COVID-19 Vaccine Recommended for Pregnant People — “COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone 12 years and older, including those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or would like to get pregnant. The rise in COVID-19 cases, low vaccine uptake among pregnant people, and the increased risk of severe illness during pregnancy make vaccination more urgent than ever.” [Fairfax County Health Department]
Local Cycling Studio Announces Vaccine Requirement — Starting Sept. 1, New Trail Cycling in Lake Anne Plaza will require patrons to provide proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to take an indoor class. Owner Liz Camp says she’s not aware of any other businesses in the Reston and Herndon area with a similar policy but felt it’s a necessary extra step to keep people safe and healthy as cases rise. [New Trail Cycling]
Police Union Supports Eliminating Ticket-Writing Quotas — The Virginia Police Benevolent Association, which represents 750 state troopers, says it’s working with the General Assembly on a law that would prohibit law enforcement agencies from imposing quotas on officers, saying that approach is outdated and leads to more negative interactions with the public. Virginia State Police officials deny using quotas, but emails suggest troopers are evaluated in part by how many tickets they write. [WTOP]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Traveling in Herndon north of the Dulles Toll Road, whether by car, bicycle, or as a pedestrian, could get easier after a $19 million project is completed in 2023.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is currently working on plans to widen Spring Street from four to six lanes between Herndon Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway (Route 286). The project will add more turn lanes on and around East Spring Street, create a cycle track on Herndon Parkway, and improve the area’s sidewalk infrastructure.
The changes seek to address traffic volume that’s projected to increase to an average of over 47,000 vehicles each day on East Spring Street in 2042, up from 38,000 vehicles on that stretch of road and 18,000 vehicles on Herndon Parkway today, according to VDOT’s project page.
Construction is slated to begin this winter with completion anticipated in fall 2023.
According to the Town of Herndon, the roadway widening involves:
- Expanding and reconstructing Spring Street from four to six lanes between Route 286 and Herndon Parkway
- Adding turn lanes on approaches to the Herndon Parkway and Spring Street intersection, including dedicated northbound right turn lanes on Herndon Parkway and a second left turn lane on southbound Herndon Parkway
- Adding a turn lane on the southbound Fairfax County Parkway off-ramp at Spring Street that’s solely for left turns
The cycle track will consist of an eight-foot-wide bicycle path separated from vehicular traffic as well as a six-foot-wide sidewalk that would replace the existing walkway on the east side of Herndon Parkway.
The two-way cycle track will run from the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, past the Spring Street intersection, and farther south to Hyatt House.
The dedicated bicycle path will support the Fairbrook Park redevelopment and other development projects expected to come with the eventual opening of the Herndon Metro station. It will ultimately extend to the Herndon Parkway and Van Buren Street intersection, where it will connect with a trail and bicycle lanes on Van Buren Street, according to the town.
The project will also introduce five-foot-wide, ADA-compliant sidewalks along Spring Street, according to a VDOT document.
While VDOT will be responsible for the project’s design and construction, maintenance of the completed bicycle path will be overseen by the Town of Herndon under a proposed license agreement with the state transportation department and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks), which owns the W&OD Trail.
If approved, the agreement would run through the end of 2060 but could be extended. VDOT would be required to give NOVA Parks $5,000 to cover potential expenses related to construction on the W&OD Trail, though the money will be returned within six months after the work is completed.
Once construction is finished, the licensing agreement would be transferred to the town.
The Herndon Town Council discussed the agreement during a work session yesterday (July 7) and is slated to address the item again at its next regular meeting on Tuesday (July 13).
Photo via Google Maps
Getting to and from Metro stations can be a harrowing experience for pedestrians and cyclists, and the Fairfax County Planning Commission and others want something to be done about it.
The planning commissioners have called on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to require Metro, the state and county transportation departments, and more to “work immediately” to make safety and accessibility improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists to transit stations.
“This is a call for action by the public to improve pedestrian/bicycle access to metro stations as envisioned in the comprehensive plan,” Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner John Carter said when introducing a motion during the commission’s meeting on May 19.
The measure calls for numerous changes, such as:
- Providing wide sidewalks at intersections within walking distance of transit stations,
- Making turns on roads tighter at intersections to slow traffic down,
- Providing a “double ramp” for people with disabilities instead of single ramp that’s currently in use directing pedestrians to the middle of intersections,
- Avoiding extra turning lanes at intersections with high volumes of pedestrians
- Providing closely spaced street trees between curb and sidewalk areas to protect pedestrians.
The motion passed, with 10 members voting for it and at-large member Timothy Sargeant, abstaining. Sargeant did not respond to a message seeking comment on why he voted that way.
“Failure to act will cause pedestrian access to continue to be ‘significantly challenged’ and ridership on the metro station to be reduced,” Carter said.
He introduced the motion during the commission’s discussion on whether to approve changes to the office-residential complex Reston Gateway being constructed, but he noted that the issues seen at Reston’s Metro stations could apply to other locations as well.
Supervisor Walter Alcorn, whose Hunter Mill District includes the Reston Gateway project, agrees that the main crosswalk serving the upcoming Silver Line station at Reston Town Center is not pedestrian-friendly.
“The rail project used cookie-cutter designs,” he said, adding that a walkway over the road has been proposed but could be years away from coming to fruition.
When touring the area a couple weeks ago, Alcorn asked the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to identify short-term improvements to occur before the station opens, which isn’t expected to happen until early 2022.
“I want to make sure riders can readily get to the stations on day one and every day thereafter,” he said.
Pedestrian and bicyclist advocacy groups expressed support for the commission’s call for change. Read More
County Knew About Lawsuits Against New Police Chief — Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay says supervisors became aware of the lawsuits that Police Chief Kevin Davis faced while working in Prince George’s County during the hiring process. The Fairfax County NAACP has filed a FOIA request to get more information about the search, which McKay says tried to strike a balance between public transparency and confidentiality for candidates. [Patch]
Virginia Holds Vaccine Day of Action — Virginia wants residents to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts by joining a statewide “It’s Our Shot” Day of Action today. Ways to participate include making a plan to get vaccinated, sharing your vaccine story on social media, and becoming a COVID Community Ambassador. [Office of the Governor]
Tour de Hunter Mill Showcases County Cycling Options — More than 180 cyclists toured Reston, Vienna, and Tysons in the inaugural Tour de Hunter Mill on Saturday (May 15). The event was intended to highlight the multimodal transportation facilities that people can use to travel the district without getting in a car. [Patch]
Discount Available to Help Pay for Internet Services — Households struggling to pay for internet service due to pandemic-related hardships could get a temporary discount on broadband services with the Federal Communications Commission’s the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. Fairfax County Public Library will hold a virtual training on the program and application process from 2-4 p.m. today. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
It was a year ago when business owner Liz Kamp made the decision to shut down her cycling, strength, and fitness studio New Trail.
New Trail, located at Lake Anne in Reston, was thriving after opening in November 2018. The customer base was growing, nine employees had been hired, and Kamp, 36 and a mother of three, was proud of the community she had built. There was even talk about opening a second studio.
That all changed on March 14 last year.
“We had a St. Paddy’s [cycling] event and I had set up a million safety precautions that I felt pretty good about,” Kamp says. “Then we had it and I just felt like I didn’t have full control of this.”
Immediately after that event, she made a very difficult decision.
Seeing people getting too close to one another after class and realizing she could do little to spread COVID-19 by establishing precautions, she closed New Trail.
“It was too stressful and too risky, ” she says. “It was my social responsibility to shut it down.”
Exactly a year later, on March 14, 2021, Kamp is re-opening her studio and allowing people to exercise indoors for the first time.
Classes will remain very limited, with only six people inside at a time and spread out by at least 10 feet. Doors will remain open for fresh air, a new HVAC system will be running, and masks are required.
Participants can also exercise outside for those who are not comfortable being inside yet.
But it’s a return to something resembling normalcy for the fitness studio and for Kamp’s ambitions. She hopes to create a space for those like her looking for a good workout.
Kamp has been a fitness instructor for nearly her whole career, including a stint as a fitness specialist for the Herndon Parks and Recreation Department.
Then, in 2009, she moved to Reston and within walking distance of Lake Anne.
“It was sort of an underutilized space at the time,” Kamp says about Lake Anne.
It took nearly a decade — she’s a mom to three kids — but Kamp eventually made her dream happen — opening up New Trail in part of the space that used to be Lake Anne Pharmacy (which closed in 2014).
“Such a deep part of my mission is to create the space where it’s a hangout,” she says. “You’re not anonymous. They know me. I know them. That small town appeal was strong for me.”
Her goal was also to create a studio for folks like her.
“I think a lot of times when people see what we call boutique studios, it’s 20-year-old models teaching and it sort of sets people up for intimidation,” she says. “I wanted to take that all out of the game and focus on just creating a real community where the focus is not how we look, but working out and moving for wellness. Mind, body and soul.”
Everything was going great until March 2020. In the intervening year, she received a Payment Protection Program loan while pivoting to some outdoor (in the summer) and virtual classes but admits it wasn’t the same.
“Our value in the marketplace is the in-person experience, so when you take that away, it’s just different and it takes away our uniqueness,” she says.
Competing with Pelotons of the world was also very tough since they can provide top-notch production at lower costs.
“That was defeating at times… feeling like ‘how can I compete?'” Kamp says.
But this shift back to indoors and, maybe, normalcy is leaving her hopeful. She misses seeing her customers and thinks people will flock back.
“Places like New Trail are going to mean much more to people now,” she says. “We’ve missed that human connection.”
As for that second studio, she remains optimistic about it but is waiting to see what 2021 and beyond – brings.
“We will keep pushing our mission forward,” Kamp says.
Photo courtesy of New Trail/Kim Chevez Photography
The Town of Herndon has been named a bicycle-friendly community by the American League of Bicyclists. The recognition comes after the Herndon Town Council adopted the Herndon Bicycle Network Master Plan last year.
This year, 38 communities were given the award across the country.
“Undeniably, during the pandemic more Americans ar biking to get around and to experience the joy that comes with being on a bike,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “The League is proud to recognize these Bicycle Friendly Communities where leaders, both in government and advocacy, have committed to building better places for people to ride, whether they are new or seasoned.”
In the United States, 482 communities have met criteria for the award, which honors areas that demonstrate a commitment to making biking better for communities.
Here’s more from the League about the program:
The Bicycle Friendly Community award process considers a range of elements, including a community’s efforts to educate children and adults about how to bike, plan and build bike infrastructure, evaluate success towards getting more people on bikes, and encourage road safety all through the lens of equity. The application process is an educational tool in itself, laying out for communities what steps they must take to be considered award-worthy. As part of each review, the League and applicants also seek input from local bicyclists and active transportation advocates on their experiences and perceptions of bicycling in their community.
The town’s bicycling master plan, which was created by staff and the town’s Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee, offers policy guidance for the town’s bicycle network planning and design, as well as a longterm plan for connectivity and network improvements.
Photo via Green Lizard Cycling
Fairfax County Park Authority Seeks Comment on Fee Increases — “The Fairfax County Park Authority will hold its annual public comment meeting on the agency’s proposed fee adjustments. The public is invited to share their perspectives on the proposals with the Park Authority Board either at the meeting, via correspondence or by email.” [Fairfax County Government]
New Trail Cycling Teen Ride Kicks Off with Free Class — “New Trail Cycling Studio, located at Lake Anne in Reston, is launching its teen program on January 22. Classes will be offered every Wednesday at 4pm for teens ages 12-17. ” [Patch]
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Registration is now open for the first-ever Lake Anne Stand-up Triathlon.
The event, which replaces the traditional triathlon event, aims to introduce different sports to the community by replacing swimming with a stand-up paddle board experience. It will take place on Sunday, Sept. 15.
The triathlon will consist of a seven-mile ride on a New Trail Cycling stationary bike, a 5k run around Lake Anne on Reston pathways, and a one-mile paddle board. Paddle boards will be provided.
A celebration party at the plaza will follow the event. All proceeds will benefit CORE Foundation. Fundraising for the event is optional, but highly encouraged.
Athletes can take part in a solo or a three-person relay. The cost is $110 for solo athletes and includes a T-shirt, use of a New Trail Cycling bike for the event, use of a paddle board, craft beer after the race, and other prizes.
Partnering organizations include Surf Reston, New Trail and Lake Anne Brew House.
Registration will be closed once 150 people register for the event.
Photo via CORE Foundation
New Trail Cycling Studio is hosting a charity ride to celebrate six months of business at Lake Anne Plaza.
On Saturday, May 18, the business will host its “Ride for a Cause” from 7:30 a.m. to noon. All proceeds from rides will go to local non-profit organizations.
“New Trail is about community and helping other people,” owner Liz Kamp said. “Whether we’re helping someone get healthy or we’re improving a local organization, I want to make sure that New Trail is improving the lives of people around us.”
The event kicks off with six 30-minute rides in the morning. New Trail’s coaches will choose a different organization to benefit from each ride. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase leading up to the event in order to raise funds for each organization.
Riders of all levels are welcome to join for all or one of the rides, but bikes must be booked in advance. Fundraising credits are available online.
As a bonus, any individual or business sponsoring a ride with a mile-to-dollar match will earn a free private ride for up to 20 people.
Giveaways and refreshments are also planned for riders. So far, the lineup is as follows:
- 7:30 a.m. – Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts
- 8:15 a.m. – Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area
- 9 a.m. – Cornerstones
- 9:45 a.m. – Shelter House
- 10:30 a.m. – CORE Foundation
- 11:15 a.m. – Heeling House
Photo courtesy Liz Kamp
Updated 2:30 p.m. — Elizabeth Kamp, owner of New Trail Cycling Studio, has specified that the opening is a private event
New Trail Cycling Studio, a new indoor cycling studio at Lake Anne Plaza (1641B Washington Plaza), is celebrating its grand opening this afternoon (Tuesday) in a private event from 4:30-6 p.m.
The grand opening will include finger food from Kalypso’s and a chance to win a five-pack of rides.
The indoor bicycling studio first opened its doors in early November with a series of preview classes. Participants can buy a pack of classes, from $22 for two classes for new riders to more expensive unlimited memberships. Riders receive free shoe rentals, towels and herbal washcloths.
The studio also offers specials — $65 for four rides for college students — and “Free New Trail 101” classes to teach proper form and explain cycling settings.
Photo via Facebook
Facebook screwed us and we need your help — Reston Now’s new sister site needs your help. Tysons Reporter will officially launch Sept. 25, but there’s a big problem: some 1,400 people who tried to subscribe to Tysons Reporter’s email newsletter from a Facebook ad had their info deleted by Facebook before we could import it into our system. Please help us spread the word to anyone in Tysons, McLean or Vienna that if they signed up for the email newsletter via Facebook, they should re-subscribe. [ARLnow]
Cycling for a cure — Cyclists gathered for the American Diabetes Association’s 2018 Tour de Cure in Reston Town Center on September 8. Locally, 43 teams took part, equalling 401 participants, to raise $500,000. [The Connection]
An update on Hurricane Florence — “The latest models and forecasts show Hurricane Florence tracking farther south of Fairfax County, potentially decreasing its impact locally. Rain is still expected and flooding conditions may occur in the coming days, so we’re not out of preparedness mode yet for this storm. Hurricane forecasts and tracks can change, so please remain vigilant and prepared.” [Fairfax County Government]
Officers assaulted on Barton Hill Road — A woman who was experiencing an apparent mental health crisis scratched and attempted to bite two police officers on Tuesday on the 1900 block of Barton Hill Road. The police department is working with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to determine if any charges should be placed. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
Lake Anne Plaza is turning a new leaf as iconic, quirky pharmacy icons that once served as advertisements for the Lakeside Pharmacy, a legacy Lake Anne Plaza store, were removed this week.
The building, which was vacated in 2014 after Larry Cohn, pharmacist and owner for 44 years, retired. Now, two new businesses — a hair salon and a cycling studio — will open up in the former pharmacy location, which remained vacant since September 2014.
The Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association donated the icons to the Reston Historic Trust & Museum this month. They will be placed in storage until they can be reinstalled at a new location in the plaza.
“New businesses are moving into the old pharmacy and because the icons do not reflect the new businesses coming in, it was determined that they would be removed with the idea that they would be preserved,” said Alexandra Campbell.
Liz Kamp, a Reston resident, hopes to open her indoor cycling studio, New Trail Cycling Studio, sometime in September in the former pharmacy pace.
Inspired by the original icons, Kamp said she’s in the process of seeking design approval for a new cycling-related icon similar to the old icons.
“I, too, loved the icons and would love to honor the history of the space,” Kamp said. She has lived in Reston for about a decade.
The icons were designed by Chermayeff and Geismar, a New York Graphic design firm known for creating logos for NBC and PBS. Locally, the firm designed many of the plaza’s original storefronts.
A new hair salon will also take up the other half of the old pharmacy location near the lakeside. The owner was not immediately available for comment.
Plans for the relocation of the icons are not final. The Reston Historic Trust & Museum plans to raise funds to help preserve the icons.
Photos by Charlotte Geary
You have just a little over a week to get that bike all fixed up and ready, because Bike To Work Day is coming up around the D.C. Metro area next Friday, May 18.
More than 100 pit stops are planned from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. throughout the area, including one in Reston and one in nearby Herndon.
The Reston pit stop will be held at the Plaza at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, at 1862 Wiehle Avenue.
For those who take the W&OD Trail, a pit stop is planned in Herndon right by the trail entrance at the corner of Lynn and Elden streets.
The first 20,000 people who register ahead of time can pick up a free Bike To Work Day 2018 t-shirt at one of the pit stops, as well as enter drawings for new bicycles and other prizes.
Nervous about riding your bike during the busy rush hour by yourself? Anyone is welcome to join a bicycle convoy to ride together with others going in the same direction as you. A list of local convoys is available online, and there is no need to sign up in advance. You can join up with a convoy at any point along their path.
You can also find individual “bike buddies” through a number of local cycling groups.
For more information, visit the Bike To Work Day Metro D.C. website, or for questions about the Reston pit stop, call or email Ashleigh from the Reston Association at [email protected] or 703-435-6577.
File Photo: Bike To Work Day 2017 in Reston