option. He said it's too early for that; but it could happen in a few years"
VDOT is holding public hearings on changes to I-66. FABB is asking cyclists to go to the hearings and ask that the Custis Trail be extended in Fairfax County in keeping with the County Trails Plan.
The Newtown riders arrived in DC today. "Before riding into D.C. to meet at the Capitol, the group will meet up with members of the Virginia Tech cycling team. Frank says Virginia Tech alum and rider Omar Samaha told him that his team would follow the Sandy Hook riders, but Frank insisted the two teams would ride side by side."
Arlington County will host a series of community events this week as part of the next round of public workshops for Realize Rosslyn, the effort to update the Rosslyn Sector Plan.
Read the transcript from the Kojo show yesterday. Veronica Davis of Black Women Bike showed up in place of Carolyn Szczepanski.
As presented to the Arlington BAC by County Staff (new information in bold)
1. On-street improvements - For the next couple months staff will be scoping out bike network improvements to two important north/south corridors: N. Harrison Street and S. Eads Street. Details have yet to be worked out, but both projects should include significant extensions of the bike lanes. The implementation of both projects will be contingent upon the County's resurfacing plans (and budget) for 2013. Preliminary layouts will be presented to the BAC for discussion prior to final plans. Final paving and resurfacing plan expected in March.
2. Construction of the new FHWA-funded wider sidewalks and buffer along S. Joyce Street under I-395 is largely complete and open for use. (Street lighting, signals and counting equipment are still to be done.) Public "ribbon cutting" to take place in March.
3. Short term safety improvements to the Rosslyn Circle area are complete. Deficient curb ramps at all the corners surrounding and including Gateway Park (except for three) have been rebuilt to meet current ADA standards. The remaining corners, NW and NE corners of WB Lee Hwy/Custis Trail at Lynn Street and NE corner of Lee Hwy/Custis Trail at Ft. Myer Drive, will be done in conjunction with the larger Rosslyn Circle project which is at 60% design and currently being reviewed by VDOT.
4. Washington Boulevard Trail Phase II - Staff has preliminary agreement from the Department of the Navy to renegotiate a new access easement that would reduce impacts on existing trees and allow the trail to be located further away from a streambed. Implementation of the trail is still planned to start in 2013.
5. Design work has begun on the creation of a short trail link in Bluemont Park between the Four Mile Run trail and Manchester Street near Ashlawn Elementary School. Construction is planned for 2013.
6. Planning work is about to commence on the design of a new ADA compliant trail linking Potomac Yard with the Four Mile Run trail. This multi-year project will involve the Four Mile Run Joint Task Force (JTF) which is composed of Alexandria and Arlington citizens and staff.
7. Staff is working with the NVRPA to get approvals to replace extraneous signage and markings with consistent and appropriate traffic controls along the W&OD trail. Implementation planned for spring 2013. Awaiting feedback.
8. Installation of Wayfinding signage along the Custis Trail will begin in February. First installations will be between George Mason Drive and the Lee Highway crossing near Cherrydale. Phase I will incorporate the entire Rosslyn-Ballston on-street network and the Custis Trail between Rosslyn and Ballston. Planning has begun for the next phase, which will include the remainder of Arlington's major trails.
9. Ten of the County's first automated bike lane counters have been installed this season. Locations include Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square, Quincy Street near Central Library, Military Road and Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards in Clarendon. Three new automated trail counters have been installed, bringing our total off street counter network to 15. Two more trail counters will be installed as part of the S. Joyce Street project (see #2). Staff is working closely with Arlington County Commuter Services (ACCS) webmasters to make count data available to the public some time in March.
10. 21 new bike racks were installed in December and January, including the County's first in-street racks (in front of the Java Shack).
11. Staff has developed options for keeping major trails accessible during ice and snow events this winter. One option involves utilizing County equipment and staff, another involves hiring contractors. If a plan is agreed upon to use one or the other (or a combination of both) there may still be time for snow clearing on the trails to take place this season. Awaiting County Manager feedback.
12. Staff is refining the design of the new Carlin Springs Road bridge over George Mason Drive. The new bridge planned for construction in 2014 will include 6ft wide bike lanes and sidewalks.
13. The intersection of the W&OD Trail at Lee Highway in East Falls Church is being redesigned to better align the trail, improve queuing areas at the crosswalk and improve accessibility. A related, but separate effort to reduce conflicts with turning traffic by changing signal operations, is also underway.