Monday, September 3, 2012

Trail Safety Enhancements

The newly configured transition from crosswalk to trail

As Mr. Lenin said, one step forward and two steps back. Or did he say two steps forward and one step back? I can't keep that straight.

This is at Walter Reed and Arlington Mill Road in Arlington (Virginia). The Country does occasional maintenance on the trails that sometimes is difficult to understand, although most of this effort seems OK.

Previously there were two steel bollard-type posts that sat in steel sleeves that were in the asphalt - the sleeves stuck out of the asphalt an inch or two and the steel post could be locked to the sleeve.

The previous hazard - helpfully marked by someone with yellow paint

A while ago one of the steel posts disappeared, leaving the sleeve as a hazard - you wouldn't want to ride your bike over this bit of metal poking out of the asphalt. Eventually someone (from the County? one assumes) came along and painted it yellow like this. It then stayed like this for a month or so.

How long will this piece of plastic last?

Finally the County came along and removed the remaining steel post and both the sleeves and installed this plastic thing. I guess a bicycle is an "authorized vehicle" (ha ha). Typically these plastic bollards (if that is what one calls them) don't stay in place very long, but the mounting thing that would remain if the plastic strip disappears wouldn't be the same kind of hazard for cyclists as the previous steel sleeve - but still, it won't be something you want to run into directly since it could cause a rider to lose control.

Often these developments feel like an evolution of compromises . . .

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