Saturday, August 7, 2010

Crosswalk signs on W&OD Trail in Falls Church

We noticed that the City of Falls Church recently installed signs in the middle of the crosswalks on most of the side streets intersecting the W&OD Trail. The signs warn motorists to Yield to Pedestrians. We thought they were a great idea; others aren't so happy with the signs, saying they are a hazard to trail users. What do you think?

Similar signs are in place in Vienna (see a Google Maps Street View of the Vienna signs). The Vienna signs are placed on the outer edges of the crosswalk. They pose less of a hazard than the Falls Church signs, but if there are several people crossing at one time, either location could be a potential problem. Personally we think either location works and their presence sends a strong message to motorists. The side facing the trail should have reflective material and be easily seen by cyclists. From this photo linked on the BikeWashingtonDC listserv, that's not the case with the Falls Church signs.

We've been told that due to cyclists' complaints, the signs were removed yesterday. Let's hope they return in a safer location.

This is guidance from the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices on use of the in-street pedestrian crossing signs.

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I only saw one in falls chirch when biking from herndon to route 29, I saw the base in the middle of the crossing but no sign, so I guess they have removed them. I was assuming that they just hadn't installed them yet.
They are in the middle of the crosswalk, how can you NOT see them? Unless you are travelling down the middle of the trail ON TOP of the dashed yellow (which you shouldn't be doing anyway), you should be able to pass safely by it.

As a heavy user of the W&OD by bicycle, I think these signs are great as it tells motorists exactly what is required of them and they are in a location where they can't help but notice them. I wish they were in place in more locations (particularly Belmont Ridge Rd. and Hunter Mill Rd.)

As a cyclist, if you can't avoid a simple sign, how are you going to avoid other trail users? Perhaps the complainers should pay more attention to their surroundings.
I've seen signs like these on crosswalks around Arlington and always thought they were excellent. I'm amazed but very happy that someone had the idea of installing them in Falls Church.

Who were the cyclists who complained? I bike on the W&OD every day and they don't speak for me. These are just what we need on the crosswalks in Falls Church and I'd like them back. Who can we contact?
All, I ride from West Falls Church to DC everyday and agree with those who find both the signs and placement valuable. Placement is similar to signs in Valley Forge National Historic Park, outside of Valley Forge Military Academy and I believe in DC. I am working with Falls Church reps now to have the signs re-installed as soon as possible. I too disagree with the notion that they are a 'hazard'. I can't believe that a cyclist who comes to a complete stop before entering the crosswalk (as requred by law) can't see a sign in the middle of the crosswalk and road. The guy who passed me yesterday on the left and into the oncoming traffic lane did so because he blew through the stop sign behind me...not because he was watching for traffic.
OH. I have also received conflicting news from Falls Church. One rep suggests the signs were stolen and another suggests they were removed. Considering the nuts to secure the signs are still on the bols, i am believing the 'they were removed' story.

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