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And also speaking of snow, today's Bethesda Gazette quotes a Mont. Co. Parks Dept. Director saying they cannot treat the CCT any differently than any other trail.

Cyclists seek snow...

That is like saying you can't treat the beltway differently than a country road.

How about we try your clearing the trails concept with regular streets first and see how the drivers do it? ;-)

I am disappointed with the lack of clearing the Mount Vernon trail (and others who use major trails like the CCT etc probably are as well). I guess cyclists don't really count. After all, we are only accounting for 1% of all trips made.

I like Wayne's analogy!

I know, cyclists shouldn't have to clear the trail. But sometimes, you have to be your own hero.

washcycle: I think the Omaha example is workable. If all there is to do is clear up defined small sections (e.g. a wooden bridge or a narrow part where the plow cannot operate), I think the Washington area cyclists could handle it. However, if you have to kill yourself just by getting to the trail, that is not really workable.

I love this comment by the MoCo southern region division chief for parks:
"If you start clearing snow on trails, you give the perception it's going to be a safe and clear passage, and you set yourself up for failure," Woodward said. "I think the best think to do is to let people know they are using it at their own risk."

Can you imagine saying this as the MoCo souther region division chief for roads?

I think that the thinking about maintenance of way (MOW is what the railroads call it) hasn't kept up with changes in balancing planning by mode. Streets have dominated transportation planning and operations, and sidewalk and bicycle facilities maintenance has lagged, just as provision for B&P facilities has lagged.

This should become a bigger issue over time as people make a point of it.

Trails are sticky issues too because typically they are managed by parks authorities, and most parks close at dusk.

What do you do when certain segments of trails act as trunklines for commuting purposes?

Night riding, MOW in both snow and rain, and lighting become issues.

Dupage County IL has a trail maintenance policy, but it doesn't include snow removal. I queried them about it and they said that they do have some separate agreements for parts of trails that support commuting.

I was reading a trail planning guide from Australia (they didn't have to worry about snow) and it's very interesting the kinds of things you need to consider when planning multi-use trails.

In the planning study I am running now, we will be sure to raise these issues. How they will be reconciled, I don't know.

FWIW, last night I saw a guy walking his two dogs, and one of the dogs carried a blinking red light to alert others to his presence...

Trails are sticky issues too because typically they are managed by parks authorities, and most parks close at dusk.

Allow me to rephrase: Trails are managed by parks authorities, who have no clue how to run transportation facilities. That's the real problem.

In some places, trails are managed as part of the department of transportation, i.e., Tempe, AZ, because transpo funding tends to fund their development.

In my study, I am looking at the park dept. as an opportunity, because of the potential for generating money from bonding authority.

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