Author Topic: DC: Beach Drive  (Read 1582 times)

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Offline Duke87

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DC: Beach Drive
« on: December 12, 2021, 05:30:27 pm »
Making a general note here of something a decision may have to be made on.

Previously, this road was closed to automotive traffic on weekends from Broad Branch Road to the DC/MD line (over 4 miles, a majority of the route), but open during the week. In April 2020, with a highly reduced need for commuting and a highly increased need for people to have outdoor spaces for recreation/exercise, the closure to automotive traffic was made 24/7.

Officially, this is still temporary, but there is a decent likelihood it will ultimately be made permanent.

In the event it is made permanent, I intend to remove the closed portion from usanp on the grounds of it being no longer a driveable road. But this then raises the question of whether the two remaining separate segments (just over 1 mile in MD, 2 miles and change in DC) warrant inclusion in their own right, which based on the inclusion criteria for usanp I am not sure they would.

Quote
1) a missing gap in an existing system (eg Mammoth Cave, California Routes, Yellowstone)
2) a specific NPS unit for the road (eg Natchez Trace, Blue Ridge, George Washington Memorial and Baltimore-Washington Parkways)
3) a through route linking roads already in (eg Painted Canyon Road)
4) an extension of an existing system into a park
5) roads that seem important enough and link with other roads - even if they dead-end

But I am still mulling this, which there is time to do as it is a potential future development. And the possibility remains it may be rendered moot if a decision is ultimately made to reopen the road to motorized use.

Offline vdeane

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2021, 05:57:47 pm »
This also opens up a question about whether non-motorized routes should be in or not, given that MI 185 is.  This also affects West River Parkway in NY (which was removed from TM but the situation is still ambiguous especially given the criteria for inclusion in usanyp).  Is MI 185 the only example of a road closed to cars but still in TM, similar to how the interstates are the only roads that are allowed to be in without signage?  Or are there actual criteria determining whether a road officially and permanently closed to cars gets to remain?
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

Offline Duke87

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2021, 06:39:33 pm »
This also opens up a question about whether non-motorized routes should be in or not, given that MI 185 is.  This also affects West River Parkway in NY (which was removed from TM but the situation is still ambiguous especially given the criteria for inclusion in usanyp).  Is MI 185 the only example of a road closed to cars but still in TM, similar to how the interstates are the only roads that are allowed to be in without signage?  Or are there actual criteria determining whether a road officially and permanently closed to cars gets to remain?

M-185 is the only road I know of in TM that prohibits all motorized traffic, though there are a couple other examples that prohibit cars:
- the summit of Prospect Mountain Highway in NY, which is closed to cars but can be clinched via shuttle bus (and possibly sometimes by motorcycle?)
- Truck US 219 in Ridgway, PA, which normally prohibits cars and is supposed to be used by trucks only but... this is not enforced (I've clinched it in a car, no one stopped me)

Normally a road which is permanently or indefinitely closed to motorized traffic is not included. See for example:
- the northern end of CA 39 (legally closed to all users, though unenforced if you are inclined to hike it)
- the middle section of CA 173 (legally closed to motorized traffic except if needed for evacuation purposes, otherwise explicitly open to non-motorized traffic)
- the eastern end of AK 10 in Cordova (isolated from all other roads by a washout which will likely never be repaired)
- Crater Rim Drive in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (most of the road is closed to all users due to volcano hazards, part of it has physically collapsed)

Offline oscar

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2021, 06:54:38 pm »
I would not remove Beach Dr., even if it's no longer open to autos, since it's clinchable by other means for those of us who haven't clinched it by car when that was possible. However, I would not add bike paths (unless we develop a system for such) that have never been open to non-motorized traffic. That's consistent with our practice of allowing route clinches on bicycle or foot, which I've done on occasion for roads temporarily closed to auto traffic, or for numbered routes within London's "congestion zone" (open to autos, but usually with stiff tolls).

Offline Markkos1992

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2021, 07:12:30 pm »
This also opens up a question about whether non-motorized routes should be in or not, given that MI 185 is.  This also affects West River Parkway in NY (which was removed from TM but the situation is still ambiguous especially given the criteria for inclusion in usanyp).  Is MI 185 the only example of a road closed to cars but still in TM, similar to how the interstates are the only roads that are allowed to be in without signage?  Or are there actual criteria determining whether a road officially and permanently closed to cars gets to remain?

M-185 is the only road I know of in TM that prohibits all motorized traffic, though there are a couple other examples that prohibit cars:
- the summit of Prospect Mountain Highway in NY, which is closed to cars but can be clinched via shuttle bus (and possibly sometimes by motorcycle?)
- Truck US 219 in Ridgway, PA, which normally prohibits cars and is supposed to be used by trucks only but... this is not enforced (I've clinched it in a car, no one stopped me)

Normally a road which is permanently or indefinitely closed to motorized traffic is not included. See for example:
- the northern end of CA 39 (legally closed to all users, though unenforced if you are inclined to hike it)
- the middle section of CA 173 (legally closed to motorized traffic except if needed for evacuation purposes, otherwise explicitly open to non-motorized traffic)
- the eastern end of AK 10 in Cordova (isolated from all other roads by a washout which will likely never be repaired)
- Crater Rim Drive in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (most of the road is closed to all users due to volcano hazards, part of it has physically collapsed)


There is also NC 172, which requires a Department of Defense sticker through Fort Lejeune.  I may be able to get that if I visit my friend that just moved down to the area.

Offline cl94

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2021, 11:23:13 pm »
This also opens up a question about whether non-motorized routes should be in or not, given that MI 185 is.  This also affects West River Parkway in NY (which was removed from TM but the situation is still ambiguous especially given the criteria for inclusion in usanyp).  Is MI 185 the only example of a road closed to cars but still in TM, similar to how the interstates are the only roads that are allowed to be in without signage?  Or are there actual criteria determining whether a road officially and permanently closed to cars gets to remain?

West River Parkway is a distinct case, as part of the roadway at each end was physically removed to disconnect the bike path from the stubs that remain open. I'd argue it's closer to the Robert Moses...er, Niagara Scenic Parkway in that they effectively removed the road and built a bike path instead of just closing the road to cars.

Beach Drive, as it currently stands, is just a road closed to cars by gates. The tricky thing is that there is no clear rule with what to do here. Legally, this would be a CA 173 situation, but it's also very similar to Prospect Mountain (which you cannot clinch by private vehicle). If we were to remove the northern few miles of Beach Drive and someone decided to put in a shuttle/bus service that used the road, would we then need to re-add it?

My opinion is "leave it in", as it is still clinchable even if not by normal means. Roads are clinchable by ways other than a single-occupant passenger vehicle and there is precedent to include these routes. Note that I'd also include CA 193, but a decision was made by the community to not include it.

There is also NC 172, which requires a Department of Defense sticker through Fort Lejeune.  I may be able to get that if I visit my friend that just moved down to the area.

NC 172 and NJ 68 both enter military installations. Both remain fully signed and are defined as entering the installations.

Offline bhemphill

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2021, 11:49:19 pm »
There are several other NPS roads in TM that are partially closed to cars, but the whole length is included.  So I don't see why this one would be treated any differently.

Offline Duke87

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2021, 04:05:09 pm »
There are several other NPS roads in TM that are partially closed to cars, but the whole length is included.  So I don't see why this one would be treated any differently.

What others are these?

Offline mapcat

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2021, 08:23:17 pm »
There are several other NPS roads in TM that are partially closed to cars, but the whole length is included.  So I don't see why this one would be treated any differently.

What others are these?

Park Rd in Denali, for one.

Personally I don't see NPS routes as equivalent to cases like M-185, since M-185 is part of a system that would be incomplete if it were left out, while usanp is by definition "select". If we want to only select routes that users can drive in their own vehicles for usanp, that's a valid choice.
Clinched:

Offline oscar

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2021, 08:49:25 pm »
There are several other NPS roads in TM that are partially closed to cars, but the whole length is included.  So I don't see why this one would be treated any differently.

What others are these?

Park Rd in Denali, for one.

The entire length of Denali's Park Rd is usually open to at least shuttle buses, and Park Service maintenance vehicles. During a few days most Septembers (but not in 2021 and 2022, at least, due to a hopefully temporary landslide closure of part of the road), there's a lottery where the winners can drive their own vehicles all the way to the end. The odds are long, especially with the preference given to military families, but some civilians do win.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2021, 11:20:06 pm by oscar »

Offline Duke87

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2021, 09:25:00 pm »
Right, okay, so this comes back to the distinction I drew before: Park Road is clinchable by motorized vehicle, even if not necessarily by one's own private automobile.

Are there any other examples besides M-185 of a road in TM that can only be clinched on foot or by bicycle?

Offline Duke87

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2022, 06:02:49 pm »
Non-updating update: NPS decided to punt on making a final decision and has extended the closure to motorized traffic through Labor Day. So we won't have a final answer until the end of the summer at the earliest.

https://dcist.com/story/22/04/28/beach-drive-stays-closed-to-through-traffic/
« Last Edit: May 07, 2022, 06:04:56 pm by Duke87 »

Offline si404

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2022, 04:27:12 am »
Are there any other examples besides M-185 of a road in TM that can only be clinched on foot or by bicycle?
There's a few places where short distances don't allow motorised vehicles. Longer pedestrianisations I've tended to cut routes at*, but stuff like this where the A3000 ends on the A205, but the last 100ft or so is closed to motor traffic, I've kept the graph connection (not least as the 100ft is still part of the A3000).

*Off the top of my head, the A6 in Manchester. And I got rid of the A344 near Stonehenge years before it was actually downgraded, because it had banned motor vehicles and its junction with the A303 had been stopped up (and much more so than the A3000 one - the roadway was removed with just a unpaved path along the line - some might remain).

Offline IMGoph

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2022, 03:29:03 pm »
For what it's worth, NPS recommended this week that the aforementioned section of Beach Drive be opened for motorized traffic most of the year (from Labor Day to Memorial Day) and kept for non-motorized traffic only during the summer months. It's not a final ruling yet, as most leaders in the District and Montgomery County are in favor of keeping the road restricted to non-motorized traffic year-round and intend to push back on this NPS finding.

Offline Markkos1992

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Re: DC: Beach Drive
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2022, 05:57:13 pm »
After my walk-clinch of Beach Dr on Saturday, I am on the side of keeping the entire route in TM for the following reasons.

1.  Even if a permanent closure happens, the fact that there would still be drivable sections IMO makes it preferable to be left in TM as-is.  There are a couple brief drivable sections even in the closure area (Joyce Rd to Picnic Grove 10, and Wise Rd to West Beach Dr), and I believe that removing it would be more of a problem than a solution due to that.

2.  The MD Section would still be drivable so keeping that connection makes sense in principle.  Also I presume that the section from Rock Creek Pkwy to Broad Branch Rd will stay drivable as well.

3.  Of course, I do not want to lose that 4.4 mile walk clinch, but I am just being selfish.   ;D

Minor point concerns if Beach Dr stays:  https://forum.travelmapping.net/index.php?topic=5116.msg28656#msg28656
« Last Edit: July 26, 2022, 06:40:16 am by Markkos1992 »