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Eastbound speeds on average reduced from 35.4 miles per hour to 34.9 miles per hour, while westbound speeds dropped from 32.7 miles per hour to 30.4 miles per hour.

Sadly, those numbers are still much too high for that stretch of road, which is signed at 25MPH. Especially if those eastbound averages include the bumper-to-bumper traffic backing up from the signal at Russell/Callahan during rush hours...

Ms. Welch hasn't figured out yet that a narrower roadway in most cases makes the road safer (by encouraging slower speeds). I don't blame her; many DOTs across the country haven't figured it out yet either.

Even though it's in effect a small sample size, if the trend continues in the years to come, more people will come around.

Actually, I do blame her. During the debate local residents claimed the reduction in road width would make frequent crashes between trucks and buses coming in opposite directions inevitable, and said the roadway would be littered with the remnants of smashed mirrors. That obviously has not happened, in fact crashes have declined, so where's the retraction of that claim?

The decline in the number of crashes is hard to account for by the relatively modest (as scoot says) decline in speeds. What I think is happening is that the narrower road feels unsafe, so drives pay much more attention than they usually do. So less crashes. But a more harrowing driving experience, which is why some people say it is "much less safe" despite the actual reduction in crashes.

Anyway, whatever nitpicking there is from the residual opponents, this is certainly enough for Council to feel secure in their decision. Whether they will have appetite for other hard fights remains to be seen.

pardon "narrower lanes"

Yes, we're starting to realize that a perception that one needs to pay less attention to driving leads to one paying less attention, with negative results. Case in point, Wisconsin Avenue in Tenleytown. Drivers tell me they can't believe I ride through it, because it's chaotic, so it must be dangerous. I tell them that's exactly why it's really pretty safe. A bit of unpredictability leads to paying attention, lower speeds and more safety.

@scoot: 30-35 MPH is the minimum speed on a 25 MPH road after including the "gimme" 10 MPH.

There are many possible consequences of creating more difficulty for drivers in navigating a particular roadway or intersection. The Welch's of the world believe that drivers will remain completely inattentive when confronted with uncertainty and that will increase accidents. Sometimes that is right, and I don't agree that all haphazard designs create more safety for cyclists. I live and ride in Tenleytown, and wouldn't consider this the safest place I ride - in the middle.

In many cases, like this one, where competent road designers are on the case, narrowing roads, installing bike lanes, creating bulb-out sidewalks can and will be safer because cars naturally will slow down.

Can't overgeneralize on this, although I can generalize that Ms. Welch will not ever make it to the DOT hall of fame.

The data is very clear on the benefits bike lanes. Enough to extrapolate what would happen on King Street (exactly as predicted more or less).

Thats why opponents usually have to go data-free with any objection they have. And when they are asked to respond to specific data all of a sudden they care about the parameters of a study and just coming up with new questions where the answer doesn't actually matter.

WC, I appreciate the target of the link behind "handful of residents."

Bike lane opponents monitor this site and related sites for opposition research and talking points. In the DC area you have many people who are savy with the political and media process, and are talented in that field.

I would advise all to be aware of this in general.

High speeds drive me crazy. I know little about the benefits of speed cameras but I'd love to see more in stalled here in Arlington. Cars drive much too fast. What are some of your opposing positions to speed cameras?

Unsure of speed camera benefits, I mean, do they successfully lower speeds, alleviate law enforcements time, generate revenue for transit funding? Does anyone find them an eyesore?

I support speed cameras. They do appear to reduce speeds and to improve safety. They definitely generate revenue, but I don't know of anywhere that dedicates it to transit.

I don't find them to be an eyesore.

IIUC, the Commonwealth of Virginia, by law, allows each jurisdiction in the state (county or city) to install one speed camera. Period. To install more speed cameras would require legislation in Richmond.

Why do you think they only allow 1? Do you think the state was heavily lobbied against speed cameras and this was a resolution? What organization could be against them?

There is a huge anti speed camera movement, I am not going to point anyone to it. Theoretically they could have claimed that all these small counties in rural Va would use speed cameras to enforce speed traps on outsiders. I suppose if we want change, we will need a carve out for Northern Virginia alone.

The metric that Mrs. Welch is using to evaluate safety is the fact that when leaving her home, she can no longer turn into the parking lane prior to joining traffic on King Street.

@cyclistinthecity: so, basically, the drivers are speeding too much?


Partially, yes.

The other part is that she now has to wait for a clear lane before she can turn onto the road instead of taking shortcuts like before.

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