Showing posts with label Arlington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arlington. Show all posts

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Four Mile Run Trail Open

New observation platform along Four Mile Run (Arlington VA)
New observation platform along Four Mile Run

Part of the trail along Four Mile Run that I commute on has been closed requiring a detour. Finally the trail is open. It is somewhat odd since the barriers and signs that had closed off a portion of the trail have been removed but otherwise there is signage suggesting the detour is still in effect.

As is usually the case, since they replaced the old asphalt trail with new asphalt, the new trail is easily 18-24 inches wider than what was there before. It is crazy better than the Mount Vernon Trail that it leads to, for example.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Commuting in Heavy Rain


Tweet shows Four Mile Run as it was during my afternoon commute

The Washington Post called it a "heavy summer rain event" that was "very strange." Perhaps not the most sensible day to commute by bike? Where did I put my common sense?

Yeah well.

For one thing, in the morning there was no rain at all - the rain was only going to show up later in the day. It is easier to deal with any rain, including heavy rain, if it is only on the way home. Even if the stuff in my Timbuk2 bag got wet on the way home (although it didn't) it's no big deal once I'm home. Also, I have done this commute for a long time and I have a good sense of where the problem areas might be in different kinds of weather. I had decided that aside from getting pretty wet, there were few serious risks. I didn't ride down Independence Avenue but rather more slowly through the Capitol grounds and down the National Mall. Once I get past the Jefferson Monument to the 14th Street bridge I am on trails the whole way home (for about seven miles). There are parts of the trail that can flood, but there are ways around those spots.

It was 70-some degrees (ie, around 20 C) but I decided to wear a rain slicker. I wore a thin wool t-shirt under it. Of course, I was soaked after riding 10 miles, but I was neither cold nor hot.

The main problem is having water mixed with sweat (or who knows what) run into my eyes that then irritates them. It is kind of hard to ride with your eyes closed. I have this cap-thing I wear under my helmet (see below) that has a bill which is usually great but it failed with this amount of rain and my eyes got pretty irritated; I had to stop several times as a result.

Barrier cap-thing gift for Christmas 2014

My main concession to common sense in this weather is to ride at a conservative pace - it is easy to misread what you are seeing with water accumulating in unusual ways and it is better to ride into trouble at a moderate speed than while riding as fast as possible.

One aspect of being out in the rain in weather like this is how striking it is how little people driving cars are thinking about how unusual the weather is or are making the slightest adjustments to it. A modern car, with radio (or whatever) on, windows shut, AC turned up, isolates the driver a significant amount (says the cyclist). I could give examples but I am suddenly bored by this subject.

Spindle with cars

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Trails - Just Like Roads?

OK excuse me for a little grumpy kvetching.

Lucky Run (Arlington VA) multi-use trail - early morning
Lucky Run trail re-striped just like a roadway

Above is part of the multi-use trail near my house, that runs next to a steam called "Lucky Run." Streams in this part of the world are often called a "run" (for running downhill, I guess). The stream is the right.

Riding home from work a while ago, I came across a private company with road type equipment applying these nice new painted yellow lines the trail. A worker encouraged me to avoid riding through the fresh paint. Yes . . . the trail has been here all the 25+ years I have lived here - the previous yellow lines had faded into oblivion but apparently someone decided to spend a few dollars to freshen that aspect up.

I have no problem with spending money on the trail - far from it. However as money to spend on this trail, and most others I see, applying yellow lines seems far less useful than doing some maintenance. As you can see in the photo, there are cracks in the asphalt. It is possible to apply some glop (sealant) on those that keeps water from building up below, then freezing and expanding and creating bigger raised cracks, which are prevalent elsewhere along this trail. If such raised cracks appear, they can be ground down and then sealed. (This was done about five or so years ago on the Mount Vernon Trail at some point when the National Park Service must have been better funded - it greatly improved the trail.)

I don't see the need for the yellow stripes on a trail like this, really. This is not a little roadway. The most important thing for all trail users is to apply common sense in their use of the trail.

Yield to...?
Who yields to whom? An Arlington County sign with different users

As it happens, this particular Arlington County sign is not from near my house but elsewhere on the trail network. Arguably these are becoming less common because horses on County trails are almost nonexistent (at least around this southern part of the County). While intuitively it makes sense that people on wheels (cyclists and also skaters) yield to foot traffic (here for some reason hikers, not simply people walking) I suspect all that is meant by that is that cyclists aren't to force walkers off the trail from behind. I am a bit suspect of the Virginia use of the word "yield" in such laws since all that motorists have to do for pedestrians (or cyclists, by the way) in a crosswalk is "yield" while in DC the motorist must stop. Hmm.

Small pile of asphalt
Effectively part of the Four Mile Run trail with a dollop of asphalt for fun

Meanwhile elsewhere on the local trail system a company doing some road resurfacing left a six inch tall pile of asphalt on the small sidewalk that in this particular location connects to wider segments of the local multi-use trail network (and is reasonably heavily used, in fact).. Thank God no one has had the idea to put a yellow link down the middle of this. This is a location where most people thankfully do apply common sense; for example, I usually stop my bike if another bike is coming - it is too narrow for two oncoming bikes to get by one another without some avoidable risk. Or sometimes the oncoming cyclists will stop first. The asphalt, already here for about five days, just adds to the fun.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Four Mile Run Renewal

Four Mile Run new asphalt
This "intersection" has been widened

This can be a complicated spot for cyclists and pedestrians to negotiate when several come together at once going in several directions. As part of a project to improve the area along the nearby stream, the asphalt was completely redone here.

I was glad to see that a segment of fence was moved so that it was no longer aligned with the concrete walkway. Previously when riding towards the concrete walkway from the asphalt while turning to the right the end of the steel fence could be something a rider could end up crashing into if anything went wrong. That risk is now reduced - good!

Four Mile Run new asphalt
Fence has been moved away from concrete walkway

Oddly though gentle curve of the asphalt edge along the right is straightened out for about the last two feet. A reasonable principle of road design is that the curve of the roadway should be consistent and predictable - it seems neither of those that it straightens out. Now of course this is in plain sight, but when riding and paying attention an oncoming bicycle and possibly walkers or runners, it is better if the edge of the path is laid out predictably, not oddly.

It almost certainly looks like a small thing, but over almost twenty years of commuting and other riding, it is just this kind of thing that I have negotiated poorly, leading to dumb falling accidents. Now the asphalt part of the intersection is much wider, but when turning to the right the concrete walkway is just the same relatively narrow width as it was before and a rider will naturally gravitate as far as possible to the right while making the turn when there is an oncoming bicycle.

FourMileRunDetail
Asphalt curves to right but straightens last two feet or so for no obvious (good) reason

It's great that there is more asphalt to help reduce some of the difficulty navigating this intersection and that the fence was moved, but the one detail could have been better. Well, in my view anyway.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Another Odd Parked Bike in Neighborhood

Trek 750 in neighborhood
Bicycle parked like this near my house for more than a week

This bike appeared in my neighborhood more than a week ago, locked up to a cable that runs from a phone pole. It isn't doing it much good, sitting out in the weather. It's a Trek 750 "MultiTrack" from around 1995 I would guess.

Bike in neighborhood
Dog checking it out - yes, it seems to be a bike

This bike is probably about 20 years old - I have a Trek mountain bike of similar vintage, which I like quite a bit. With a little effort a bike like this could be a really good commuter bike. Yet here it is, with its mirror that is falling off, rusting.

1995 Trek with Michelin Run'r tires installed
My 1995 Trek 930, which is sort of similar

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What One Sees While Commuting

Crew training on Four Mile Run
Unusually warm February day brings crew team to Four Mile Run for training

Not much room for crew on this stream, really
I guess they came up from the Potomac

Untitled
There were in fact two racing shell and a motorboat

Normally my commute is on the other side of Four Mile Run, where the Arlington water treatment plant is, but at the moment cyclists are supposed to use a detour while some work is done along the north bank.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

To the Women's March on Washington by Bike

Bike Valet at Women's March on Washington
Bike valet parking at L'Enfant Plaza SW & Independence Avenue

It is about nine miles from my house to where the bike valet parking was set up for the Women's March on Washington - I decided to take my ancient 1973 three-speed Raleigh Sports bike that is indestructible and also not a bike that would be a loss if something bad did happen to it (like it disappeared).

According to the Women's March on Washington web site, there were 1,500 parking spots at this bike valet service for bicycles, which they seemed to suggest would not be enough, but alas the bike valet service was not much used. The above photo was taken at around 9:30, about 30 minutes before the rally started, and there were maybe a few dozen bikes parked total. Hmm. When I left the area around 2:15, heavy crowds extended down Independence Avenue further than this - far too crowded to try to walk a bicycle in that direction - I was able to leave the area by going south, away from Independence, crossing over the railroad tracks and SW freeway on L'Enfant Plaza, then down to Maine Ave and the usual bike route from the Jefferson Memorial area onward across the 14th St Bridge and into Arlington. So for me at least the bike valet parking was well situated.

Given the huge number of people who attended and the stories of how Metro was overwhelmed, it appears bicycle was a good solution, but apparently not an obvious one, although I understand many people came in groups and a group bike ride to something like this probably isn't the first idea one has. Still, the bike valet must have been one of the more over-provided (or under-utilized) resources connected with this event.

Both on the way to the March and on the ride home, I saw more attendees riding Capital Bikeshare bikes than their own bikes.

Women's March on Washington
Listening to speakers at the March

It was an uplifting experience in many ways, even if the historical fact that drove the organizers to create it isn't a positive one in my view. I was glad to be there. Who knows how many people were really there, but Lord that was a lot of people.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Moscow Extreme Weekend Cycling Event

It was a bit chilly for Washington today, but I wanted to test out some different cold weather gear and went for about a 7-8 mile ride in the middle of the day. It was around 18 F or about -8 C - my winter stuff worked OK to keep me warm, but riding back I was a little slowed by a steady cold wind. Ugh.

But this weekend in Moscow there was a winter "Velo-Parade" that was held despite unusually cold conditions there (even for Moscow) with a ride-time temperature of -27 C, or about -17 F. Yikes! I guess I have nothing to complain about.

SecondMoscowVeloParade
Poster available to print and post from one of the event organizers, http://i-bike-msk.ru/

There is this story in Russian, from the Russian News Agency TASS. There is a shorter version in English. It says in English, in an example of less than great translation, that the participants were "recommended to be accurate" which in Russian was really something like they were told be careful. Perhaps a machine translation. There were about 500 participants. The "Ministry of Extreme Situations" (which is a Russia national agency for emergency response; basically some EMTs) was at the start and finish, but apparently no one needed assistance. This was the second such "winter bicycle parade;" the first one in 2016 had about 3,000 riders but the weather was more seasonal (again, for Moscow) although of course still below freezing. More seasonally appropriate "bicycle parades" have been organized in May in Moscow for several years, as well as in a few other cities. These events are in support of (Russian) public awareness of cycling and advocacy for more cycling infrastructure. The events are not races but more of a fun ride, although in this case, in rather extreme (for most) conditions. This winter ride seems to have been about 6 kilometers each way, along the embankment of the Moscow river, or (coincidentally) about 7.5 miles, just about what I rode today in (by comparison) almost tropical conditions.


News video from MetroNews.ru (in Russian) of this winter event


Московский Велопарад 2016 from Let's bike it! on Vimeo.

Organizer produced video of the 2016 spring Velo-Parade in Moscow, in late May

The spring ride in 2016 claimed more than 30,000 participants.


Winter Riding

Lucky Run Trail Arlington VA
Lucky Run Trail in Arlington VA that was given advance treatment to slow development of ice

This is the bike trail near my house, which is treated to slow development of ice, largely for cyclists I suppose but also helpful for people on foot. (Alas, as a dog owner I am less enthusiastic about this.)

I took this while riding a bike with studded tires, however, so while it is nice, I prefer that extra insurance against falling down. Today is Sunday and I'm not riding, but I am thinking about whether to ride the bike with studded tires or my regular commuter bike tomorrow. The Mt Vernon Trail will almost certainly have some icy spots.

I don't much like falling down. I guess I said that.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Four Mile Run Trail Detour

Four Mile Run Detour
Sign posted along trail

There is (lots) more information on the Arlington County web site.
Construction at Four Mile Run will begin on Sept. 20, lasting through the Fall season. There is a detour associated with the project.
The signs may have appeared last Friday I guess but there were no signs Thursday last week; supposedly construction starts tomorrow? But maybe not the detour.
Here is a PDF of the map I have a photo of, above.

Not surprisingly I am not crazy about the detour. I get the need for the project I just don't like the route of the detour, and that there is no sensible alternative. This detour is two miles into a 9.5 mile commute, but there is no alternative route via trails. The trail network is great except it is not very dense as a network. Phooey.

It is amusing (or something) to see the tacit admission that the present trails are not very good when it says, "As part of the construction, the Arlington trail will be completely rebuilt to current standards, including a new sub-base and asphalt surface." Of course they are just referring to the less than half mile of trail to be upgraded with this project; the remainder of this trail (and others) will remain sub-standard.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bait Bikes?

Bait bike?
Bike locked to bench for about ten days

Bait bike?
Bike locked to pole for about a week

I see these often along my commute - I sometimes imagine that the police lock these up as theft bait - that only seems a logical explanation because otherwise, why would bikes like these be locked up for so long? Just odd.

They are almost always oddly unattractive bikes - the first bike above is rideable - someone has updated an old cruiser bike as a fixie; the wheels and tires were reasonably new. The frame, however, was amazing for its rust - almost perfectly distributed across the entire thing. (This I would say however is not very attractive in a conventional sense.)

The second bike is even stranger. It's a Cannondale, discernible by the "handmade in the USA" on the chainstay. The components (brake levers, in particular) suggest it is almost twenty years old, but then it appears to carbon fiber? Or maybe it is aluminum. Someone has covered up the various branding. The funniest part is the chain used here, which looks like a chain you would use to lock up a motor scooter, not a bicycle.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Thanks National Park Service! New Water Fountain on Mt Vernon Trail

New drinking fountain on Mt Vernon Trail
New water fountain along the Mount Vernon Trail near National Airport

There has been some construction work ongoing since (it seems) the end of last summer to improve small parts of the Mount Vernon Trail where it was routed down right next to the parkway (roadway). These improvements took longer than one would have imagined - part of it took longer than six months - but are good improvements.

At the same time, this new water fountain was installed. For a long time it was surrounded by yellow construction tape, but it didn't matter much since it was cooler weather. Now that hot hot weather has really arrived, it is great for this to be there.

Thursday afternoon it was up around 95 degrees (Fahrenheit, or around 35 Celcius) during ~ten mile (16 km) commute home. I have my bottle of water filled before I leave work, but getting through the DC traffic out of the city was hot work it seemed so when I got to this water fountain, I was glad to be able to stop and get a little refreshed.

The photo was taken Friday morning on the way in, around 6:30 - Fridays are a day a lot of people telework so not too much traffic, bikes or cars.

The fountain post has a metal bowl at the bottom that can be filled with water for dogs. Nice touch.

Thanks National Park Service! Happy 100th birthday!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Predictable-Alert-Lawful on Your Trail, in Your Neighborhood

The "be a PAL" bike trailer of Arlington VA
The PAL campaign mobile unit-the bike trailer has a 20 inch wheel on each side

On my way home Thursday, it was surprisingly windy given that weather.com suggested a SSW wind of 10 mph. I was surprised to find the young woman above walking her bike that has a PAL - predictable, alert, lawful - billboard-trailer. Apparently despite the holes cut in the fabric to let the wind through, it doesn't do well in a crosswind. If the thing blows over, she would get pulled over too, so she was walking. I guess she does this as a volunteer? Or someone pays her to ride around Arlington trails with this thing? This isn't the first time I have seen her, just the first time I have seen her walking. One odd aspect is that when riding along and seeing her coming the other way, or passing her, there is no time as a cyclist to read her trailer-billboard. So I sort of don't understand it.

I don't know if other jurisdictions have this PAL slogan and campaign or not. Somehow to me it comes across as a little too focused on illegal cyclist behavior or that assumption that if only cyclists would clean up their act everything would be fine. They endorse the following PSAs.


Makes the point that cyclists are the ones who die so they should avoid breaking laws

The problem I have with this logic is that the parallel would be that since motorists have pretty good protective metal boxes around them, it's OK to be a little free and easy with the obeying the traffic code.


Illustrates the classic "right hook" threat to cyclists from motorists

It's interesting that even the demonstration of how it should be done, turning behind the cyclist, results in the car rushing up directly behind the cyclist in a way that would not be great to experience. Better than being cut in front of, yes, but not great.


Motorists in cars should look before opening the driver's side door

These PSAs make good points, but for me there is usually something off about them. In the last one about avoiding getting doored, the third scenario suggests that in the end you should ride in a bike lane well away from the parked cars, presumably because the motorists may well not check before opening a door. In other words, in the end it is all on you Mr. or Ms. Cyclist.

And for whatever reason I end up grinding my teeth a bit whenever I see reference to this PAL campaign (which fortunately isn't often - they seem to have taken the ads for it off the County transit buses). "Predictable" is fine as advice, although it is clearly more about cyclists than motorists. (In fact, most of the predictable motorist behaviors are the ones we don't want, like opening doors without looking or cutting off cyclists with right turns.) "Alert" seems to be because they needed a vowel. Because otherwise, duh. Alert. Yeah. But it is the "lawful" that annoys me most, but I suppose as much as anything because it makes no grammatical sense. What they mean is "law abiding" but I guess that is two words.

Hmmm.

ADDENDUM: BikeArlington read this and says: I also saw your latest post on the PAL trailer. While [the PAL trailer-bike and rider] does ride on the trails, her primary focus is to connect with motorists. She’s frequently camped out along the Mount Vernon trail to interface with traffic moving slowly on the GW Parkway.

The idea behind the PAL campaign is that it’s designed to be targeted towards all mode of travel. We recognize that pedestrians jaywalk, that people on bikes will run red lights, and that motorists will speed and text. We don’t assign blame to anyone in particular, but rather just point out that if everyone travels in a manner that is predictable, alert and lawful, that we would have much less conflict on the streets.


OK.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Arlington Makes the Trails Smoooooth

Untitled
Looking towards the south end of National Airport along Four Mile Run

Concrete trail areas and where such trails meet asphalt can have problems - a typical quick response is to fill in with asphalt. Often the results do not make the situation better and may make it worse. In this area where several bridges cross over the concrete trail along Four Mile Run, there were several such asphalt repairs that were not very well executed. There were also several places where concrete blocks did not meet evenly (but were not filled in with asphalt). Today Arlington County had these problem repaired by grinding down the concrete to create smooth concrete! Yay! Well done!

The example shown in the photograph above was dangerous for inexperienced riders - the raised concrete running in the direction a rider was heading could easily result in a crash if someone tried to go across the imperfection when passing someone, for example. This is a lot safer and better. There were about a dozen spots along here where such fixes were made today. Really nice.



Monday, March 7, 2016

"Bicycles Are Prohibited Off the Mount Vernon Trail"

Bicycles are prohibited off the Mount Vernon Trail
This sign, and another pointing the opposite direction, appeared Friday

In the past year or so, it has become popular for cyclocross type cyclists to ride along near the trail, but not on the trail, near Gravelly Point. (This sign is stuck in the ground right next to it.) The regular riders have created a kind of dedicated rut-trail that winds around under the railway bridge away from the asphalt trail. The people look like they are having fun. Apparently with the onset of better cycling weather, the National Park Service has decided to put a stop to it. I am not going to look up the Code of Federal Regulations 4.30, but really? It covers this situation? Hmmm.

What surprised me most today was that the two signs were still there! No one pulled them out of the ground and tossed them into the Potomac (or elsewhere).

I would be a little more sympathetic if the Park Service had done even a little trail maintenance in the last five years or so. Or did anything during snow.

BikeArlington read this and wrote me: . . . last fall, a group of cyclocross racers met with NPS who were concerned about the trail sections that came dangerously close to the GW Parkway (literally cornering at speed just a few feet from traffic). And while NPS is open to the idea of using that space, because it is federal parkland, an environmental study needs to be conducted before the NPS can officially condone such use. Unfortunately, that study . . . takes quite some time. . .

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pre-treating Trails in Arlington VA

Untitled
Trail along Four Mile Run near where I live

Tonight snowy weather of some sort is promised and Arlington has pre-treated the trails with some sort of fluid. That is what the parallel dark lines are. Pretty nice!

I confess I am not sure how much this pre-treatment helps. I live down the street from a high school in Arlington and they do it on our street assiduously before every storm, but once the snow starts to fall - hmm. Still, it is great to see the county government providing good service for trail users (including but not only cyclists), and they have done a good job with plowing trails too.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Starting Up Bicycle Commute After 2 Feet of Snow

Snow, Washington D.C., car
Snow in Washington DC, January 1922 (from the Library of Congress)

Last weekend two feet of snow (give or take) fell from the sky, closing the government completely for several days, then various kinds of delayed arrival and the like through Friday. I teleworked through Thursday, returning to work on Friday - using Metro.

I am not crazy about using Metro, but I didn't feel like experimenting with the snow on the trails that day.

Yesterday, Saturday, I went about a third of the way to work, to see what conditions are like on the bike trails between my house and the Potomac river where I cross the 14th street bridge into DC.

Plowed trail Arlington County VA
Bicycle trail plowed by Arlington County

The trail for about a half mile from my house to the Four Mile Run Trail was not plowed, but it was mostly clear anyway. The Four Mile Run trail near Shirlington was plowed, continuing on in all the way to the Potomac near the south end of National Airport. Arlington County uses a Gator or something similar; it is difficult for them to stay on the trail consistently, as you can see by the tread marks in the grass where the small plow was off the trail for a while.

Mt Vernon Trail near south end National Airport
Mt Vernon trail near south end of National Airport

Once the trail leaves Arlington County and runs into the Mt Vernon trail, the plowing stops, and the conditions are much more mixed - that is, there is more snow and ice. I can route myself through Crystal City to avoid some of this; I'll see how it goes tomorrow.



Sunday, January 3, 2016

1896 Bicycle Map for DC and Area

Roberts' [bicycle] road map of the District of Columbia and adjoining portions of Maryland and Virginia.

Cover title: Bicycle road map : Roberts' road map of the District of Columbia and adjoining portions of Maryland and Virginia : with tables of distances ... character of roads.
Created / Published - Washington : W.F. Roberts, c1896
Library of Congress, Geography & Map Division
http://lccn.loc.gov/88693356

Roberts Bicycle Map Washington DC and area 1896
Click here for zoom view of this 1896 map

Roberts Bicycle Map Washington DC and area 1896 - detail
Detail showing Washington DC and then-Alexandria (not Arlington) County

Roberts Bicycle Map Washington DC and area 1896 - road quality
Indicators for quality of roads (for use by cyclists)

Roberts Bicycle Map Washington DC and area 1896 - Rides in VA
Runs (ie, rides) into Virginia from downtown Washington

Distances are from the U.S. Treasury Department building and not the U.S. Capitol.

I found a similar, but not the same, map from 1896 published in the Washington Times that I blogged about.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

"Charmless" Signage in Arlington (VA)

I was reading a story in the Washington Post about changes coming to Arlington County council in the new year.

There is this, with a quote from Council member Libby Garvey: Garvey warned that local government should not “overstep our role and risk stifling innovation,” particularly in regulations such as the sign ordinance, which took more than a year to revise. “Part of the charm of Arlington,” she said, “. . . is how not standard everything is.”

I am not sure what "sign ordinance" is being referred to, but I don't much care for non-standard, inconsistent application of signage to traffic control affecting cyclists - but I don't have to go far to find some, given a recent change to the trail near my house.

Down the street from my house on South Dinwiddie Street, there is a trail that is an offshoot of the WO&D trail, that is parallel to the Lucky Run (stream).

Dinwiddie_WReed

The trail is shown in the image above, with the red line. Somewhat unusual I would say, there is a standard sidewalk and crosswalk at the intersection, then 40 or so feet back on S Dinwiddie, there is the crossing for the trail. It is not painted as a crosswalk with zebra stripes, but there are some dashed lines to show it is there to drivers. There are yellow yield signs controlling pedestrians and cyclists on the trail who would cross S Dinwiddie St.

Meanwhile, just a quarter mile away, the trail crosses S Wakefield St in a similar way but the traffic control is completely different.

Untitled

These stop sign appeared about a month ago - previously there was not signage here controlling pedestrians and cyclists on the trail where it crosses S Wakefield St. (Yes, the stop sign are not full size, but sort of toy size for some reason.) And the crosswalk is painted with full zebra stripes.

Wakefield_WReed

Here you can see the situation, much like at S Dinwiddie St, with the trail crossing set about 40 feet back of the crosswalk that is the intersection.

I don't understand how it is that Arlington County thinks these intersections are supposed to work successfully. In general, if a motorist sees me in the "not quite a crosswalk" for the trail crossing, they stop - but I can't count on it. And apparently at one of the intersections (Dinwiddie) I am merely to yield, but the other (with full zebra stripes!) requires a full stop! WTF, to use the vernacular (or vulgar - whichever).

Consistency in these matters could be a good thing, even in quaint Arlington County. This is a real safety issue, after all.



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Per Arlington VA Police, Cyclist=Scofflaw but Motorists are OK

Untitled
Cyclists need to obey those darn laws

Untitled
Motorists? They just need to be careful

This is of course absurd. It makes sense only if cyclists are presumed to be scofflaws and motorists are law abiding folks who probably would be well advised to be careful of those scofflaw cyclists. In fact there is no evidence at all that cyclists are more (or less) law abiding than people driving cars. There is considerable evidence of course that when cyclists or motorists do dumb things and have accidents involving cyclists and cars, the cyclist suffers much greater consequences.

This is particularly ironic given the location, which is right where a major bike trail crosses a busy street. Under VA law, if the cyclist is required at this location to walk his bike and not ride in the crosswalk then this needs to be specifically posted, otherwise the cyclist is free to cross the street on his bicycle in the crosswalk. The obvious for accidents with the bike trail+crosswalk across Walter Reed is with left-hook and right-hook turn accidents from cars turning from S Four Mile Run Drive where the driver doesn't see the cyclist in the crosswalk because the motorist failed to exercise due care.

Ugh!