Friday, February 26, 2010
 

Loudoun Co to study better bike access at Dulles Town Center

According to the article There is Really No Safe Way to Get There: Study Would Look at Improving Access to Dulles Town Center for Bikers, Walkers, Loudoun County will study "pedestrian and bicyclist needs along the Atlantic Boulevard corridor in Sterling." The study was approved by the Board of Supervisors based on a motion by Supervisor Andrea McGimsey (D-Potomac) that we mentioned earlier.
In her proposal, McGimsey is calling on county planners, business owners, landowners and citizens to take part in making the town center a "multi=modal" destination. That is, increase its accessibility options to other than just roads. More sidewalks, crosswalks and walking and biking trails are initial suggestions made in McGimsey's proposal as is the addition of bike lanes to some of the roads found in the corridor.

The county's broken network of trails and sidewalks has long been a sore spot for Loudoun's walkers and peddlers [sic]. In 2003, a county bicycle and pedestrian mobility master plan concluded that only 14 percent of Loudoun's nearly 850 miles of roadways had sidewalks. Of the 70 miles of pathways in Loudoun that are dedicated for non-motorized use, only 12 miles were said to be wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians.
BikeLoudoun's Pat Turner is quoted in the article.

By the way, we pedal our bikes, we don't peddle them.

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Monday, February 15, 2010
 

Bicycle access along Atlantic Blvd

Atlantic Blvd (map) is a major connector between communities north and south of Routes 7 in Loudoun County. It extends parallel to Route 28, north from the W&OD Trail, past Orbital Sciences, location of the Sterling Bike to Work Day event, to the Dulles Town Center and many residential communities north of Route 7.

At the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday Potomac District Supervisor Andrea McGimsey will ask that there be a "review of the Atlantic Boulevard corridor and how multi-modal pedestrian [and bicycle] connections can be integrated into the rest of the community both north and south of Route 7 and to points east such as Claude Moore Park and nearby residential areas."

Cyclists are urged to support this proposal by attending the meeting and/or writing the Loudoun County board at bos@loudoun.gov.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009
 

Cyclists riding MS 150 ticketed for running stop signs

According to the Post article A Safety Issue to Officers, Poor Form to Cyclists, eight cyclists were ticketed for not coming to a complete stop at stop signs in the Purcellville/Lovettsville area:
To several who took part in the annual event - which is estimated to have raised more than $700,000 for research and assistance for those with the incurable illness - the tickets were poor form, even if cyclists had rolled through the signs. To authorities, who said they received numerous complaints from motorists about cyclists crowding the roads and running stop signs, the citations were necessary to ensure safety on the roads.

"After I picked my jaw up off the ground, my feeling was, 'You've got nothing better to do at 10 o'clock on a Sunday morning than sit there and wait for people to run a stop sign?'" said David Jennings, 47, of Vienna, a cyclist who did not ride for charity but was ticketed in Lovettsville while out with his biking club.

Jennings said he and another cyclist, a charity participant, slowed to about 1 mph before proceeding through a stop sign in Lovettsville, only to find a sheriff's deputy nearby, who flagged them down.

"What was amazing to me was it seemed to me they were there because of the MS ride," Jennings said. "They've donated their time and all their money, and they've donated to a charity, and you've got the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office just sitting there waiting to hand them a ticket. It didn't seem right."
The comments on the article contain most of the stereotypes about renegade cyclists who don't obey the law; motorists who do the same; cyclists who shouldn't be riding in the road, etc.

Capt. Thom Shaw of the Loudoun County Sheriff's office was online Friday "to discuss the incident and to answer questions about safety and rules of the road when bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians meet."

One question regarded the street corssings on the W&OD Trail and how few motorists stop for cyclists in the crosswalks. Capt. Shaw doesn't see a problem, completely ignoring the fact that motorists are required to yield to pedestrians and cyclists in a crosswalk:
Mclean, Va.: I bicycle regularly on the W&OD trail (and obey the law). I have witnessed far more cars who fail to yield to stopped cyclists at a crosswalk (or moving cyclists in a crosswalk) than bicyclists who blow through stop signs without regard to traffic. Aren't drivers required to yield at a crosswalk in Virginia (assuming, of course, that the bicycle has stopped at the crosswalk)?

Capt. Thom Shaw: All intersections with state roadways are governed by a stop sign for the cyclists. If the rider stops and yields correctly this should not be an issue.
In two subsequent comments, Capt. Shaw states that cyclists on the W&OD Trail stop signs must wait until all traffic clears before cyclists proceed:
Cyclists must stop and yield at these intersections, whether or not they have dismounted. A rider should allow themselves enough time and space to cross the roadway safely, as they would if they were driving a vehicle.

Yes, in cases where the trail crosses the roadway and a stop sign is only present for the cyclist, the motorist has the right-of-way.
This interpretation completely ignores the presence of the crosswalk and explains why police often accuse cyclists of not yield to motorists, which is contrary to state law, which states that "46.2-92, A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway: 1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;"

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Thursday, March 26, 2009
 

BikeLoudoun featured in the Post

In today's Fairfax section of the Post is an article about the work being done by BikeLoudoun, Loudoun Bike Crowd Seeks Voice. Pat Turner is the force behind this group that is working to help make Loudoun County a better place to bike:

Now, as the county works on revising its transportation plan, Turner says it is time to change that. Her advocacy group, BikeLoudoun, is lobbying Loudoun officials to name a bike and pedestrian coordinator who would advocate for cyclists and walkers and oversee the building of a network of bikeways throughout the county.

See the BikeLoudoun Yahoo group.

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Friday, January 2, 2009
 

Loudoun cyclists form advocacy group

A group of bicyclists in Loudoun County recently formed a group to advocate for better bicycling conditions in the county. Their first meeting was held on Dec. 18 with about 16-18 avid cyclists attending. One of their main goals is to have the county designate a dedicated bicycle coordinator staff position. They also formed a Yahoo Group to facilitate their communictation, Bike Loudoun.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Sterling, VA. (map).

See the Loudoun County Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Master Plan.

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