Thursday, December 6, 2007
clearing snow and ice from bike trails
Northern Virginia has a great network of bike trails. Many persons use these trails to bike to work, lessening traffic and pollution. Unfortunately, unlike roads, bike trails aren't cleared of snow in the winter. Even when roads have become totally clear, some sections of the bike trails can remain extremely treacherous.
One such bad section is the step hill on the bike trail between the Iowa Jima Memorial and Arlington Cemetery. This section of trail is in the shade and gets water run-off across the trail. Hence long after most of the bike trail is clear, this section is icy and snow-covered. If Arlington County, or Iowa Jima park maintenance, or Arlington Cemetery park maintenance would clear this section of trail, bike traffic would flow much better through the winter.
Comprehensive plowing of Arlington's trail system would be great. But if that's too costly, some well-targeted but relatively small efforts could still make Arlington more bike-friendly year-round.
[Above photo shows this section of the bike path, in the afternoon of Dec. 6, 2007, after about a 2.6 inch snowfall, with temperature about 0C/32F.]