Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pennsylvania Avenue Snow Removal

Pennsylvania Avenue intersection
via Mike Goodno (DDOT)
Mike Goodno, Bicycle Program Specialist within the Policy, Planning and Sustainability Administration of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) would like to know what bicyclists think about the proposal to remove the flexible protective white posts (safety bollards) near the ends of each intersection along the bicycling lanes in the center of Pennsylvania Avenue during snow season.

DDOT is planning a strategy to clear the bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue because the bollards ensure that cars do not encroach into the bike lanes, especially when making left turns. This information my also be considered useful as for other bike lanes and cycletracks.
Mr. Gooodno posted the following message on the BAC group page:
...with the flexible posts and the center traffic lights, there is not enough space for a snowplow. We are considering removing the posts within the next few weeks and re-installing them in the spring. This would allow for the snowplow to clear the bike lanes while plowing the adjacent travel lanes. But, the trade-off is that there is no longer a physical barrier between the bikes and cars.

Pennsylvania Avenue is a national highway system route, which are plowed by a specific team with larger plows. The other alternative is to keep the flexible posts, and plow each bike lane up that point. The drawback is that this would require returning later with another crew to clear the intersection area between the flexible posts. It’s likely that it may take 24 to 48 hours before this second plowing would occur.
BAC appreciates what you think. Should DDOT remove of safety bollards for snow removal or keep them there and send a second plow crew to remove the snow that was initially missed?

Please feel free to comment below or use the poll to the right. BAC will communicate what you say to DDOT.

Update: Greater Greater Washington also asks about this  issue with several comments from its readers.


  1. "DDOT is planning a strategy to clear the bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue because the bollards ensure that cars do not encroach into the bike lanes..."

    Um, yeah, not really. They just ensure the cars move a little further down the road before encroaching upon, sitting it, and illegally turning through the bike lanes.

  2. I find it very hard to believe that there isn't a plow that can fit in those very wide bike-lanes. Please don't remove the bollards. Once the snow starts falling, it will obstruct the painted signage on the pavement, making it even more likely that taxi cabs & council members will simply "forget" about the bike lanes and U-turn through them constantly.

    There has to be a better solution than "no plowing (or a delayed plow)" or "no bollards".

    Please find it.

  3. @K.C. is right. Neither solution is good, but I'd rather be navigating through snow than getting hit by cars that "forget" about the bike lanes. The bollards are the only thing that prevent taxis, clueless tourists, and reckless Marylanders in SUVs from treating them like regular turning lanes. (If I could, I'd put giant, suspension-destroying rumble strips along the entire length of the lanes to stop the crazy U-turning that I often see on my bike commute down Pennsylvania.)

  4. DDOT needs to look to the future by buying equipment that can be used to plow the bike lanes. Maryland Natl Capital Parks and Planning plows the Wilson Bridge trail when it snows. Boulder CO plows trails after it snows and does so quickly. DDOT needs to revise its "can't do" attitude.

    Last winter, the fact that the Wilson Bridge trail was plowed consistently kept me on my bicycle and out of my car (that and the snow tires that go on one of my bikes each winter). If that trail hadn't been plowed I'd probably still own that car.

  5. Policing the no-U-turn thing would be nice for a start, regardless of how the plow issue turns out. I feel sheepish asking the cops parking in the bike lane to do so ...

  6. Hermosa Beach All parts and components are blacked out,giving it a very cool,toughb and mellow look.

  7. Oh boy, the snow season is coming soon again, I hate it so much :( Such a headache for citizens and government. Hopefully, thre will be no accidents this year

  8. Thanks I found this blog so great but on the other hand I'm looking forward for a post regarding on commercial snow plowing in Mississauga.

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