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A flaw in your thought #4: FHWA requires shoulders on Interstates, and the standard is 10ft outside and either 4ft or 10ft inside, depending on if it's a rural or urban section...in this case, the latter. Furthermore, standard Jersey barriers themselves require 2ft of width.

a wise suggestion, your #4 is! well done.

i ride out there all the time. the trick is to ride through the neighborhoods behind MLK over to the main drag (210? 214?) as it goes uphill -- it has a big shoulder. you can then ride all the way down the road to Indian Head, passing where the [racers] ran into each other in a car drag race on scattering 8 dead bodies were all over the road...first class act the highway admini is, the outlines ofthe bodies can still be seen on the road (at least when youre on a bike)...

of course, the population of people over there is barely competent, and certainly economically enslaved, so you have to keep your eyes open and be alert. if you want a good chance to endure some violence ride the path through oxon hill farm after meandering through the ghetto to get to it (and bring fat tires the path is joke of "pavement" -- kinda like the CCT the first two miles, or the Met Branch "pavement" behind Catholic up until the dump, albeit worse...what morons approve and supervise these type of SUB par pavings?!).

oh, by the way, your #4 will never be built for all the (non)reasons given by the previous commentator! long live bureacracy, as participatory democracy is dead (just go to anacostia to witness it...)

Froggie, is that a requirement or a recommendation? Clearly there is a waiver process as I-66's shoulders are open to traffic for part of the day, 295's shoulders north of Oxon Cove are significantly narrower than what you've suggested and I've seen Interstates in Arizona where the shoulder was a bike lane. FHWA rules would be the least of my worries.

And maybe I was unclear on the jersey barrier. If you place (or more accurately center) it 5 feet from the edge that would take a foot from the bike area and a foot from the shoulder (because it's two feet) thus leaving the 4 foot bike area I mentioned.

If there's 20 feet of shoulder, as you described I'm even more hopeful. Make that 6 feet on each side. That leaves 2 feet for the barrier and 6 feet for bikes.

Wash: variances/waivers can be requested and made, but aside from that, it's a requirement. And it needs to be a very good reason why you're trumping safety in asking for the variance. Part of the approval for I-66 was twofold: the existing number of regular lanes needed to be maintained, and FHWA required VDOT to build "emergency parking areas" along the corridor.

Older Interstate highways (such as most of I-295, built back in the late 50s) were generally grandfathered in. However, any reconstruction or improvement projects involving federal funding require the road segment being worked on to be "brought up to code". I.e. the short part of 295 south of Oxon Cove that was rebuilt as part of the Wilson Bridge project.

Several western states (not just Arizona) allow bicycling on Interstate shoulders. But this is also twofold: often, the Interstate was built right on top of the old road, so there are no alternative routes for dozens of mines. And this is a case where state laws (with FHWA approval of course) dictate whether the shoulder can be used by bikes. Given that, in this region, you're rarely more than a mile or two from a "bikable alternative", I don't see allowing bikes on the Interstates to be a viable option.

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