Sunday, July 1, 2007

Chantilly tour

FABB was contacted recently a bicycle advocate in the Chantilly area who pointed out needed bicycle improvements in the area, especially crossings of Route 28. To get a better understanding of the issues, a ride was planned. That's us on the right in front of the Mitchell-Weeks House which is now the site of a Quizno's restaurant.

We discovered some very good riding routes used by local cyclists and generally became more familiar with the riding conditions in this area. We also saw many people riding inexpensive mountain bikes on sidewalks; using their bicycles for a basic mode of transportation.

The not so good riding routes included two crossings of Route 28. The Westfields Blvd cloverleaf was completed a while back with no on-road bicycle accommodations. There is a paved trail on the south side, but it is nearly impossible to use for regular commuting. When headed west, a cyclists would have to cross to the south side of the road, cross the entrance/exit ramps, yielding to motorists at each crossing, then cross back over to the north side. On-road riding is more efficient and we think, safer. One solution would be to narrow the travel lanes and create either a wide curb lane or bike lanes.

The second crossing is being designed by VDOT similar to the Gallows Rd/Rt 50 intersection. As you can see there is currently an at-grade crossing of Route 28. Now is the time for VDOT to provide proper on-road bicycle facilities. A meeting is scheduled with VDOT staff to see what can be done to allow cyclists to safely and efficiently navigate the intersection in the future.

We hope to continue our explorations of the Chantilly/Centreville area in the future, possibly with a tour of civil war sites. Fairfax County is the home of a great deal of historical sites that most people pass daily on their way to work. Wouldn't it be great to have a number of marked, mapped bike routes of historical sites?

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