46°Clear

Wiehle Avenue Indeed Trouble Spot for Drivers, Police Analysis Shows

by Karen Goff September 22, 2016 at 9:40 am 15 Comments

Crash on Wiehle/Credit: FCPDAfter a car crash with injuries on Wiehle Avenue earlier this week, many Reston Now readers chimed in that “something needs to be done” about the stretch of Wiehle from Baron Cameron Avenue to Sunset Hills Road.

The road is on a hill in that section and features a slight blind curve. Monday’s crash occurred at Wiehle and Inlet Court. That intersection was the site of nine crashes in 2015, according to Fairfax County Police. It was the second crash at the intersection in 2016.

A pedestrian was hit and killed by a driver at Wiehle and Chestnut Grove last October, one of three car-vs.-pedestrian incidents in 2015, records show. The woman killed in that crash was crossing Wiehle at dawn outside of a crosswalk.

FCPD points to several intersections as trouble spots on Wiehle. Since the start of 2015, there have been 20 collisions at Wiehle and North Shore Drive. The busy intersection at Baron Cameron has had 17 crashes in that time frame.

There have been 12 crashes at the intersection at Sunset Hills since the start of 2015, FCPD records show. That area continues to be a trouble spot, with the W&OD Trail also crossing Wiehle there. Access to the Silver Line station at Wiehle-Reston East and egress from Fairfax County Fire Rescue Station 25 also complicate things at that intersection.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation plans a pedestrian bridge to take the W&OD over Wiehle. The $10 million bridge likely won’t be built until 2021, however.

Meanwhile, while it seems Wiehle is an increasingly dangerous road, FCPD spokesman Officer Don Gotthardt points out that incidents are actually down in 2016.

There were 53 collisions on Wiehle in 2015. With a little over three months left to go in 2016, there have been 25 recorded by police. Gotthardt said the reasons for the decline were unknown.

Overall, there have been 78 collisions recorded since the start of 2015, though, which does it make Wiehle a trouble spot. What do you think should be done to make it safer? Tell us in the comments below.

Also, check out the document from Fairfax County Police mapping and categorizing what has happened on Wiehle in the last 20 months.

Collisions on Wiehle Avenue by Karen Goldberg Goff on Scribd

  • Sam

    Drive the speed limit and use the crosswalks.

  • Anonymous

    The lanes are very narrow and the woods on both sides drop debris on the roadway after a storm. Expand the roadway on both sides, as even going the speed limit many drivers have difficulty staying in their lane, and better maintenance to clear the debris.

    The crosswalks aren’t well controlled and drivers generally ignore pedestrians and bikers trying to cross at the W&OD trail. Accelerate the pedestrian bridge project.

    Many people from Chestnut Grove are trying to cross the street to access the Sport & Health in Isaac Newton Square or the bus stop across from the entrance, and will cross Wiehle whenever they can before the W&OD crossing, since there is no other convenient place to cross. This one I’m not sure how to fix, but lighting isn’t really that great in the area. Add additional streetlights from Chestnut Grove to Sunset Hills to help drivers identify pedestrians that are jay walking, and help pedestrians better see cars that may be coming. Maybe add another crosswalk to Isaac Newton Square or by the entrance to Chestnut Grove so pedestrians no longer have to jay walk.

    • Joe

      Yes to pedestrian bridge at W&OD; no to expanding roadway — studies
      have shown how widening lanes encourages people to increase their
      speed, which wouldn’t be good for the twisty parts of Wiehle. (Read
      “Traffic” by Tom Vanderbilt to get a good look at how many traditional
      road-building standards actually increase unsafe driver behavior…)

      • Rational Reston

        The suggestion could just be to make the road wider without adding any additional lanes i.e. make each lane 2 feet wider giving each vehicle more room.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, that was the suggestion. There simply isn’t enough room for another lane and I don’t think that would solve the root problem, but adding an extra foot or two to the roadway will make it more passable. I’m regularly behind people that are driving 25-30mph and having difficulty staying in their lanes due to how narrow they are.

  • Arielle in NoVA

    NB: there are TWO places where Wiehle intersects North Shore. Please specify which.

    • BOHICA

      The north intersection @ the pedestrian overpass.

      • Arielle in NoVA

        Thanks! (aka. at the walkover bridge 😉 )

  • Sue E

    I drive this road a few times a week in late morning. Speed limit is 35 on this narrow, curvy road with some blind spots. Typically, cars are going 45 mph. I’ve never seen police giving out tickets for speeding or making right turns where the sign says no right turns on red.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Two words: Road diet.

    Or you can wait it out. Pretty soon there will be so many cars that gridlock will take care of this problem for us.

  • reston is changing

    Need the W&OD pedestrian bridge now. Can’t wait 5+ years. Unfortunately, there may need to be a terrible car on pedestrian accident for this to get moved up the list of priorities.

  • Robert

    FCPD police will not enforce the speed limit on Wiehle. They should take their share of responsibility for these accidents & fatalities. I have personally asked FCPD officers to patrol Whiele near the Lake Anne dam area to no avail. Nothing will change until some politically important family member dies on this major high-traffic Reston road. Speed cameras and/or hand held radar guns would provide a quick solution.

  • Robert

    FCPD police will not enforce the speed limit on Wiehle. They should take their share of responsibility for these accidents & fatalities. I have personally asked FCPD officers to patrol Wiehle near the Lake Anne dam area to no avail. Nothing will change until some politically important family member dies on this major high-traffic Reston road. Speed cameras and/or hand held radar guns would provide a quick solution.

  • dude

    What do you expect when traffic volumes keep going up from all the development going on in the Dulles corridor along with the garage for Metro. No politician would say no to Metro or the development and traffic that came and is still coming. Call your supervisor and tell her to vote NO to the unbridled development that is coming!

  • Robert

    Enforce speed limit with handheld radar guns and speed cameras. Drivers typically drive 45-60 on this 35 mph zoned road.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list