Courtesy and Confusion

I got a letter from a bicyclist who wanted to follow up on our recent discussions about how bikers and drivers interact at intersections.

“I was approaching a three-way stop,” the cyclist wrote. “I signaled, moved to the left and slowed down, as there were cars approaching the T intersection that would get there first and have the right of way. . . . One of the drivers decided to come to a stop and wait. After I came to a complete stop the driver attempted to wave me through. This is dangerous.”

The cyclist noted that he couldn’t start quickly and — more important — that he couldn’t tell if the driver coming the other way had seen the wave and also would wait for the bike to go through.

“So this is a friendly request to car drivers from a bicyclist who wants to be safe and legally share the road,” he concluded. “If the cyclist is behaving like a car, treat it like a car.”

I think the cyclist has the right idea. At an intersection, where many things can go wrong, I’d take certainty over courtesy.

D.C. 295 lane closings

The District Department of Transportation is planning to close lanes on both sides of D.C. 295 near the Eastern Avenue bridge at off-peak hours this coming week. Workers will be doing maintenance on the bridge over the freeway.

Watch for rotating lane closings in that area by the D.C. line between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

New commuter lot

On Monday, the Virginia Department of Transportation is scheduled to open a 433-space park-and-ride lot at Cushing Road and Interstate 66 near the Prince William Parkway.

Commuters can get into the lot from Balls Ford Road via Cushing Road. It has a direct on-ramp connection to eastbound I-66.

This HOV ramp is open only from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m.

OmniRide will provide bus service to the lot via its Linton Hall Metro Direct route. Service between the lot and the District is scheduled to begin this fall.

DC Water project

D.C. Water has begun a flood mitigation project at the McMillan Sand Filtration Plant at North Capitol Street and Michigan Avenue NW, which will affect traffic through March 2014. Work will be underway from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays on North Capitol Street and First Street NW from Channing Street NW to Michigan Avenue NW.

Drivers may encounter lane closings on North Capitol Street between Girard Street and Michigan Avenue and on First Street NW between Michigan Avenue and Channing Street.

The removal of the median on North Capitol Street between Michigan Avenue and Channing Street will result in a lane shift.

The workers will build an underground system to divert up to 6 million gallons of storm water into temporary holding tanks at the plant during heavy rains.

Fairfax fares

The Fairfax Connector bus system has reduced fares on six routes to match the fare structure of other regional bus services and increase its ridership. Routes affected are 394, 395, 493, 494, 495 and 981.

Routes 394 and 395 now match the regional Metrobus express fare ($4 case, $3.65 with SmarTrip).

Routes 493, 494, 495 and 981 match the base fare for the Fairfax Connector, which is already the same as the base fare for Metrobus ($1.80 cash, $1.60 with SmarTrip).

Route 29 work

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission workers had hoped to wrap up the repair work on northbound Colesville Road (Route 29) in Silver Spring before the July 4 holiday, but the heavy rain early in the week stymied them.

So watch for continued work in the right lane this coming week. The repair project, underway for a few weeks, has slowed northbound traffic during the afternoon rush.

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