County Tries to Vaccinate Unhoused Residents — Fairfax county officials have launched an effort to encourage the county’s roughly 1,200 unhoused residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Public health workers have a mighty task ahead as the county is large and people experience homelessness in different capacities, including in shelters, deep in the woods and in encampments. [DCist]
Child-sized Mask Donations Needed — The county is in need of 10,000 masks for children. The largest need is small masks for toddlers and you-size masks for school-aged kids. County officials say they’ve received requests from nonprofit partners for masks but can’t fill them because they do not have enough masks. [Fairfax County Government]
Anti-theft bike racks available in Reston Town Center — Boston Properties recently worked with Bikeep, a San Fransisco-based micromobility enabler, to install several app-activated bike racks in Reston Town Center. The stations were installed at the end of the spring. [Bikeep]
LGBTQ+ Group Decries Efforts to Remove Books — A group that represents more than 425 LGBTQIA students told the Fairfax County School Board that it should reject an effort by some parents to remove two books from school libraries. [Reston Patch]
The socially-distanced event on bicyclist and pedestrian safety takes place on Saturday (August 29) from 9-11 a.m. next to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Reston.
FCPD will set up next to the bike lockets at Newton Square’s access road near the mile 17 marker, directly west of the intersection at Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road.
“This will be a great opportunity for riders to raise bike safety issues and share other concerns with our local law enforcement officers and county officials,” FABB wrote in a statement.
Masks, hand sanitizer, water, snacks, and safety literature will be available at the location.
Several county officials, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and Northern Virginia Families for Safe Streets will also take part.
Residents are encouraged to bring their bikes.
Fairfax County officials have called Capital Bikeshare in Reston a success since the program was launched in 2016.
Now, the county plans to install 10 stations by next spring.
At a Fairfax County Board Transportation Committee meeting yesterday (May 14), staff discussed plans to expand the program throughout Reston, Tysons, Vienna and Merrifield.
The 16 stations already in Reston are used more frequently than the 13 in Tysons, according to county data.
Staff have been hesitant to pinpoint exact locations of the stations, but did release a list of possible sites during yesterday’s meeting:
- Baron Cameron Avenue
- North Shore Drive corridor
- Glade Drive corridor
- Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
- Discussions are also underway to fund even more stations in the Reston and Herndon Transit Station Areas.
Overall, bikeshare use in the county increase by 3.3 percent between 2017 and 2018. The county is also now seeing more bicyclists use the bikes for trips beyond Wiehle-Reston East in Reston.
It’s time to gear up for Bike to Work Day on Friday (May 17).
More than 100 pitstops are planned from 6:30-9:30 a.m. through the D.C. Metro area, including one in Reston and one in Herndon.
The Reston pit stop will be held at the Reston Station Plaza at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station (1862 Wiehle Avenue). A second pit stop is planned in Herndon near the entrance of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail at the corner of Lynn and Elden streets.
The first 20,000 who register and attend will receive a free T-shirt. Registration, which is free, is open online.
If biking alone isn’t your cup of tea, you can join a convoy led by experienced bicycle commuters. Convoys will travel along popular employment centers in the region. You can also try to track down a ride buddy by using the Washington Area Bike Forum.
Thousands of bicyclists are expected to commute via pedal power during the annual event, which is sponsored by Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
The event takes place rain or shine.
Bike to School Day returns to Fairfax County Public Schools tomorrow (Wednesday). The annual event aims to promote physical activity and put a dent into traffic congestion and pollution near schools.
As students bike or walk to school, parents are encouraged to accompany their kids to school and organize bike trains or walking groups.
The event is part of a series of events this month, which is National Bike Month. Bike to Work Day is set for May 17. FCPS provides guidance on the safest routes to and from schools in the county.
Reston schools participating in Bike to School Day include:
- Aldrin Elementary School
- Lake Anne Elementary School
- Sunrise Valley Elementary School
- Terraset Elementary School
For more information, visit the county’s website.
Photo courtesy of Steve Gurney
A Recap of Reston Association’s Volunteer Awards — “In Reston there is more than live, work and play. “Its volunteers are the backbone of Reston,” said Hank Lynch, Reston Association CEO. In a celebration of Reston Association’s outstanding volunteers from 2018, its board of directors and staff extended their appreciation and thanks to the more than 1,423 volunteers, businesses and community partners who gave of their time to make a positive impact on the community.” [The Connection]
55+ Bike Ride Around Old Town Alexandria — Join RA for a multi-modal ride from Reston to Old Town Alexandria tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. [Reston Association]
Transportation Committee Seeks Members — Reston Association’s Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee seeks new members to help shape transportation in Reston. Applications can be submitted online to RA’s Board of Directors. [Reston Association]
Flick pool photo by vantagehill
The county has logged roughly 16,000 trips every year since the program began in Reston and as more stations are added to the network, that number is expected to increase dramatically over the next several years. Stations in Tysons Corner are also seeing dramatic increases in utilization, especially as more corporate sponsors come on board to back new stations.
Most of Reston’s new stations are planned in south Reston. Exact locations will not be disclosed until the county finalizes places with state transportation officials, according to the county. The corridors at North Shore Drive, Baron Cameron Avenue, South Lakes drive and Glade Drive are likely candidates.
Chris Wells, the county’s bicycle and pedestrian program manager, said that the new stations will help transform the program by expanding their use beyond a quick ride to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station or Reston Town Center.
When a new station was added near Lake Anne, trips indicate that people used the bikes to run errands and pick up groceries at Harris Teeter in Spectrum Center. Wells says this suggest the functionality of the bikes is changing in the suburban community.
So far, the station at Wiehle-Reston East Metro tops all others with 4,743 annual trips last year. The RTC station came in second with 2,650 annual trips. The station at Sunset Hills Road and Isaac Newton Square brings in 1,782 annual trips, according to county data.
The county is considering moving the station at Reston Regional Library — the least popular station with just 16 trips last year — to another site until construction of Reston Town Center North is completed. The newest station and the only one south of the toll road is at Campus Commons.
A pilot program launched last year to bring battery-operated bikes to Reston was also successful, Wells said. Nearly 500 new electric bikes will be added to the Maryland, Virginia and DC network over the next few months.
Overall, utilization dipped slightly last year due to construction at Wiehle-Reston East, Wells said. He hopes to more people using bikeshare in Reston as the network becomes more connected.
“As there are places to go, we expect utilization to get even better organically.”
The yearly triathlon just for kids is back.
The ninth annual Reston Youth Triathlon will take place Sunday, May 12, at the South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive).
The triathlon includes athletes swimming in the heated Ridge Heights pool, biking near South Lakes High School and then running on Reston Association paths before finishing at the school’s stadium.
The triathlon is open to kids ages 6 to 15 with different distances for the triathlon’s three parts based on age groups. Registration opened on Jan. 16.
The fundraising “Be Amyazing!” triathlon began three years after “Amy’s Amigos” was founded in 2008 to honor Amy Boyle, who was battling brain cancer.
The event is coordinated in conjunction with the CORE Foundation.
Photo via Core Foundation
Reston Association is officially the first business to join the Washington & Old Dominion Trail Ambassador Program, an initiative that encourages local businesses near the trail to support bicyclists during business hours.
The program is operated by the Friends of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, a citizen-led organization that aims to protect and improve the trail. The organization was created as an advisory body to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority in 1997. It aims to maintain the trail’s position as a recreational, environmental and historic resource through volunteer efforts like fundraising, promotional, educational programming and maintenance, according to the organization’s website.
According to an RA release, the program encourages local businesses near the trail to support to bicyclists during business hours, including bicycle tools, restroom facilities, drinking fountains, and telephone access. The program is part of a supportive community that is expanding surrounding the trail.
Ambassador businesses within four miles of each side of the 45-mile trail are envisioned to join the ambassador community, extending from Arlington to Purcellville.
Photo via RA
New bike racks were installed last week at the Lake House, bringing a whimsical home for bike storage to the area.
Hauffe, a painter and sculptor who lives and works in Leesburg, will be at an open house at the Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Avenue) on Saturday (Oct. 13) from 12:30-2 p.m. to discuss her work. Refreshments will be served and the event is free and open to the public.
Public Art Reston issued the following description about the installation, which is owned by RA. The project is supported by Friends of Reston, Reston Bicycle Club, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, RA and Public Art Reston.
Hauffe had three main priorities: a fully functional art work; one that ties in to its surroundings; and one that engages the public (bike riders and pedestrians alike), reaching out to them in a direct and visually pleasing way.The last point speaks to her overriding creative philosophy, to uplift and make positive connections between places, people and ideas. Duck, Duck, Goose emerged from these goals- a children’s game solidified into a parade of water birds found commonly in and around the lake. A practical and beautiful object, it aims to bring smiles to those enjoying the Lake House park area and its diverse recreational and natural offerings.
Other site-specific bike racks will be installed at two other spots in Reston over the next few months, Anne Delaney, Public Art Reston’s executive director, told Reston Now.
Photos via Public Art Reston
Fairfax County’s Department of Transportation is exploring ways to improve Fairfax County Parkway. In concert with the state transportation officials, the county plans to begin a multi-corridor study for Fairfax County Parkway from Route 7 to Route 1, covering a span of 31 miles with 83 intersections and 17 interchanges.
The study will offer longterm recommendations for 2040 and review whether or not changes to the county’s current transportation plan are warranted. According to the county, the study will offer “intensive analysis” to spot major problem areas and deficiencies.
Once completed, the study will explore the possibility of tolling and HOV lanes on the parkways, bicyclist and pedestrian mobility, the integration of transit, and if current intersections should be converted into interchanges, overpasses, and underpasses.
The county will lead a public meeting about the study in Reston on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in Armstrong Elementary School (11900 Lake Newport Road). A presentation by the county will be followed by an opportunity for public input at 8 p.m.
After initiating a public engagement period, the county will pitch possible ideas to the public by the winter of next year and kickstart another round of public outreach. Officials plan to solidify recommendations by the summer of next year, review study recommendations with the public in the fall and explore any comprehensive plan amendments that might be necessary by the spring of 2020.
A short term study on transportation issues and recommendations for improvements along Fairfax County Parkway and Franconia-Springfield Parkway was completed in 2016. The 113-page report included a mix of recommendations, including improvements to trail crossings on the northbound ramp from Fairfax County Parkway to Sunset Hills Road.
Other meetings on the longterm study are set for today at Navy Elementary School (3500 West Ox Road in Fairfax) and on Thursday at Sangster Elementary School (7420 Reservation Drive in Springfield).
Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation
Reston Association is offering bike riders to ride along with the 55+ bike riders for a “multi-modal” ride to Capitol Hill and surrounding areas.
The ride is set for Oct. 10 (Wednesday) from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Bikers will meet at the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station and take the Metro into the city.
Attendees should bring a bike in good repair, a Metro pass, money for lunch and a lock. Helmets are mandatory and must be worn during the ride.
The ride is roughly 15 miles. Anyone with questions should email [email protected] or call 703-435-6577.
Registration is $8 for RA members and $10 for all others.
The results of the 35th annual Reston Triathlon are in the books. The community race, which happened on Sunday, drew contestants and participants despite the rain.
A harmful algae bloom on Lake Audubon, discovered on Thursday, forced Reston Association to cancel the swim portion of the triathlon. As of Monday (September 10), RA advises against touching the water, which has algae that can produce toxins that are lethal to livestock, fish, and people.
The overall winners in the male division were:
- Sean Pinkney, 34: 2 hours, 3 minutes, 16 seconds
- Jacob Gilden, 30: 2:07:25
- Noah Kennedy, 21: 2:07:30
In the female division, overall winners were:
- Raquel Torres, 37: 2 hours, 10 minutes, 17 seconds
- Ekaterina Pinkney, 34: 2:23:26
- Kristine Wooten, 30: 2:28:18
In the individual age groups, the winners were:
- Sean Pinkney, 34, Male: 2 hours, 3 minutes, 16 seconds
- Jacob Gilden, 30, Male: 2:07:25
- Noah Kennedy, 21, Male: 2:07:30
- Bryan Rivera, 34, Male: 2:08:25
- Andrew Gyenis, 24, Male: 2:08:54
- Raquel Torres, 37, Female: 2:10:17
- Kevin Wright, 29, Male: 2:11:33
- Wiehan Peyper, 32, Male: 2:16:52
- Paul Cutler, 50, Male: 2:18:31
- Ryan Luczak, 17, Male: 2:18:31
Neil Medoff and Rich Uhrig also received an award for perfect attendance. They attended every Reston Triathlon for the last 35 years.
Photos via Reston Triathlon/Facebook and Brian Kent
New black, battery-operated bikes are coming to Reston’s Capital Bikeshare fleet tomorrow (September 5) through a pilot program by Fairfax County Government.
Roughly 80 bikes will be added to Reston and Tysons Capital Bikeshare locations through a program called Capital Bikeshares Plus. The new pedal-assist bicycles, called e-bikes, allow users to get a small boost and make it easier to pedal uphill and across longer distances.
“With the pedal assist feature of e-bikes, shared active mobility will be accessible to a greater variety of riders,” said Fairfax County Bicycle Program Manager Nicole Wynands. “We hope that e-bikes will open the door for more Fairfax County residents and visitors to enjoy the many benefits of getting around by bicycle.”
The new bikes are black and marked with a lightning bolt symbol in the Capital Bikeshare app. But unlike traditional bikes, the e-bikes must be powered on before the start of the trip. Current Capital Bikeshare members can use the bikes at no additional charge.
The pilot program will run through November. County officials expect they will “integrate seamlessly” with the existing Capital Bikeshare system in the county.
Photo via Capital Bikeshare
The Reston Bicycle Club’s annual century ride is gearing up for a strong start. Nearly 1,000 people have registered for the 36th annual ride, which will take place on August 26 from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Registration is limited to 1,500 riders. Early registration ended yesterday (August 6), general registration is open through August 18 for $60. Check-in at the beginning of the ride is not required and a wristband will be mailed to registrants. On the day of the event, registration is open for $75 only between 6:30 and 10 a.m.
A map of the routes is available online. In addition the 100-mile “Century” ride, participants can take part in the “Metric” (62 miles) or “Half-Metric (31 miles). The event will be held rain or shine.