Folk Music Tonight at Lake Anne — The “Take A Break” concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will continue tonight with a performance by contemporary folk artists Sweater Set. [Lake Anne Plaza]
Car Hits Pole in Reston — A Wednesday evening crash on Lawyers Road at Soapstone Drive took out power and closed the road. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Fireworks Safety Urged — Fireworks can turn a holiday into a tragedy within seconds when illegal and dangerous fireworks are being used. Fire officials have released a video to promote fireworks safety this July Fourth. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/YouTube]
Shared-Use Path Planned — A meeting June 29 will discuss a proposed path from the future Innovation Station Metro station kiss-and-ride on the north side of the Dulles Toll Road. [Fairfax County Department of Transportation]
Photo via @butler_law on Twitter
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.
About 525 bicyclists had passed through the stop at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station plaza as of about 9 a.m., said Ashleigh Soloff, Reston Association’s special events coordinator. She said this is the third year the event has been held at the Metro plaza in coordination with Comstock Partners.
“[Riders] have been telling me that this is the best pit stop that they’ve come through today so far,” Soloff said of participants’ feedback on the event. “It’s very active and lively.”
Nineteen organizations participated in the event to share information and goodies with riders. Food was provided by Whole Foods and Einstein Bagels. A DJ was playing music and giveaway drawings were being held every half-hour.
Soloff said the concept of biking to work is important to Reston Association.
“We’re trying to get everybody out of their cars just for one day, but then they learn that ‘Hey, I can actually do this every day,'” she said.
Rod Colen, of Reston, was riding along with his daughter, Steph. He said increasing participation in bicycling to work is important for multiple reasons, including public health and improving commute times.
“There’s just so much pressure on everybody for productivity and hours and commute time,” he said. “As traffic gets worse, biking to work will actually be competitive.”
Colen said improved infrastructure and planning is needed to increase the number of bike commuters in Fairfax County. His daughter, who now lives in Arlington but works in Reston Town Center, said she doesn’t regularly ride to commute but she chose to today.
“I also have friends who live in Arlington and work in the Town Center who decided yesterday when they found out about [Bike to Work Day], they’re not big bikers, but they were just going to do it casually,” Steph said.
Adam Lind, Bike Program manager for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said the county seeks to expand participation in Bike to Work Day each year. He was providing visitors with information including copies of the county’s new bike map. In addition, he said, the county is running a 50 percent discount through the end of May on yearly memberships to Capital Bikeshare, which is expanding in Reston.
The regional Bike to Work Day event is organized by Commuter Connections, a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that promotes bicycling to work, ridesharing and other alternatives to driving.
Thousands of area commuters will ride to work Friday during Bike to Work Day, and those in Reston are invited to a “pit stop” to get refreshments, gear and more.
The event is open to all area commuters, who are encouraged to meet up with neighbors and co-workers at one of 85 pit stops across the region, including 13 in Fairfax County. Free registration is required for the pit stops, which enters attendees into local and regional raffles and guarantees a Bike to Work Day T-shirt.
Reston’s pit stop will be located on the plaza level at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. More than 500 local bike commuters are expected to participate at the local stop, according to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
The regional event is organized by Commuter Connections, a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that promotes bicycling to work, ridesharing and other alternatives to driving. More than 17,500 bicyclists are expected to register across the D.C. area.
“Each year, Bike to Work Day attracts commuters who choose to bike to work for the very first time, and after the event, 10 percent of them continue to bike to work an average of 1.4 days per week,” said Nicholas Ramfos, director of Commuter Connections, in a statement. “That’s an impressive conversion rate and it’s why we are committed to making every Bike to Work Day bigger and better than the one before it.”
File photo courtesy Fairfax County
(Updated at 12:10 p.m. after Reston Association’s annual Community Yard Sale was postponed.)
Another SafeTrack Surge Starts Next Week — Metro’s latest round of work will have five stations on the east end of the Orange Line closed, which will also affect Silver Line traffic. Tuesday through June 15, trains will operate between Wiehle-Reston East and Stadium-Armory only every 12 minutes. This means more than 50 percent fewer trains during morning peak hours. Fairfax County is suggesting alternatives for commuters, including car pooling and buses. [WMATA]
League of American Cyclists Honors County — Fairfax County has been recognized with Bronze-level status as a Bicycle Friendly Community. It is one of 416 communities nationwide that have been honored. [Fairfax County]
Community Yard Sale Postponed to Sunday — With rain in the forecast, Reston Association’s annual Community Yard Sale has been postponed from Saturday. It will now be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sunday at 1900 Campus Commons Drive, at the corner of Sunrise Valley Drive and Wiehle Avenue. Those planning to attend are still encouraged to call 703-435-6577 after 4:30 a.m. Sunday to check the event’s status. [Reston Association]
County Embracing Driverless Future — Fairfax County is the testing ground for self-driving cars and connected infrastructure in Virginia. Officials recently brought in autonomous-vehicle experts, policymakers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs to share their research. [Fairfax County]
Reston Couple Share Love Story — Roger and Anita Lowen are approaching 50 years of marriage. It all started, they remember, with a prank call. [Washington Post]
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.
“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.
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]
Reston Network Analysis Community Meeting Planned — Following the creation of the Reston Transportation Service District, a community meeting on the project status, the results of the mid-buildout analysis, and roadway classifications for the grid of streets has been scheduled for Monday at the North County Governmental Center. [Fairfax County DOT]
Legendary DJ to Meet Fans, Sign Book — Cerphe Colwell will be at Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) on Saturday from 3-5 p.m. to promote his new book, “Cerphe’s Up: A Musical Life with Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, CSNY, and Many More.” [Press Release]
Herndon to Celebrate Most Beautiful Yards — In June and July, the Town of Herndon will honor residents who contribute to community beauty through creatively landscaped and well-maintained yards. The program is part of the town’s Cultivating Community Initiative. Nominations are now open. [Town of Herndon]
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
Fine Arts Center Coming to Herndon? — A McLean-based investor group is proposing a $40 million afterschool fine arts facility at Centreville and West Ox roads, near Frying Pan Farm Park. The site could have up to 40,000 square feet of by-right commercial development in its future instead, the group’s land-use attorney said, which would not fit the “historic fabric of the property.” [Washington Business Journal]
Easter Event Schedule — Easter is this weekend, and no matter how you mark the holiday there are plenty of opportunities to do so around the area. [Connection Newspapers]
County DOT Seeking Data Gatherers — Volunteers are sought to help count non-motorized road and trail users as part of a national data-gathering project, to be conducted in September. Among the locations where counts are to be done are Town Center Parkway, New Dominion Parkway, Fairfax County Parkway and the W&OD Trail in Reston. [Connection Newspapers]
Parkway Advisory Committee Needs Members — The objectives of the Town of Herndon’s committee are to identify current and future transportation impacts in the three jurisdictions; develop a proposed policy for council consideration for the use of the Herndon Parkway; and coordinate a list of concerns and proposed solutions for representatives of each jurisdiction to take to their respective government bodies. [Town of Herndon]
According to information provided within the board’s April 4 meeting package, the hump will be located adjacent to 2320 Colts Brook Drive. A Reston Association pathway between the Colts Brook Recreation Area and the Tournament Recreation Area crosses Colts Brook Drive just south of where the hump will be installed.
Information provided to the Board of Supervisors indicates that there is community support for the traffic-calming measure. The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has been instructed to do the work “as soon as possible,” with a budget of $7,000.
The project is part of the county’s Residential Traffic Administration Program. Also through the program, the board in 2015 approved additional speeding fines on Thunder Chase Drive in the same neighborhood. On the other side of Fairfax County Parkway, they did the same on Rosedown Drive in 2016.
Map via Reston Association
At its meeting Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to officially establish the Reston Transportation Service District, part of the 40-year, $2.27 billion plan to upgrade roadways in Reston’s Transit Station Area.
Supervisors in February approved the project’s funding plan, which includes a proposed 2.1 cent/$100 of assessed value tax assessed to properties in the Transit Station Area. That rate will be discussed and finalized when the county budget is approved in May.
The overall project includes road widening and upgrades to intersections and interchanges, in addition to construction of new Dulles Toll Road crossings, including at Town Center Parkway and Soapstone Drive. Roadway projects would be paid for with public revenue, while work on intersections and the street grid would be covered by private funding.
Under the agreed-upon plan, current homeowners in the TSA will be responsible for up to $44.6 million of the estimated cost. The remainder of the tax funds (totaling $350 million) will be collected from commercial/industrial properties and from residential properties built in the future. The rest of private funds, about $716 million, is expected to be collected through in-kind contributions to the grid by developers.
In addition, the board voted Tuesday to create a 13-member advisory group for the service district. The group will consist of the following members:
- One member from the Dranesville District
- Two members from the Hunter Mill District
- Three members to represent residential owners and homeowner/civic associations
- One member to represent apartment or rental owner associations
- One member to represent residents of Reston Town Center
- Three members to represent commercial or retail ownership interests, including the Reston Town Center Association
- One member from the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce to represent lessees of non-residential space
- One member from Reston Association
Among the group’s responsibilities, county Department of Transportation Director Tom Biesiadny said, would be to “work with staff to ensure that estimated funding levels are coordinated with construction of transportation projects, that the timing of the construction is coordinated with development, and that the funding is being spent in an appropriate and efficient manner.”
Supervisors Linda Smyth (Providence District) and Pat Herrity (Springfield District) both abstained from the votes, as they have throughout the process. Herrity once again stated that the cost of the project, which he called “gold-plated,” is too high.
“We’re taxing our residents out of the county and I think we’re going to see some of them fleeing Reston,” Herrity said.
A pair of TSA residents who spoke during a public hearing Tuesday, Robert Perry and Hank Schonzeit, both expressed feelings that taxing a small group of residents for work that benefits the entire community — as well as developers — is unfair.
“If you’re going to have a situation where you’re going to try to flog us the most you can get away with, in the smallest possible area for the fewest taxpayers, I say that’s not fair,” Perry said. “The developers who probably live in a different state who are getting rich from this [are] the ones that should bear the payment, not us.”
Developers will be responsible for 96 percent of the private share of the project, Biesiadny said, and 53 percent (about $1.2 billion) of the project is to be paid out of the county coffers. Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill District) said that while developers will be benefiting from the major road improvements, she believes residents will see the benefits of the work as well.
“We’re hoping it will not be considered onerous, but I think anytime we ask the citizens to [be taxed], they may assume it’s going to be an onerous assessment,” Hudgins said. “But I think they’ll see the return.”
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.
Usage of Capital Bikeshare in Reston has reportedly been strong, and the program will likely be expanding even further in Reston.
Adam Lind, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s bicycle program coordinator, says FCDOT is working toward using a previously received federal TAP (Transportation Alternatives Program) grant to add 10 additional stations to Reston. Those will be on top of the 12 already installed and the three more that have been previously scheduled for implementation.
“We are happy with the ridership we have seen so far [in Reston], especially since we haven’t fully built out the network with the first 15 stations and as we’ve only been open through the fall and winter,” Lind said. “We anticipate seeing an increase in members and ridership as we transition to the spring and summer, when bicycling in general picks up.”
Data released earlier this week by Mobility Lab, an Arlington-based transportation-demand analyzer, showed strong usage of Bikeshare in Reston in the last quarter of 2016. Mobility Lab’s analysis of the numbers suggested, among other findings, that riders are taking “longer, more recreational” rides in the Town Center area as well as using Bikeshare to travel from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station to commercial and residential centers.
Lind said it was expected that the stations at Reston Town Center and the Metro station would have the most ridership, but other numbers have also been encouraging.
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised that the station at Sunset Hills and Old Reston Avenue (near the W&OD) has seen such high usage (third-most trips),” he said. “We’ve also seen good usage out of the new stations near Lake Anne, which we expected as well.”
Lind said adding more bike lanes, a topic discussed at a recent community meeting, would “greatly assist the continued growth and expansion of Capital Bikeshare in Reston both north and south of the Toll Road.” There are currently no Bikeshare stations in the southern part of Reston.
Residents interested in having a Bikeshare station installed in their neighborhood can email their request to [email protected] or use the interactive map at www.cabistations.com. Lind said public outreach will also take place in the coming months to discuss suggestions about where the future stations will be placed.
Several dozen community members filled the cafeteria at Dogwood Elementary School on Thursday to learn more — and express their opinions — about proposed changes to street designs in Reston.
The proposal from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to alter lanes on Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road drew a large amount of reaction, positive and negative, from community members who would be affected. FCDOT officials say the changes would increase safety for all users of the roads — drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians — by allowing for the addition of crosswalks, creating bike lanes and limiting speeding.
“All of this is happening because [the Virginia Department of Transportation] is repaving the roadways, so we have a chance to re-stripe,” said project manager Adam Lind, Fairfax County’s Bicycle Program manager. “The county has a Bike Master Plan that they adopted in October 2014, so we are here simply trying to implement those recommendations.”
The meeting was a followup from a November meeting at which community feedback on priorities for the three roads was gathered.
Residents raised concerns at Thursday’s meeting about the potential loss of parking in certain areas, including near Hunters Woods and Lake Anne elementary schools and the Lake Audubon Pool. In addition, worries were brought up by residents including increased congestion on Colts Neck Road and the potential danger of having one center turn lane in areas with left-hand turns on both sides.
“We’re definitely getting feedback from both sides,” Lind said. “A lot of it is people who have their concerns about their specific neighborhoods, and we think we’ve done a decent job trying to address a lot of those concerns, but the point of these meetings is to get this local feedback so we can continue to make upgrades and updates to the design.”
Bruce Wright, of Reston, is a Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling board member. He said making Reston a more bike-friendly community is important. In addition, he said, pedestrian safety on Colts Neck Road is a particular concern.
“There have been two pedestrians killed crossing Colts Neck, and I think by going from four lanes to two lanes, it’s going to be safer for everybody,” he said. “I think it’s going to be great if the county goes through with that plan.”