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Re: Cyclist killed in Tyson's Corner

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  • Geof Gee
    Given how long a ride is to Tyson s Corner from Falls Church and other points south of the WOD, it is pretty outrageous. Although I am running low on outrage
    Message 1 of 28 , Dec 1, 2008
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      Given how long a ride is to Tyson's Corner from Falls Church and
      other points south of the WOD, it is pretty outrageous. Although I
      am running low on outrage lately.

      I rode down 7 a few times to get past the Beltway. Personally, I
      wouldn't lead anyone else through that route without a long
      conversation about taking the lane. And I am not sure whether a bike
      lane would be that much of an improvement given the rate that crap
      accumulates at the side of the road. Although given the choice of an
      extra five feet with paint stripes and debris versus taking the lane,
      admittedly, I would vote for the paint and advise everyone to ride
      with heavy duty tires. The bike lane would be less hassle and
      probably faster since it makes filtering forward easier.

      Allen & Bruce, assuming that VDOT's resistance is based on $$$$, what
      is the relative cost of adding a bike lane (building and maintaining
      it) to a road like 7 or Columbia Pike?

      -G

      --- In BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com, "Allen Muchnick"
      <allenmuchnick@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > > Fortunately there are plans to add bike facilities when
      > > the bridge is rebuilt as part of the HOT lanes project.
      >
      > This is good to know, Bruce, but I'd be very surprised if VDOT or
      > Fairfax County would support bike lanes along this (or any other)
      > portion of Route 7. At best, I expect only sidepaths--with several
      > pedestrian-hostile, high-speed ramp crossings--along both sides of
      > the road.
      >
      > Regarding Route 7 more generally, Fairfax County has finally
      > identified a portion of Leesburg Pike as a priority for *still-
      > unfunded* pedestrian improvements
      > [http://www.mwcog.org/uploads/committee-
      > documents/al5dW1da20081113153009.pdf] , but this initiative is
      > currently limited to the portion between Seven Corners and the City
      > of Alexandria.
      >
    • Leslie Tierstein
      You are a brave person. I ve ridden out to Tyson s both from Falls Church via 7 and from McLean, via 123. A person has to be pretty confident in his/her
      Message 2 of 28 , Dec 2, 2008
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        You are a brave person. I've ridden out to Tyson's both from Falls Church via 7 and from McLean, via 123. A person has to be pretty confident in his/her vehicular bicycling skills to do either. There's just no good way to get across the beltway to Tyson's from points east. Any plans to make Fairfax and Tyson's bicycle friendly need to address that. I don't see how bike lanes on those particular roads at those points would help -- a better solution (like the bike/ped bridges that were put over 270 and the Beltway as part of the North Bethesda Trail) is needed. And that really costs $$.

        Leslie

        On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 11:32 AM, Geof Gee <geoffreygee@...> wrote:

        Given how long a ride is to Tyson's Corner from Falls Church and
        other points south of the WOD, it is pretty outrageous. Although I
        am running low on outrage lately.

        I rode down 7 a few times to get past the Beltway. Personally, I
        wouldn't lead anyone else through that route without a long
        conversation about taking the lane. And I am not sure whether a bike
        lane would be that much of an improvement given the rate that crap
        accumulates at the side of the road. Although given the choice of an
        extra five feet with paint stripes and debris versus taking the lane,
        admittedly, I would vote for the paint and advise everyone to ride
        with heavy duty tires. The bike lane would be less hassle and
        probably faster since it makes filtering forward easier.

        Allen & Bruce, assuming that VDOT's resistance is based on $$$$, what
        is the relative cost of adding a bike lane (building and maintaining
        it) to a road like 7 or Columbia Pike?

        -G

        -


      • Bruce Wright
        What is being proposed by VDOT at the Route 7/Beltway intersection are two sidepaths, 10-feet wide. This is not a very good solution either since users will
        Message 3 of 28 , Dec 2, 2008
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          What is being proposed by VDOT at the Route 7/Beltway intersection are two sidepaths, 10-feet wide. This is not a very good solution either since users will still have to contend with speeding motorists entering and exiting the Beltway. These major intersections provide the biggest challenge for designing bike-friendly solutions.

          WABA has sponsored light giveaway programs in other communities. FABB will explore the possibility of working with WABA and doing the same in Fairfax.

          Bruce
          www.fabb-bikes.org


          From: Geof Gee <geoffreygee@...>
          To: BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, December 1, 2008 11:32:36 AM
          Subject: [BikeWashingtonDC] Re: Cyclist killed in Tyson's Corner

          Given how long a ride is to Tyson's Corner from Falls Church and
          other points south of the WOD, it is pretty outrageous.  Although I
          am running low on outrage lately.

          I rode down 7 a few times to get past the Beltway.  Personally, I
          wouldn't lead anyone else through that route without a long
          conversation about taking the lane.  And I am not sure whether a bike
          lane would be that much of an improvement given the rate that crap
          accumulates at the side of the road.  Although given the choice of an
          extra five feet with paint stripes and debris versus taking the lane,
          admittedly, I would vote for the paint and advise everyone to ride
          with heavy duty tires.  The bike lane would be less hassle and
          probably faster since it makes filtering forward easier. 

          Allen & Bruce, assuming that VDOT's resistance is based on $$$$, what
          is the relative cost of adding a bike lane (building and maintaining
          it) to a road like 7 or Columbia Pike?

          -G

          --- In BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com, "Allen Muchnick"
          <allenmuchnick@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > > Fortunately there are plans to add bike facilities when
          > > the bridge is rebuilt as part of the HOT lanes project.
          >
          > This is good to know, Bruce, but I'd be very surprised if VDOT or
          > Fairfax County would support bike lanes along this (or any other)
          > portion of Route
          7.  At best, I expect only sidepaths--with several
          > pedestrian-hostile, high-speed ramp crossings--along both sides of
          > the road.
          >
          > Regarding Route 7 more generally, Fairfax County has finally
          > identified a portion of Leesburg Pike as a priority for *still-
          > unfunded* pedestrian improvements
          > [http://www.mwcog.org/uploads/committee-
          > documents/al5dW1da20081113153009.pdf] , but this initiative is
          > currently limited to the portion between Seven Corners and the City
          > of Alexandria.
          >


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        • Geof Gee
          In reference to Leslie s post: Ahhhh ... let me just put this in perspective. There is no joy riding down Route 7. And if I think about it, I can probably
          Message 4 of 28 , Dec 2, 2008
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            In reference to Leslie's post:

            Ahhhh ... let me just put this in perspective.  There is no joy riding down Route 7.  And if I think about it, I can probably remember each event where getting past the Beltway was necessary.  Ironically, once I needed to get to the DMV by Tyson's Corner and needed to take the shortest route to avoid a case of bonkitis. 

            Personally, I am no fan of separated paths parallel to roadways ... especially if they mix pedestrians and bicycles.  A well-constructed bike lane normally adds width to the road -- or takes away width from cars -- would take care of the high speed differential between cycles and cars.  I think travelling in the road way makes dealing with the on and off ramps much easier -- most definitely faster -- than tip-toeing on some sidepath past the ramps. 

            With the caveat that I don't have any detailed information on their costs, I suspect that figuring out methods for using the roads that already exist with some modification is probably more more cost effective and conducive to fast travel than building separate facilities in most situations. 

            Now off on a tangent regarding bike lanes on arterials ...

            When we were in Albuquerque in the newer parts of the city closer to Rio Rancho there were some nice bike lanes on high speed arterials.  And in New Mexico, I mean high speed.  I thought that their construction was quite good at spots although there were a few issues with completeness.  That is, I joined them for Bike to Work Day -- it was a chance for me to get a free donut -- but on the return trip the bike lane disappeared on Coors Blvd prior to a long climb up to Rio Rancho Blvd.  I decided that I was a little too new to the area -- i.e., I was unfamiliar with the driving norms and legal nuances of NM traffic law -- to take one of the four lanes from the tractor trailers going 60 mph and instead went into Correles to work my way back over to our relative's house.  Overall, it appeared that there is a strong effort to put some bike facilities on the major arterials which, IMO, made getting around a lot easier for a newcomer.  Even with the GPS on the bike. 

             


            --- In BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com, "Leslie Tierstein" <ltierstein@...> wrote:
            >
            > You are a brave person. I've ridden out to Tyson's both from Falls Church
            > via 7 and from McLean, via 123. A person has to be pretty confident in
            > his/her vehicular bicycling skills to do either. There's just no good way to
            > get across the beltway to Tyson's from points east. Any plans to make
            > Fairfax and Tyson's bicycle friendly need to address that. I don't see how
            > bike lanes on those particular roads at those points would help -- a better
            > solution (like the bike/ped bridges that were put over 270 and the Beltway
            > as part of the North Bethesda Trail) is needed. And that really costs $$.
            >
            > Leslie
            >
            > On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 11:32 AM, Geof Gee geoffreygee@... wrote:
            >
            > > Given how long a ride is to Tyson's Corner from Falls Church and
            > > other points south of the WOD, it is pretty outrageous. Although I
            > > am running low on outrage lately.
            > >
            > > I rode down 7 a few times to get past the Beltway. Personally, I
            > > wouldn't lead anyone else through that route without a long
            > > conversation about taking the lane. And I am not sure whether a bike
            > > lane would be that much of an improvement given the rate that crap
            > > accumulates at the side of the road. Although given the choice of an
            > > extra five feet with paint stripes and debris versus taking the lane,
            > > admittedly, I would vote for the paint and advise everyone to ride
            > > with heavy duty tires. The bike lane would be less hassle and
            > > probably faster since it makes filtering forward easier.
            > >
            > > Allen & Bruce, assuming that VDOT's resistance is based on $$$$, what
            > > is the relative cost of adding a bike lane (building and maintaining
            > > it) to a road like 7 or Columbia Pike?
            > >
            > > -G
            > >
            > > -
            > >
            >

          • BrassRat77
            ... are two sidepaths, 10-feet wide. This is not a very good solution either since users will still have to contend with speeding motorists entering and
            Message 5 of 28 , Dec 2, 2008
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              --- In BikeWashingtonDC@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Wright <bwright_98@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > What is being proposed by VDOT at the Route 7/Beltway intersection
              are two sidepaths, 10-feet wide. This is not a very good solution
              either since users will still have to contend with speeding motorists
              entering and exiting the Beltway. These major intersections provide
              the biggest challenge for designing bike-friendly solutions.

              An example of this problem is the side trail for the Fairfax County
              parkway/Rt 7100 where it crosses the Dulles Toll Rd and in particular
              Sunset Hills Rd eastbound by Target. Crossing the on-ramps in
              particular is very hazardous - the traffic is often moving at highway
              speeds, and for the Sunset Hills ramp, is not planning to slow down
              for a toll booth. Sight lines for the path are poor. The exit from
              Toll rd westbound onto the Parkway northbound is also a problem, as
              the drivers are watching for oncoming traffic and are not paying
              attention to cyclists and pedestrians crossing the roadway in the
              marked crosswalk. When I go this way, I often use the shoulder
              instead, at least the drivers are sort of looking for vehicles in or
              next to the travel lanes. Now if VDOT would sweep up all the vehicle
              debris once in a while....

              VDOT I'm sure would like ONE solution that works for cyclists and
              pedestrians. A side path sort of works for peds and is better than
              nothing for cyclists (but see problems above). The fundamental
              problem is the high-speed ramps do nothing to slow drivers to a
              reasonable speed where they can see and avoid us when crossing the ramps.
            • Jonathan Krall
              ... I appreciate your skill at understatement. ... Exactly. I d prefer bike lines on major arterials. That way the motorists see the cyclists. And the
              Message 6 of 28 , Dec 2, 2008
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                Quoting BrassRat77 <ks1g04@...>:
                >
                >> What is being proposed by VDOT at the Route 7/Beltway intersection
                > are two sidepaths, 10-feet wide. This is not a very good solution
                > either since users will still have to contend with speeding motorists
                > entering and exiting the Beltway.

                I appreciate your skill at understatement.

                > The exit from
                > Toll rd westbound onto the Parkway northbound is also a problem, as
                > the drivers are watching for oncoming traffic and are not paying
                > attention to cyclists and pedestrians crossing the roadway in the
                > marked crosswalk. When I go this way, I often use the shoulder
                > instead, at least the drivers are sort of looking for vehicles in or
                > next to the travel lanes.

                Exactly. I'd prefer bike lines on major arterials. That way the motorists
                see the cyclists. And the cyclists, by their very presence, slow things
                down.

                > VDOT I'm sure would like ONE solution that works for cyclists and
                > pedestrians.

                I agree. But let us please keep in mind the huge variety of solutions
                that have been implemented for motorists. One size doesn't fit all of
                them either. I don't think VDOT understands that basic fact.

                > A side path sort of works for peds and is better than
                > nothing for cyclists (but see problems above). The fundamental
                > problem is the high-speed ramps do nothing to slow drivers to a
                > reasonable speed where they can see and avoid us when crossing the ramps.

                As I see it, another element of the bike-lane solution for major arterials
                is traffic calming, such as rumble strips, at ramps or at other places
                where the driving lane, by design, crosses the bike lane.

                Jonathan
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