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Author Topic: District of Columbia  (Read 218482 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #125 on: April 30, 2013, 01:57:12 PM »

But what if the walk signal is longer than the time needed for everyone to cross?  What if someone pushes the button and then jaywalks or changes their mind?  Why should cars be stopped longer than needed?

Fair questions.  I suppose that's a problem with any kind of "user-controlled" signal.  As for the time taken to cross the street on foot, I believe there are metrics that engineers use when they time a signal (I have never timed a signal in my  life, as that is not what we do where I work).
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #126 on: April 30, 2013, 02:45:45 PM »

I suppose that's a problem with any kind of "user-controlled" signal.
Which is why the HAWK has the flashing red phase.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #127 on: May 01, 2013, 01:22:33 PM »

I see DC's new HAWK signal on Connecticut Avenue has a sign I have not seen on the (admittedly few) other HAWKs I've encountered. This picture is from the Washington Post. Notice the sign about the flashing red phase. Yes, people should understand that a flashing red means it's the functional equivalent of a stop sign. But in practice, the flashing red phase seems to be the one that confuses people. Some people see the pedestrians are out of the way and immediately go, even on a steady red (that's wrong); others wait for the flashing red and then go without stopping (also wrong, you're supposed to go one at a time just like a stop sign); others wait for the light to go out entirely (wrong, you can go on flashing red).

The thing that might be unclear here is the interplay between the two "Stop on Red" signs. I wonder if the one on the left might be better-worded as "Stop on Steady [red circle icon]" in order to clarify the distinction between the "Stop on Flashing Red" sign to the right.

I hope the local media will do some follow-up reporting on how it works out. Come to think of it, I'll go suggest that to Dr. Gridlock right now.

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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #128 on: May 01, 2013, 03:33:13 PM »

The thing that might be unclear here is the interplay between the two "Stop on Red" signs. I wonder if the one on the left might be better-worded as "Stop on Steady [red circle icon]" in order to clarify the distinction between the "Stop on Flashing Red" sign to the right.

Hoo, I appreciate what the HAWK is trying to accomplish.

But I intensely dislike the configuration, for I believe it is confusing to motorists, in spite of the signs.

Much better (IMO) to just take a conventional-looking three-aspect signal head and put a flashing yellow where the green would otherwise go (as is done at some fire/EMS/rescue squad stations in Virginia and Maryland).

GSV Examples:

(1) Woodland Beach VFD (Company 2) in Edgewater, Anne Arundel County, Md. on Londontown Road.

(2) Wheaton VRS (Company 742) in Wheaton, Montgomery County, Md. on Grandview Avenue (though this company is moving about a mile north in the fairly near future).

(3) Dunn Loring VFD (Company 413) south of Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Va. on Va. 650 (Gallows Road).
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 03:48:22 PM by cpzilliacus »
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #129 on: May 01, 2013, 04:09:58 PM »

Alternatively, you could just put up a standard three-signal head that always stays green unless and until a pedestrian calls for the walk sign. My impression is that one reason for using the HAWK instead is that it allows for the flashing red cycle, which permits cars to go if the pedestrian is out of the way. A standard three-signal head doesn't allow for that as far as I know.

I'm familiar with the Dunn Loring light you mention. Been travelling Gallows Road since 1974. When I was a kid we lived near Fairfax Hospital and thus used Gallows to go to and from Tysons all the time. Many years later I commuted on that road from Fairfax to McLean.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #130 on: May 02, 2013, 08:23:56 AM »

Alternatively, you could just put up a standard three-signal head that always stays green unless and until a pedestrian calls for the walk sign. My impression is that one reason for using the HAWK instead is that it allows for the flashing red cycle, which permits cars to go if the pedestrian is out of the way. A standard three-signal head doesn't allow for that as far as I know.

I'm familiar with the Dunn Loring light you mention. Been travelling Gallows Road since 1974. When I was a kid we lived near Fairfax Hospital and thus used Gallows to go to and from Tysons all the time. Many years later I commuted on that road from Fairfax to McLean.

Or...you just have people walk up to and cross at the next intersection, which is visible in the photo.

Since the majority of people won't walk the extra minute, we have to come up with solutions like this.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #131 on: May 02, 2013, 10:13:53 AM »

Alternatively, you could just put up a standard three-signal head that always stays green unless and until a pedestrian calls for the walk sign. My impression is that one reason for using the HAWK instead is that it allows for the flashing red cycle, which permits cars to go if the pedestrian is out of the way. A standard three-signal head doesn't allow for that as far as I know.

I'm familiar with the Dunn Loring light you mention. Been travelling Gallows Road since 1974. When I was a kid we lived near Fairfax Hospital and thus used Gallows to go to and from Tysons all the time. Many years later I commuted on that road from Fairfax to McLean.

Or...you just have people walk up to and cross at the next intersection, which is visible in the photo.

Since the majority of people won't walk the extra minute, we have to come up with solutions like this.

That does not bother me, at least not in an area where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic (and this part of D.C. probably qualifies by that metric). 

Much rather have controls of some sort if it reduces pedestrian vs. vehicle crashes (which are usually worse for the pedestrian than for the vehicle).

WJLA (Channel 7, ABC) Report: HAWK signals come to D.C.

EDIT: Added link to Channel 7 report.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 11:24:57 AM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #132 on: May 06, 2013, 06:04:07 PM »

Anyone else see the season-ending episode of the "Amazing Race" on CBS?  It ended up running through the monumental core of Washington, D.C., and then finally at George Washington's Mount Vernon in Fairfax County.

Baltimore Sun: 'The Amazing Race' finale recap, Bates and Anthony win it all
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 06:24:38 PM by cpzilliacus »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #133 on: May 27, 2013, 12:44:35 PM »

Washington Post: Streetcars, bike lanes and crosswalks: What’s Mayor Gray’s plan for D.C.?

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On a rainy morning this spring, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray led a group across Connecticut Avenue NW to demonstrate an unusual traffic signal designed to protect pedestrians when they want to cross but allow traffic to flow at all other times.

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Gray (D) said this was an example of what he wants: a city that accommodates drivers while encouraging other forms of travel, whether on bikes, buses, streetcars or feet.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #134 on: May 28, 2013, 09:36:27 AM »

Washington Post: Speed cameras keep clicking away in the District

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The $8 million box sits unmolested but detested beside a pillar in a tunnel that carries four lanes of traffic near the very heart of town.

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It clicks, it flashes, it clicks, it flashes.

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That box and the cameras inside it have generated 61,061 speeding tickets in the past seven months, transferring $8.1 million from the wallets of K Street drivers into the District’s treasury. The cameras, which sit where four lanes of K Street dip under Washington Circle, is on pace to set a District record for cash earned by a speed camera.

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There are orange warning signs — “Photo Enforced” — hanging beneath the 25 mph signs on either end of the tunnel, but they are missed or ignored by an average of 305 drivers a day who receive speeding tickets in the mail.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #135 on: June 12, 2013, 11:25:40 PM »

Washington Post: D.C. Council chairman says planned tax on commuter buses ‘is disappearing’

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A $5 fee on every non-Metro commuter bus entering the city, every day it enters, has been placed into the District’s new budget. The fee, calculated to raise $273,000 for the city, was approved unanimously by the D.C. Council’s transportation and environment committee on May 9, and then by the entire council on May 22.

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When word of the fee spread to the suburbs, many local officials were outraged. They declared it a “commuter tax” and in recent days, the governors of Maryland and Virginia sent letters of protest to Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and the D.C. Council, asking them to reconsider the fee before their final budget vote Tuesday.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #136 on: June 13, 2013, 09:44:26 AM »

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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #137 on: June 13, 2013, 09:49:37 AM »

Washington Post: D.C. Council chairman says planned tax on commuter buses ‘is disappearing’
Way to encourage people to take transit and businesses to stay in D.C.

Yeah, that does not make so much sense, does it?  Especially to anyone that listens to D.C. elected officials advocating in favor of transit.

IMO, this has more than a few similarities to the D.C. speed cameras especially - it was a way to raise revenue for the D.C. Government from people that do not live or vote in the city.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #138 on: June 13, 2013, 02:01:57 PM »

Washington Post: ‘Violence for violence’s sake is troubling,’ says cyclist attacked by youths on D.C. trail

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The bicyclist doesn’t remember seeing the youths run at him as he pedaled home late Tuesday afternoon on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, but he certainly recalls one knocking him off his bike and at least a dozen others piling on, punching and kicking him in the head.

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What the 37-year-old can’t understand is why they did it.

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They didn’t take his $500 bicycle. They ignored his cellphone. They didn’t want the $20 in his wallet. In fact, the victim said, “I didn’t hear a word.”

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And the lack of apparent motive is haunting the married father of two, who uses the trail regularly to bike between his office in the NoMa section of the District and his house in Silver Spring.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #139 on: June 14, 2013, 04:08:03 AM »

A friend of mine apparently got similarly attacked on bike at 11th and Pennsylvania SE yesterday evening, but was able to escape.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #140 on: June 14, 2013, 01:03:59 PM »

the hazing rituals that new elected officials have to perform in order to be accepted as a member of "the club" are getting more bizarre every year.  whatever happened to a good old-fashioned game of egg-the-lobbyist?
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #141 on: June 17, 2013, 05:39:02 PM »

the hazing rituals that new elected officials have to perform in order to be accepted as a member of "the club" are getting more bizarre every year.  whatever happened to a good old-fashioned game of egg-the-lobbyist?

Shame, isn't it.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #142 on: June 19, 2013, 05:50:08 PM »

WTOP Radio: 6 hurt, pedestrian pinned in D.C. crash

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Six people were hurt after a crash involving two vehicles near Union Station in D.C. Wednesday morning, officials say.

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Police say the crash happened just before 8 a.m. at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and North Capitol Street NW. The driver of an SUV -- who a witness tells WTOP was trying to beat a light -- struck a pole and three pedestrians.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #143 on: June 27, 2013, 06:22:29 PM »

WTOP Radio: Congress may consider banning DC traffic cameras

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A Republican congressman from Michigan may propose a ban on speed and red-light enforcement cameras in the District of Columbia.

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Rep. Kerry Bentivolio has circulated a bill that would strip the city government of its authority to use the cameras. A spokesman for Bentivolio says the bill has not yet been finalized but that the final version will "protect the people's rights, not take them away."
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #144 on: July 24, 2013, 11:48:32 PM »

Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: D.C. region’s commuters share frustration, but little else

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Could there be light at the end of the chronically congested tunnel? There has been a lot of talk lately about traffic easing up, road improvements taking effect and people telecommuting more.

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Yes, there are serious indicators that the mental health of commuters is improving. In a Washington Post poll conducted last month, commuters in the Washington region who drive reported on average that their trips take 31 minutes, down six minutes from the average in a 2005 poll. And they’re adopting more sensible habits. For example, 20 percent of commuters said they telework at least once a week, compared with 11 percent in a 2010 poll.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #145 on: July 26, 2013, 05:02:46 AM »

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the final version will "protect the people's rights, not take them away."

That's a funny thing to say, since the District's residents are overwhelmingly in favor of the cameras, and District residents also "don't have any rights" in Congress.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #146 on: July 26, 2013, 08:49:37 AM »

That's a funny thing to say, since the District's residents are overwhelmingly in favor of the cameras, and District residents also "don't have any rights" in Congress.

Though I know several D.C. residents who have been banged with such tickets, and are not especially enthused about it.

Still, I strongly agree with your point.  The colonial status of the District of Columbia needs to end - preferably through retrocession to Maryland (while retaining a federal enclave around the monumental core), since I don't think D.C. statehood is ever going to happen.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has (again) introduced a bill in Congress to do just that.
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #147 on: July 28, 2013, 02:36:54 AM »

Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: D.C. not making friends with freeway work

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The phase launched last Saturday is scheduled to continue till Aug. 10, closing the left-most lanes on both sides of Interstate 695 near South Capitol Street.

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Starting Saturday and continuing till Aug. 11, another phase will close the right lane on the westbound side of the Interstate approaching the Third Street Tunnel.

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The third phase, from Aug. 11 to Aug. 31, will close the right eastbound lane from the South Capitol Street exit to Sixth Street SE.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #148 on: July 31, 2013, 10:26:49 PM »

Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: D.C. presents traffic plan for South Capitol Street
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #149 on: August 23, 2013, 02:17:13 PM »

WAMU Radio: D.C. Transportation Engineers Face Tough Choices, Testy Commuters

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Roads and bridges need to be fixed, sometimes entirely replaced. Traffic has to be managed. And commuters have to be kept satisfied. In a city whose population has eclipsed 600,000 and is growing—as transportation demand places ever more pressure on aging infrastructure—engineers at the District Department of Transportation face tough choices that often leave some commuters pleased while angering others.
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