An Unrecognizably-Awesome Army Navy Drive

Level of Effort: 5 minutes, at home, in your PJs
Deadline: Friday 12/4

The Army Navy Drive Complete Street project will completely transform Army Navy Drive from the existing auto-centric hellscape to an urban street with dedicated bus lanes and nearly 3/4 of a mile of two-way, curb-protected bike lane connecting Columbia Pike (via Joyce St) & western Pentagon City to Crystal City & Long Bridge Drive.  It will improve pedestrian crossings, separate crash-prone turning conflicts and replace nearly 1/3 of an acre of pavement with grass and trees.

Overall this project is awesome, we just have a couple of changes we would like to see.  First, the County hasn't fully planned the signal timing yet.  We would like them to strongly consider a Leading Pedestrian Interval at all pedestrian (and bike) crossings.  A Leading Pedestrian Interval turns the walk sign on for a few seconds before it gives cars the green light.  This allows pedestrians to establish themselves visibly in the crosswalk before turning cars start to go.

Second, we are concerned about two entrances for the DoubleTree hotel on the far east end of the project.  These entrances appear to allow westbound cars to turn left across the protected bike lanes to enter the hotel parking areas.  We are concerned that motorists will not be looking behind themselves to see a potential conflict with a westbound cylist in the protected bike lane.  This is not a common interaction on our streets.  Our ideal solution would be to make these entrances right-in & right-out only (eliminating left turns across the PBLs) we understand this may be a large burden for the hotel to bear.  Raising the PBLs to either sidewalk height or (preferably) an intermediate height between street and sidewalk level would force motorists to slowdown as they cross the PBL and signal to them that this is a crossing and they need to pay close attention in both directions.

Finally, we think that as westbound cyclists approach Joyce Street many will want to turn right to go North on Joyce and many will want to turn left to go South on Joyce.  We are concerned that there is little space for cyclists waiting to turn right and head north on Joyce to sit and wait for the light to change without blocking cyclists who are continuing through the intersection.  We would like to see the county build in some space for this queuing to occur.

Comments can be emailed to jlawler@arlingtonva.us with the subject line "Army Navy Drive".

Suggested Comments

This project is fantastic and I look forward to its speedy implementation. It will make me feel much safer traveling on Army Navy Drive.  I only have three short pieces of additional feedback:

  • Given the proximity to 395, drivers are likely to be in a highway mindset. Leading pedestrian intervals should be strongly considered at all intersections to help establish the urban nature of this area and give pedestrians a head-start before turning motorists.
  • The ability for cars and trucks to freely turn left across the protected bike lane makes me very nervous (this appears to be the case at the DoubleTree).  I don't think drivers will be thinking to look behind themselves for an approaching cyclist.  Please consider raising the protected bike lanes to either sidewalk height or an intermediate height in these areas to force drivers to slow down at these conflict points.
  • I expect many cyclists who are traveling westbound in the protected bike lanes will want to turn and head north on Joyce Street.  Many others will want to continue across the intersection to turn left and head south on Joyce.  Right now there is little space for cyclists waiting to make that right turn onto northbound Joyce to queue without blocking cyclists who are trying to continue West across the intersection.  If additional queuing space could be added (almost like a right turn lane for bikes) that would help reduce bike/bike conflict when this awesome bike lane becomes busy!

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