Thursday, June 28, 2012
Two very different approaches to investing in better communities have been on display this week.
Transportation. Budgets. I’ve already lost half my readers, I expect. And really, I can’t blame them. It can be mind-numbingly dull stuff. Yet transportation budgets affect your everyday life greatly. The ways we commute to work, get dinner with friends or head out to the gym – all happen on streets, public transportation and paths that resulted from choices made in transportation budgeting. While budget decisions are made at every level of government, the federal transportation budget plays the biggest role of all. Unfortunately, the process for setting the next federal transportation budget has become more about scoring cheap political points than facilitating the safe and efficient movement of people and goods. Sure, petty politics …
Thursday, June 14, 2012
A tragedy on Four Mile Run Trail should give all of us reason to recommit to safely sharing this common space.
On Monday morning, Ita Lapina was out for a walk on Four Mile Run Trail. According to the police, a cyclist travelling in the same direction rang his bell and called out “to your left!” as he attempted to pass. Lapina stepped to the left as she turned towards the cyclist, who struck her. She fell, hitting her head on the trail. She succumbed to her injuries Monday evening. This is my worst trail nightmare. Nobody seems to have done anything extraordinarily unreasonable, and yet someone died. We’ll likely never know with certainty all of the facts surrounding this collision, so I’m not interested in examining and assigning specific blame in this case. But I am interested in emphasizing just how frequently similar circumstances occur on the…
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
A look at the latest campaign for street safety in Arlington.
Last week, three organizations devoted to improving transportation in Arlington – Arlington’s Car-Free Diet, Walk Arlington and Bike Arlington – joined together to roll out a new street safety campaign. It’s based on a smart approach that’s inclusive of all modes of transportation. The campaign is based on the principle of “Be[ing] a PAL on Arlington’s Streets,” where PAL is an acronym for Predictable, Alert and Lawful. These principles are at the core of all traditional transportation safety instruction, and easily translate from cars and motorcycles to bicycles and shoes. One particularly encouraging aspect of the campaign is that it doesn’t settle for reminding us of legal minimums of behavior. The campaign poster (see the attached PDF…
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
When enforcement doesn’t match the law, it creates more trouble for everyone. A look at the gap between Virginia Code and ACPD’s enforcement of right of way at crosswalks.
Monday night, the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee held a site visit at the intersection of Lynn Street and Lee Highway, perhaps the busiest car-pedestrian-bike intersection in Arlington. Members of the public, along with representatives from the Arlington County Police Department and Arlington County staff, discussed the safety challenges of crossing the intersection, which Patch Editor Jason Spencer reported on here. In the course of the discussion, it became clear that the Arlington County Police Department takes a different view of what it means to have the "right of way" in a crosswalk than one might take from simply reading the law. In contrast to what the plain language of the law might lead you to believe, ACPD apparently …
Thursday, October 7, 2010
A pedestrian was struck on N. Fairfax Drive.
Just after 1 p.m. today a pedestrian was hit on N. Fairfax Drive. This is the second incident involving a pedestrian on this street in days. ARLnow.com was on the scene.