Today’s News: Annoying, Depressing

Cement Truck Parking

The Mount Vernon Trail is one of the most heavily used trails on the East Coast. Ab28624928742_d40e68caa3_zout two miles from my house, the trail merges with Northdown Road. As
you can see from the picture, at this point, the trail and road are only one lane wide. It is in fact a trail not a road. That didn’t stop this cement truck driver from parking in the trail. I’d use the words “middle of the trail” but the truck obstructed the entire trail. Every last inch. Perhaps the driver thought “Hey, look at this trail. It’s the perfect width for parking my truck.”

Trail users had to dismount and make their way through the mud on the side of the trail. It was barely wide enough to get by.

I may be making a big deal out of nothing but this is the kind of disrespect that bicyclists and bicycle infrastructure routinely get, especially in places like Fairfax County. All this truck driver had to do was park where I was standing when I took this picture and trail users would have had free passage.

Death by Parking

Earlier today, a 92 year old driver was parking his SUV in an alley a block from the Mount Vernon Trail in Old Town, Alexandria. He hit a parking attendant, then he hit another man, killing him. How the hell you can kill someone in an alley that is about as wide as the trail in the picture above is beyond me. Why in the world does Virginia allow 92 year olds to drive?  Will somebody from the DMV show up at the funeral to explain this to the loved ones of the deceased?

I’m Walking Here

Meanwhile in the 400 block of North Union Street an SUV was parked perpendicular to a house. It’s front end completely obstructed the sidewalk. Sticking in the ground next to the front bumper was a sign that said “No Not Block Driveway.” There is no end to the entitlement mentality of the landed gentry of Old Town Alexandria.

$2.5 Billion for Nothing

On Friday evening at rush hour my family and I drove to Tyson’s Corner. (This is the first time I have driven to Tyson’s in a year. It will be the last, but that’s another story.) On the way we got on the Beltway at US 1, just west of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Traffic heading to the bridge from Virginia was backed up for miles. In all six lanes. The bridge is only a few years old. The project to rebuild the bridge and the adjacent roadway and exits cost about $2.5 billion. The rationale was that this would relieve congestion. Trying to relieve congestion by adding more capacity is like trying to achieve happiness by buying more stuff. If only I had one more lane! If only I had one more HDTV!

The bridge was designed with the capacity to carry a Metro rail line. This has yet to be implemented. Already people are calling for the rail line space to be converted to car lanes.


6 thoughts on “Today’s News: Annoying, Depressing

    1. No. The one in the picture has lugs. Mine doesn’t. Also, all the components on mine were Shimano. Mine’s a 1990 or 1991. I am told it was one of the most popular touring bikes in Europe but was marketed here as a commuter. Mine came with fenders and a lighting system. The wires ran into clips on the fenders which were made of metal. Also, the generator contacted the rear wheel near the bottom bracket. You moved it against the tire with a shifter lever on the seat tube. I ditched the fenders and lighting system a long time ago.

  1. They do this in the “other” Washington (The state on the left coast) too. I once biffed it on the Alki trail trying to go around a Ford F-350 park ranger pickup that just had to park on the path so they only had to walk 3 feet to empty the $%#^ing garbage can instead of parking at the curb and walking about 15 feet. One of the many reasons that I like the idea of bike paths but usually avoid riding on them. Harrumph.

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