July 31, 2010

Why drivers hate us bikes...

My curmudgeonly associate had this to say on Twitter last night:

dear fellow cyclists on H street—cutting other cyclists off & then riding down the wrong side of the road epitomizes why drivers hate us.

To which I'll add red light runners (REGARDLESS of mode) and those who don't even bother to slow down at 4-way stops...both of which I see all the time in Old Town. I'll admit that I don't always stop at 4-ways, but I'll at least slow down to see if cars are coming, because if a car gets there first, they have the right-of-way. Period.

July 20, 2010

Complete Streets for Alexandria, next phase

A bit late on this, but the big news out of last week's Alexandria Transportation Commission meeting was that Complete Streets was approved by the Commission, with a draft resolution and a draft ordinance being forwarded to City Council to be placed on the docket sometime this fall. There was concern from one Commission member about the lack of a public hearing by the Commission on Complete Streets, but it was explained that City Council will be holding their own public hearing on the subject, and this was acceptable to the Commission member.

The other big news from the meeting was BRAC-133, as the meeting doubled as the Public Hearing on the draft BRAC-133 TMP. There were only three commenters at the meeting, though several more citizens were in attendence.

One commenter was convinced of the need for BRAC-133 shuttle service to include the Eisenhower Ave Metro station, going so far as to comment that it would serve both the Blue and Yellow Lines (Yellow, yes...Blue, no). Another commenter wanted complete separation between the BRAC-133 shuttles and DASH buses that serve Southern Towers. This second commenter also thought that emphasis on bicycle routes and bicycle usage to/from Mark Center is not worthwhile. Unfortunately, I didn't catch much from the third speaker.

The Draft TMP is due to NCPC on July 30.

Last bit from the meeting was an update on some reports and studies. An Environmental Assessment is about to be initiated for the proposed Potomac Yard Metro Station. Traffic analysis for the Beauregard Corridor study is underway, with some findings due out this fall...this study also includes Van Dorn St. A report on Old Town Parking is due out in September. And staff are in the process of starting a 13-month Transitway Feasibility Study on the 3 primary transit corridors in the city's Transportation Master Plan, with the intial study focus on the Beauregard/Van Dorn corridor.

No August meeting for the Commission...next meeting is September 1.

July 12, 2010

"Let's make a deal", Mississippi style

Mississippi recently passed a 3-foot passing law for vehicles to give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing. Quite impressive, given Mississippi's near-complete rule-by-car mentality.

So yesterday, the SunHerald (Mississippi Gulf Coast newspaper) writes an article about the new law. The comment section, as expected, has some negative comments...many of which have been heard before in the DC region, including on TheWashCycle.

My favorite has to be "Let's Make a Deal":

When cyclists learn to stop at red lights, stop signs and buy tags I give them 3 feet. The cyclists that ride in Woolmarket stay in the traffic lane, go around cars at stop signs and are not equipped to ride in dusk hours. Rural roads that are barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass and have no sidewalk or curd and gutter just screams for an accident. Are riders required to wear helments in this law?

Why is a cyclist allowed to ride on the roads I have to buy a tag to drive on but a 4 wheeler can not?

Perhaps someone should take him up on that deal...though I'd throw in a counterproposal: when drivers themselves learn to stop at red lights and stop signs, we'll deal.

I'll catch it after all...

Transportation Commission meeting apparently got moved to this Thursday, so I'll be able to make it after all. It's also the Public Hearing on the BRAC-133 Transportation Management Plan, so if you're interested in speaking, be sure to be there.

July 02, 2010

On vacation

On vacation for the next week and a half or so, so I'll be missing next week's Alexandria Transportation Commission meeting where they're expected to approve the draft Complete Streets ordinance and send it to the City Manager (for eventual approval by City Council, expected this fall). Also, don't miss the public hearing part of the commission meeting, covering the BRAC-133 Transportation Management Plan.

Side note, no city-sponsored Ped/Bike Citizens Group meetings until September. Thinking BikeWalk Alexandria will still have their normal meeting in August.

Hopefully when I get back, we'll have a better timeline on the new deck drains for the Route 1 ATL. At least they cleared the dirt piles off the section prone to flooding. Now if VDOT could just clear off the rest of the trail down to Huntington Ave.