Arlington, VA. The Arlington Historical Society (AHS) will host historian Ron Beavers for a fascinating talk about a little-used railroad – the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad – that once ran through Arlington County but is today one of the Washington area’s most popular bike trails. Learn what caused this transformation – from an underachieving rail line to a major contributor to the Union war effort – and what became of this railroad after the Civil War. The presentation will be held at the society’s public program on Thursday, November 14, 2013.
Though now a beloved path for both commuters and recreationalists from Arlington to Loudoun County, the original plan for the AL&H was impressive. Entrepreneurial Virginians hopes to compete with the B&O Railroad for the rich coal fields of what is now West Virginia. But engineering difficulties and financial struggles impeded these plans, reducing the rail line to a local carrier for freight, mail and people just before the Civil War. When the war came, the western portion of this railroad suffered complete destruction. The eastern facilities (Alexandria and Arlington) fared much better. Their contribution to the Union war effort was crucial to success in the Eastern Theater of Military operations. Ownership returned to AL&H directors after the war, but their original plan to reach West Virginia never came to fruition. The rail line went through many reorganizations and mergers, yet continued to serve Arlington and Northern Virginia until the 1960s. Last known as the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad, it ultimately became a 44 mile-long park that we now call the W&OD hiker/biker trail.
Beavers last spoke before the Arlington Historical Society in March 2013 about Arlington County’s retrocession to Virginia in 1847. It was a very well-received and well-attended presentation, with more than 100 people present. Beavers is a seventh-generation Virginian and retired federal employee with a life-long interest in history and railroads. He is a re-enactor, living historian, and speaker at numerous Civil War Living History events, Civil War Round Tables, civic associations and historical societies. Beavers is also a volunteer at Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
The hour-long program will begin at 7:00 p.m. at Arlington Central Library Auditorium (1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA). A question-and-answer session will follow. The program is free and open to the public. For more information about this program, please contact Garrett Peck at 571-243-1113 or [email protected]. For additional Central Library information, please contact 703-228-5990.
About AHS: The Arlington Historical Society, founded in 1956, is a non-profit organization under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The AHS mission is to help Arlingtonians better understand our community through its history. For more information, please visit www.arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org.
Post calls for a balanced approach to end congestion "First, and most obvious, we have to spend the money on the right mix of investments in road and bridge projects, Metrorail, bus service, and bike and pedestrian facilities. The public needs to insist that its tax dollars pay for a balanced approach that will yield the greatest overall reduction in congestion."
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. "
Continuation of a shared-use asphalt-paved trail along Gunston Road connecting the Pohick Bay Golf Course and the main entrance to Mason Neck State Park
Construction of a shared-use trail connecting the Occoquan Regional Park and the
Laurel Hill Greenway. The proposed segment will be approximately 1850' in length
with an 18' cross section, including a 10' shared use path, a 4' natural surface path
and the appropriate clear zones for an ADA compliant shared use path.
Town of Vienna - Pedestrian improvements at the station and W&OD trail crossing including
sidewalks, curb ramps and crosswalks.
Town of Haymarket - Streetscape improvements along Washington Street including 5-foot on-street bike
lanes on both sides of Washington Street
Storen has since moved downtown. Biking has become a less appealing option, so he hasn’t yet gone that route this season.
“Maybe if I get a little more achiever in me, if I want to achieve a little bit more with my biking abilities,” he joked. “But there are potholes downtown. It’s tough.”
Jonathan Krall of the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee argues that cyclists aren't really scofflaws, it just looks that way. "The mistaken idea that cyclists are less cautious than others has its root in two facts. First, while drivers and pedestrians generally have clearly assigned space on our streets, cyclists do not. In an effort to squeeze the round peg of bicycling into the square hole of our roadways, the law generally allows cyclists to use either traffic lanes or sidewalks....Second, because bicycles have safety advantages over cars, a “safe” rolling stop on a bicycle is faster than a “safe” rolling stop in a car. "
And the letter that prompted it. "So long as bicycles aren’t required to be registered and have visible forms of identification, like automobiles’ license plates, bicyclists will feel licensed to behave unaccountably."
Jon Stewart on Citibike in New York "Full Pedal Jacket" (see below). In the first segment, he spends much of the time poking fun at bike sharing and worring about helmets. But then in the second segment, he goes after all the sillyness from critics including, yes - Rabinowitz (aka Rabidowitz).
The drunk W&OD Trail driver refused a breath test and was unable to complete a field sobriety test after she was pulled over. "She said she was coming from Mexico,” said Gary Lose, a Vienna police spokesman. Maybe she was referring to Foggy Bottom, which I once saw labelled as "Mexico" in a map from the 18th Century.
Do bike helmets really work? Probably, but not as much as the government has claimed - so they're backing off of that (more on this later)
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]
I think bike sharing will truly arrive when I hear it mentioned in a Country song.
"Two bikes were taken from two people Friday evening in two robberies on the edge of Capitol Hill. But it appeared that at least two of the robbers did not get far."
Yes, delivery companies do view parking in bike lanes as just part of the job. "Downtown delivery drivers say that new bike lanes, some of which eliminated parking spaces, have added to their challenge. “I get maybe two tickets a day,” said a UPS driver as he unloaded his van beside a bike lane on 15th Street near M Street. “It’s been worse since they put in the bike lanes.”" I support larger tickets, but perhaps we also need more loading zones and/or performance parking. This is a little like immigration, we need to make doing it legally cheaper and easier than doing it illegally.