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FCPD Officers Hoping Wiehle-Reston East Area Gets ‘Street Smart’

by Karen Goff — May 6, 2016 at 11:00 am 35 Comments

Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road/FCPDFairfax County Police said they issued 30 citations around the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station Wednesday morning as part of their “Street Smart” pedestrian and bike safety campaign.

Fairfax County Police Department have teamed with “Street Smart,” an annual public education campaign, to promote traffic safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists through education, enforcement and awareness.

In weeks prior to the special enforcement event, the Street Smart team was on foot around the Wiehle-Reston Metro station. Officers wore bright yellow shirts and handed out educational materials while wearing billboards.

On Wednesday, a large traffic sign was placed near the metro station to alert that special enforcement efforts were taking place. Officers then conducted special, high-visibility enforcement in the areas surrounding multiple pedestrian control devices (e.g. crosswalks and electronic signs).

Fairfax County Police Officers observed and cited 30 traffic safety violations for illegal actions that included failing to yield right-of-way to pedestrians legally crossing; pedestrians crossing against signal; turning right on red where posted prohibited; and illegally stopping on roadways and in travel lanes to discharge passengers. and more

Police said citations were issued to both pedestrians and motorists.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    But did they cite anybody for using a cellphone while driving?

    • Why do you bother?

      Unfortunately, it’s not illegal to do that. Just incredibly stupid.

      • Chuck Morningwood

        I don’t know about that. Failure to Pay Full Attention, or some such, is illegal. Seems to me that I’ve heard that before in Traffic Court.

  • AP

    Thank you for also citing pedestrians, not just vehicles. Pedestrians in this area behave with carelessness and impunity far too often and should bear some of the responsibility.

    • Anonymous

      I’ll admit I walk against the signal when it’s safe to do so for me. It’s because the walk/don’t walk signals aren’t timed very well right next to the metro station, and you may be waiting for quite some time for the signal to change.

      Not sure how to solve those problems, but it’s a cause on why you see pedestrians crossing against the signal.

      • Sam

        Sorry, tough luck — that’s no better an excuse than a driver who pauses vs stops on red to turn to beat the oncoming traffic. The signals are there for a reason so wait the extra minute until you can safely cross.

        • Anonymous

          If it were a minute, sure. But since it’s 15, I’ll jaywalk.

          • Sam

            There is no traffic signal on Earth that takes 15 minutes to cycle through. Let’s not be dramatic.

          • Mike M

            You are part of the problem. In your case the problem may be self-correcting.

          • cnicola27 .

            haha this guy copies and pastes the same reply to everybody’s comment

          • Mike M

            Hi, half wipe.

          • cnicola27 .

            Hello you poor bored degenerate

    • GB

      In what % of pedestrian caused accidents do you think the person who suffers the most is not the pedestrian? I’d guess <5%, but would be happy to see numbers.

      Pedestrians operate in a self correcting system. As a pedestrian you generally don't get to cause a terrible accident twice.

      Drivers operate with so much more power and so much less direct feedback, focusing enforcement almost exclusively on drivers is appropriate.

      • AP

        Just because the pedestrian always suffers the most doesn’t mean they should be absolved of any responsibility. My point is not to decrease vehicular enforcement but to increase pedestrian enforcement.

      • Mike M

        You are definitely a part of the problem.

        • GB

          Thanks for the shout out.

  • JohnQPublic

    Did the county recieve any citation for designing what is arguably the most congested area in Reston ? It is absolute joke around that area . Clearly the publics safety was a long afterthought

    • RunDMC

      Yeah, it’s such a shame too because I live on the south side of the toll road and love to ride my bike on the W&OD (and would LOVE to commute to work on my bike) but I don’t feel comfortable walking around during rush hour as a pedestrian, much less on my bike!

      • GB

        I live South of the toll road and ride to work on the WOD. I get on sunrise valley at soapstone, and take the lane until the WOD (~1.5 miles). The road is two lanes wides so I’m easy to pass. Traffic is generally not moving so that’s often not needed. Yes, if you do this long enough someone will honk, but that’s what fingers are for.

        • Mike M

          “The road is two lanes wides so I’m easy to pass.”
          “but that’s what fingers are for.”

          You sound like a part of the problem. In your case the problem may be self-correcting.

          • GB

            What problem am I part of?

            I’m generally on the road around 7am. Come see if you can correct it.

          • Mike M

            I won’t need to, tough guy. Someone on their cell phone will.

          • GB

            So the problem that I’m part of when I’m riding my bike is distracted drivers? Thanks for proving my point about enforcement needing to be almost exclusively focused on drivers.

          • Mike M

            The problem is when people ignore the law because they feel righteous and presume it’s the other guy’s job to watch out for them. The problem is both bikers who ignore stop signs and the drivers who jam on the brakes to see if a biker might be coming or is coming and they wave them out into the four lanes. I’ve seen all of this behavior create accidents. If you are in denial that bikers can be in the wrong, you are part of the problem

            One more thing. The laws of man and the laws of physics and different both in their degree of brutality and their reliability. The biker who posted above that he chooses not to ride where it is not safe has a wisdom into which you have yet to grow. I think riding a bike through that intersection at rush hour – especially in the winter dark is stupid and reckless.

          • GB

            “If you are in denial that bikers can be in the wrong, you are part of the problem”. Well I’m not, so glad to hear I’m actually not part of the problem. So happy we were able to work that out.

            “The biker who posted above that he chooses not to ride where it is not safe.” One person’s safe is another person’s terrifying. I have safely ridden that stretch of road hundreds of times. Is there a risk, yes. Stepping outside comes with risks, hell huddling in the corner comes with risks. I was simply letting him know that if he can get past a few car horns on occasion the ride is very doable. Thanks for chiming in though. I think you really added to the discussion.

          • Mike M

            One person’s reckless is another person’s passive aggressive fun.

        • Greg

          Depending on which finger you have in mind, and how you use it, you could be facing a criminal misdemeanor

          • GB

            I was talking about using my index fingers to plug my hears.

            The person honking might be guilty of beaching the peace or disorderly conduct.

          • Greg

            OK, but isn’t it dangerous to operate a bicycle without both hands on the handlebars?

            And, yes, sounding a vehicle horn in absence of a situation requiring a reasonable warning is unlawful.

          • GB

            Sorry I should have been clearer. I’d plug my ears after coming to a complete stop.

  • TheRealODB

    #Fundraising

  • Beth

    Aside from carpy drivers and pedestrians (you go Police!), could planning be any worse for that station? Even the parking garage is nutty. If I have to take the Metro I’ll still drive to Vienna.

  • EliteinReston

    The crackdown on pedestrians is fine as far as it goes. But the biggest vehicle traffic problem there are the shuttle buses that park illegally along the south side of Reston Station Blvd. They take a lane away from drivers legally trying to access the garage and kiss and ride. The buses create pedestrian traffic because people are walking from the station to buses. Why does this happen? Because the county government allowed the developer, Comstock, to get away with a flawed kiss and ride design that prevents those buses from turning the tight corners into and out of the kiss and ride without hitting other vehicles. So the buses park illegally along the street. Furthermore, cars stop to drop off and pick up Metro riders along Reston Station Blvd because they don’t want to attempt to negotiate Comstock’s tight corners by entering and exiting the kiss and ride lot.

  • 10ghp

    It’s unfortunate for everyone that the design of this area has led to the pedestrian safety issues we are seeing. Notably, the pedestrian crossing at Whiele and the O&D is dangerous for both pedestrians and traffic, especially during peak traffic. The constant cross of pedestrians, lack of pedestrian control signals and backup of traffic within the intersection is a constant danger. Without control signals, pedestrian crossing is a free for all. Legally, traffic must stop for anyone in the median or cross walk, which doesn’t happen, because there is a constant flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. This leads to pedestrians playing frogger in the cross walk and the vast majority of vehicular traffic breaking the law. The answer here isn’t to randomly cite drivers. This is clearly an issue of traffic engineering and something that needs to be addressed asap.

    Further, the pedestrians that randomly dart out in to traffic and jay walk Whiele, Sunrise, and Sunset are putting everyone at risk. What are these people thinking?

    • Scott H

      Probably time to consider an overpass as has been done on other busy roads along the WO&D. Developer proffers can pay for a he’ll of a lot!

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