Morning Notes

Second COVID-19 Vaccine Could Be Approved for Teens — “Biotechnology company Moderna announced Tuesday that its two-shot coronavirus vaccine produced the same protective immune response in teens as it does in adults, and the firm said it plans to submit the data to U.S. regulators for review in early June. If authorized, the vaccine would become the second available for adolescents as young as 12.” [The Washington Post]

Fairfax County Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard — The Fairfax County Health Department launched an updated version of its vaccine dashboard yesterday (Tuesday) with data on administered doses, how many people have gotten vaccinated, demographic breakdowns, and other information. [FCHD]

Preliminary Work Begins on W&OD Wiehle Bridge — “Preliminary work is being performed @ the Wiehle Ave intersection in Reston in preparation for the eventual bridge there. Over the next couple of weeks, Dominion Energy will be making improvements to the gravel trail so that it may be used as a detour as they relocate facilities.” [The W&OD Trail/Twitter]

Man Hit with Bottle in Castle Rock Square — Police responded to the 2200 block of Castle Rock Square in Reston around 11:49 p.m. on Monday (May 24), when a man was hit “in the upper body with a bottle by someone known to him,” the department says. The victim in the incident, which was not a stabbing as initially reported by a scanner, said that he didn’t want the case to be investigated by officers. [FCPD]

County to Hold Meeting on Proposed Bicycle Lanes — Fairfax County will hold a virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on June 8 to discuss striping changes that would create bicycle lanes on several roads. The Hunter Mill District proposals focus on Herndon, adding lanes on segments of McNair Farms Drive and Thomas Jefferson Drive and converting the “underutilized” outside travel lanes on Coppermine Road to buffered bike lanes. [FCDOT]

Herndon Company Recognized for Veteran Hiring — “Herndon-headquartered Serco North America earned the designation VETS Indexes 5 Star Employer as part of the 2021 VETS Indexes Employer Awards. The designation recognizes Serco’s commitment to recruiting, hiring, retaining, developing and supporting veteran employees, military spouses and others in the military community.” [Fairfax County EDA]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Concerns about the maintenance of trails and other bicycle and pedestrian facilities took center stage at the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan community conversation for the Hunter Mill District on Monday (April 19).

The virtual meeting was part of the initial public comment phase of the county’s efforts to develop the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan, which will establish a vision and goals for supporting non-motorized or self-propelled travel.

Examples of active transportation include walking, riding a bike or horse, running, hiking, and the use of rolling devices such as wheelchairs, scooters, and strollers.

Nicole Wynands, the ActiveFairfax project manager, hosted the Hunter Mill District conversation, one of 11 public meetings that have been scheduled this month.

Attendees of the Hunter Mill District meeting identified the maintenance of pedestrian and bicycle facilities as well as hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails as a primary concern, requesting more clarity around where community members should go to report maintenance issues.

Maintenance is a shared responsibility between various agencies, including the county and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Maintenance issues of concern included debris cluttering paths and bike lanes, encroaching landscaping or trees encroaching the paths, and snow being plowed onto pathways. Suggestions to improve these issues included the county encouraging VDOT to dedicate funds for bicycle facility maintenance.

Wynands clarified that tree or shrub trimming is complaint-based, but added that the ActiveFairfax plan “will make recommendations in regards to maintenance.”

Commenters also called for more efforts to educate the public on varying crosswalk functions and ways that mountain bike or equestrian trail users can prevent the trails from being damaged, such as not utilizing them following inclement weather.

Wynands described the new ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan as a necessary measure to mitigate inconsistencies between the county’s various existing pedestrian and bicycle plans and to meet national standards and best practices for facility and design plans.

“In order for us to effectively implement the vision for the biking and walking network, we will need to create one recommendation that is consistent, particularly with the region-wide plan and the area plans,” Wynands said.

Wynands added that Phase One of the ActiveFairfax plan — which began in July 2020 — will run through July. Public engagement will continue through May 15, with a public review of the plan expected by the end of May. A final version will then be presented to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The community survey is still available online, along with interactive maps for community members to identify key destinations and barriers and suggest locations for new trails, bikeways, and street enhancements.

The second phase of the plan will be implemented immediately following the conclusion of the first, and it’s expected to take a year or year and a half, according to Wynands.

Priorities in the second phase include creating a facility selection toolkit, providing network and program recommendations, implementing guidance, prioritizing funding, and working on a comprehensive plan amendment.

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New bike lanes are planned at Monroe Street and on Sunset Hills Road.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation and the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to add an eastbound bike lane on Monroe Street from Sunrise Valley Drive to the bridge and multiple bike lanes on Sunset Hills Road from Samuel Morse Drive to Business Center Drive.

A public meeting on the proposed project is set for Tuesday, April 6 at 7 p.m.The meeting will take place online via Webex. Registration is required to attend.

Here’s more from the county on the planned projects.

As part of its annual maintenance, VDOT repaves hundreds of roads in Fairfax County each year. FCDOT and VDOT collaborate during the repaving and restriping process to efficiently implement the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan that seeks to improve traffic safety and provide transportation options to people around the County.

In subdivisions, “no parking” signs with precise date information will be posted at least three business days prior to work starting. Residents can expect work vehicles in their neighborhood during the project. Motorists are asked to be alert to temporary traffic patterns. Cars, basketball hoops or garbage cans may need to be temporarily relocated while work is under way. Work hours are usually limited to outside of rush hours. Crews typically work on neighborhood streets weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. On other roads such as interstates and some primaries, work may occur overnight.

Paving is set to bring in April and end in November. A more specific timeline is unavailable due to varying contractor schedules.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Several paving and restricting changes are planned for roads in the Hunter Mill District.

State and local officials are planned to add bike lanes and left-turn lanes on Beulah Road, as well as shared lane marks on the narrow parts of the road. On-street parking is expected to remain at the site.

Residents could also see bike lines on Glade Drive between Colts Neck Road and Glade Bank Way. On-street parking will remain on both sides of the road, but on-street parking west of Charterhouse Circle could be converted to bike lanes because it is underutilized.

Bike lanes are also planned on Pine Valley Drive between Old Courthouse Road and Higdon Drive. This project will require narrowing the road.

The existing left turn lane into the West Market Community neighborhood could be converted into a pedestrian refuge. Left turns into Market Street would be limited and alternative routes into the community through Crescent Park Drive will remain.

Paving projects are expected to begin in April and continue through November.  State and local transportation officials identify repaving and restriping projects annually in order to implement the county’s comprehensive plan.

The feedback period for comments closed on March 10.

Photo via FCDOT

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Users of the bicycle and pedestrian lane on Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Reston Parkway will have to find another route.

The section of the sidewalk will be closed for repairs, which are expected to begin today (Monday, Nov. 18).

The repairs are expected to last until April 2020 and will maintain utility lines and “earthworks,” according to the Virginia Department of Transporation (VDOT).

VDOT asks that people temporarily avoid the path and follow directions from roadwork signs.

The construction will only affect the “right of way” land owned by Fairfax County and not residents unless permission is granted from property owners.

Image via VDOT

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Land acquisition is underway to make way for major improvements to Van Buren Street from Spring Street to Herndon Parkway. But permission from five property owners for necessary easements and land acquisition is pending to allow the $4.6 million project to proceed.

Planned improvements are envisioned as a critical link between downtown Herndon and the Herndon Metro Station ahead of its expected opening in July next year.

The Herndon Town Council plans to vote on plans to seize the properties through eminent domain. So far, property owners have rejected the town’s proposals to buy easements based on the unit price of the real estate:

Town planners attempted to use existing right-of-way as much as possible in order to minimize land acquisition needs.

Planning for the project began in December 2011. If land acquisition and utility relocation is completed by the end of this year, construction is expected to begin in spring 2020.

Construction, which is expected to cost $3.7 million of the overall $4.6 million price tag — would be complete by fall next year.

The project includes 11-foot wide travel lanes, on-road bike lanes in each direction from Spring Street to Senate Court, an off-road cycle track in both directions from Senate Court to Herndon Parkway, five-foot-wide sidewalks, and a new traffic signal at the Alabama Drive intersection.

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Prepare for a sea of orange cones. With spring quickly approaching, Virginia Department of Transportation officials are gearing up for re-stripping, road redesigns, and new bike lanes on multiple Reston roads this year.

Roadwork will take place from April through November. The Virginia Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting on plans on Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in Terraset Elementary School‘s cafeteria.

In response to residents’ concerns about safety along the South Lakes Drive corridor, the county plans to redesign a strip between Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive by converting an outside travel lane to a buffered bike lane — a move the county hopes will address concerns about limited sight distance for vehicles turning onto Sunrise Valley Drive and pedestrian traffic.

Bike lanes on South Lakes Drive between Reston Parkway and Sanibel Drive would be extended. The county will keep one travel lane in each direction due to the limited projected impacts of future development on traffic in that area.

Other plans include adding or expanding bike lines on Bennington Woods Drive, Bowman Towne Drive, Explorer Street, Lawyers Road, Pinecrest Road and others. South Lakes Drive, Bluemont Drive and Fountain Drive are slated for redesigning.

A complete breakdown of plans in the Hunter Mill District is below:

  • Bennington Woods Drive: Addition of bike lanes.
  • Bowman Towne Drive: Addition of northbound bike lane, southbound shared line markings and striped parking lanes on both sides.
  • Bracknell Road: Addition of buffered bike lanes between Stevenage Road and commercial driveways.
  • Explorer Street: Addition of bike lanes. On-street parking on both sides of the street will remain.
  • Fountain Drive: Road redesign to “increase traffic safety.” There will be one travel lane in each direction, with one dedicated left turn lane and buffered bike lanes.
  • Stevenage Road: Addition of buffered bike lanes between Bennington Woods Road and the northern Home Depot driveway and Reston Parkway. Existing parking restrictions will not be changed. Timed parking will remain.
  • Temporary Road: Addition of bike lanes.
  • Walnut Branch Road: Addition of eastbound buffered bike lanes and westbound shared lane markings.
  • Lawyers Road: Extension of existing bike lanes west to Reston Parkway and upgrades to existing shoulders between Twin Branches Road to Hunter Mill Road to buffered bike lanes.
  • Pinecrest Road: Addition of buffered lanes between South Lakes Drive and Glade Drive. On-street parking will remain.
  • Ridge Heights Road: Addition of bike lanes. On-street parking will remain. “Extra wide” parking lanes will be provided for school bus parking.
  • Soapstone Drive: Addition of buffers to existing bike lanes.

In addition to attending the meeting, residents can submit online feedback. A complete list of impacted is online.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Bicyclists no longer have to visit The Bike Lane, a Springfield-based company with locations in Springfield and Reston, for repairs. The company has partnered with San Fransisco-based Beeline Bikes, to bring bike repairs to the road.

The service, which will operate for the first time on the East Coast, will be available in Reston, Ashburn, Tysons Corner and Herndon later this month.

Both natives of Northern Virginia, Todd and Anne Mader launched The Bike Lane 17 years ago in Springfield. The couple opened another location in Reston (11943 Democracy Drive) seven years later.

“We have been serving cyclists in this area for almost two decades and know that they lead busy, active lives and are very tech-savvy. With Beeline‘s unique ‘We Come to You’ service, we will now be able to meet their needs in their homes or at work, in addition to our brick-and-mortar business,” said Todd Mader.

Anne Mader said the partnership with the franchise leverage the largest mobile bike service’s customer service and local support from their bike company.

“Beeline Bikes has the innovative technology and manufacturer partnerships needed to meet our customers’ needs wherever and however they shop and wherever they ride, and at The Bike Lane, we can also provide expanded services such as advanced fittings, group rides, classes, clinics and more,” she said.

The service will operate under the name Beeline Bikes Northern Virginia Powered by The Bike Lane. Any new bike purchased through the websites of Diamondback Bikes and Raleigh Bikes USA will also be delivered for no additional cost.

Customers can schedule a request for repairs online or by calling 855-58-BIKES. Prices for services, which range from a full tune-up to flat tire fixes, differ based on the customer’s location.

Photo courtesy of Fish Consulting

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Fairfax County is celebrating the first year anniversary of Capital Bikeshare this month as more stations in Reston are on the horizon.

County officials laud the program as a success. According to the Capital Bikeshare’s website, more than 1,000 people have signed up to become members and more than 27,150 miles have been travelled overall. More than 10,000 trips have also been taken with the bikes.

Adam Lind, the county’s bicycle program coordinator, said the county sees the program as a success so far, especially compared to counties like Montgomery County in Maryland and Fairfax County overall.

“Memberships and trips taken have continued to increase and we expect this to continue as we expand bikeshare to new areas of Reston and the county,” Lind said.

Currently, there are 15 stations installed in Reston. Within the next few months, a new station will be on the way near the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. A dozen additional stations are planned for next year in 2019, 11 of which will be funded by a federal grant and pone of which will be funded by a development. Ten of these stations are planned on the south of Toll Road, he said.

Funding is also available for expanding Bikeshare to the west of both sides of the Toll Road within phase two of the Silver Line extension.

The most popular stations are at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and the Reston Town Center Transit station is the 2nd most busy. The county expects bikeshare to continue to grow as more bike infrastructure is built in the community.

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Fairfax County Department of Transportation officials are seeking public input on nearly 300 transportation projects that are vying for roughly $100 million in funding.

Local residents can provide feedback on proposed projects at a public meeting on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 7-9 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). The meeting will include a formal presentation about unfunded projects and a question-and-answer session.

Residents can also take an online survey by Nov. 9 to indicate preferred projects, or mail a printed copy of the survey to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033).

Feedback will allow the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to prioritize unfunded transportation projects in line for funding through fiscal year 2023, according to the county’s website.

Unfunded projects in Reston include those listed below:

Read More

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Following a community meeting last month regarding the potential addition of bike lanes to Glade Drive, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation has decided not to go forward with that possibility.

“We obviously heard from the community along Glade about their preference for parking, and that helped to drive our decision,” said Adam Lind, FCDOT’s Bike Program manager, Friday morning. “We’re not going to take any parking; we’re sticking with just sharrows.”

A shared-lane marking, or sharrow, is painted in a travel lane to show where bicycles may be on the road and what direction they should be traveling. Lanes remain the same width, as does space for cars to park.

Some residents had expressed concern that if bike lanes were added to Glade Drive, the subsequent removal of street parking would cause problems with overflow parking at Glade Pool, Walker Nature Center, the Quartermaster Soccer Field and other locations along the road.

In another community meeting in March, Lind presented possibilities for bike lanes on Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road. In regard to those plans, Lind said:

  • bike lanes will be added in both directions on Colts Neck Road, along with a road diet
  • there will be a bike lane in one direction and sharrows in the other along North Shore Drive, with the location of each alternating “depending on the section of the street”
  • bike lanes will be added in both directions on Twin Branches Road

“No major alterations [from what was presented],” Lind said. “Most of the tweaks have been local comments about specific items — [such as] where we’re looking to shift the double yellow to give more room for people to pass when there’s parking along a road.”

At March’s meeting, a number of residents were particularly concerned about the proposal for the road diet on Colts Neck Road, which will take the road from four lanes of vehicle traffic to two between Glade Drive and South Lakes Drive.

Bicycle riders responded by saying Colts Neck Road is particularly dangerous for them and for pedestrians as well. The road diet could also allow for the addition of a crosswalk. Lind also said it is not believed the diet will have a major adverse effect on vehicle traffic. In a presentation during the March meeting, Lind said roads with traffic less than 20,000 cars per day don’t require four travel lanes, and a traffic count showed less than half that on Colts Neck Road. Those cars will be slowed by the diet and safety will be increased, Lind said.

Residents argued, however, that the road is a major “cut-through” during rush-hour times when traffic is backed up on Fairfax County Parkway, and that the road diet would cause additional traffic delays specifically during those times. According to a recent study, less than 1/2 of 1 percent of Fairfax County commuters bike to work — an amount some residents said is not worth potentially causing daily bottlenecking of cars. Possible safety hazards that could be presented by a center left-turn lane were also raised by citizens.

Repaving and re-striping will be conducted by the Virginia Department of Transportation after school lets out for the summer, Lind said. Further details will be provided on VDOT’s paving program website.

Anyone seeking additional information can request it by emailing [email protected].

Let us know what you think below:

File photo at top from Glade Drive community meeting April 27. Map of Colts Neck Road redesign via Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

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The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has put three possibilities on the table as it looks toward adding bike lanes and sharrows to a 2-mile stretch of Glade Drive during the re-paving process this year.

The options were presented to residents Thursday evening during an open house at Hunters Woods Elementary School. People were able to ask questions of FCDOT staff regarding the plans and were invited to fill out comment forms to rank the options and give additional feedback.

The stretch of Glade Drive in question is a 1.93-mile portion between Glade Bank Way and Twin Branches Road. Alternatives for striping the road, which will take place in conjunction with re-paving efforts by the Virginia Department of Transportation this year, are:

  • Parking and sharrow on north side, bike lane (no parking) on south side
  • Parking and sharrow on north side, bike lane (no parking) on south side except from Old Trail Drive to Quartermaster Lane, in the area of Glade Pool, Walker Nature Center and the Quartermaster Soccer Field (parking remains and sharrows are added on both sides in that section)
  • Parking remains on both sides with sharrows added in each direction — no bike lane is added

Adam Lind, FCDOT’s Bicycle Program manager, said the options were the result of information that was gathered from the community during a November meeting.

“We gathered feedback about how many people were interested in bicycling, walking, parking, driving — whatever their priorities were,” he said. “We did get a lot of feedback from people, on all the streets, that bicycling was high up there.”

Based on that feedback, possibilities for other Reston roads — Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road — were presented at a separate community meeting in March. However, Lind said, Glade Drive received a proportionally large amount of feedback and “deserved its own priority” through Thursday’s separate presentation.

Local resident Ernie Day said he is an avid bicyclist. However, he said, he believes giving riders more access to roadways is dangerous to both them and drivers.

“I can understand that people want to ride and be safe, but I would suggest to you if you’ve ever lived on Glade — like I have — it’s not going to be safe,” he said. “For the everyday riders, we don’t need to block off traffic permanently. The streets are not easily enlarged.”

Jeff Anderson, president of the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling, said he passed five cyclists along the stretch of Glade Drive on his way to Thursday evening’s meeting. He said the option of putting a south-side bike lane on the entirety of the stretch of road would be the best choice for the community.

“Having on-again, off-again bike lanes isn’t always the best thing for cyclists or motorists,” he said. “There’s not a lot of cars parking on the south side on a daily basis. I think it’s a happy medium — you get a bike lane on one side, and you get the sharrows [on the other].”

Lind said all comments received at Thursday’s meeting, as well as during previous meetings, will be analyzed by FCDOT before they decide how to proceed. He said any residents who were unable to attend Thursday’s meeting but who would still like to provide feedback are welcome to email comments to [email protected] through May 11.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Top Reston Volunteers to Be Honored — An awards ceremony to recognize individuals, families, groups and businesses who make a significant contribution to the Reston community through volunteer service will be held tonight from 6:30-9 p.m. at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.). [Reston Association]

Meeting on Glade Drive Bike Lanes Tonight — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will host a community meeting tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at Hunters Woods Elementary School (2401 Colts Neck Road) to discuss potential changes to Glade Drive, including the addition of bike lanes and sharrows. [Reston Now]

Fairfax Corner Art Festival (Sponsored) — Fairfax Corner will transform into an outdoor art showcase during the 2nd Annual Fairfax Corner Art Festival this weekend. Monument Corner Drive will feature more than 100 national and international artists, arranged in pop-up gallery style and filled with all mediums of fine art. Admission is free and it’s taking place this Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 4100 Monument Corner Drive, Fairfax. [Howard Alan Events]

Reston Couples Find Business Success with Mat — Gerald and Michelle Zingraf, along with Ben and Camille Arneberg, have made about 6,000 sales of their new product, TerraMat, since February. The ergonomic anti-fatigue desk mat is designed to provide exercise, stretching and therapeutic massage for the feet of those who spend hours at a time standing at a desk. [Fairfax County EDA]

Red’s Table Has New Top Chef — Adam Stein has left Red’s Table to open his own D.C. restaurant, The Eleanor. Kevin Ettenson, 28, is the new executive chef at Red’s Table (11150 South Lakes Drive). Among his plans are an emphasis on housemade pastas and an expanded late-night menu. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

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An April 27 meeting on safety improvements on Glade Drive will regard proposed bike lanes and sharrows along a nearly 2-mile stretch of the road.

Information released Friday morning by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation regarding the meeting says it will be to discuss proposals for Glade Drive between Glade Bank Way and Twin Branches Road. That’s the 1.93-mile portion of the road scheduled for repaving this year by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

“The purpose of the meeting will be to gather input on various proposals to improve traffic safety, bicycling and the pedestrian environment. There will be an open house at 6:30 p.m., and then representatives from FCDOT and VDOT will present plans for the project, which includes sharrows/shared lane markings, bike lanes, crosswalks and pedestrian improvements, starting at 7 p.m.”

FCDOT said recently that there are plans for 10 additional Capital Bikeshare stations in Reston, and information provided regarding the Glade Drive meeting shows three in that part of the community:

  • at South Lakes High School
  • near the intersection of South Lakes Drive and Soapstone Drive
  • near the intersection of Soapstone Drive and Glade Drive

Bike lanes already exist along Soapstone Drive.

A meeting last month regarding the potential addition of bike lanes and sharrows on Twin Branches Road, Colts Neck Road and North Shore Drive drew spirited debate among the community. FCDOT and bicyclists say the work would increase safety for all users of the road, while other residents are concerned about potential loss of parking spaces, increased congestion and possible safety hazards for drivers.

The FCDOT presentation from that meeting is available through the county website.

The Glade Drive meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Hunters Woods Elementary School (2401 Colts Neck Road).

Project map courtesy Fairfax County Department of Transportation

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Proposed safety improvements for Glade Drive will be the topic of discussion at a Fairfax County Department of Transportation community meeting later this month.

The meeting on bicycle, pedestrian and traffic safety improvements is scheduled for Thursday, April 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Hunters Woods Elementary School (2401 Colts Neck Road). The discussion will revolve around “proposed changes and addition of multi-modal features to the street design of Glade Drive,” according to information provided by Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office.

FCDOT held a similar community meeting last month to discuss adding bike lanes, crosswalks and road diets on Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road. That meeting saw a great deal of reaction, positive and negative, from community members. The FCDOT presentation from that meeting is available through the county website.

The work is being proposed on roadways that are scheduled for repaving this year by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Project manager Adam Lind, FCDOT’s Bicycle Program manager, said at last month’s meeting that the work would improve safety for all users of the roads not just by adding crosswalks and bike lanes, but by cutting down on speeding. Lind said the work would be done at no additional cost as part of the normal re-striping process.

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