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SWEET! JUMPS! Only when there is no on coming traffic of course :)

Rode this this evening on the commute home. Here's what I don't get. If they were able to devote the time and effort to make some speed bumps, why did they not just lay asphalt the whole way down from the beginning and give us something bordering on a real detour? I even see evidence some days that they've tamped down or steamrolled the dirt. How much harder would it have been to do with a little asphalt?!

What a mess. The "traffic calming" rigid fencing, the hillbillied speed bumps, the stones that punctured one of my tires...

As always, a hearty 'bravo' to NPS, and your FHWA FLH chums, for spicing up my mundane bicycle commute with daily challenges of skill and logic. Your bicycle engineering reminds me of the infamous Jim Zorn "swinging gate" play -- unfathomably ill-conceived and inexplicably repeated.

Think about all the effort they have put into making this absolutely miserable for commuters and recreational users. Someone deserves an "On The Spot" recognition!

But seriously, putting a soft asphalt speed bump at the top and bottom while simultaneously narrowing the detour with metal barriers is just the NPS's way of giving all non-motorized traffic a big middle finger!

How very disappointing.

Very disappointing what they have done here.

Didn't take a picture of it, but now from the south, under the 14th St bridge, there is one of those big flashing signs that states that the path narrows and "bikes (or is it bikers? can't recall) please dismount".

That is one of the "best" traffic designs I have seen in a long time. Let's shrink the path with a fence and put speed bumps at both ends of the gravel ramp.... NPS nice job.

I rode the previous detour configuration for the first time on my commute Monday morning and thought it couldn't be much worse. I should have known better than to doubt NPS!

After taking yesterday off, I was back at it today for a go at the new design. This is definitely much, much worse. Kudos, NPS!

...and for all of the overthinking that went into this (speedbumps! variable message sign! barrier fencing!), i don't recall there being any stop or yield direction for anyone at the three-way intersection they've created.

None of you get it. This is the new MVT Cyclocross Mystery Challenge! And you haven't really experienced the detour until you've tried it on rollerblades.

Wait for some snow. This would make for a great thirty feet of downhill skiing. I'm sure that's what NPS had in mind... if they add speed bumps along the way down, not just at the ends, it could be a moguls course!

I discovered this in the dark last night. Didn't notice the new bump at the top, and then almost got thrown by the one at the bottom. For all the warning at the bottom, there was nothing at the top. Cyclocross Mystery Challenge indeed!

Good grief. This has gone from bad to laughable. Does anyone at NPS or this construction contractor actually ride a bike?

@ohmypolarbear: Look closely again at the top. There's a really "high quality" handwritten sign where the detour markers are.

Actually it's probably nearly impossible to see in the dark... but then what else would you expect?

Could they have designed it any worse? Maybe a pit full of alligators in the middle that you have to clear pitfall-style?

I cannot help but think that the person at NPS responsible for this just wants to send users of the Mount Vernon Trail a simple message and this is it: http://bit.ly/eE2aPy

high speed bicyclists running down senior citizens with walkers? Or is this just something someone at NPS thought was the right thing to do to make bicyclists behave properly?

(Several years ago SEPTA in Philadelphia changed their bicycle policy to officially limit the number of bicyclists per car even when permitted during off peak hours, but would never reply to questions asking if there had been a problem)

I'm having trouble with the comment form.

Was there an actual problem this was supposed to address (e.g. bicycle racers running down senior citizens), or is this just a measure someone at NPS thought was clearly a good idea?

Angelo, it's part of a temporary trail detour, not an attempt to slow cyclists.

That picture is classic! I love the face.

I think the reason for the "bump" is to keep the gravel on the detour from spilling out onto the trail at the bottom creating a fall hazard.

Question is, How is everyone going so fast as to have the bump cause a loss of control? Isn't there a hard (+90 degree) turn to the right at the bottom? Maybe this bump is to keep the village idiot from doing 40 mph and either weaving into the oncoming lane, or better, for those that need to have society protect them from themselves (think attorney's thought process) from going into the river.

This may also be theresult from everyone complaining before that this detour was a hazard. Now they put in speed bumps to slow people down to keep them from falling. Careful what you ask for, because you just might get it!

I remember the subject in the picture, passed her on the W&OD going home on Tuesday. The moose mitts are a giveaway.

By the time I got to this obstacle course it was already pitch-black. If I didn't ride with a very bright light I'm not sure I would have seen this thing and I probably would have gone down. Thanks, NPS.

They are now completely painted in bright orange. The main problem is that the bottom half has loose gravel, heading up hill it would make a nice truck runaway ramp!

NPS (and/ or their contractor) has spent so much time on this abomination that they could have just paved it right from the beginning and would have had money left over for plowing the trail through a long snowy winter.

Why do they behave in such an obvious offensive manner to the users of the trail?

I saw something similar to these mats... http://www.budgetforklift.com/ground-protection-mats-2.html being used to protect grass from heavy equipment damage near my office. Put a few of those down over the grass, drive some big stakes in to keep them from moving, and NPS might have had a very cheap usable detour, rather than the cyclocross skills clinic they've provided us.

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