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Cyclist struck and killed at BW Parkway, US-50 interchange

A cyclist was struck and killed overnight in Prince George's County. Not much is known beyond that at this time. In fact, it appears that everything known about it comes from two PG County police tweets. 

Fatal crash on Kenilworth Ave at HWY 50 involving a vehicle & a bicyclist. Happened at 1:15am.

NB Kenilworth Ave at HWY 50 is closed due to a fatal crash involving a veh. & a bicyclist. Driver stayed on scene.

And the first one included this photo:

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Going north on DC-295 out of DC, 295 becomes the BW-Parkway and splits into the BW-Parkway and 201 Kenilworth Avenue at US-50.  From the photo it appears that this occurred at that split just north of the US-50 overpass. I've driven through there, but I've never biked it and can't imagine I ever would. And certainly not at 1:15am. But just because it's not an appealing place or time to bike, doesn't mean it's illegal. I have biked southbound Kenilworth in this area to get to 459/Arbor Street, so it's not unheard of.

Anyway, we'll see if more is reported on this, like the name or gender of the cyclist or details about the crash.

From the archives - Cubicles that contain bike wheels as well as fax machines

With this week's death at the Capital Crescent Trail's Crosswalk, today's From the Archives, featuring a 1999 interview with then WABA executive director Ellen Jones (now Director of Infrastructure & Sustainability at the DowntownDC BID) is somewhat timely.

Arlington: My topic of conversation is near and dear to every bicyclist's heart: Stop Signs on bike paths...I know why the signs are there, and I admit that I feel a twinge of conscience whenever I simply slow down, see if a car is coming, and then blow through it -- but I still do....You're thoughts?

Jones: Safety involves cyclists, motorists and, on trails, all the other users of the trail.

Yes, there should be warning signs for motorists and trail users at intersections with trails.

Also timely is the intro on WABA's (failed) effort to close part of Beach Drive to motor vehicle traffic.

Bicyclists, runners, gardeners, equestrians, and all types of Rock Creek Park lovers are urging the National Park Service and the government of the District of Columbia to conduct a test weekday closure of the section of the Park (Beach Drive north of Brandywine) that is currently closed on weekends. This will help the decision-makers to find out what effect, if any, such a permanent closure would have on the surrounding neighborhoods, general traffic flow and the quality of the Park experience. You can help by urging Mayor Williams and Rock Creek Park Superintendent Adriene Coleman to conduct this test.

That never happened, but with the reconstruction of Beach Drive this year, it will; and for much longer than one day. 

This question made me chuckle a little

Do you think stuffy workaday Washington is ready for cubicles that contain bike wheels as well as fax machines?

If only because you're much more likely to find a bike, and less likely to find a fax machine.

Interestingly, WABA's position on bicycle helmet laws seems much more accepting of them then than now; which is more interesting since a ~2008 photo on the cover of the Post of Jones without a helmet elicited some angry letters about how unsafe it was and how irresponsible the Post was being. But, of course, WABA is still the "parent organization" of the pro bicycle helmet law Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

Jones: The main benefit of helmet laws is the educational effect that such a law has in a community.

She discusses the first purchase by MPD of 400 bicycles and Metro's then-recent decision to allow cyclists on trains outside of rush hour, without permits. And how to lock up to one of Metro's old bike racks.

bike racks at Metro stations are designed to be used with a padlock. If you can manuver your bike into one of those racks (not all bikes can be) using a padlock on the metal tongue located in the metal basket makes your bike almost impossible to steal.

And there is a question about bicycle commuter benefits about 9 years before they became a thing. 

If you are a Federal employee the funds that your agency makes available for Metrocheck can be used to improve bicycle conditions at your worksite - parking, showers, lockers. The Federal Employee's Clean Air Incentives Act is a pretty straigtforward piece of legislation that spells this out.

There's this...

Ellen, please tell us about progress on the Metropolitan Branch Trail. When will it be completed?

Great question.

And this...

There is good news on Route 1. The Maryland State Highway Department has agreed to accommodate bicyclists on this important road. Accommodation will probably be a striped wider shoulder.


But I have no idea what the question about the Mt. Vernon ramps is about.

This is a pretty funny exchange

Bethesda: Ellen, do you feel that it is dangerous for me to ride my unicycle along 495 in the morning on the shoulder?

Jones: I think it could eliminate your commute altogether.

There are some usual question about scofflaw cyclists - though this are focused on couriers (ah, the olden days) - and sidewalk cycling. And from a cyclist who rides in the road only to have drivers yell at him to "ride on the path!". I'm glad that doesn't happen anymore. Also about bike racks on the Mall.

And Bob Levey makes a great prediction:

More and more people are sicker and sicker of gridlock. They will try commuting by bike, and by the thousands, they will grow to love it.

Capitol Trails Coalition introductory video

This video, about the Metropolitan Branch Trail, produced by the newly formed Capitol Trails Coalition, makes me say "Oh, I want one of those in my city." And then I remember that I already do.

REI and Fairfax Bikeshare - It's a big day

Two big things are going on today, the opening of REI along the Metropolitan Branch Trail in DC and the start of Capital Bikeshare in Fairfax County

The Capital Bikeshare program will provide residents and visitors short-term, on-demand access to bicycles at 29 stations located in Reston and Tysons.

The program is primarily targeted at workers who might be looking for ways to travel short distances to their office or a restaurant, without getting into a car.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill), Tysons Partnership President Michael Caplin and Fairfax County Bicycle Program Manager Adam Lind will participate in ceremonies in Reston at 2 p.m.and Tysons approximately 3:15 p.m.

Reston Celebration will be held at Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station, Capital Bikeshare station on the plaza at bus bay F, 1862 Wiehle Avenue, Reston.

After the conclusion of the Reston celebration, take Metrorail Silver Line (approximately between 2:36-2:58 p.m.) for an 8-minute trip to the Spring Hill Metrorail Station in Tysons.Capital Bikeshare station located just as you exit the station on the east side of route 7, 1576 Spring Hill Road, Vienna.

And more expansion is coming

Falls Church is hoping to add its own bikeshare program next year.

Meanwhile, in DC, REI (which sells bikes and, reportedly, other items) will be hosting a 3 day grand opening block party at its new location in the old Colisuem adjacent to the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

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Oh, and installation of Wilson Boulevard's new protected bike lane started this week as did work on part of the new Rock Creek Park Trail.  And, there's a new project update from the Klingle Valley Trail:

Construction crews continue to take advantage of the favorable weather on site and completed all concrete placements of the gravity retaining wall on the east end of the project. Additionally, all foundations for the trail's light poles are now installed in the ground (a total of 52!). Upcoming scheduled activities include installing the electrical manholes and conduits that will power the new pole's LED luminaires.

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MoCo Police will hold press conference on bike and ped collisions today

Yesterday the Montgomery County Police announced that they would host an event on bicycle and pedestrian safety. The day before - according to NBC - that they stated that, in this week's fatal crash on the Capital Crescent Trail, "they believe Gaylin did not stop before he entered the crosswalk."

Captain Tom Didone, Director of the Traffic Division, will speak about the following topics:

  • Traffic issues and trends encompassing pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
  • The challenges that motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists face to remain safe on the roadways during decreased daylight hours.
  • Newly introduced legislation that addresses bicyclists’ safety.
  • A demonstration will be given regarding gauging the distance needed for a pedestrian to safely cross a roadway upon approach by an oncoming vehicle.

Detectives from the Collision Reconstruction Unit will be available to discuss the general protocol followed for fatal collision investigations.  The Collision Reconstruction Unit on-scene investigative utility truck will be present.

(note: no new information will be given on these recent, ongoing investigations).

Representatives from the Maryland-National Capital Park Police may also speak about collision safety on the trails.

The event will be at 11:00am near the Little Falls Parkway at the Capital Crescent Trail.

I can't find where the police reported that Gaylin didn't stop. 

N. Quincy St. Protected Bike Lanes are not going to be easy

Last year, the Arlington Action Committee, with support from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, launched a campaign called Bike Friendly Ballston to try to get Arlington County to install a protected bike lane (also called a cycletrack) to connect the Custis Trail to the heart of Ballston.

Since then, Arlington County staff have been studying the idea between Fairfax and Glebe. In September they had a meeting with the Action Committee and other advocates and recently noted in a memo that the project is more difficult than other such facilities in the county. 

The road width and possible impacts to parking are the main problems staff need to overcome. The width varies widely between 44 and 70 feet which makes a single, standard cross section challenging. As a result urrent and future planned curb lines will need to be modified to fit the PBLs in. The PBLs will have a significant impact on street parking, which will impact existing and planned developments such as Mosaic Park. Construction on Mosaic Park will start this year, which will impact adjacent sections of the road. 

In addition previous public meetings have created an expectation of curbside parking and some frontage has been locked in by some developments.

They aren't giving up though, and a retrofit may coincide with the repaving and striping of N Quincy St currently scheduled for 2017. 

Screenshot 2016-10-18 at 11.57.16 PM

  Implementation of protected bike lanes will have a significant impact on available on-street parking. This will impact existing developments as well as other planned developments such as Mosaic Park.  Mosaic Park is expected to begin construction in late 2016, which will impact the section of N Quincy adjacent to the project with construction staging and operations. Community and Development  Previous outreach efforts to the community may have set an expectation for parking along N Quincy St and intersecting side streets.  Some curb frontage is “locked in” by existing site conditions for some of the adjacent developments

Cyclist struck, killed crossing Little Falls Parkway in Capitol Crescent Trail crosswalk

Ned Gaylin, an 81 year old, retired clinical psychologist and University of Maryland professor, was struck while crossing Little Falls Parkway on his recumbent bicycle. He was struck in the marked crosswalk of the Capital Crescent Trail. There have been 8 bicycle fatalities in the DC area in the last 12 months and 4 of them have been in the crosswalks of suburban Maryland trail crossings. 3 of those in Montgomery County.

Ned Gaylin, was a child and family psychologist, author and professor emeritus at UMD's School of Public Health. He was an internationally recognized pioneer in clinical psychology.

The "Stop for Pedestrian" pylons that were originally installed in the road there have been hit so many times that they have now been moved to the median - where they are less visible.

Gaylin was struck by a 2002 Mercedes E320 driven by Nils Carl Axel Rudelius, 78, of Bethesda, according to police. Investigators believe Rudelius’ Mercedes was traveling southbound when it struck Gaylin.

According to police, Gaylin was traveling eastbound on the Capital Crescent Trail in his three-wheeled recumbent bicycle and was crossing in a marked crosswalk on Little Falls Parkway between Arlington Road and Hillandale Road.

The driver, 78-year-old Nils Rudelius, who hit Gaylin told FOX 5 he is devastated, and did not see Gaylin in the crosswalk.

WUSA reports that the crosswalk is "a defined crosswalk for pedestrians" and that cyclists must dismount and cross as pedestrians. That's the first I've heard of that, and there are no signs there to that effect. But it is true that a cyclist riding their bike across is not protected by the law in the way that a pedestrian is. Even though,

Signs at the crossing warn motorists to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the road.

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Police did not immediately say what, if any, charges will be filed against the driver in the case.

I-66 widening will change some Arlignton bike trails

Back in August this site reported that the Transform 66 project, which (among other things) will widen 4 miles of I-66 eastbound from the Dulles Connector Road to Ballston, would not impact either the Custis or W&OD trails. It now appears that that was wrong. Istead it might make small, but real improvements to each.

On the Custis Trail, VDOT will need to rebuild the trail underpass near Bon Air Park and Westover. There the trail would be widened, and a sharp, 90 degree turn would be replaced with curved turn. It also appears that just east of there, the trail is modified a little to avoid something (a street light?).

Screenshot 2016-10-17 at 12.08.39 AM

Of course there would now be a 90 degree turn to the stub trail south of I-66, but I suspect that gets less traffic.

The W&OD Trail, meanwhile, would get a new trail bridge at Lee Highway to simplify traffic control at the intersection and eliminate trail conflicts. It would include a stub trail from the base of the overpass to the Fairfax Drive/Lee Highway intersection.

Screenshot 2016-10-17 at 12.13.42 AM

Construction of an additional eastbound lane is expected to start in 2018 and open to traffic in early 2020. I would expect these changes to be on a similar timeline.

Animation of the Virginia Avenue Trail

When the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project in SE is complete in 2018, the new streetscape will include a bike path on the south side. Below is an animation of what it will look like.

The preferred concept for the Mt. Vernon Trail to Long Bridge Drive connection

Arlington County is planning a rebuild of the Boundary Channel Drive, Interstate 395 and Long Bridge Drive interchange, which is located just east of the Pentagon. This rebuild will include shared use paths along both sides of Boundary Channel Drive with connections to the Mount Vernon Trail, via the stub "Pentagon Lagoon Trail" built in 2011 as part of the Humpback Bridge project, and to Long Bridge Drive and Long Bridge Park. 

In June of 2015, they held a public information meeting and released three design concepts and since then the project has been

]working through a Federal Highway Administration/Virginia Department of Transportation technical analysis known as an Interchange Modification Report (IMR). This report will include a technical model to test a number of design concepts for the interchange and ultimately lead to a preferred alternative for this important transportation gateway to Arlington County.

It's not clear how soon the IMR will be completed, but it does appear that their is now a preferred design as recently reported to the County Board.

  Screenshot 2016-10-12 at 11.42.11 PM

East of I-395, the preferred concept uses Concept 1 and west of it it uses Concept 2 except on the far west end. On the west end, the preferred design has no trail on the south side of Boundary Channel (west of the Pentagon Access Road) and on the north side, the trail stops a few feet shorter - at the driveway along the Pentagon Lagoon.

The path will have a design speed limit of 18mph.  

Design of the fully funded Boundary Channel Drive Interchange project is expected to begin in 2017, with construction forecast to start in 2020.

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