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As one how often pulls a Double Chariot around behind my bike, this cut is a nightmare. I really appreciate the American's with Disability Act, and paving workers who meet the intent not just the letter of the law.

There is usually a car parked on the grass right at the edge of the sidewalk here that adds to the drama. The BMW dealer thinks it's a good space for advertising their used cars, apparently.

This is 25' from the entrance to the W&OD. If you'd like to get onto the W&OD northbound on Pacific, there's no alternate route here.

That also can't make it easy to mow the grass... I stopped biking near there for a couple of reasons and that sidewalk is one of them since I fell once and nearly fell a couple of times. Very silly set up. Wish I knew what they were thinking when creating/designing it... @_@

it needs a bollard

That is a nightmare. It's an almost perfect illustration of how not to design and maintain a curb cut.

This is a standard (for VDOT) CG-12 Type C curb cut. The quarrel is with VDOT - as long as they call this out as a standard type jurisdictions will keep installing it. http://www.extranet.vdot.state.va.us/locdes/electronic%20pubs/iim/IIM55.pdf

Even when designers are sympathetic, they don't have a standard to rely on for bike-friendly intersection design.

I tried to convince the team doing the Rock Creek trail environmental assessment that a 90 degree angle for a road crossing was not "best practice", where the Rock Creek hiker-biker trail merges onto Beach Drive (at Broad Branch).

They asked *me* to find them something they could cite, that would allow them to diverse from standard practice. Anyone have any suggestions?

i am a planner, not an engineer... wrt Shalom's request, I'd suggest looking at trail design manuals and possibly the Minneapolis bicycle master plan, which has a great chapter on innovative design treatments.

If you don't know it already, www.americantrails.org is an incredible resource on all matters concerning shared use paths and trails and probably there is some good advice there that can be drawn upon.

and even fhwa,


in any case, the issue isn't that the trail has to come to the crossing at 90 degrees so much as the crossing needs to be, in terms of reducing safety issues between cars and bikes.

Not all designers have any experience with bikes and peds - they will choose the options that best fit the available right-of-way as long as they are an approved detail. This option is easiest to fit in a constrained space and will still allow a landscape strip (which people always want). To address this outside of each individual project it needs to be done at the state standards level.

well yes, but the specific question was about NPS. And in DC, state standards are equal to local standards. The issue is FHWA. The city is committed to the NACTO way, which is ahead of AASHTO guidance, but for the most part, NACTO isn't looking at trails.

whoops. I should have said I was responding to Shalom's question in the comments, which was about DC, not the State of Virginia example featured in the blog entry. And yes, state standards are key as far as that goes for Virginia.

Well, the NPS has plenty of experience with bikes, and they put an even worse curb cut (2 of them actually) across from the Jeff Memorial http://goo.gl/maps/NLmTK (and failed to fix them when the Cabi station went in after that google maps pic was taken)

The entrance to the new Anacostia trail on the east side of the river also has a whole bunch of 90+ degree turns from the Douglas bridge to the trail proper.

i don't have pics, but all the newly installed "sidewalks" and cuts along east west highway in PG (from queens chapel to 201) are similarly sucky. narrow walks, sharp angles and extra-high curbs and no drainage, resulting in flooding and debris just like in the pic. also, unnatural angles for crossing with no visibility for anyone--not for peds or bikes trying to cross, nor for drivers speeding through the banked right turn lanes. i saw the people installing them--not a manager anywhere in sight, let alone a design, plan, designer, or planner. they didn't even clean up when they were done--left the peel off backs of the bumpy yellow traction pads there to further clog the storm drains. total chaos, done by the lowest bidder. sheesh!

jdub -- a couple years ago I suggested to Washcycle of holding a blog meetup in PG County, organized around inviting the SHA District personnel and ideally the SHA state bike and planning people talking to them about these kinds of issues.


I am pretty busy for the next month, but I am willing to work on this. I know a staff member at the County Council who would probably be supportive too.

But E-W Hwy. is definitely a state issue.

When I did the Western Balt. County plan, I learned about the difference between county and state roads and policy and practice.

I put together a whole section of the plan on experiential guidance on design, especially wrt bridges and shoulders, in large part to comment on SHA policy.

But my boss excised that section from the plan.

another problem here - the gathering of dirt, dust, and cinders. it's a problem not only at poorly designed cuts, but at the well-designed ones as well.

in DC, the city street sweeping is very cursory, and doesn't take this stuff into account. check out the corner of rhode island avenue and florida avenue. there are ramps/cuts there with this stuff inches deep. it's bad for wheelchair users as well.

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