I had a dream that they finished the Met Branch Trail in DC, but as an art installation, they added a ninja along the trail that would try to kill you as you rode by. So, you had to go fast. I remember thinking "I support the arts, but this is a bad idea." Now that I'm awake, I stand by that position.
Stabbing on the Four Mile Run Trail. "A witness say the woman was walking alone near Glencarlyn Park at about 11 a.m. when a man jumped out of the bushes, grabbed her from behind and began attacking her with the knife."
Details on last week's drunken driver on the W&OD Trail incident. "An intoxicated McLean woman drove at high speed for five miles down a popular Northern Virginia recreational trail Saturday night, sending trail users scrambling for safety before the car struck and seriously injured a bicyclist, police said." She's been charged with drunken driving and felony hit-and-run. "Police have not named the [victim], and a police spokeswoman did not know his condition Sunday afternoon." She was reportedly going 50 mph. She lucky that more people weren't hit.
Sen. Rand Paul uses his love of biking to bolster his claim that "Republicans care just as deeply about the environment as Democrats." [But isn't planting a Sequoia in Kentucky actually equivalent to planting an invasive species]
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.
Arlington Boulevard, South Side Trail Extension Study - Extending the east side/south side Arlington Blvd trail to Washington Boulevard and continuing the trail south along Washington Boulevard to 2nd Street S. and Columbia Pike was deemed infeasible by the study, so funding was shifted to the west/north side of Arlington Blvd. An extension to Columbia Pike along Washington Blvd is in design with construction planned for 2014.
Boundary Channel Bridge Underpass Trails - A trail to Boundary drive was constructed as part of the Humpback Bridge Project, but completion was halted due to DOD security concerns. Possible construction of roundabout interchange at I-395 and Boundary Drive in conjunction with the Long Bridge Park aquatics center could provide a DOD-acceptable trail connection.
Crystal Drive and Potomac Ave. Bike Lanes - Crystal Drive bike
lanes to be extended in 2013
S. Joyce Street Bike Lanes from Columbia Pike to 15th Street - Bike lanes
from Army Navy Dr. to 15th St complete as part of FHWA project under I-395, which will be completed in January 2013.
Old Jefferson Davis Highway Bike Lanes - First phase
implemented along Long Bridge Drive in 2012.
Extension to Boundary Drive will be done in conjunction with Phase II of the Long Bridge Park project.
Route 110 South Trail Paving - Project requires a complete reconstruction of trail, new highway ramp crossings and a retaining
wall. This project is currently at 50% engineering, with design to be completed in 2014, followed by the NPS required Environmental Assessment (EA)
Washington Blvd. Trail – West Side Trail- Phase I completed in
(0.3 mile) Phase II currently being redesigned
to reduce tree canopy impact. Approximately at 90% design. Construction planned
Columbia Pike Parallel Bike Routes - Designed as “bike
boulevards”. First implementation planned for 2013.
Pentagon Area Trail - DOD security concerns have forced the project off of the Pentagon Reservation, so it has been re-envisioned as the Army Navy
Drive/Joyce Street cycle track project. Phase I design, including provisions for
streetcar, will occur in FY 2013-2014 with construction in 2015.
W&OD Crossing at Columbia Pike - Designed as at-grade
intersection improvements. In 2013 construction queue.
Arlington Boulevard Trail Renovation - Sections between
Irving & Filmore Streets under design or in queue for construction.
Four Mile Run and W&OD Trail Connector -North and south
approaches partially rebuilt in 2011. Requires bridge replacement to complete. Design planned for FY2014.
Four Mile Run Bridge - Currently under
design. Source of construction funding
needs to be identified.
Potomac Yard – Four Mile run Trail Connector - Currently under
design. Railroad viaduct to be
demolished in 2013.
Rosslyn Circle Area Improvements - Tunnel - West Bound lane reduction and
other safety improvements approved by VDOT at 50% design, but tunnel is not included in the Rosslyn Circle
proposal. Short-term elements
Washington Boulevard Sidewalk Upgrade - Route 110 overpass
being redesigned by VDOT. Complete
corridor requires VDOT & DoD approvals.
W&OD Trail Crossing at Lee Highway - Ramps and trail
alignments to be revised in 2013. Signal
modifications also under consideration.
15th and 16th Streets N. Bicycle Route - On bike network
map. Possible future bike boulevard.
15th Street S. Bicycle Lanes - Bike lanes marked
Hayes St. to Eads St. Eads St to Crystal
18th Street S. Bicycle Lanes - Partially complete. Bell St. to Crystal Drive incomplete.
Fairfax Drive Bike Lanes - Arlington Boulevard
RSTP enhancement study will address bike facilities.
Fairfax Drive Bicycle Route - Possible uphill bike
lane to be marked after completion of Route 50/Courthouse Rd interchange
Kirkwood Road Bike Lanes - To be evaluated in
Military Road Sharrows - To be implemented
after Five-Points project. 2014.
N. George Mason Drive Bicycle Lanes or Sharrows - Bike lanes and sharrows
added in 2012.
N. Pershing Drive Bicycle Route - Placed on
bike map in 2011. Possible upgrade to bike lanes with “nub shaving”.
S. Courthouse Road Bicycle Lanes or Sharrows - Active project. To be
S. Lynn Street /S. Arlington Ridge Road Bicycle Lanes - Uphill bike lane to
be incorporated into next paving
Virginia Square–Cherrydale Bicycle Route - To be implemented
after installation of HAWK signal on Washington Blvd. at Nelson St.
N. 26th Street Bicycle Boulevard - Added to bike network
in 2013 map revision.
N. Harrison Street Bicycle Boulevard - Continuity
improvements planned for 2013.
Washington Boulevard Wide Curb Lanes/Sharrows - Bike lanes
implemented between Westover and N. Harrison St. in 2012
N. Carlin Springs Road Bicycle Lanes - Bike lanes and
sharrows implemented in 2012. Southward extension pending bridge rebuild.
I really wish DDOT could update its list of projects regularly and make it publicly available as Arlington does.
It's a shame about the Pentagon Ares Trail. That project is described as "an on‐ and off‐street bikeway to link Columbia Pike at S. Rolfe
Street with Southgate Road, the Pentagon, and Boundary Drive. At Boundary
Drive, a connection would be made to the trail and underpass [Humpback Bridge stub] that
leads to the Mount Vernon Trail and the 14th Street Bridge. The project would
provide a safer and more direct route for commuting through federal property]. It really is unfortunate that they've deemed a bicycle and pedestrian trail a security concern. Maybe someday we'll be more hardy again.
Nationwide, bike commuting in 2011 is up to 0.56% share of all commuters - from 0.5% in 2010. In DC it's up to 3.15% from 3.1% and in Alexandria to 0.79% from 0.7%. But in Arlington and Silver Spring it's down. In the former from 1.4% to 1.29% (Still the 2nd best showing ever) and in the latter from 0.7% to 0.19%. But the margin of error is pretty high.
"Arlington County has installed brand new fitness equipment along a stretch of the Four Mile Run Trail near Shirlington."
The Indian Head Rail Trail looks at ways to capitalize on it's proximity to business as it plans to expand. "Indian Head has received two grants for the construction of a connector
trail, to improve safety at its entry, and a trailhead plaza on the
town’s Village Green...Eventually, they’d like to bring the trail to connect with the Three
Notch Trail in St. Mary’s County, which he estimated will take another
five to six years to complete." That would make the trail about 52 miles long.
An 18 year old man, Eric Foreman, has been convicted of first-degree premeditated murder while armed in the shooting death of cyclist Neil Godleski. "According to government evidence, Godleski was biking home when Foreman fired at him, but missed. Godleski fell off his bike and Foreman walked over to him and shot him at close range."
Innovation finally comes to the simple inverted U bike rack. "The company's "no-scratch" adaptation to the traditional rack uses a rubberlike bumper to protect the bike frame from contact with the stainless steel, ensuring the bike remains scuff-free." They also have a bike rack for mass parking that uses angled parking to keep handles from intertwining.
John Pucher and Ralph Buehler have a new book coming out called "City Cycling." In it they argue that "the bike boom needs to be expanded to a broader cross-section of people. Almost all the growth in cycling in America has come from men aged 25-64." That's actually a pretty big group of people - maybe 1/3 of Americans. "Rates of cycling have actually fallen slightly among women and sharply among children, most probably because of nervousness about safety. But in fact cycling is getting safer all the time. According to a paper* by Messrs Pucher and Buehler with Mark Seinen, fatalities per 10m bike trips fell by 65% between 1977 and 2009, from 5.1 to 1.8. In their book, the authors claim that the health benefits of cycling far exceed the safety risks."
This is your usual Level 1, "cyclists are a menace" editorial. I like how current behavior is labelled a "recipe for disaster" followed by a sentence pointing out that it isn't actually a disaster. Perhaps people modified the recipe. Anyway, Ockershausen calls for cyclists to be licensed, required to wear helmets and follow the same laws as automobile drivers, as appropriate. She'll be happy to know that 1/3 of her wishlist is done. This is all followed with a lot of erroneous helmet data. She adds "It's time for cyclists to be held accountable in the same way motorists are." Done. Cyclists are basically not held accountable, just like drivers.
This presentation about Arlington's Capitol Improvement Program has a lot of information about transit projects, at least one cool photo of the excavations done to build the new elevators at Rosslyn Metro and the first look at the new, stylish Clarendon metro plaza that I've seen. In addition there are some updates on cycling projects. Highlights:
The Boundary Channel Drive Interchange, which should create a new connection across the GW Parkway, will begin federally-required Interchange Modification Study in FY 2013
Construction of the Columbia Pike parallel bike boulevards will begin at the western end in 2013
Army-Navy Drive Two-Way Cycletrack funding
Potomac Yard/FMR Trail Connection funding
CaBi expansion to Shirlington and Columbia Pike in FY 2013/14
Colored bike lanes in Pentagon City
Bicycle parking at Clarendon Metro
Bicycle parking at Ballston Metro
The removal of the last 2500 parking meters by 2016
On Saturday, the Arlington County Board \approved a $2.4-billion, 10-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Most of the press about this has related to the streetcar element of this, but worry not, for there are several bicycle projects included as well. The CIP includes capital investments (pdf) for Fiscal Years 2013-2022.
Some of these projects will be paid for with General Obligation (GO) Bonds, which have to approved by voters this fall. There are 4 referendum to be voted on totally $153 million.
GO Bond Projects
One of the four referenda is the $31.9 million Transportation referenda. Of it $254,000 will go to BikeArlington for FY 2013.
The BikeArlington program makes physical enhancements to Arlington's bicycle infrastructure, including trails and streets. The intent of the program is to complete the bicycle network, making the network safe to use, providing intuitive and easy to understand wayfinding and traffic control. The program provides safe and convenient bike parking and ultimately increase the number riders and their riding frequency to make bicycle usage a more significant travel mode. The program funds five types of projects: new construction of multi-use trails; trail renovations and safety improvements; expansion of bike lanes and other on-street facilities; installation of bike parking; and bike network wayfinding. Projects range is scale from small intersection adjustments and spot fixes to 1/2 mile segments of new trails. The program coordinates with the Neighborhood Conservation (NC) program, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Transportation Engineering & Operations (TE&O) to achieve multiple long term infrastructure and operational goals that span multiple departments and constituencies.
BikeArlington will also recieve $200,000 from car decal fees, $10,000 from transportation capital funds and $500,000 from federal funding. The program also has $2.808 million in previously approved funding to work with as well.
$2.5 million in GO Bond money will go the Boundary Channel Drive Interchange project in 2013. This will, among other things, create "critical bike and pedestrian connections" from Crystal City to the Mount Vernon Trail. I'm not sure if this is the bridge from Long Bridge Park or finding a way to connect to the dead-end trail from the Humpback Bridge's southern underpass. Regardless, it's funded through the next 3 fiscal years. Bike lanes are already being installed on Long Bridge Drive as part of an ongoing project.
Another $30,000 of the GO Bond money will go to the Potomac Yard/Four Mile Run Trail Connection which "will provide an ADA compliant shared use trail of approximately 250 feet traversing the steep grade between Potomac Yard and the Four Mile Run trail, below. Project will necessarily require significant grading and retaining walls." $786,000, much of it federal funding, is budgeted for this over the next 3 years.
Projects that don't need GO Bond funding
Capital Bikeshare will recieve $200,000 from car decal fees and use $1.243 million in previously approved funding in FY 2013 for expansion and operations, but then the budget drops as no more expansion is planned. The program will continue to use $200k in decal fee revenue and another $200k in state and federal funding to keep the program running.
The Columbia Pike Streets project will include parallel bike routes on 9th St. S. and 12th St. S. ("Bike Boulevards"). Design is scheduled to be complete in fall 2013, with construction to start the following spring and end in summer of 2017.
The Crystal City Streets Network Program is designed to bring and support multi-modal transportation in Crystal City. "Projects include revised and new roadway alignments, improved intersection geometry, two-way traffic patterns, updated traffic signals, bike lanes, new signage and striping, utility undergrounding, accessible clear zone sidewalks and crosswalks, new street lights, street trees, and modern transit shelter facilities. Project locations include Crystal Drive, Clark Bell Street, 12th Street, 18th Street, 23rd Street, and 27th Street." Funding is planned for FY13-18. There is also a program to expand capacity at the Crystal City Metro Station that includes more bike parking in both phases (FY13 and FY15-16).
Bike lanes are also included in the Rosslyn-Ballston Arterial Streets Improvement projects, and bike parking to address increasing bicycle mode share is "anticipated" as part of a modification of the Ballston Metrorail Station. It's funded over the next 10 years.
Army-Navy Drive will be put on a road diet that will allow for the addition of a two-way cycle-track on the south side of the ROW. The project is funded from FY13-FY17.
There's also Maintenance Capital (MC) money that is used to maintain trails.
the Transportation MC program coordinates with the Parks MC program on the maintenance of bicycle and pedestrian trails, since roughly half of the off-road bicycle network is outside park boundaries, and the off-street bicycle network investments must be jointly coordinated with the on-street bicycle network and pavement marking priorities
This includes $273,000 in car decal fee money for the Custis Trail in 2016 for design and construction for milling and paving, asphalt repair, drainage and site furnishings.