The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail Snow Patrol was activated for the first time on Monday, January 14. The team cleared snow from LBJ Memorial Grove to the 14th Street Bridge opening a key connection between DC and northern Virginia for commuters. A summary in numbers:
10.3 — inches of snow that fell at DCA on January 12-13.
7 — number of snow shovels or other snow tools provided, brought, or borrowed by friends of the Mount Vernon Trail.
11 — number of people who volunteered part of their afternoon to shovel the trail.
0.4 — miles of trail hand-shoveled by the volunteers.
1 — key trail connection reopened between Arlington and DC.
Many — number of “thank you”s and “thumbs up”s received from walkers, runners, and cyclists passing by.
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail will be holding a trail cleanup from Belle Haven Park towards Alexandria as part of the Martin Luther King Day of Service. We need your help! Multiple floods this year mean that a large amount of garbage has washed up next to the trail, marring our beautiful view of the Potomac.
We’ll provide trash grabbers, trash bags and gloves. If you’re biking there make sure you have shoes that are comfortable to walk in and an extra layer to keep warm. Note that if the government is still shut down, the bathroom at Belle Haven Park and Jones Point will be closed.
When: Monday, January 21st from 10 to Noon Where: Belle Haven Park (meet near the bathroom) Why: Because you love the Mount Vernon Trail
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail recently went on a bike ride with Katie Harris from WABA’s Capital Trails Coalition and Josh Nadas from the George Washington Memorial Parkway to discuss safety improvements to the Memorial Bridge detour. Below are the recommendations the FOMVT provided to NPS. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback ahead of the ride and to Josh for being open to suggestions.
Safety issues for people on foot or bicycle include:
High speeds of cars attempting to reach highway speeds for Arlington Blvd and 395.
Poor sight lines of the crosswalk for car drivers moving around the bend off Memorial Bridge.
Sight lines of the crosswalk are obstructed by other vehicles.
Long crossing distances (3 lanes) for people on foot or bike.5. Drivers distracted from seeing pedestrians by attempting to merge from Memorial Circle or on to 395 in heavy traffic.
Faded crosswalk and lane markings.
Proposed Solutions for Crossing 1
Removal of one travel lane of northbound traffic to lower speeds.
Pavement treatments to slow northbound traffic coming off of the circle and accelerating onto South Arlington Blvd. Treatments could be thermoplastic pavement markings, speed humps, or other treatments.
Stand up “Yield to Pedestrians” signage on the lane markings in front of the crosswalk to promote traffic calming and indicate a pedestrian crossing. These are MUTCD R1-6 signs.
Install a temporary Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) to alert car drivers that a pedestrian is present at the crossing. The current RRFB across the GWMP has been effective in allowing safe crossings. RRFBs are IA-21 in the MUTCD.
Restripe current crosswalk and lane markings which are badly faded. 6. Pilot NPS proposed changes to Memorial Circle through use of temporary devices such as jersey barriers
The National Park Service has released a Cultural Landscape Report and Environmental Assessment for improvements to Theodore Roosevelt Island. The scope of the project includes changes to Bridge 31, which trail users commonly refer to as Trollheim Bridge due to the number of crashes and injuries that have occurred on its slippery surface.
NPS has proposed four alternatives. All four alternatives include widening the bridge to 12 or 14 feet and replacing the bridge decking to provide a more even surface with.
More information on the project can be found here. The four proposed alternatives can viewed starting on page 268 of the Environmental Assessment. Stay tuned for additional opportunities to provide public comment on which of the four alternatives you prefer.
Light Giveaway – The Friends of the Mt. Vernon Trail will help our friends at Bike Arlington hand out blinkies, reflective bands and information to trail users on Monday, November 5th from 4:30 to 7:00 PM at the Rosslyn Bikeometer. You don’t have to be there the whole time. Even half an hour handing out goodies and cheering on trail users will be helpful. Let us know you’re coming by signing up here: https://doodle.com/poll/tqfi8mwu5t5u9b4e
Tour de Mt. Vernon Support – We’ll be helping our friends at the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB) by providing volunteer support for the 3rd Annual Tour de Mount Vernon on Saturday, November 17th. Multiple opportunities are available including course marshaling if you don’t want to miss the ride. Sign up to volunteer here. You’ll have to take a few minutes to create an account before signing up. Once you’ve signed up send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org so we know you’re coming.
You may have noticed some construction work happening at Gravelly Point this week next to the portapotties. Arlington County is constructing a concrete pad for a Capital Bikeshare station to be installed. This is the second CaBi station installed on the Mt. Vernon Trail this year. Please show some additional caution on the trail during construction and installation activities.
The National Park Service is currently rehabilitating the Memorial Bridge which will last until 2021. The south sidewalk is currently closed to pedestrians and cyclists. There is a detour that requires crossing busy roadways multiple times.